David Kirkpatrick

October 26, 2009

Nanoparticle self-assembly news

Via KurzweilAI.net — here’s the latest in nanotech news.

New Route To Nano Self-assembly Found

ScienceDaily, Oct. 25, 2009

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found a way to induce nanoparticles to assemble themselves into complex arrays, using block copolymers with surfactants as mediator molecules.

Read Original Article>>

February 26, 2009

Ultra high-density computer memory

Density to the tune of 10 terabits per square inch through use of a nanomaterial.

From the link:

The self-assembling of materials known as block copolymers could provide a low-cost, efficient way to fabricate ultra-high-density computer memory. Block copolymers, which are made of chemically different polymers linked together, can arrange themselves into arrays of nanoscale dots on surfaces, which could be used as templates for creating tiny magnetic bits that store data on hard disks. Until now, though, there was no simple, quick way to coax the block copolymer to make the desired arrays over large areas.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have found a simple way to coat square inches of substrate with block copolymers. The highly ordered pattern formed by the copolymers could be used to create hard disks with 10 terabits squeezed into a square inch, the researchers report this week in Science.

August 14, 2008

Smaller electronics, larger hard drives

A new manufacturing approach in creating patterned templates should lead to improvements in hard drive technology and electronic devices. The key to the process is self-assembling materials called block copolymers combined with traditional lithography techniques.

From the link:

The block copolymers pattern the resulting array down to the molecular level, offering a precision unattainable by traditional lithography-based methods alone and even correcting irregularities in the underlying chemical pattern. Such nanoscale control also allows the researchers to create higher-resolution arrays capable of holding more information than those produced today.

In addition, the self-assembling block copolymers only need one-fourth as much patterning information as traditional materials to form the desired molecular architecture, making the process more efficient, Nealey says. “If you only have to pattern every fourth spot, you can write those patterns at a fraction of the time and expense,” he says.

In addition to shared intellectual contributions, the collaboration between the UW-Madison and Hitachi teams provided very clear objectives about creating a technology that is industrially viable. “This research addresses one of the most significant challenges to delivering patterned media — the mass production of patterned disks in high volume, at a reasonable cost,” says Richard New, director of research at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. “The large potential gains in density offered by patterned media make it one of the most promising new technologies on the horizon for future hard disk drives.”

courtesy Paul Nealey

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies have reported a way to improve the quality and resolution of patterned templates such as those used to manufacture hard drives and other data storage devices. When added to lithographically patterned surfaces such as those shown in the upper left panel of this composite image, specially designed materials called block copolymers self-assemble into structures, shown in the upper right panel, with improved quality and resolution over the original patterns. These structures can be used to make templates with nanoscale elements like the silicon pillars shown in the bottom panel, which may be useful for manufacturing higher capacity hard disk drives. Photo by: courtesy Paul Nealey