The smallest ever computer chips require a new level of quality assurance

August 22, 2000

Semi-conductor chip materials have to be transparent to light at low wavelengths. Virginia Tech chemists are using a new technique to observe chip manufacture at the molecular level.

The research is being presented as part of the Emerging Frontiers in Polyolefins symposium at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C. Aug. 20-24.

Faculty member Timothy Long explains that the researchers are using in-situ infrared spectroscopy during the manufacture of the materials, rather than doing the spectroscopy afterwards.

"If you are making a computer chip that has components that approach 0.1 microns, you have to have a well-defined molecule. We monitor the molecules as we make the material so we can probe the molecular structure," he says.
Long will present the paper, "Synthesis and characterization of maleic anhydride-cyclic olefin alternating copolymers (Poly 444)," at 8:35 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, in the JW Marriott Hotel Grand Salon II. Co-authors are chemistry graduate students Anthony J. Pasquale and Robert Karro, Robert D. Allen of the IBM Almaden Research Center, which is sponsoring the research.

Learn more about Virginia Tech chemistry research at Specific information is available under the faculty member's name.

PR Contact: Susan Trulove

Virginia Tech

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