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Anyways if you could kindly point out where I said anything inconsistent with the area of self-assembly or work in the field let me know (I do work in it) - the use of block co-polymers as active devices was an area I was unaware of and infact isn't even mentioned in TFA.
Anyways we were looking into some work on reticular chemistry (google the phrase - a lab from UCLA should pop up) - and using the same concept to create photoconductive organic thin films without the need for much structural support. It's an area of chemistry I find extremely promising (I am not a chemist) but from what I see most of the work seems to be in creating super-porous materials but I see no reason why you can't create these highly structured films using organic molecules that have electrical properties that we want.
I'm not sure if that area is of any use for you but take a look at the structures they've made, and the proof they have that they exist (they were able to get some very convincing XRD patterns for a wide array of configurations which matched up to theoretical calculations)
Miind you in our attempts to replicate it using some custom made photoconductors we were only able to get vague peaks which required you to not wear glasses to see...
Anyways the beauty of these was processing them was easy...once you had the starter molecules ofcourse. Conditions to form the structures were low temperature bakes for less than an hour in general. If a surface is activated properly I think it would be very feasible to say just spin coat the solution, and start your bake and hopefully you end up with a film which is stuck to your surface right where you want it...but now I'm being an engineer pretending he has a clue about chemistry...
Anyways back on topic - I totally agree with your last paragraph. It's nice to see significantly fewer sensational articles than I remember seeing in the field. Even in the past five years alot of the research getting out has been less grey goo look how skynet's going to take over to much more reasonable reports. What I especially love is the amount of interdisciplinary work I'm starting to see where these highly specialized chemistry groups are actually working with engineers and the like to get some feasible processes down. It's not nearly as common as I'd like but it's starting to get there....
Are these co-polymers being use as an organic electronic material say in OLEDS or are they designed so that they have a specific configuration to essentially after assembling they are in the pattern you want them to be? (this is a good chance to plug yourself and a link to a journal article or something - the future of semicon fab is of huge interest to me)
This is not a technology that will bring us to next generation semiconductor - I'd even be willing to state it's almost useless for semiconductors as your feature size will be barely hitting the micrometer range
Now there's no link to a more detailed discussion on their method (and I don't really feel like googling the author right now) - but if it is doing what I think it is this does not sound viable at all for semiconductors. Perhaps as a cheap alternative method for large feature lithography but for semiconductor chip fab I don't see it
Traditionally the photoresist which is being patterned is either having bonds broken to let exposed areas be dissolved away, or bonds made to keep the exposed areas in following steps. At the end of the day you're shining radiation on a substrate to make a pattern.
Here is seems to me is they're using block co-polymers to assemble between different configurations - a soluble and insoluble one I imagine? At the end of the day they're still using the idea as traditional lithography. Why investigate this method when there's wavelength limitations that are currently hit I have no idea.
Microwaves are sitting at a higher wavelength than UV/extreme UV which is in use today so I don't see this being useful for patterning for semiconductors. Perhaps if it's cheaper and more compatible I could see this put into lab-on-a-chip style fab methods or something else...