Tiny writer

Electron beam lithography has been used by researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory to set a new record for drawing at the one-nanometer scale. Vitor Manfrinato and his colleagues used scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) to pattern a thin film of poly(methyl methacrylate) with individual features as small as one nanometer and with a spacing of just 11 nanometers. They could thus create a trillion features per square centimeter on the substrate. This represents the highest resolution ever achieved in a controlled and efficient way, the team reports. The approach opens up materials engineering possibilities that can be tailored almost atom by atom.