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Inkjet printing yields paper-based RRAM

Posted: 28 May 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memory? RRAM? paper? inkjet?

A PhD student from the Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics & Department of Electrical Engineering at the National Taiwan University, Der-Hsien Lien attempts to make headway in printed electronics with a proposal to convert paper into a truly dual memory medium.

Often, the idea is to get away from process-intensive hard-silicon designs and adopt well established printing processes such as inkjet or roll-to-roll to apply electronics onto plastic foils or even paper, ready for innovative smart packaging applications.

According to his research, a single sheet of paper could combine printed text or graphics as for any conventional reading paper, together with embedded printed electronics memory for more information storage than would normally fit even in very fine prints.

Currently a visiting student at UC Berkeley, Der-Hsien Lien uses inkjet printing to stack a specially formulated insulator material including TiO2 nanoparticles, between two electrodes, namely silver and a carbon layer. The so-called Resistive Random Access Memory (RRAM) bit obtained for each stack is operated by changing the resistances of the insulator material.

RRAM fabrication

Fabrication and geometry of paper RRAM: (a)Schematic diagram of the fabrication process for the resistive paper memory device. (b)A close-up photograph showing fine prints and arrays of memory dots. (c)A zoom-in optical image from b. (d)A cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy image of the paper-based memory.

Applying a voltage across the memory dots, one can turn the resistive states on and off for "0" and "1" binary values.

These resistive states and the switching voltage window can be tuned to a few volts based on the insulator material's thickness. With individual dots being tested for endurance, the memory's retention property was proven at temperatures up to 150C and with mechanical flexures at a bending radius of 10mm.

So how many bits of memory this printing process could yield on an A4 sheet of paper?

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