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Argonne Nanoscientists Invent Better Etching Technique

By Argonne National Laboratory

August 26, 2011

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Argonne National Laboratory researchers have developed an improved etching method that involves shooting beams of electrons at computer chips, which could lead to new advanced technologies.

The method could potentially revolutionize how patterns are transferred onto different materials, leading to a new approach for the next generation of energy, electronics, and memory technologies, says Argonne researcher Seth Darling.

The researchers developed sequential infiltration synthesis (SIS), which involves the controlled growth of inorganic materials within polymer films. The technique allows scientists to construct materials with unique properties and three-dimensional geometries.

"With SIS, we can take that thin, delicate resist film and make it robust by infiltrating it with inorganic material," Darling says. By combining SIS with block copolymers, this method can be extended to generate even smaller features than are possible using e-beam lithography. "Hopefully, our discovery gives scientists an extra advantage when it comes to creating deeper patterns with higher resolution," Darling says.

From Argonne National Laboratory
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