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Sound-altered light promises speedier chips

  July 21/28, 2008
Lightwaves usually contain many slightly different wavelengths. Use a soundwave to spread the wavelengths and you get microscopic parallel lines of dark and light that can be used to etch extremely fine circuits in computer chips. The interference pattern method can make 25-nanometer lines spaced 25 nanometers apart. The circuits in today's computer chips are 65 nanometers wide.

The multilevel interference lithography technique, which uses MIT's nanoruler, could lead to inexpensive ways of making denser, and therefore faster, computer chips.

Research paper:
Fabrication of 50 nm Period Gratings with Multilevel Interference Lithography
Optics Letters, July 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Space Nanotechnology Laboratory

Related stories and briefs:
Microscope etches ultrathin lines -- a related technique

Back to TRN July 21/28, 2008

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