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Novel Materials Developed by South Korean Researchers
Development of New Materials
Novel Materials Developed by South Korean Researchers
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • July 14, 2016, 02:30
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A series of new novel materials have been developed by Korean researchers.
A series of new novel materials have been developed by Korean researchers.


Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) and Korea University announced on July 13 that their research team developed a technique for improving the speed and the degree of integration of an M-RAM at the same time.

An M-RAM is a next-generation memory made by the use of a magnetic thin film and is capable of keeping data even without external power supply. M-RAMs currently on the market have the problem of a significant reduction in the degree of integration at their maximum operation speeds. In addition, platinum and tungsten, which are two of the materials used for the existing M-RAMs, require an external magnetic field.

In contrast, the iridium-manganese alloy developed by the research team can be operated even without an external magnetic field, has a speed at least 10 times those of the existing ones and is capable of achieving a high degree of integration. The power consumption of a spin-orbit torque M-RAM to which this technique is applied is about one-tenth of that of an S-RAM.

In the meantime, Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology (DGIST) and Seoul National University recently developed a high-performance sodium-ion all-solid battery that uses abundant sodium instead of lithium, which is becoming more and more expensive these days. An all-solid battery is characterized by not using a liquid electrolyte unlike existing secondary batteries, and thus is free from fire and explosion hazards. At present, Toyota is aiming to come up with a commercial electric vehicle that uses a lithium-ion all-solid battery which has a sulfide-based solid electrolyte within four years. 

Furthermore, Pohang University of Science & Technology recently announced that it developed a novel material for hydrogen storage by using vanadium oxide coated with hydrogen. This material is capable of adsorbing and desorbing hydrogen at a temperature of as low as 120 degrees Celsius and has a storage capacity that is similar to those of existing materials. This material turns into an insulator through an inter-electron interaction when coated with excess hydrogen. Then, it can be utilized as a neuromorphic device that processes analog and digital signals at the same time.