"CHIPS: Self-assembly technique enables 10-nm litho"
A novel processing technique that combines known molecules to realize a new class of synthesized material has enabled 10-nanometer precision lithography. The invention enables the lithographic-like self-assembly of molecules into one-, two- or three-dimensional nanoscale structures by combining a block copolymer with a dendrimer. The latter is a "cascade molecule" in which the atoms are arrayed along a backbone of carbon. "In our experiment we demonstrated 10-nm feature sizes, but we envision our invention working with traditional lithography to encode information into a material that enables it to self-assemble into domains with angstrom-scale precision," said Ulrich Wiesner, professor of materials science and engineering at Cornell University. He performed the work at the university with the help of physics professor Sol Gruner, director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source; postdoctoral researcher Byoung-Ki Cho; and doctoral candidate Anurag Jain. The researchers said their invention could lead to ultraprecise nanoscale features that improve the efficiency of batteries, solar cells and fuel cells.