Scientists reveal new way to make narrower chip patterns

April 12th, 2009 - 10:49 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 12 (ANI): An Indian-origin researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has come up with a new way for etching extremely narrow lines on a microchip by exposing it to certain wavelengths of light.

Research engineer Rajesh Menon and his colleagues call the new technique absorbance modulation.

The researchers say that this technique makes it possible to create lines that are only about one-tenth as wide as the wavelength of light used to create them.

They say that part of the trick was to find a suitable photochromic material whose clear and opaque parts would remain stable after the initial exposure to light.

The research team have revealed that this method has thus far enabled them to produce lines just 36 nanometres wide, and that they could also place many such lines spaced a similar distance apart.

Menon believes that such a technique “could have a significant impact on chip making,” and also help enable new work in a variety of emerging fields that rely on nano-scale patterning, including nanophotonics, nanofluidics, nanoelectronics, and nano-biological systems.

He expects the commercial production of this technology will begin within five years.

His team are pursuing possible use of the same system for imaging systems, which could enable new kinds of microscopes for observing at nanoscale resolution, with possible applications in biology and in materials science.

The researchers are even pursuing ways of using the technique to create even smaller patterns, down to the scale of individual molecules.

A research article on the novel technique has been published in the journal Science. (ANI)

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