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.