Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Cicada wings become nano-stamps

`The wings of noisy cicada insects have been harnessed as nanoscale printing blocks. Chinese scientists say the synthetic wings could someday be used to make anti-reflective lens coatings and improved laser microscopes.

Cicada’s wings are covered with thousands of pillar-like protrusions. Each is 400 nanometres tall and tapers from 150 nm wide at the base to 80 nm at the tip. [..]

The technique, called “nanoimprint lithography”, involved pressing a wing into a layer of heated plastic to create an imprint, making a mould of the nanoscopic pattern found on each wing.’

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