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September 17th, 2003
Study reveals why silicon crystals lose their 'edge'
Physicists have discovered a mechanism that forces sharp edges on the surface of a silicon crystal to become rounded, and have described this rounding in detail for the first time. The new finding holds implications for the shape of other crystals used in the semiconductor industry, and might one day lead to templates for manufacturing tiny electronic parts. For instance, scientists could use this information to make patterns for wires that measure only a few nanometers across, or even smaller semiconductors called quantum dots.
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