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.

Robert Triggs
Lead Technical Writer at Android Authority, covering the latest trends in consumer electronics and hardware. In his spare moments, you'll probably find him tinkering with audio electronics and programming.