Combining concepts from electromagnetic radiation research and fiber optics, researchers have created an extreme-ultraviolet, laser-like beam capable of producing tightly-focused light in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum not previously accessible to scientists. Between 10-100 times shorter than visible light waves, the extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths will allow researchers to "see" tiny features and carve miniature patterns, with applications in such fields as microscopy, lithography and nanotechnology.
The achievement is based on a new structure called a "waveguide," a hollow glass tube with internal humps that coax light waves into traveling along at the same speed and help the waves reinforce each other.
Reported in the January 2 issue of the journal Nature, the work is part of a continuing project supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), an independent agency of the U.S. Government that supports science and engineering research and education.
Josh Chamot | EurekAlert!
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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