Brainy Quote of the Day

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Water and Nanoelectronics?

When I worked in the semiconductor industry, this combination was of course avoided! Now that we're talking about nanoscale devices, the rules of course have changed. This article was published in May of 2010 by Colin Barras in New Scientist:

"Today's electronic circuit boards already include nanoscale components, but they are tricky to make. To get complicated nanostructures on a silicon chip it is sometimes necessary to grow them in separate layers and then transfer these one by one onto the final chip (PDF) to build them into working components.

"Often it takes strong chemicals to separate the layers from the surface on which they are grown, and high temperatures may be needed to activate the thermal adhesives that keep the components in place at their destination.

"Grégory Schneider and Cees Dekker at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in Delft, the Netherlands, have found a way to use water to quickly and easily transfer layers from one surface to another. They exploit the fact that different materials have different hydrophilicity – the tendency to attract water through transient hydrogen bonds."

Is water the key to cheaper nanoelectronics?

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