Transparent memory makes for see-through phones
TRANSPARENT cellphones, iPods and memory sticks are among the oddball possibilities being predicted for the world's first transparent flash memory chip.
Transparent transistors have been made before, but they have not been assembled into working see-through chips. The new memory chip, made by engineers at Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, records data by changing the resistance of a metal oxide film, a technology known as resistive RAM or RRAM.
KAIST's trick is to use a clear zinc oxide film as the recording layer and to connect it up with transparent indium tin oxide electrodes (Applied Physics Letters, DOI: 10.1063/1.3041643). The chip itself looks like a microscope slide. Expect commercial applications in three to four years.