Novel CU-Boulder technique shrinks size of nanotechnology circuitry

A University of Colorado at Boulder team has developed a new method of shrinking the size of circuitry used in nanotechnology devices like computer chips and solar cells by using two separate colors of light.

Like current methods in the nanoengineering field, one color of light inscribes a pattern on a substrate, said CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Robert McLeod of the electrical, computer and energy engineering department. But the new system developed by McLeod’s team uses a second color to "erase" the edges of the pattern, resulting in much smaller structures.

The team used tightly focused beams of blue light to record lines and dots thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair into patterned lithography on a substrate, said McLeod. The researchers then "chopped off the edges" of the lines using a halo of ultraviolet light, trimming the width of the lines significantly.

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