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Gold nanoparticles enable new memory technologies
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Written by Gizmo   
Friday, 02 March 2007 21:32
Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have come up with a novel new memory that combines gold nanoparticles with organic technology and could be manufactured in plastic devices.

The technique takes advantage of the self-assembing characteristics of gold nanoparticles and combines that with the organic compound pentacene to create a structure capable of storing charge, thus enabling it to function as a memory cell.

The device consists of a gold electrode, a layer of pentacene (to act as the device's semiconductor), a one particle thick layer of gold nanoparticles embeded in a citrate compound (to stabilize the particles), a layer of adhesive compound to make the particles adhere to the bottom layer, and finally a layer of silicon/silicon dioxide to act as the substrate and second electrode.

Wei Lin Leong, a materials scientist at the university (and lead author of a paper describing the device, published in the January 23 online edition of Applied Physics Letters), said “This approach of using citrate-stabilized gold nanoparticles as charge 'nanotraps,' by virtue of its simplicity in design and processing, may help lead to memory devices and circuits that can be integrated into low-cost, plastic electronics applications".  He continued "In fact, this work is part of a wider initiative called Polymer and Molecular Electronics and Devices (PMED), which is a collaboration between the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Nanyang Technological University, for the purpose of producing organic circuits in large panel formats, such as computer and television displays. We are hoping to make further progress on this by working on the device's stability and data retention.”

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