Scientists will announce next month a new technique called microdisplacement printing, which makes possible the highly precise placement of molecules during the fabrication of nanoscale components for electronic and sensing devices. The new technique, which also extends the library of molecules that can be used for patterning, will be described in the 14 September issue of the journal Nano Letters by a team led by Paul S. Weiss, professor of chemistry and physics at Penn State.
The new microdisplacement technique is based on a widely used patterning method known as microcontact printing--a simple way of fabricating chemical patterns that does not require clean rooms and other kinds of special and expensive environments. Both methods involve "inking" a patterned rubber-like stamp with a solution of molecules, then applying the inked stamp to a surface.
"Microdisplacement gives us more control over the precision with which the patterns are placed and retained, and also allows us to use a wider range of molecules," Weiss says.
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