Researches at the University of Tokyo have developed what they are calling organic flash memory, which shares its basic structure with flash memory but is made entirely of organic materials. Its erasing and reading voltages are rated at a low 6V and 1V, respectively, though data can only be written and erased more than 1,000 times. Foreseen uses of the new memory include large area sensors, electronic paper and other big electronic devices, though the founders admit the technology's memory retention time of only one day needs to be extended.
Developed by a group headed up by Takeo Someya and Tsuyoshi Sekitani, professor and research associate at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, the prototype uses a polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) resin sheet as a substrate with an array of 26 by 26 2T memory cells placed on it. The sheet is flexible enough to be bent until its radius is 6mm without causing damage. The short memory retention can be increased by reducing the size of the element and employing a longer self-assembled monolayer (SAM), which is made of phosphoric acid with an alkyl chain. In the prototype, it is 2nm thin.