Printer Friendly

Bartending lessons for microassembly.

Pour half a shot of hot ethylene glycol, such as the antifreeze in your car's engine. Add a sprinkle of light-emitting diodes and a pinch of tiny, cuplike casings. Shake well.

Such a concoction would be an awful drink, but electronics manufacturers may soon start following such recipes to accelerate their assembly lines.

Heiko O. Jacobs and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities have demonstrated the feasibility of quickly assembling hundreds of identical microcircuit components by agitating subunits in liquid ethylene glycol heated to 100[degrees]C.

As detailed in the Aug. 31 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers fit and soldered 600 light-emitting diode chips the size of dust specks into silicon housings in just 2 minutes. The two parts' complementary shapes ensured that they would .align, and then surface tension of a solder dollop in the casing bound them tightly to one another. One of the method's appeals is that it assembles many components at the same time, Jacobs says.

This self-assembly technique may prove important for mass-producing microsystems--electronic, biomedical, and otherwise--whose parts are too small for today's "pick-and-place" robots to manipulate, Jacobs suggests.--P.W.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Technology
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 25, 2004
Previous Article:Marrow cells take up residence in wounds.
Next Article:Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled the Climate Crisis--and What We Can Do to Avert Disaster.

Related Articles
Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development.
Design competition winner The Wire reflects both strengths and weaknesses of tabloid format.
Media highlights.
Information for authors.
Services sign off on common procedures for close-air support.
Bartending and the priesthood.
Spirits And Their Popular Drinks.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters