Joseph Jacobson, the scientist behind E Ink and electonic paper, is working with a team of researchers who believe it will be possible to download a chip design from the Web and print it out on a piece of plastic using a “desktop fab.” Jacobson’s group has synthesized “semiconductor ink,” a solution of nanocrystals of 100 atoms or less that can be printed onto various substrates, including thin sheets of plastic, at temperatures well under silicon fab temperatures. The ink can produce 200-nanometer structures, comparable to the scale of structures on Pentium chips.
Jacobson has used a Hitachi inkjet printer, without a clean room, to fabricate miniature microelectromechanical systems, a thermal actuator, a linear-drive motor with 100 micrometer features and intelligent radio-frequency identification tags. One of his goals is an extremely cheap digital camera with semiconductor and photodetector printed onto a business card. Jacobsen predicts that he will print simple processors in the next year and a half and that, eventually, the technology will produce anything currently made in billion dollar fabs.
Read the source article at techreview.com.