OSA-Direct
Thursday, 23 Nov 2017

Kaist develops highly flexible organic flash memory

The researchers succeeded in making memory devices printing paper, opening a way for disposable smart electronic products

Kaist - Flexible organic flash memory

6 Nov 2017 | Editor

KAIST research team have reported ultra-flexible organic flash memory that is bendable down to a radius of 300um. The memory exhibits a significantly-long projected retention rate with a programming voltage on par with the present industrial standards.

A joint research team led by Professor Seunghyup Yoo of the School of Electrical Engineering and Professor Sung Gap Im of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering said that their memory technology can be applied to non-conventional substrates, such as plastics and papers, to demonstrate its feasibility over a wide range of applications.

According to the researchers despite promising demonstrations in the early stages of organic electronics, the overall progress in this field has been far slower than that of thin-film transistors (TFTs) or other devices based on flexible materials. It has been challenging, in particular, to develop flash memory that simultaneously exhibits a significant level of flexibility and performance. This is mainly due to the scarcity of flexible dielectric layers, which are responsible for the tunnelling and blocking of charges.

KAIST - Flexible organic flash memory

Figure: KAIST - Flexible organic flash memory

The solution processing used for the preparation of most of the polymeric dielectric layers also makes it difficult to use them in flash memory due to the complexity involved in the formation of the bilayer dielectric structure, which is the key to flash memory operations.

The research team overcame these hurdles to develop a highly flexible flash memory by employing thin polymeric insulators grown with initiated chemical vapour deposition (iCVD), a vapour-phase growth technique for polymers that was previously shown to be promising for the fabrication of flexible TFTs.

The researchers showed that these iCVD-based polymeric insulators, when coupled with rational device design and material choice, can make a significant contribution to flash memory as well. Memory using conventional polymer insulating films often required a voltage as high as 100V in order to attain long memory retention. However, if memory devices are made to operate at low voltages - the short retention period of less than a month is considered problematic and not commercially viable.

The KAIST team produced flash memory with programming voltages around 10 V and a projected data retention time of over 10 years, while maintaining its memory performance even at a mechanical strain of 2.8%. This is a significant improvement over the existing inorganic insulation layer-based flash memory that allowed only a 1% strain.

The team demonstrated the "virtually" foldable memory devices by fabricating the proposed flash memory on a 6-micrometer-thick ultrathin plastic film. In addition, they succeeded in making them on printing paper, opening a way for disposable smart electronic products such as electronic paper and electronic business card.

"This study well illustrates that even highly flexible flash memory can be made to have a practically viable level of performance, so that it contributes to full-fledged wearable electronic devices and smart electronic paper."

Professor Seunghyup Yoo, KAIST

Flash memory is a non-volatile, transistor-based data-storage device that has become essential in most electronic systems in daily life. With straightforward operation mechanisms and easy integration into NAND or NOR array architecture, flash memory has been established as the most successful and dominant non-volatile memory technology by far.

Source: KAIST

Organic flash memory on various flexible substrates for foldable and disposable electronics

Seungwon Lee | Hyejeong Seong | Sung Gap Im | Hanul Moon | Seunghyup Yoo

Nature Communications 8, Article number: 725 (2017) | doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00805-z

Received: 28 December 2016 | Accepted: 31 July 2017 | Published online: 28 September 2017

Abstract

With the emergence of wearable or disposable electronics, there grows a demand for a flash memory realizable on various flexible substrates. Nevertheless, it has been challenging to develop a flash memory that simultaneously exhibits a significant level of flexibility and performance. This is mainly due to the scarcity of flexible dielectric materials with insulating properties sufficient for a flash memory, which involves dual dielectric layers, respectively, responsible for tunneling and blocking of charges. Here we report ultra-flexible organic flash memories based on polymer dielectrics prepared by initiated chemical vapor deposition. Using their near-ideal dielectric characteristics, we demonstrate flash memories bendable down to a radius of 300 μm that exhibits a relatively long-projected retention with a programming voltage on par with the present industrial standards. The proposed memory technology is then applied to non-conventional substrates, such as papers, to demonstrate its feasibility in a wide range of applications

www.kaist.edu   


About KAIST

Source: KAIST


login

cintelliq logo