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Samsung focuses on rare earth materials

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Samsung is researching alternatives to rare earth materials, which are required to manufacture smartphones and televisions.

Much of the world's supply of rare earth materials is currently dominated by China.

As reported in the Korea Joongang Daily, over the next ten years, the Group will pursue 27 research areas under the Samsung Future Technology Cultivation Project with an investment of US$1.41 billion.

Research in basic science is also being encouraged under the project to help earn Korea its first Nobel prize in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine.

Samsung selected 15 research areas involving development of new materials and innovation in information and telecommunications, including a project to develop optoelectronics materials that can function in place of rare earth materials.

BusinessKorea reports that these research areas are divided into 12 in the basic science fields including ice chemistry; seven in material technologies including optical materials not containing rare-earth metals; and eight in the information and communications sector including next-generation computing cells imitating cranial nerves.

The optoelectronics project will be carried out by professor Yu Yeong-min from Kyung Hee University, who submitted the idea to get funding for the project.

Neuromorphic processors and hybrid holographic 3-dimensional displays are other research areas Samsung picked in the materials and ICT realms.

Samsung plans to select new research projects twice a year. 

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