What Is Electron Beam Lithography?

Using the very latest methods, it is possible to print a book not on the head of a pin but on its point.

How is it possible? New electron microscopes can make even the tiniest of things, such as an atom, appear to be large when we look at them on a screen.

This “enlarging” can be reversed to make things very, very small. This is done by taking pictures of a full-size object and then “shrinking” it with an electron microscope.

This method is used to shrink the complicated electric circuits and transistors used in computers. Many scientists believe that such methods may someday allow them to build mini computers that will contain all the billions of connections of the human brain.

Today, using special photographic film, scientists are able to reduce a single letter of the alphabet to the size of 100 atoms. Using that system, every book in a large library could be printed on a single sheet of typing paper.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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