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  • New technique makes it easier to etch semiconductors

    Metal-assisted chemical etching uses two steps. First, a thin layer of gold is patterned on top of a semiconductor wafer with soft lithography (left). The gold catalyzes a chemical reaction that etches the semiconductor from the top down, creating three-dimensional structures for optoelectronic applications (right).

    Metal-assisted chemical etching uses two steps. First, a thin layer of gold is patterned on top of a semiconductor wafer with soft lithography (left). The gold catalyzes a chemical reaction that etches the semiconductor from the top down, creating three-dimensional structures for optoelectronic applications (right).

    Graphic by Xiuling Li

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      Metal-assisted chemical etching uses two steps. First, a thin layer of gold is patterned on top of a semiconductor wafer with soft lithography (left). The gold catalyzes a chemical reaction that etches the semiconductor from the top down, creating three-dimensional structures for optoelectronic applications (right).

      Graphic by Xiuling Li

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      A scanning electron microscope image of "nanopillars" etched in gallium arsenide.

      Image by Xiuling Li

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