Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shrinking Size Of Nanotechnology Circuitry With Novel Technology

Date:
April 20, 2009
Source:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new method of shrinking the size of circuitry used in nanotechnology devices like computer chips and solar cells by using two separate colors of light -- one to inscribe patterns, the other to erase their edges to create smaller structures.

A University of Colorado at Boulder team has developed a new method of shrinking the size of circuitry used in nanotechnology devices like computer chips and solar cells by using two separate colors of light.

Like current methods in the nanoengineering field, one color of light inscribes a pattern on a substrate, said CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Robert McLeod of the electrical, computer and energy engineering department. But the new system developed by McLeod's team uses a second color to "erase" the edges of the pattern, resulting in much smaller structures.

The team used tightly focused beams of blue light to record lines and dots thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair into patterned lithography on a substrate, said McLeod. The researchers then "chopped off the edges" of the lines using a halo of ultraviolet light, trimming the width of the lines significantly.

"We are essentially drawing a line with a marker on a nanotechnology scale and then erasing its edges," said McLeod. The method offers potential new approaches in the search for ways to shrink transistor circuitry, a process that drives the global electronic market that is pursuing smaller, more powerful microchips, said McLeod.

A paper on the subject was published in the April 10 issue of Science Express, the online version of Science magazine. CU-Boulder co-authors included Timothy Scott and Christopher Bowman of the chemical and biological engineering department and graduate students Benjamin Kowalski and Amy Sullivan of the electrical, computer and energy engineering department. Sullivan is now a professor at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga.

For the project, McLeod and his team used a tabletop laser to project tightly focused beams of visible blue light onto liquid molecules known as monomers. A chemical reaction initiated a bonding of the monomers into a plastic-like polymer solid, he said. If the beam was focused in one place, it inscribed a small solid dot. If the beam was moving the focus through the material, it created a thin thread, or line.

The researchers then added a second ultraviolet laser focused into a halo, or donut, which surrounded the blue light. The special monomer formulation was designed to be inhibited by the UV light, shutting down its transformation from a liquid to a solid, he said. This "halo of inhibition" prevented the edges of the spot or line from developing, resulting in a much finer final structure.

The process may be another step in "Moore's Law," a trend described by Intel co-founder George Moore in 1965, which predicted that the number of transistors that can be placed on a single integrated circuit doubles about every 18 months. Since the technology industry is driven by Moore's Law, a stall in such advances would cause huge shockwaves for companies that make chips to power up devices like digital cameras, Blackberries and iPods even as they shrink them.

The new technology has the potential to lead to the construction of a variety of nanotechnology devices, including "nanomotors," said McLeod. "We now have a set of new tools. We believe this is a new way to do nanotechnology."

The research effort was funded by the National Science Foundation and through the University of Colorado Innovative Seed Program. A preliminary patent based on the technology has been filed by the CU-Boulder research team.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado at Boulder. "Shrinking Size Of Nanotechnology Circuitry With Novel Technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416111927.htm>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2009, April 20). Shrinking Size Of Nanotechnology Circuitry With Novel Technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416111927.htm
University of Colorado at Boulder. "Shrinking Size Of Nanotechnology Circuitry With Novel Technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416111927.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) 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:
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