A joint U.S./China research project may have just opened the door on a cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient way to store computer memory and monitor health.
Currently our devices store memory in crystals made of lead and other metals. They do a good job but have limitations and produce pollution before, during and after their use.
Scientists at the University of Washington and Southeast University in China say they have found a new organic way to get the job done with all the efficiency and none of the side effects. They've discovered the unlimited potential of a molecule made of carbon, hydrogen and bromide, full name: diisopropylammonium bromide.
Associate Professor Jiangyu Li and Yuanming Liu of UW's Mechanical Engineering Department say the molecule is organic, and contains competing polarity which gives it its own source of power. That, they say, gives it the ability to store as much data as the inorganic crystals currently being used but requires less energy to produce and does not require a power source to operate. They also say it is more physically flexible which allows for many more applications.
The researchers say one possible use is as a patch that, when placed on a patient’s body could absorb information and energy from the body for monitoring purposes. The discovery is featured in this week's Journal Science.