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Self-assembly polymers conjure 3D structures

transformers mitThe smart folks over at MIT have discovered a spanking new method of creating complex three-dimensional structures through the use of self-assembling polymer materials. These polymer materials will form tiny wires and junctions, and this kind of groundbreaking work might eventually usher in a new generation of microchips as well as other devices that comprise of submicroscopic features. The image used above is just for illustration’s sake, as we might eventually engineer a collection of “Transformers” so to speak with this self-assembling polymer materials.

Something similar has been achieved in the past before, but this marks a first where the structures have been extended into three dimensions using different, independent configurations on different layers. Many previous efforts have targeted at the production of complex arrangements of nanoscale wires via self-assembly, but those have failed to date. The new system is far more simple, and one is able to even achieve sharp bends and junctions at precisely determined locations. I guess the dream of inventing our own Transformers is still a long way off, but at least this effort is a good place to start.

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