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Fine Print: New Technique allows Fast Printing of Microscopic Electronics

SpecialChem / Feb 11, 2008

A new technique for printing extraordinarily thin lines quickly over wide areas could lead to larger, less expensive and more versatile electronic displays as well new medical devices, sensors and other technologies. Solving a fundamental and long-standing quandary, chemical engineers at Princeton developed a method for shooting stable jets of electrically charged liquids from a wide nozzle. The technique, which produced lines just 100 nanometers wide (about one ten-thousandth of a millimeter), offers at least 10 times better resolution than ink-jet printing and far more speed and ease than conventional nanotechnology. "It is a liquid delivery system on a micro scale," said Ilhan Aksay, professor of chemical engineering. "And it becomes a true writing technology." Aksay and graduate student Sibel Korkut published the results Jan. 25 in Physical Review Letters. The paper also includes as a co-author Dudley Saville, a chemical engineering professor who initiated the project but died in 2006.

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