Researchers have developed a new memory device for wearable devices like smart watches or phones which is inspired by the neuron connections of the human brain.
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The device boasts of highly reliable performance, long retention time and endurance.
Moreover, its stretchability and flexibility makes it a promising tool for the next-generation soft electronics attached to clothes or body, the researchers noted.
The information we memorize is transmitted through synapses from one neuron to the next as an electro-chemical signal.
Inspired by these connections, scientists from South Korea-based Institute for Basic Science (IBS) constructed a memory called two-terminal tunneling random access memory (TRAM), where two electrodes resemble the two communicating neurons of the synapse.
While mobile electronics like digital cameras and mobile phones use the so-called three-terminal flash memory, the advantage of two-terminal memories like TRAM is that two-terminal memories do not need a thick and rigid oxide layer.
"Flash memory is still more reliable and has better performance, but TRAM is more flexible and can be scalable," explained Professor Yu Woo Jong in a statement.
In collaboration with Sungkyunkwan University, researchers from the Centre for Integrated Nanostructure Physics at IBS devised this memory device.
Flexibility and stretchability are indeed two key features of TRAM.
In the future, TRAM can be useful to save data from flexible or wearable smartphones, eye cameras, smart surgical gloves and body-attachable biomedical devices.
Quoc An Vu, Yong Seon Shin, Young Rae Kim, Van Luan Nguyen, Won Tae Kang, Hyun Kim, Dinh Hoa Luong, Il Min Lee, Kiyoung Lee, Dong-Su Ko, Jinseong Heo, Seongjun Park, Young Hee Lee and Woo Jong Yu. Two-terminal floating-gate memory with van der waals heterostructures for ultrahigh on/off ratio. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12725
About the Institute for Basic Science (IBS)
IBS was founded in 2011 by the government of the Republic of Korea with the sole purpose of driving forward the development of basic science in South Korea It comprises a total of 50 research centers in all fields of basic science, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, life science, earth science and interdisciplinary science. IBS has launched 26 research centers as of September 2016. There are eight physics, one mathematics, six chemistry, eight life science, and three interdisciplinary research centers.