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Sept.24, 2008

Vol. 109, No. 1

Notebook

FYI—Findings

Published in the September24, 2008, issue


Steven Veach

Beam team

Two Princeton researchers have developed a way to burn nano-scale designs onto microchips, advancing technology that could be used to make smaller, more powerful microchips in the future. The technique, described by mechanical and aerospace engineering assistant professor Craig Arnold and graduate student Euan McLeod in a June Nature Nanotechnology paper, focuses light from a powerful laser using a microscopic plastic bead floating in water — a method analogous to focusing sunlight with a magnifying glass, according to a University release. A second laser is used to help hold the plastic bead steady, ensuring a precise inscription. The researchers’ first successful patterns included a Princeton shield that spanned a width of 5 microns (0.005 millimeters), about the width of one human red blood cell.

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CURRENT ISSUE: Sept.24, 2008