|MIT engineers have devised a way to create 3D nanoscale objects by patterning a larger structure with a laser and then shrinking it. This image shows a complex structure prior to shrinking. Courtesy: Daniel Oran
Topics: 3D Printing, Materials Science, Metamaterials, Nanotechnology, Science Fiction
A new 3D nanofabrication technique called Implosion Fabrication could be used to create a wide variety of nano- and microstructures not previously possible. The technique, which can print 3D objects of nearly any shape by patterning a polymer scaffold with a laser and then shrinking the structure to a thousandth of its original volume, might be used to make novel optical metamaterials and electronics devices.
Shrinking hydrogel scaffold
Most existing nanofabrication techniques are limited in what they can produce. Direct laser writing methods, for example, can produce 2D patterns but not 3D ones, which need to be built up a layer at a time – a process that is difficult and slow. Lithography, one of the oldest nanofabrication techniques, can again only print 2D layers on patterned surfaces.
The apropos cultural reference that absolutely dates me!
|Image Source: Wikipedia link below
|Raymond "Ray" Palmer, is a physicist and professor at Ivy University in the fictional city of Ivy Town, somewhere in New England, specializing in matter compression as a means to fight overpopulation, famine and other world problems. Using a mass of white dwarf star matter he finds after it lands on Earth, Palmer fashions a lens that enables him to shrink any object to any degree he wishes. Compression destabilizes an object's molecular structure, however, causing it to explode. Source: Wikipedia
It's also the epitome of escapist fiction, since a white dwarf in real life is kind of dense.
Imploding hydrogel shrinks objects to the nanoscale, Belle Dumé, Physics World