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Friday, 26 November 2010

Plastic Memory

A conducting plastic has been used to create a new memory technology which has the potential to store a mega bit of data in a millimeter- square device-10 times denser than current magnetic memories. This device is cheap and fast, but cannot be rewritten, so would only be suitable for permanent storage.

The device sandwiches a blob of a conducting polymer called PEDOT and a silicon diode between perpendicular wires.The key to the new technology was discovered by passing high current through PEDOT (Polyethylenedioxythiophene) which turns it into an insulator, rather like blowing a fuse .The polymer has two possible states- conductor and insulator, that form the one and zero, necessary to store digital data.However tuning the polymer into an insulator involves a permanent chemical change, meaning the memory can only be written once.

A new form of permanent computer memory which uses plastic and is much cheaper and faster than the existing silicon circuits was invented by Researchers at Princeton University working with Hewlett-Packard.This new memory technology is created by using a conducting plastic which has the potential to store a megabit of data in a millimeter-square device - 10 times denser than current magnetic memories.

This utilizes a previously unknown property of a cheap, transparent plastic called PEDOT - short for polyethylenedioxythiophene. The inventors say that data densities as high as a megabit per square millimeter can be possible. By stacking layers of memory, a cubic centimeter device could hold as much as a gigabyte and be cheap enough to compete with CDs and DVD.

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