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January 13, 2012

Soft Matter Memory Device

This memory device is composed entirely of soft materials (similar to Jell-O and water) and can operate in a wet environment, opening doors to a new generation of biocompatible, electronic devices. The properties are similar to those found in biological systems including the brain. The on and off states of the device have memristor (a type of resistor in which the flow of electrical current in an electronic circuit is determined by the amount of charge that has previously flowed through it)-like properties. They depend on the ability to control the thickness--and thus the resistance--through a thin oxide skin that forms on a liquid metal. The devices are composed primarily of water-based gels that are biocompatible and thus, hold promise for interfacing electronics with biological systems. [Research supported by a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program award (CMMI 09-54321).] (Date of Image: 2011)

Credit: Hyung-Jun Koo and Ju-Hee So, North Carolina State University

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