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Posted : 2007-08-09 17:22
Updated : 2007-08-09 17:22

Plastics Become Memory Chips


Prof. Ree Moon-hor
By Kim Tae-gyu
Staff Reporter

A team of South Korean scientists has used plastic to make non-volatile memory devices, which hold their content without the need of power supply.

The team, headed by Prof. Ree Moon-hor at Pohang University of Science and Technology, said Thursday that the new devices will usher forth futuristic products.

``Because the new memories are produced with plastic, they can be bent or folded, allowing them to take the forms of foldable laptops or wearable computers,'' Ree said.

``Another plus is that our new memory devices can operate at a very low voltage range. As a result, they hardly consume power, greatly extending battery life,'' the 53-year-old said.

Thus far, researchers have studied plastics-based semiconductors as next-generation technologies and some have come up with substantive results.

However, Ree argues they were not suitable for commercialization for some reason.

``Scientists have mainly delved into volatile plastic-based memory formats, which require power to maintain the stored information just like dynamic random access memory (D-RAM) chips,'' Ree said.

``By contrast, our items don't require a maintained power supply for data storage as comparable to flash memories. Accordingly, they are the best fit for mobile gadgets such as cell phones or laptops,'' he said.

Samsung Electronics, the world's foremost memory chipmaker, provided funds for the project over the past three years along with the government.

``We are currently in talks with Samsung, which is showing interest in our technologies,'' Ree said. ``Should Samsung opt to use our solution, it will not take much time to commercialize the process.''

Ree's team applied for a patent for the new memory products. The breakthrough was featured online in Advanced Functional Materials, the illustrious peer-reviewed journal.

voc200@koreatimes.co.kr

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