Molecules draw straight line

Researchers have made molecules organise themselves into straight lines, paving the way to create nanotech circuit boards. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have come up with a way to organise molecules through lithography, which is the science of "drawing" chip circuits. It's a development that could one day help bridge the nanotechnology-silicon divide.

The work, performed by scientists at the University of Wisconsin's Materials Research Science and Engineering Centre (MRSEC), can be conceived of as "top-down meets bottom-up." It highlights how nanotechnology -- which involves manipulating molecules to make products -- could be used by the electronics industry in the future.

Currently, creating circuits on silicon chips involves several hundred different procedures, including coating the wafers with metallic vapours, printing circuit patterns that have been shrunk to microscopic dimensions onto wafer surfaces, and burning the patterns into wafers through a series of chemical baths. Outfitting a semiconductor fabrication facility with equipment to perform these tasks can cost $3bn.

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News source: ZDNet UK

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