Miniature Rubber Stamps Create Microscopic Optical Devices
ATLANTA, Ga., March 26 -- Bell Labs researchers say that they have developed a means for stamping sub-micron features on glass, plastics, metals, and other materials. The potential applications include optical communications devices and plastic transistors with the smallest features yet developed. The new process involves making reusable rubber stamps with extremely small features and then using the stamps to make high-performance optical and electronic devices.
Techniques that use these rubber stamps and molds provide simple, low-cost alternatives to conventional lithography, said Bell Labs chemist John Rogers. The techniques also may lead to novel applications because we can now print features on rough or curved surfaces, such as optical fiber, and on materials that are incompatible with standard lithographic techniques.
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