The assumption has been that as computer chips get smaller, the need for new production equipment becomes more urgent. Not so, according to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers. Current equipment uses 193-nm wavelength light. However, immersion lithography uses a thin layer of water like a lens to shorten the effective wavelengths of ultraviolet light, enabling the same equipment to create features as small as 45 nm. For more info, visit www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/current.htm#water.
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