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Irish Times article 24.06.2010

24 Jun 2010

IRISH RESEARCHERS are developing methods that may revolutionise how computer chips are manufactured in the future. Scientists at the Centre for Research Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (Crann) have devised ways to allow the electronic components to build themselves, writes BETH O'DONOGHUE 

The research being carried out at Crann and the Tyndall National Institute is a joint effort between teams led by Dr Justin Holmes, senior lecturer in physical/materials chemistry and by Prof Michael Morris, professor of inorganic chemistry, both based at University College Cork.

The devices they are building are measured in nanometres, one billionth of a metre or a millionth of a millimetre.

The researchers are investigating how to make nanowires and then assemble them into patterns that can be used to make nanodevices, such as the tiny transistors found in computer chips.

Currently computer chips are manufactured using a “top- down” approach, using a process known as optical lithography. This involves etching patterns onto silicon chips, explains Prof Morris.

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