Graphene based transparent memory brings us one step closer to futuristic transparent devices

by: Robert TriggsApril 24, 2014
transparent smartphone

Futuristic looking transparent electronics took one step closer to reality this week when a Korean research team announced that they had developed a way to manufacture transparent memory modules for use in transparent electronic devices, such as notebook computers and perhaps even smartphones.

The team from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Korea University have been working on a transparent memory manufacturing technology that passes 80% more of visible rays through it. To accomplish this they made use of the electrical, as well as the optical, characteristics of reduced graphene oxide to perform the resistive switching used to store information in a memory module.

You’ve probably seen us mention graphene once or twice before, usually then talk turns to flexible display technologies. As well as optical properties, graphene can be used for other electronic components, such as processors and memory chips. The research team is the first to successfully use graphene to develop a transparent memory module with sufficient storage capacity and resistance for use as RAM.

“The result of our research demonstrated excellent electric and optical characteristics using graphene … which is essential for future transparent electric appliances” Professor Kim Tae-geun

This isn’t just a really early in theory development either, the memory has been put through over 100,000 tests and can store information for at least 100,000 seconds in high-temperature environments of 85oC. So confident is the team in its discovery that it expects its research to be used as the core technology in future large storage capacity devices, such as notebook computers, smartphones, and tablets.

We’re still a long way off from anything resembling a fully functional transparent product, but the pieces are all coming together gradually.

  • Pikachu!

    Finally the Philippines

  • MasterMuffin

    But why would you need a transparent device? Seems like it would have more downsides

    • AsakuraZero

      Thin as hell TV’s, monitors, video phones, you call it, it also a proof of concept that graphene overpass the silicon limits by a lot, been following this tech, since the announcement of a graphene diode battery for cellphones

      • MasterMuffin

        I was asking what’s the purpose of transparent devices :)

        • Mini C

          I guess with transparent device, you can set it to become transparent, translucent, or opaque depending on need. Just like vehicle window tint. It might not become apparent at first but there’s many potential with transparent device.

          You can’t do the same with object that already solid/opaque from beginning.

      • Android Developer

        Why doesn’t it get manufactured already, after all these years?

        • ToVine

          Because it’s still a work in progress – ongoing research. Even though they’ve got promising results in a lab environment there’s still much to be done before a finished product can be shipped.

          To actually turn stuff like this into products, you first need to thoroughly test it and fix any errors/optimize the technology, then you need to figure out how to manufacture it efficiently with good enough quality at a reasonable price (for example if some lab is able to make a transistor 1nm in size it doesn’t matter at all, until the factory plants are able to get the production process right – and at a price that their customers are willing to pay).
          Then it’s a matter of getting the big companies interested and for them to actually develop products implementing the new technology… :)

          • Android Developer

            I don’t know. It’s as if the companies like it the way it’s working currently…
            with low quality batteries that get replaced together with the smartphone
            (many devices nowadays have their batteries insides them, without the ability to replace them)

    • arcwindz

      Hmm, something like google glass, car’s front glass, i don’t know, we need to be creative lol

      • MasterMuffin

        Of course! My imagination isn’t that good :D

  • Brendon Brown

    Keep your transparent devices…

  • Xavier_NYC

    I don’t see what the purpose of this is. Yeah it would look cool but if it doesn’t enhance the capabilities of the phone or improve the battery life what’s the purpose?

    • AsakuraZero

      with a graphene battery you could power a nexus 7 for a about 2 months…

      • arcwindz

        Eh really?! That’s freakin awesome lol
        I hope somebody will bring that technology to the market

      • Android Developer

        I thought the main advantage of graphene was super fast charging.

  • applecooksucker

    Keep this away from Apple the patent troll!!!!! Hid it from those motherf******s. They may patent it & then extort money from everyone who have a bit of money!!!

    • Mike

      +1 Apple aka PATENT HUGGER

    • Brandon Miranda


    • WEK

      Apple sucks, android all the way.

  • droidtomtom

    The true use of this will be when instead of combining individual components, they instead start with a single sheet of graphene and etch and print everything on it. Of course the battery would be multiple layers of graphene stacked.

  • Brandon Miranda

    NOOOOOOO. Transparent slabs that you can touch and reproduce colors that are like the ones in Iron Man. Yes please. Transparent phones, tablets, computers. NO>

  • Ruz

    Sure but why is graphene not solid and it is flexible? It might have more industrial use then

  • techoptimist

    thats wonderful technology the next transition in future technology

  • Mr james bunt

    What happens if I watch sensitive stuff with this transparent screen? Like nudity?

    • That Guy

      or just your bank account login. No matter how much you try to hide the keyboard people could still see where you pressed on the other side and steal all sorts of info and accounts from you.

  • I’m not excited about the potential for black and white levels on transparent devices.