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ACS NEWS
ACS Seeks A Society Secretary

American Chemical Society Secretary Halley A. Merrell has announced his plans to retire at the end of this year. The society has opened a search to replace him. The position is advertised in this week's C&EN Classified section on page 80. (Applications must be received by Sept. 20). Merrell has been with ACS for 38 years; he became ACS secretary in 1998.

The society secretary is the secretary of the board of directors and the council and is the main liaison with the board and various governance units.

 
 
 
 
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NEWS OF THE WEEK
MICROFABRICATION
August 20, 2001
Volume 79, Number 34
CENEAR 79 34 p. 14
ISSN 0009-2347
[Previous Story] [Next Story]

Working Microdevices Edge Closer To Reality

SOPHIE WILKINSON

"Fantastic Voyage"--the film in which a miniaturized Raquel Welch and her colleagues venture through a patient's bloodstream in a tiny submarine--no longer seems so fantastical. Recent news reports have described a camera-containing pill that photographs the digestive tract. And Japanese researchers have now made microdevices that could proceed through the body "through even the smallest blood vessels, for example, to deliver clinical treatments" [Nature, 412, 697 (2001)].

Applied physics professor Satoshi Kawata and coworkers at Osaka University have crafted what they say are the smallest model animals and among the smallest functional micromechanical systems ever made. Their "micro-bulls" are 10 µm long and 7 µm high, about the size of a red blood cell. Their similarly sized "micro-oscillator system" consists of a bead fastened to a spring attached to a cubic anchor. The scientists employ laser-trapping force to catch hold of the bead and pull on it. When released, the bead moves as the spring contracts and relaxes.

The Japanese team uses "two-photon photopolymerization" to create the 3-D structures. An infrared laser is beamed into a liquid urethane-acrylate resin containing photoinitiators, and the resin solidifies wherever two photons are simultaneously absorbed. Movement of the laser's focal point location is managed by computer. After the pattern is completed, unreacted resin is washed away. The researchers bettered the technique's previous minimum feature size of 600 nm by controlling laser-pulse energy and exposure time to give a resolution of 120 nm.

DOWNSIZED The fine features of the bull and the functionality of the ball-on-a-spring device demonstrate the laser technique's capabilities.
©NATURE
©NATURE


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