Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Scottish invention 'improves phone storage'

Image caption The device will improve memory storage for smartphones

Scottish researchers have helped to create a device which improves memory storage for technology including MP3s, smartphones and cameras.

The device uses a tiny mechanical arm to translate data into electrical signals.

This allows faster operation and uses less energy compared with conventional memory storage products.

The Edinburgh University researchers worked with the Konkuk University and Seoul National University, in Korea.

The device records data by measuring the current passing through a carbon nanotube, and the binary value of the data is determined by an electrode that controls the flow of current.

Previous attempts to use carbon nanotube transistors for memory storage hit a stumbling block because they had low operational speed and short memory retention times.

By using a mechanical arm to charge the electrode, which operates faster than conventional memory devices, scientists have been able to overcome the problems.

'Novel approach'

Prof Eleanor Campbell, from Edinburgh University's school of chemistry, said: "This is a novel approach to designing memory storage devices.

"With this device you have much faster switching on and off which you do not have with conventional memory storage devices.

"However, one of the issues with these novel devices is how easy they can be manufactured on an industrial scale, which we are yet to see."

Prof Campbell said research was continuing with colleagues in Korea on increasing the operating speed of the device even further.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

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