A flexible memory switch has been developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which may lead to the development of electronic memory chips that can bend and twist.
Researchers took polymer sheets and experimented by using a sol gel process on a thin film of titanium dioxide.
By adding electrical contacts, the team were able to create a flexible memory switch that requires less than ten volts to operate and retains functionality after 4,000 flexes.
"We wanted to make a flexible memory component that would advance the development and metrology of flexible electronics, while being economical enough for widespread use," commented NIST researcher Nadine Gergel-Hackett.
The switch's performance bears a strong resemblance to that of the hypothetical memristor, a component theorised in 1971 as a fourth fundamental circuit element along with the capacitor, resistor and inductor.
NIST recently announced the availability of approximately $120 million (£73 million) in grants for the construction of new scientific research buildings.