Team Invents Method to Shrink Objects to the Nanoscale

December 13, 2018
Hertz Staff

MIT researchers have invented a way to fabricate nanoscale 3-D objects of nearly any shape. They can also pattern the objects with a variety of useful materials, including metals, quantum dots, and DNA. Using the new technique, the researchers can create any shape and structure they want by patterning a polymer scaffold with a laser. After attaching other useful materials to the scaffold, they shrink it, generating structures one thousandth the volume of the original. These tiny structures could have applications in many fields, from optics to medicine to robotics, the researchers say. The technique uses equipment that many biology and materials science labs already have, making it widely accessible for researchers who want to try it.