Fullerene solutions to chip manufacture

Materials World magazine
A water-soluble fullerene resist for lithography could make electronics manufacturing safer and more environmentally friendly by removing the need for toxic and flammable solvents. Using the resist, a team at the University of Birmingham, UK, has demonstrated a high resolution of about 30nm for the transfer of integrated circuit patterns onto silicon wafers and a strong durability to etching of these substrates.

Inspecting textured ceramic tiles

Materials World magazine
Dynamic Photometric Stereo (PS) is new approach to inspect fast moving, difficult to analyse surfaces, such as glazed or textured ceramic tiles. It allows manufacturers to produce images of complex 2D and 3D features or flaws, and reduce waste caused by defective tiles.
Sample of a sulphide ore containing gold

Metals extraction strikes gold

Materials World magazine
A sulphide reduction process (SRP) that enables ‘fast and cheap’ extraction of gold from sulphide ores is available from Haber Inc, based in Arlington, USA.

Dispersing functional fillers in polymers

Materials World magazine
Polyfect, a spin-out company from Loughborough University, UK, hopes to license a technology for dispersing functional fillers to improve the mechanical quality and reduce the weight and cost of polymer products, which could benefit applications such as automotive, packaging and electronics.
A British passport with the biometric symbol on the front

Stopping identity fraud with quantum tunnelling composites

Materials World magazine
The risk of fraudsters or terrorists hacking into our personal data will reduce if novel ultrathin switches are incorporated into biometric passports and contactless credit cards, says the team at Peratech in Richmond, UK. The technology is made from quantum tunnelling composites (QTCs) and allows the owner to restrict when sensitive information, contained in radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips, is read by pressing the control.