IBM developed a revolutionary manufacturing technique capable of etching 1,000 three dimensional world maps on materials the size of a grain of salt. This breakthrough heralds the beginning of nano-manufacturing.

The technique involves a tiny, silicon “scanning probe” that measured 500 nanometers long and five nanometers thick that is heated above 330 degree Celcius. As it comes in contact with subtrate materials called resists, the probe will cause the material to evaporate, etching patterns on material. The technique could enable future nanoelectronic devices to be produced at an increased efficiency and lower cost.

According to IBM, the application of nano-manufacturing range from fast prototyping for CMOS to fabricate shape-matching templates for self-assembling nano-tubes. However, the big breakthrough comes in the technique’s ability to create complex 3D patterns and structures.


The technique was a two years effort between Despont and IBM’s team of physicists and chemists. Despite the breakthrough, Despont said the IBM technique would not be mature enough for commercial efforts for at least another five years.

Resource: itNews for Australian Business

Image: piyaphantawong /

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