On October 8 2007, The Hankyoreh in Korea reported that Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology had newly announced development of a low-voltage flexible transistor based on chromium that could be used to make wristwatch mobile phones and computers that can be worn like clothes.
Polyethylene terephthalate film is engraved with chromium circuitry and an insulating film is applied at room temperature.
"The product is easy to bend, relatively cheap to make, energy-efficient and safe for the user," said KIST researcher Hong Jae-min, from the state-run institute's energy material project, noting that the low operational voltage cuts down on energy consumption and reduces the risk of the user receiving an electric shock. Hong said that, after more research and tests, products like the flexible transistor will account for 10 percent of the information technology (IT) device market within the next 10 years. He said it is imperative for South Korea to develop basic technology in these areas in order to lead the world's IT industry in the coming years.
The Thin Films Research Center of the Materials Science and Technology Division at KIST - formerly known as Korea Research Institute of Science and Technology focuses on:
"Advanced devices in the fields of telecommunication, biology, and micro-machines, which are considered to be one of the leading technologies in the 21st century, require new thin film type materials. This center aims to fabricate these new and multi-functional thin films, through alloy design and development of new processes. These newly developed thin films are employed to fabricate new devices and, furthermore, multi-functional smart systems."
The Materials division also includes the Polymer Hybrids Research Center:
"This center is keen to develop high performance polymeric hybrid materials, functional materials, and intelligent materials. Its main work includes research on synthesis and characterization of new polymers, development of new hybrid materials, and processing technologies. This center also conducts fundamental research such as interfacial and phase separation phenomena."
Korea Institute of Science and Technology