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December 14th, 2004
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla have developed a new kind of laser writing: one that shrinks “text” to the size of atoms, then embeds the text into a writing surface as light as air. But with this process, the “ink” is a semiconductor that could write a new chapter in the field of micro-computing.
Basing their work on photolithography, a technique commonly used by microchip makers to print circuitry on silicon wafers, the UMR researchers zapped isolated spots of a silica gel with a laser. In the process, they discovered that they could create tiny semiconducting materials known as quantum dots, which could lead to new advances in electronics, computing and materials science.
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