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2D Nano Template Completed

Last Updated: October 19, 2010

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

Production of Two Dimensional NanoTemplate in Microgravity (2D-NanoTemplate), which has been performed on board Kibo, was successfully completed.

The 2D-NanoTemplate experiment tries to make a nano-scale two-dimensional pattern (mask pattern) on a plate (substrate) in space by arranging a peptide-PEG* array on the substrate. After the experiment in space, the substrate will be returned to the ground to chemically fixate the mask pattern for making a 2D nano template. The mask pattern on the nano template can be imprinted to a substrate made of electronics material to produce semi-conductor elements.
* Peptides consist of amino arrays of amino acids. PEG is a polymer compound called polyethylene glycol

There is an ongoing trend toward miniaturization and functionalization in the semiconductor industry. The technique demonstrated in space can be applied to the production of high performance semiconductor elements.

Samples for the experiment were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-131 mission), on April 5, 2010. Aboard the ISS, the sample was stored in the ISS refrigerator/freezer, MELFI. The sample was grown in the MELFI for about three months and the growth was terminated at 0:13 a.m. on October 16, 2010. The substrate will be returned to the ground aboard the space shuttle Discovery (STS-133 mission). After the recovery, detailed analysis on the space-produced mask-pattern will be performed.

It is expected that the nano template produced in space will tend to have higher quality. The semiconductor material made of the space-produced nano template should have higher quality and performance. Therefore, the experiment will lead to development of high performance computers, application to the blue LED lights, and realization of cost reduction in manufacturing of semiconductor products.

Special Message from Principal Investigator (PI)

We could control and maintain stable temperature required for mask pattern formation during the critical period. Critical phase will come again during sample recovery, so we have to maintain our concentration. We look forward to the sample recovery in November 2010. We would like to extend our gratitude to the ISS crew members and ground team who supported the experiment.

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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