Denser Computer Chips Possible with Plasmonic Lenses That ‘Fly’

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, are reporting a new way of creating computer chips that could revitalise optical lithography, a patterning technique that dominates modern integrated circuits manufacturing. By combining metal lenses that focus light through the excitation of electrons — or plasmons — on the lens’ surface with a flying head that resembles the stylus on the arm of an old-fashioned LP turntable and is similar to those used in hard disk drives, the researchers were able to create line patterns only 80 nanometers wide at speeds up to 12 metres per second, with the potential for higher resolution detail in the near future

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