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[ ET ] How to write with single atoms, on the cheap

post #1 of 5
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There are always two stages in the development of any new technology: inventing it, and making it useful. The first computer was the size of a room, and slower than a first-grader counting on his fingers. The first telephone transmitted noises so garbled they could barely be understood even when you knew what was being said. We’ve had abilities in nanoscale writing, or “lithography,” for some time, but it was too expensive, too slow, too limited, to be of use in many contexts. Researchers often despaired at using the technique outside of very specific uses, or with huge grants, and many ended up using it simply to write their names as a proof of concept. Now, Boston University researchers say they’ve taken nanoscale lithography to the a new level of usefulness, creating a machine that can lay down previously impossible patterns at the atomic scale, and do it without crippling hassle or expense.

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post #2 of 5
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post #3 of 5
so its easier to "write" that small now, but we still have the problems of instability in complex actions say at 10nm or lower dont we?
say transistors?
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post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by t00sl0w View Post

so its easier to "write" that small now, but we still have the problems of instability in complex actions say at 10nm or lower dont we?
say transistors?

Transistors are a tad more complicated.
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayleyne View Post

Transistors are a tad more complicated.

A lot more complicated. Chip fabs don't have an issue with making the transistors small, they only have an issue the quantum mechanical effects, like quantum tunneling, which cause a transistor to stop functioning correctly beneath a certain size. Thus, they have to use special materials and geometries to reduce the "noise" generated from quantum tunneling.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Technology and Science News › [ ET ] How to write with single atoms, on the cheap