One of the hottest topics in robotics is self-assembly, and any technique that requires no human intervention is of special interest.
The technology is also highly desirable for chips. Computing devices are shrinking, thanks to smaller chips, which are reaching their physical limits.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago have come up with a unique technique for self-assembly that could be used to cram more features onto small chip geometries.
The technology is one way to continue Moore's Law, which for more than 50 years has helped shrink and make computing devices cheaper.
The research revolves around the self-assembly of wires on chips. The wires would handle the biggest challenge in chip making. Instead of etching fine features onto silicon using existing methods, materials called block copolymers would expand and self-assemble into predefined designs and structures.