Lasers Enable Finer Chip Structures, Advance of Moore's Law

Current chip manufacturing relies on photolithography techniques, which can only produce chip features that are larger than the wavelength of the light applied.

A process that is described in the paper "Breaking the Far-Field Diffraction Limit in Optical Nanopatterning via Repeated Photochemical and Electrochemical Transitions in Photochromic Molecules", published in Physical Review Letters, can create complex structures chip structures 1/8 the size of the wavelength of the light used. According to the researchers, an effect called stimulated emission depletion imaging (STED) enabled them to go beyond the current limitations of photolithography. In STED, scientists leverage the fluorescent characteristics of materials to emit light when targeted by a laser beam. By controlling the laser's power, the researchers can affect the strength of light emitted and, if the power falls enough, cause a "dark patch" that is smaller than the wavelength of the laser light itself. These dark patches can be used as masks, which can be applied to a surface.

The MIT researchers believe that their invention could be used to create semiconductors with much finer structures than possible today. There could also be an opportunity to apply this technology in photonic devices, MIT said.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
68 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • salgado18
    Now THAT deserves a patent, not some buttons on scren.
    29
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    theuniquegamerThat means we can get 32 or more cores in the mobile chips in next few years.


    ... and over 9000 in the desktop ones :D

    Remember, whatever "mobile" has to offer, desktop will always pwn it.
    24
  • salgado18
    470869 said:
    No way. You're again patenting an IDEA, FFS! That will just slow the implementation down! Where would the humanity be if everyone would be patenting everything from the invention of the wheel, huh?

    That's real technology, a new process of production of really small circuits. It takes years of research, a lot of knowledge and study, and a hell lot of money to even make it right, so it definitely deserves a patent to these guys.

    If that's not a patent, then what is?
    23
  • Other Comments
  • LOL92
    really? that good. i hope we can see a lower than 10nm architecture
    16
  • theuniquegamer
    That means we can get 32 or more cores in the mobile chips in next few years.
    4
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    theuniquegamerThat means we can get 32 or more cores in the mobile chips in next few years.


    ... and over 9000 in the desktop ones :D

    Remember, whatever "mobile" has to offer, desktop will always pwn it.
    24