Researcher finds a sweet new way to print microchip patterns on curvy surfaces

The REFLEX process transferred 1-micron disk arrays onto the sharp point of a pin. Credit: G. Zabow/NIST

NIST scientist Gary Zabow had never intended to use candy in his lab. It was only as a last resort that he had even tried burying microscopic magnetic dots in hardened chunks of sugar—hard candy, basically—and sending these sweet packages to colleagues in a biomedical lab. The sugar dissolves easily in water, freeing the magnetic dots for their studies without leaving any harmful plastics or chemicals behind.

By chance, Zabow had left one of these sugar pieces, embedded with arrays …

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