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A Kaist Research Team Develops the First Flexible Phase-Change Random Access Memory

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A view of the new low-power nonvolatile phase change random access memory.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology say they have succeeded in developing a flexible phase change random access memory.

Credit: KAIST

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) researchers say they have developed the first flexible phase change random access memory (PRAM) enabled by self-assembled block copolymer (BCP) silica nanostructures with an ultralow current operation on plastic substrates.

The researchers found BCP silica nanostructures successfully lowered the contact area by localizing the volume change of phase-change materials (PCM), a breakthrough that resulted in significant power reduction.

In addition, the ultrathin silicon-based diodes were integrated with phase-change memories to suppress inter-cell interference, which demonstrated random access capability for flexible and wearable electronics.

The research shows a sub-10-nanometer filament heater achieved the nanoscale switching volume of phase change materials without using expensive and non-compatible nanolithography. The research resulted in the PCM writing current of below 20 uA, the lowest value among top-down PCM devices.

"The demonstration of low-power PRAM on plastics is one of the most important issues for next-generation wearable and flexible non-volatile memory," says KAIST professor Keon Jae Lee. "Our innovative and simple methodology represents the strong potential for commercializing flexible PRAM."

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