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Home > News > Is water the key to cheaper nanoelectronics?

May 6th, 2010

Is water the key to cheaper nanoelectronics?

Abstract:
Water and electronics don't usually mix. But a splash of the wet stuff could help make nanoelectronic manufacturing both quicker and cheaper.

Today's electronic circuit boards already include nanoscale components, but they are tricky to make. To get complicated nanostructures on a silicon chip it is sometimes necessary to grow them in separate layers and then transfer these one by one onto the final chip to build them into working components.

Often it takes strong chemicals to separate the layers from the surface on which they are grown, and high temperatures may be needed to activate the thermal adhesives that keep the components in place at their destination.

Grégory Schneider and Cees Dekker at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in Delft, the Netherlands, have found a way to use water to quickly and easily transfer layers from one surface to another. They exploit the fact that different materials have different hydrophilicity - the tendency to attract water through transient hydrogen bonds.

Source:
newscientist.com

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