New research published this week may point to an easier way to create nanoscale electronic devices. Writing in the journal Science, a team of researchers describe a method that functions somewhat like a high-tech Etch-A-Sketch drawing toy -- using the conducting probe of an atomic force microscope to 'draw' conducting lines in an otherwise insulating material. The effect can be reversed, returning the conducting areas to their insulating state once more. The wires, under 4 nm in width, were formed at the interface of a crystal of strontium titanate and a 1.2 nanometer thick layer of lanthanum aluminate. The team used the approach to build ultra-small transistor devices. We'll find out more.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer