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

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Nanoparticles could spur better LEDs, invisibility cloaks July 19th, 2017

Possible Futures

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Academic/Education

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Oxford Instruments congratulates Lancaster University for inaugurating the IsoLab, built for studying quantum systems June 20th, 2017

The 2017 Winners for Generation Nano June 8th, 2017

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Announcements

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

Harnessing light to drive chemical reactions July 19th, 2017

Tools

Coupling a nano-trumpet with a quantum dot enables precise position determination July 14th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Second Quarter Financial Results on August 1, 2017 July 14th, 2017

Nanometrics Introduces SpectraProbe Analysis Software: Advanced software and algorithms enhancing Nanometrics metrology fleet capabilities fab-wide July 13th, 2017

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Researchers revolutionize vital conservation tool with use of gold nanotechnology and lasers: Cryopreservation study results have sweeping implications for wildlife conservation and human health July 15th, 2017

Nanomedicine opens door to precision medicine for brain tumors July 12th, 2017

Nature-inspired material uses liquid reinforcement: Rice U. nanoengineers create liquid-solid composites using clues from nature July 11th, 2017

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