Published on Sep 20, 2019
Polymers are organic materials consisting of long chains of single molecules. Polymers are highly adaptable materials, suitable for myriad applications. Until the 1970s and the work of Nobel laureates Alan J. Heeger, Alan G. MacDiarmid and Hideki Shirakawa, polymers were only considered to be insulators. Heeger et al showed that polymers could be conductive.
Description of Polymer Memory
Electrons were removed, or introduced, into a polymer consisting of alternately single and double bonds between the carbon atoms. As these holes or extra electrons are able to move along the molecule, the structure becomes electrically conductive.Thin Film Electronics has developed a specific group of polymers that are bistable and thus can be used as the active material in a non-volatile memory.
In other words, the Thin Film polymers can be switched from one state to the other and maintain that state even when the electrical field is turned off. This polymer is "smart", to the extent that functionality is built into the material itself, like switchability, addressability and charge store. This is different from silicon and other electronic materials, where such functions typically are only achieved by complex circuitry. "Smart" materials can be produced from scratch, molecule by molecule, allowing them to be built according to design.
This opens up tremendous opportunities in the electronics world, where "tailor-made" memory materials represent unknown territory Polymers are essentially electronic materials that can be processed as liquids. With Thin Film's memory technology, polymer solutions can be deposited on flexible substrates with industry standard processes like spin coating in ultra thin layers.