Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UMass Scientists Reports Nanotech Advance

Date:
February 25, 2000
Source:
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst
Summary:
A UMass polymer scientist is among the researchers reporting a major step forward in nanoscopic pattern transfer in the Feb. 24 issue of the journal Nature. The findings have implications in paving the way for still-smaller integrated circuits, magnetic storage in computers, and on-chip sensors; all of this without the use of chemicals.

Findings to be detailed in the journal Nature

Related Articles


AMHERST, Mass. -- A UMass polymer scientist is among the researchers reporting a major step forward in nanoscopic pattern transfer in the Feb. 24 issue of the journal Nature. Tom Russell, polymer science and engineering, and postdoctoral researcher Thomas Thurn-Albrecht collaborated with Ullrich Steiner and graduate student Erik Schaffer of University of Groningen, The Netherlands. The findings have implications in paving the way for still-smaller integrated circuits, magnetic storage in computers, and on-chip sensors; all of this without the use of chemicals.

Scientists aim to produce devices so small that they can only be seen with electron or atomic-force microscopes. Russell specializes in polymers -- long, linked strands of molecules that can be custom-designed to offer properties ranging from the softness of silk to the hardness of rubber. The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy fund his work in this area.

Schaffer and Thurn-Albrecht began by placing a thin film of polystyrene -- the same material from which disposable coffee cups are manufactured -- atop an electrode. A second electrode was placed above the film, leaving an air gap between the film and the top electrode. The polystyrene was then heated, liquefying it, and a small voltage was placed on the electrodes. With time, the surface of the film appeared pockmarked. What essentially occurred, Russell explained, is that the electric field amplified waves on the liquid's surface. The waves were increasingly amplified and eventually were pulled to the top electrode. The phenomenon shows up under the microscope as a dark ring on a light background. As time passed, more and more circles appeared. Strikingly, they were all the same size, and appeared at a precise distance from one another.

The phenomenon occurs, Russell says, because of the interaction of four competing forces. Those forces include: the electrical force, which pulls the liquid toward the top electrode; the surface energy of the liquid, which wants the liquid to lie flat; the viscosity of the liquid as crests and valleys form and the liquid moves; and the effects of atmospheric pressure. "It doesn't happen helter-skelter," explains Russell. "It happened at very distinct distances that represents a delicate balance between all of these forces."

Perhaps more importantly, the team can also "imprint" a film with a very specific design -- a process called pattern transfer. In pattern transfer, an electrode is etched with a master pattern. The master electrode has a topography of "hills" and "valleys." When a voltage is applied, the film responds most strongly to the closest portions of the electrode, creating a replica of the master's design on the polymer film.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. "UMass Scientists Reports Nanotech Advance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000225080330.htm>.
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. (2000, February 25). UMass Scientists Reports Nanotech Advance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000225080330.htm
University Of Massachusetts At Amherst. "UMass Scientists Reports Nanotech Advance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000225080330.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins