Australian scientists have created a printable memory ink for wearable electronic devices

Flexible printed memory. Image: supplied.

Tests of a new Australian technology have shown that nanocube memory ink printed on flexible plastic is robust and keeps working even with rough handling.

The ASX-listed company Strategic Elements and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) announced they had successfully coated memory cells onto plastic which was then bent and rotated 2000 times.

The prototype was then tested and found that data could be reliably stored and retrieved more than 5000 times.

The technology has potential for use in flexible electronic devices from wearable consumer electronics to healthcare.

Memory is the key component of all electronics. Traditional memory technology relies on rigid silicon chips which need to be fabricated in billion dollar plants.

Strategic Elements is in discussions with potential development partners for the nanocube memory ink.

Managing director Charles Murphy says the team at UNSW has consistently achieved increasingly more advanced technology every time they focus on different aspects of the ink.

“These prototypes highlight a memory technology that is extremely robust across different materials from glass to plastic,” he says.

According to research firm IDTechEx, the global market for printable electronics will grow to $US70.4 billion by 2024, with a compound annual growth rate of 40%.

The Nanocube Memory Ink was invented at the UNSW by the team led by Professor Sean Li at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

The memory ink contains ultra small nanocubes thinner than a human hair, which assists the memory to read and write data.

The company, which has about $7 million in cash and no debts, operates under the Pooled Development Fund, a federal government program designed to encourage innovation and investment into Australian companies.

Under this program, shareholders pay no tax on capital gains or dividends.

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