MMaterialsgateNEWS 2007/12/24

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The Entire Old Testament in Hebrew on a Pinhead

In a nanotechnology breakthrough, scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have printed the entire Old Testament …

onto a silicon chip smaller than a pinhead (less than 1/1000th of an inch).

The idea to write the Old Testament on such a tiny surface was conceived by Technion Professor Uri Sivan of the Faculty of Physics, who is also head of the university's Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute.

The text was written using a focused ion beam (FIB) generator that shot tiny particles called Gallium ions onto a gold surface covering a base layer of silicon. In a process that can be likened to digging a hole in the earth using a water jet, the ion beam etched the surface of the gold layer, making the underlying silicon layer visible.

The actual "writing" of the full text took just 90 minutes. The computer program that guided the FIB, however, took more than three months.

"The nano-bible project demonstrates the miniaturization at our disposal," said Sivan. "This research could lead to the creation of more advanced miniature structures -- and imaging -- on a nanometric scale, advances in storing information in very small spaces, and the use of DNA molecules to store information."

The project was managed by graduate student Ohad Zohar and Dr. Alex Lahav, former head of the FIB laboratory in the Technion's Wolfson Microelectronics Research and Teaching Center.

According to the researchers, the nano-bible will now be photographed and expand 10,000 times - and still be small enough to fit into a 75-square foot frame to be hung in the Technion Faculty of Physics. The photograph's size will make it possible to read the entire Old Testament with the naked eye. The height of each letter will be three millimeters. The original nano-bible will be displayed next to the photograph.

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is Israel's leading science and technology university. Home to the country's winners of the Nobel Prize in science, it commands a worldwide reputation for its pioneering work in nanotechnology, computer science, biotechnology, water-resource management, materials engineering, aerospace and medicine. The majority of the founders and managers of Israel's high-tech companies are alumni. Based in New York City, the American Technion Society (ATS) is the leading American organization supporting higher education in Israel, with 21 offices around the country.

American Technion Society.

Investigated and edited by:

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Konetschny, Inhaber und Gründer von Materialsgate
Büro für Material- und Technologieberatung
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