Smashing the Microscope: Tiny crashes harnessed for nanoconstruction

11:04am, November 3, 2004

Nanotechnologists have transformed what used to be a technical flaw in one of their premier atom-moving tools into a benefit that's making nanoscale construction easier. Instead of lamenting how readily the tips of their scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs) crash into and damage underlying samples, a group of researchers has figured out how to exploit those crashes to build precise, atom-scale structures, including fences made of straight lines of silver atoms.

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