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Spray on memory invented by university students

by on10 April 2017

Smells like Teen Spirit

Researchers at Duke University have developed "spray-on" digital memory using only an aerosol jet printer and nanoparticle inks.

According to Duke Todaythe memory is a bit like a 4-bit flash drive, and is the first fully-printed digital memory that would be suitable for practical use in simple electronics such as environmental sensors or RFID tags.

Because it is jet-printed at low temperatures, it could be used to build programmable electronic devices on bendable materials like paper, plastic or fabric.

It is made from silica-coated copper nanowires encased in a polymer matrix, encodes information not in states of charge but instead in states of resistance.

It can be switched between a state of high resistance, which stops electric current, and a state of low resistance, which allows current to flow. Unlike silicon, the nanowires and the polymer can be dissolved in methanol, creating a liquid that can be sprayed through the nozzle of a printer.

Its write speed is three microseconds which is about the speed of flash drives and the information can be re-written many times. Stored data can last for a decade.

Last modified on 10 April 2017
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