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IBM Makes World's Smallest 3D Map with Nanotech

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

Scientists from IBM have created a 3D map of the world that is so small, 1,000 of them could fit on a single grain of salt.

IBM this week reports that by using a new much less complex technique that involves a tiny, silicon tip (100,000 times smaller than the tip on a sharpened pencil), scientists can create patterns as small as 15 nanometers for much less money.

"Advances in nanotechnology are intimately linked to the existence of high-quality methods and tools for producing nanoscale patterns and objects on surfaces," explains physicist Dr. Armin Knoll of IBM Research – Zurich. "With its broad functionality and unique 3D patterning capability, this nanotip-based patterning methodology is a powerful tool for generating very small structures."

IBM says that this patterning technique opens new prospects for developing nano-sized objects in fields such as electronics, future chip technology, medicine, life sciences, and optoelectronics. However, for now, they're having fun making teeny, tiny 3D maps of the world.

Check out the video below to see how the technology works.

IBM Research Creates Worlds Smallest 3D Map

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  • 25 Hide
    tommysch , April 27, 2010 5:08 PM
    eklipz330omg imagine the number of formulas i can right on my thumbnail for finals with this...


    But the 10 foot tall microscope that you'll need to read them might give you away.
  • 15 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 27, 2010 5:05 PM
    omg imagine the number of formulas i can right on my thumbnail for finals with this...
  • 11 Hide
    micr0be , April 27, 2010 5:12 PM
    TommySchBut the 10 foot tall microscope that you'll need to read them might give you away.


    also he spelled "right" wrong, so i think they'll just pretend they can't see anything anyway, and let him cheat.
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    formin , April 27, 2010 4:52 PM
    go IBM !!!!!!
    this removes 3 or 4 steps in the chip fabrication process
  • 8 Hide
    micr0be , April 27, 2010 5:01 PM
    next step is adding color ...... black and white 3d nanometer scale of the world is so 10 years ago
  • 15 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 27, 2010 5:05 PM
    omg imagine the number of formulas i can right on my thumbnail for finals with this...
  • 25 Hide
    tommysch , April 27, 2010 5:08 PM
    eklipz330omg imagine the number of formulas i can right on my thumbnail for finals with this...


    But the 10 foot tall microscope that you'll need to read them might give you away.
  • 11 Hide
    micr0be , April 27, 2010 5:12 PM
    TommySchBut the 10 foot tall microscope that you'll need to read them might give you away.


    also he spelled "right" wrong, so i think they'll just pretend they can't see anything anyway, and let him cheat.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 27, 2010 5:32 PM
    eklipz330omg imagine the number of formulas i can right on my thumbnail for finals with this...

    Never mind your thumbnail, use a contact lens instead. :D 

    But then again, everyone in the class would be wondering why you look so cross eyed during the test!
  • 6 Hide
    longshotthe1st , April 27, 2010 5:41 PM
    Renegade_WarriorNever mind your thumbnail, use a contact lens instead. But then again, everyone in the class would be wondering why you look so cross eyed during the test!


    They should be looking at their own papers, not him!! lol
  • 3 Hide
    Minus_i7 , April 27, 2010 6:07 PM
    Clearly what the eco-terrorists were trying to stop.
  • 1 Hide
    darkknight22 , April 27, 2010 6:21 PM
    Minus_i7Clearly what the eco-terrorists were trying to stop.


    exactly, because this is going to DESTROY the environment
  • 3 Hide
    Doctor-boom , April 27, 2010 7:04 PM
    For all we know the map could be purple with yellow dots: it's viewed using a scanning electron microscope, which does not see colors, at ALL. You can color code the image differently than black and white, but it really look nicer this way. Note that you are not "seeing" the object really: a detector is telling the machine how many electrons came from that point on your sample, so it does not always work in the same way as a light generated image.
  • 1 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , April 27, 2010 8:06 PM
    Well this makes me quiet excited.
  • 2 Hide
    belardo , April 27, 2010 11:49 PM
    Well... they aren't going to tell you when they make the worlds smallest dick.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , April 28, 2010 1:33 AM
    With this the nanites can begin planning for world domination.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , April 28, 2010 1:52 PM
    formingo IBM !!!!!!this removes 3 or 4 steps in the chip fabrication process

    Well yes, but this would serialize a massively parallel process, to use the terms inappropriately. This method lays down the atoms(?) one at a time, while photolithography lays one layer down all at once. I think that the gain of skipping multiple expose and etch steps would be swamped by the cost of building the circuit atom-by-atom.

    It might be a good way to make prototypes. OTOH, with a reasonable half-billion transistors in a chip, if the machine could lay down a thousand gates a second, it would take (punching buttons instead of using mind) five days and change to make one chip.
  • 0 Hide
    rebb , April 28, 2010 2:00 PM
    Quote:
    With this the nanites can begin planning for world domination./quote]

    The beginning of the end! Has John Conner been born yet!?
  • 0 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , April 28, 2010 3:24 PM
    jhansonxiWith this the nanites can begin planning for world domination.

    EUREKA!!!
  • 0 Hide
    drowned , April 29, 2010 2:10 AM
    Yes the 3d map is a novelty, but someone will find a genuine use for this eventually.