Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Monday December 28, 2015

Nanoworld "Snow Blowers" Carve Straight Channels In Semiconductor Surfaces

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and IBM have devised a method of using gold nanoparticles as nano snow blowers to carve channels on the surface of semiconductors.

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First, they patterned the surface of the semiconductor by selectively coating it with a gold layer only a few nanometers thick. Upon heating, the film breaks up into tiny particles that become droplets. The underlying indium phosphide dissolves into the gold nanoparticles above, creating a gold alloy. Then, heated water vapor is introduced into the system. At temperatures below 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit), the tiny gold-alloy particles, now swathed with water molecules, etch nanoscale pits into the indium phosphide.