Mar 24, 2022

A new class of materials for nanopatterning

Posted by in categories: computing, nanotechnology

The microscopic components that make up computer chips must be made at staggering scales. With billions of transistors in a single processor, each made of multiple materials carefully arranged in patterns as thin as a strand of DNA, their manufacturing tools must also operate at a molecular level.

Typically, these tools involve using stencils to selectively pattern or remove materials with high fidelity, layer after layer, to form nanoscale electronic devices. But as chips must fit more and more components to keep up with the digital world’s growing computational demands, these nanopatterning stencils must also become smaller and more precise.

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated how a new class of polymers could do just that. In a new study, the researchers demonstrated how “multiblock” copolymers can produce exceptionally ordered patterns in thin films, achieving spacings smaller than three nanometers.

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