Optics improve nanofabrication

Aug09-MartinMoskovitsWave goodbye to silicon chips.
Thanks to advances in nanotechnology, the chips that power computers and other electronic devices may one day be made from the cellulose of trees.
But manufacturing these tiny electronic circuits at the nano or atomic scale depends on optics or new ways of dealing with light.
That’s what Dr. Martin Moskovits talked about at the recent conference on Nanotechnology and Forest Products. He is the former dean of science at the University of California Santa Barbara, and is currently the chief technology officer with API Nanotronics in New York.
“We live in a highly electronic world in which almost all of our devices are controlled by integrated circuits,” he explains. “These integrated circuits are created through a form of lithography. It’s almost like printing… but printing very, very tiny structures. It is really the backbone of the electronics industry. If you want to put more and more transistors in the same space, you need to make finer and finer features. And, for that, you need to use light of shorter and shorter wavelengths. And so we went from red light to blue light to violet light, and now we’re into the ultraviolet domain. Now, using deep ultraviolet produces certain challenges in controlling and shaping this light. That requires new optics and new technology just to support this printing with ultraviolet.”
At API Nanotronics, Dr. Moskovits specializes in the development of polarizers and optical retarders that shape and control light for the nano fabrication of circuits. √

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