US: IBM scientists have created the smallest 3D map of the Earth. The scientists accomplished this through a new, breakthrough technique that uses a tiny, silicon tip with a sharp apex, 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil, to create patterns and structures as small as 15 nanometers at greatly reduced cost and complexity.
This patterning technique opens new prospects for developing nanosised objects in fields such as electronics, future chip technology, medicine, life sciences, and optoelectronics. To demonstrate the technique’s unique capability, the team created several 3D and 2D patterns, using different materials for each one.
“Advances in nanotechnology are intimately linked to the existence of high-quality methods and tools for producing nanoscale patterns and objects on surfaces,” explains physicist Dr. Armin Knoll of IBM Research, Zurich. “With its broad functionality and unique 3D patterning capability, this nanotip-based patterning methodology is a powerful tool for generating very small structures.”