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Rubber Mold Carves a Path to Micromachines

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Science  02 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5424, pp. 19-21
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5424.19b

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Summary

Photolithography, the chemical printing process used to make the circuits of computer chips, has difficulty creating 3D structures like cavities and microchannels, the sort of things required by the new generation of micromechanical devices, miniature chemical plants, and "labs-on-a-chip." Now a team of researchers at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has developed a technique for fashioning microstructures in 3D with the help of liquids passing through a network of channels, exploiting the flow patterns to deposit or etch away structures in layers of metals or other substrates, including crystals, ceramics, or organic polymers (see Report on p. 83).

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