Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanotechnology Gets A Boost

Date:
April 24, 2001
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
In the forefront of nanotechnology development, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has acquired one of the world's finest electron beam lithography systems, one that will allow researchers to work on the sub-molecular scale.

In the forefront of nanotechnology development, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has acquired one of the world's finest electron beam lithography systems, one that will allow researchers to work on the sub-molecular scale.

For NASA, this means breakthroughs in miniaturization that could lead to significant reductions in mass and cost of spacecraft to look for traces of life on distant planets. For researchers, it means access to one of only three such systems in the world, and the only one in the public sector devoted to pure research for building the nano-scale devices of the future.

"We want to let researchers from universities, private industry and other government institutions know that we now have this capability and that it is available for their use," said Dr. Barbara Wilson, chief technologist for JPL.

Operated in the Microdevices Laboratory at JPL, the E- Beam lithography system provides a tool for delving into the realm of nanotechnology, where individual molecules become accessible to electronic probing.

"The E-Beam lithography system will allow researchers to work at the equivalent level of nature's biological building blocks, by allowing them to create and research technologies at the cellular and sub-cellular level," said Dr. Paul Maker, manager of the Electron Beam Lithography Laboratory at JPL. Lithography is the process of printing a pattern onto a surface, such as a silicon chip or a high-resolution film.

"The E-Beam lithography system is like a very fast, very high-resolution camera, but instead of exposing photo- sensitive film to light, a thin layer of electron-sensitive material is exposed to electrons," said Maker. "Instead of using a shutter that imprints the whole image at once, an intense electron beam focused to a tiny spot is rastered over the chip like the beam that creates the image on a television screen." Just as with photographic film, subsequent processing steps develop the image that was imprinted on the film, in this case the device structure.

JPL's new system allows users to "write" 10 times faster with a spot two times smaller than can be done with the system currently in place, installed 12 years ago. "The faster 'writing' speed means we can fabricate many more of these experimental chips, thereby reducing the time it takes to perfect a new chip design. The higher resolution translates into device designs with much finer detail, leading to smaller, more capable chips," said Maker.

NASA faces the challenge of miniaturizing all aspects of its space systems, with the ultimate goal of reducing the size and mass of instruments by orders of magnitude without sacrificing performance -- like creating an entire laboratory on a chip with the same sensitivity as the room-size version.

"Since this machine is capable of producing patterns with feature sizes on the scale of molecules," said Maker, "we can now develop miniature devices that allow us to manipulate and characterize these minute building blocks of nature, and create tools that can be used to search for the signatures of life in a controlled manner."

U.S. parties interested in using the system should send e-mail to: paul.maker@jpl.nasa.gov . More information on JPL's Microdevices Laboratory is available at: http://csmt.jpl.nasa.gov/csmtpages/index.html

The Microdevices Laboratory is a facility operating under the umbrella of the Center for Space Microelectronics Technology. The Center for Space Microelectronics Technology, founded in 1987, develops high-risk, high-payoff concepts and devices to enable future space missions and to enhance current and planned missions. The center conducts research and development in such fields as biochemical sensors, solid-state devices, photonics, integrated microsystems and advanced computing. NASA's Office of Space Science, the Department of Defense's Ballistic Missile Defense Office and JPL funded the purchase of the new E-beam lithography system. Managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, JPL is the lead U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Nanotechnology Gets A Boost." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010417074214.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2001, April 24). Nanotechnology Gets A Boost. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010417074214.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Nanotechnology Gets A Boost." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010417074214.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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