A tool with an extremely sharp tip and just 500 nanometers long is similar to those used in atomic microscopes. It can create complex structures such as a relief map of the world on a nano scale. The component mills away materia, much as a sculptor chips away everything from the hunk of marble that's not what his sculpture looks like.
A 3D replica of the Matterhorn also was created with this component, which removed 120 layers of material from a molecular glass substrate that "consists of snowflake-like molecules." The world map was created using a different polymer, called "polyphthalaldehyde," developed by IBM Fellow Hiroshi Ito in the 1980s. That is molded by using extreme heat to "unzip" pieces from it.
IBM said the techniques used in the experiments have implications in "electronics, future chip technology, medicine, life sciences and optoelectronics."
IBM did not, however, give the distance in nanometers between Los Angeles and New York City.
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