Partnership leads to new printed electronics technology

A partnership between the University of New South Wales and Australian company Strategic Elements has led to the development of printable ink containing revolutionary nanocube memory technology.

The ink, which could be used with off the shelf inkjet printers, is intended to print on silicon, glass and flexible plastic materials.

Printed electronics is a set of printing methods used to create electrical devices on various surfaces or underlying layers.

A breakthrough in printed high performance memory could enable many new categories of electronic products.

With printable electronics, devices can be produced in high volume over large areas enabling electronic systems to be used in a wide variety of non-traditional situations; on paper and plastic, on clothes, in furniture, cars and buildings, as well as on packaging and even in and on the human body.

Nanocube ink cartridge being inserted into a Fujifilm Printer

The nanocube technology consists of tiny cube-shaped memory cells with the potential to enable large amounts of data to be stored on smaller, faster memory devices. It targets the global USD 78 Billion memory markets.

Conceptually two trillion nanocubes could fit on a postage stamp sized area. If one nanocube holds one byte of data, this would equal two terabytes of data.

This is equivalent to over 500,000 songs or 500 hours of High Definition Video being held on a small device.

UNSW has spent over two years developing the Nanocubes which are 10,000 times smaller than a human hair.

Australian Advanced Materials (AAM), a start-up company owned by Strategic Elements, has an exclusive global license for the technology from UNSW.

AAM’s strategy is to work with leading Australian researchers and innovators to acquire and license valuable commercial intellectual property to large overseas companies.

AAM has contracted the materials group at the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering to assist in development of a memory device prototype, make improvements to the nanocube memory technology and create new intellectual property.

The UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering is ranked number 1 in Australia and number 26 in the world.

The research group has received $20M in research grants since 2005, 45 researchers and $8M of world-class research equipment geared towards advanced materials.


Transparent Nanocube ink solution

“Printed electronics to date have not found a solution for high performance printable memory. The 12-week program commenced at UNSW will show the world how cutting edge the nanocube technology is.” 

Strategic Elements Managing Director Charles Murphy


AAM holds a global licence from UNSW to use, develop and commercially exploit the technology and associated intellectual property rights.

Once testing is complete, Strategic Elements intends to approach companies to discuss development options to engage with the technical team from UNSW.

Strategic Elements is a company registered under the Federal Government “Pooled Development Fund” program.

This program is designed to increase investment into Australian Small and Medium companies by providing tax incentives to investors in Pooled Development Funds.



Strategic Elements has also secured an exclusive global licence for UV light technology developed at UNSW targeting very large global markets including sensing and memory.

The technology exploits ultra-violet light as a new, additional method to control electronic device operations. The technology also has potential applications in IOT or the “Internet of Things”.

The Internet of Things is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

‘Things’, in the IoT, can refer to a wide variety of devices such as heart monitoring implants, biochip transponders on farm animals, cars with built-in sensors, or field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue.

A prototype was fabricated and laboratory testing conducted to date has demonstrated a reduction of power consumption by as much as 20% and a 10 times increase in data storage and processing speeds for high performance electronic devices.

“The outstanding increase in speed and reduction in power is incredibly promising, as is the market potential of a combined sensor and memory device. We believe that once the potential of this technology is fully revealed, it will attract significant commercial interest.”

Strategic Elements Managing Director Charles Murphy