Feeds

Grad student creates world's thinnest wires – just three atoms wide

Someone's Ph.D is in the bag

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A Vanderbilt University graduate student has created the world's thinnest wires using a beam of electrons, a technique that could usher in new ultra-slim form factors for electronics and possibly help the chip industry build smaller, faster processors.

Ph.D candidate Junhao Lin used a scanning transmission electron microscope capable of focusing a beam of electrons down to a width of half an ångström to create the wires. The work was carried out at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he is a visiting scientist.

"This will likely stimulate a huge research interest in monolayer circuit design," Lin said. "Because this technique uses electron irradiation, it can in principle be applicable to any kind of electron-based instrument, such as electron-beam lithography."

The wires were carved out of transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), which are formed of a mixture of the metals molybdenum or tungsten with either sulfur or selenium. These form into monolayers – slabs of material an atom thick – and are being actively investigated because their conductive qualities make them ideal for the electronics industry.

Scientists have already created functioning transistors and flash memory gates from TMDCs and wires are the next step to making a fully functioning electronic system that's just atoms thick. Because of their tiny size, such components can be stacked to vastly increase the amount of grunt on possible future processors.

"Junhao took this project and really ran with it," said his supervisor, Professor Sokrates Pantelides. "If you let your imagination go, you can envision tablets and television displays that are as thin as a sheet of paper that you can roll up and stuff in your pocket or purse."

The full paper on Lin's technique is published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?