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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014

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New memory device could improve data archiving

Engineers at Princeton University and Hewlett-Packard have invented a combination of materials that could lead to cheap and super-compact electronic memory devices for archiving digital images or other data.

The invention could result in a single-use memory card that permanently stores data and is faster and easier to use than a compact disk. The device could be very small because it would not involve moving parts such as the laser and motor drive required by CDs.

The researchers, who published a description of the device in the Nov. 13 issue of Nature, achieved the result by discovering a previously unrecognized property of a commonly used conductive polymer plastic coating. Their memory device combines this polymer, which is inexpensive and easy to produce, with very thin-film, silicon-based electronics.

"We are hybridizing," said Princeton professor of electrical engineering Stephen Forrest, who led the research group. "We are making a device that is organic (the plastic polymer) and inorganic (the thin-film silicon) at the same time."

More details are available in a news release.

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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