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Puny plastic patterns

  August 18/25, 2008}
Put the right mix of polymers on a chemically modified surface and you get a patterned material cabable of storing data at a density of 1 terabit per square inch. A terabit is 125 gigabytes, or about 31 times the capacity of a DVD.

A related technique makes patterns that could be used to make high-density computer circuits.

A third method paints plastic patterns on surfaces using arrays of millions of microscopic tips.

Research papers:
Density Multiplication and Improved Lithography by Directed Block Copolymer Assembly
Science, August 15, 2008
Graphoepitaxy of Self-Assembled Block Copolymers on Two-Dimensional Periodic Patterned Templates
Science, August 15, 2008
Polymer Pen Lithography
Science, published online August 14 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Paul F. Nealey
Juan J. de Pablo
Magnetic Materials and Devices Group, MIT
Quantum Nanostructures and Nanofabrication Group, MIT
Edwin L. Thomas
International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University

Related stories and briefs:
Self-assembly goes around bends -- related work involving self-assembly of block copolymers
Nano-scale plotter goes parallel -- precursor of the polymer pen lithography

Back to TRN August 18/25, 2008

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