A professor in the bioengineering department at the University of Washington has suggested that food dye could be the secret to pushing down the cost of microchip production.
Dr Albert Folch found that minute amounts of brilliantly coloured dyes, flowing in tiny transparent channels, can be used to create a new kind of photo-mask for photolithography, according to an article on PhysicsWeb.
The new photomasks act as stencils that either block or let through the ultraviolet light that projects an image of the chip.
Current fabrication methods require several exposure steps and are time-consuming and costly.
Dr Folch believes that the method could provide an inexpensive alternative to the traditional photolithographic techniques currently used to fabricate computer chips.
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