MIT researchers coaxed tiny, chainlike molecules to arrange themselves into complex patterns, like this one, on a silicon chip (Image: Yeon Sik Jung and Joel Yang)
The photolithography process used to create the features on computer chips has remained largely unchanged in the last 50 years. But as chip manufacturers continue to cram more and more circuits onto a chip the limitation of this process is rapidly being reached. Potential solutions to keep apace with Moore’s Law include using DNA molecules as scaffolding, replacing copper interconnects with graphene and using plasma beams. Now researchers at MIT are developing a process that could see tiny circuits being created using molecules that automatically arrange themselves into useful patterns.