In the near future in assortment of Samsung, LG, Apple, Microsoft, and, perhaps, some other companies will appear flexible smartphones. But for the creation of such devices, flexible components are required.
Developers have made significant progress in the production of flexible displays. However, to complete the appearance and maintain the technical parameters of smartphones, it is necessary to manufacture cases and “stuffing” gadgets that can flex simultaneously with the screens.
Scientists from the laboratory of Exeter University (Devon, England) have developed a flash memory capable of withstanding multiple cyclic bends while maintaining integrity and technical parameters.
As the main material for the new product, scientists took one of the most durable materials at the present stage – graphene. Unique physical and mechanical properties of graphene – high strength, low thickness, the ability of the material to withstand multiple bending and the ability to conduct electric current allowed to create a unique flash memory in the laboratory.
The researchers used graphene oxide, placed on the basis of pure titanium, which is oxidized upon contact with oxygen. At the same time, unique indicators were achieved, exceeding all the previous technical capabilities of devices made on the basis of graphene oxide. The experimenters created a structure 50 nanometers in length and 8 nanometers in thickness, which allowed recording and reading of information by means of electric pulses of about 5 nanoseconds duration. Graphene can transmit electrons at a speed of 1000 km / s, 30 times higher than silicon.
During the experiment, the developed memory cells were located on a flexible basis. With a cyclic bending with a radius of 9 mm, the flash memory withstood up to 5 thousand cycles without loss of efficiency.
Prospects for the development of flexible flash memory are constrained by the high cost of the material – graphene. At the moment, for the production of flexible smartphones, the development of bent and even folded OLED displays and flexible batteries is actively used. The high cost of technology does not yet allow designers to use their original ideas for flexible mobile gadgets. Manufacturers are still offering smartphones bent in two or even one place. However, in the laboratories of China and Samsung are actively working on the creation of practical flexible smartphones.
It may take several more years to bring this technology to the mind. And given the interest of manufacturers to such developments, flexible memory can appear in smartphones and portable electronics in the next 5 years.
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