Of Molecules and Granules

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by: C. Sven Johnson

Couple of interesting bits today. Over on C|Net there’s nanotech-related news. In “IBM prints with molecules” (Link) we have a follow-on by what sounds like the same group of scientists to an earlier demonstration of a nano-scale “mass production” process.

From the article:

The pattern on the solid substrate then can be exploited in a number of ways, according to Heiko Wolf, researcher in nano-patterning at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. It can be used to mass-produce patterns.

Another experimental technique for ordering particles is nano imprinting, in which a signet-ring-like mold is pressed into a layer of materials. This technique can produce lines that measure only a few nanometers wide.

Controlling the placement of particles is a fundamental building block for nanotechnology.

Worth reading the whole article. The self-assembly stuff, in particular, is pretty cool.

Meanwhile, over on the RepRap blog there’s an entry (Link) related to a Fab@Home effort (Link) to use plastic pellets as they’re most commonly made available: in pellet form. That of course means revisiting some of the early injection molded-style auger solutions… which is what Dr. Bowyer has done/is doing.

I’m glad they’re revisiting materials that are more readily available; including, as one commenter noted, being able to “chop up old [plastic] parts and waste material into similarly-sized pieces and recycle them”. This is something in which I’m particularly interested, so I’ll be watching these developments closely.

{Update: Ars Technica has a write-up (Link) on this news and provides a more clear explanation of the process.}

Original Post: http://blog.rebang.com/?p=1383