Graphene concept art. Single layer...
Graphene is back in the spotlight and its unusual properties are once again being harnessed, this time for use in sticky-type memory. Yang-Fang Chen and his fellow researchers from the University of Taipei designed the memory for use in flexible electronics. Flexible memory has been created before by researchers from the University of Cambridge using nano-wires grown on plastic substrates, however practical applications using the flexible memory are still a decade or more away. Instead of using plastic, the research team from the University of Taipei used graphene coated in a conductive polymer topped with aluminum electrodes to create a flexible memory sticker. Using graphene as the memory’s substrate gives it the ability of having a natural attraction to other molecules (this is known as the van der Waals force), which allows the memory to be attached just about anywhere.
In initial tests, the researchers applied their flexible memory sticker to various surfaces, including a business card and a medical bracelet, which they found did not diminish data retention even while curved. They also found that the memory could be applied, removed and applied again a number of times without losing any stored data. The team stated that with a few more parts (like a Wi-Fi module) attached to their sticky memory, the device could conceivably be used as a flexible flash drive. Think of it like a Post-It note that is able to download data from your computer or mobile device, then is peeled off and stuck to another device to upload that data. The possibilities are endless, the team even thinks that they will be able to incorporate the memory into other flexible electronics sometime in the near future.
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