Cambridge's 3D printed nanoscale magnetic circuits could improve future electronic devices

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Cambridge's 3D printed nanoscale magnetic circuits could improve future electronic devices

Post by Cr6 on Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:15 pm
(more at link...including graphics)

Cambridge's 3D printed nanoscale magnetic circuits could improve future electronic devices

Nov 16, 2017 | By Tess

A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK has developed a nanoscale magnetic circuit using 3D nano-printing which is capable of moving information (bits) in three-dimensions. According to the research team, this innovation has the potential to improve and increase the processing and storage capabilities of next-generation electronic devices.

Researchers Amalio Fernández-Pacheco (left) and Dédalo Sanz-Hernández (right)

Up until now, electronic devices have typically functioned using two-dimensional circuits, which carry information in a 2D, planar way. With the advancement of 3D printing and manufacturing technologies, however, the opportunity to produce 3D magnetic circuits has arisen, which could result in more dynamic and state-of-the-art electronics.

The University of Cambridge researchers have been working closely with a team from TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands to realize this technology and recently found success using an advanced 3D nano-printing process in combination with traditional circuit building technology.

"We demonstrate a new way to fabricate and use a magnetic device which, in a nanometric scale, can controllably move information along the three dimensions of space," explained Amalio Fernández-Pacheco, the study's principal investigator at Cambridge University.

To make the nanoscale magnetic circuits, the researchers have employed a method which uses an electron microscope and a gas injector to 3D print a "suspended scaffold" on a flat (2D) silicon substrate. Once the nano-scaffold is printed, a magnetic material is then applied to over the structure. The result is a three-dimensional nano-structure which is capable of transporting information.

"In this work, we not only demonstrate a big leap in nanofabrication capacities, but also, we have developed a system that allows us to look at these tiny devices in a relatively simple way," said lead researcher Dédalo Sanz-Hernández. "The information within the device can be read using a single laser in dark-field configuration (a technique designed to isolate small objects from bright backgrounds)."

Using the novel 3D nano-printing process, the research team has so far been able to produce almost completely suspended nano-structures as small as 300 nanometers in width. The potential of being able to produce electronic circuits of this scale in three-dimensions could be revolutionary.


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