Properties of graphene memory uncovered by Korean researchers

Properties of graphene memory uncovered by Korean researchers

A group of Korean researchers has uncovered the properties of a graphene memory device for the first time, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) said Thursday.

Expectations are high that the scientific achievement will accelerate research into the next-generation non-volatile memory medium, dubbed “resistive random access memory (RRAM).”

The team, composed of UNIST Central Research Facilities Professor Jeong Hu-young and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) professors Lee Jeong-yong and Choi Sung-yool, has discovered how the properties of memory devices made of the electric insulator graphene oxide are possible.

“Because a graphene oxide thin film is made of carbon and oxygen, which are vulnerable to electron beams, it is difficult to observe by raising acceleration voltage of an ordinary transmission electron microscope,” Jeong said. “We have discovered the unknown mechanism by introducing a cross-section transmission electron microscope, which is optimized for graphene oxide thin film.”

The professor stressed that the research results will pave the way for graphene oxide thin film to be applied to diverse electronic devices.

Whereas flash memory chips made of silicon are used most widely around the globe, the demand for a non-volatile memory device which is smaller and thinner has expanded.

In particular, RRAM has been singled out as it has faster data processing speed and a simpler structure for layering metallic alloys and electric insulators.

RRAM has a nanometer graphene oxide thin film between metallic electrodes. The film normally has high electric resistance but it can be lowered with a certain level of electric stimulus. The reason for this has remained unknown so far.

The research team revealed that an external electric stimulus creates aluminum crystals on the surface of the film.

“The aluminum crystals here allow electricity to flow,” Choi said. “We believe in-depth follow-up research on effective structural design and higher integrity of memory devices will be available.”

The research results were published through the international science journal Advanced Funtional Materials on Wednesday, UNIST said.


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