Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Using Light to Inscribe Tiny Nanoscale Plastic Parts

Abstract:
Scientists at the University of Maryland have achieved pattern features with a size as small as one-twentieth of the wavelength

Using Light to Inscribe Tiny Nanoscale Plastic Parts

College Park, MD | Posted on May 17th, 2010

One of the biggest obstacles in microscopy and in micro-fabrication is the so-called diffraction limit. This basic law says that the resolution (or sharpness) of an image cannot be better than approximately half the wavelength of the light waves being used to make it. Similarly, when light is used to inscribe patterns on microchips -- a standard process known as lithography -- these features can't get much more narrow than about a quarter the wavelength of the light.

Now scientists at the University of Maryland have pushed this limit, achieving pattern features with a size as small as one-twentieth of the wavelength.

They do this by a clever use of two laser beams racing through a polymer solution. One beam triggers polymerization (long molecules start to link up into even longer molecules) while the other beam turns the process off. Polymerization of very narrow pillars -- much narrower than the wavelength of the light -- occurs in a tiny overlap region between the beams.

The leader of this effort, John Fourkas, says that the size of the tiny polymer structures probably represents the smallest fraction of the incoming radiation wavelength ever realized in the laboratory.

One of the structures made in the Maryland lab is a sphere-like post only 40 nanometers tall (about a million times shorter than the length of a 12-point hyphen "-"). If the polymer structures could be made conducting, then they could possibly be used in making microchips. More likely, Fourkas says, are applications in the area of biochemistry. Since the polymer structures are much smaller than typical cells, they might be used to study cell function. For example, cells could be made to "walk over" the structures, which could be used to trigger a chemical or biological response from the cell.

Additionally, the tiny polymer structures might be useful in adhesives or as channels on microfluidic chips -- little platforms on which chemical reactions can be carried out with nano-liter batches of fluids.

Presentation JTuA1, "High Resolution 3-D Laser Direct-Write Patterning" by John T. Fourkas et al. is at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 18.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contacts:
Angela Stark
CLEO/QELS
202.416.1443


Jason Bardi
American Institute of Physics
301.209.3091

Copyright © Optical Society of America

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

European & Korean Project To Demo World’s First 5G Platform During Winter Games February 15th, 2018

Possible Futures

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing: Scalable and cost-effective manufacturing of thin film devices February 14th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

Academic/Education

Luleċ University of Technology is using the Deben CT5000TEC stage to perform x-ray microtomography experiments with the ZEISS Xradia 510 Versa to understand deformation and strain inside inhomogeneous materials November 7th, 2017

Park Systems Announces the Grand Opening of the Park NanoScience Center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute November 3rd, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Announcements

Photonic chip guides single photons, even when there are bends in the road February 16th, 2018

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

European & Korean Project To Demo World’s First 5G Platform During Winter Games February 15th, 2018

Tools

New method enables high-resolution measurements of magnetism February 7th, 2018

Nanometrics Selected for Fab-Wide Process Control Metrology by Domestic China 3D-NAND Manufacturer: Latest Fab Win Includes Comprehensive Suite for Substrate, Thin Film and Critical Dimension Metrology February 7th, 2018

A new radiation detector made from graphene: A new bolometer exploits the thermoelectric properties of graphene February 6th, 2018

Measuring the temperature of two-dimensional materials at the atomic level February 3rd, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

Arrowhead Receives Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARO-HBV for Treatment of Hepatitis B February 15th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for ARO-AAT February 15th, 2018

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers February 15th, 2018

Understanding brain functions using upconversion nanoparticles: Researchers can now send light deep into the brain to study neural activities February 14th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project