Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, and Argonne National Laboratory have developed a method that could make it possible to produce some of the narrowest microchip wires ever, using a process with the potential to be economically viable for mass production with standard equipment.
The new approach involves a technique in which polymer thin films are formed on a surface, first by heating precursors so they vaporize, and then by allowing them to condense and polymerize on a cooler surface.
The process integrates three existing methods. First, a pattern of lines is produced on the chip surface using lithographic techniques. A layer of block copolymer is then formed by spin-coating a solution. Finally, a protective polymer layer is deposited on top of the others using initiated chemical vapor deposition.
The new process can create sub-10-nanometer features, compared to about 22-nanometer features with conventional methods.
From MIT News
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