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.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.