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The problem with nanotechnology is that it remains expensive and incredibly difficult to make ultrasmall structures. You can do it but it will cost you. And that has prevented nanotech from being practical in making semiconductor chips. But IBM researchers have achieved the type of breakthrough that many have been waiting for and that could finally making nanotech a feasible manufacturing option. IBM, which has been a pioneer in nanotech research, reports getting specially designed polymers to “self-assemble” to form ultrasmall, precise patterns. That means that instead of using using million-dollar equipment to precisely create nano features, they let chemistry do all the work. So far, the IBM researchers have made a semiconductor flash memory device using the polymers to self-assemble silicon nanocrystals but they say the method is generally compatible with semiconducting processing.

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