Super-Secure, Self-Erasing Memory Chip
Electrical engineering researchers at the University of Michigan report that new self-erasing chips could help stop counterfeit electronics or provide alerts if sensitive shipments are tampered with. The chips use a new material that temporarily stores energy, changing the color of the light it emits. It self-erases in a seven days, or users can erase it on demand with a flash of blue light. The self-erasing chips are built from a three-atom-thick layer of semiconductor laid on top of a thin film of molecules based on azobenzenes. This kind of molecule shrinks in reaction to UV light. Those molecules tug on the semiconductor in turn, causing it to emit slightly longer wavelengths of light.