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.

The novel 3D printing process uses a gas injector and electron microscope (1 and 2) to build a three-dimensional scaffold. Magnetic material is then deposited (3),

and magnetic information can then be transported and read using a laser (4).

"Projects such as this one open the path to the development of a completely new generation of magnetic devices that can store move and process information in a very efficient way by exploiting the three dimensions of space," added Fernández-Pacheco.

The innovative research project, which was recently published about in the journal ACS Nano, is situated in the field of spintronics, an area of study which focuses on technologies that store and process information using electric charge electrons and which use "spin" to create more energy efficient electronic circuits.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Scottm wrote at 11/17/2017 12:32:48 AM:

They have invented the inclined plane!

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