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Desktop Printing at the Nano Level

July 27, 2013 04:41 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

Northwestern researchers create state-of-the-art desktop nanofabrication tool

Story content courtesy of Northwestern University, US

A new low-cost, high-resolution tool is primed to revolutionize how nanotechnology is produced from the desktop, according to a new study by Northwestern University researchers.

“With this breakthrough, we can construct very high-quality materials and devices, such as processing semiconductors over large areas, and we can do it with an instrument slightly larger than a printer,” said Chad A. Mirkin, senior author of the study and a world-renowned pioneer in the field of nanoscience.

The tool Mirkin’s team has created produces working devices and structures at the nanoscale level in a matter of hours, right at the point of use. It is the nanofabrication equivalent of a desktop printer.

Without requiring millions of dollars in instrumentation costs, the tool is poised to prototype a diverse range of functional structures, from gene chips to protein arrays to building patterns that control how stem cells differentiate to making electronic circuits.

“Instead of needing to have access to millions of dollars, in some cases billions of dollars of instrumentation, you can begin to build devices that normally require that type of instrumentation right at the point of use,” Mirkin said.

TechConnect News Note: Chad Mirkin has presented his work at past TechConnect World conferences.  TechConnect 2014 will take place June 15-19, in Washington, D.C.  Abstract submissions open this fall.

 

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