Computer chips are one of the marvels of modern engineering, that continue to shrink even smaller, yet have more processing power than they did before. Taking our technology to the nanoscale, can, however, pose some problems as we can no longer see what is going on with them. These chips have a multitude of transistors laid out like trees in forests and have components that measure only 14 nanometers across, which is 5000 times smaller than a red blood cell. To get a better view of these chips, the researchers at Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland used an imaging technique similar to Computed Tomography (CT) scans; where they bombarded a chip with X-rays and went on to assemble a 3-D reconstruction of its exquisite architecture by using a computer. Basically, this process is done by taking a series of 2-D images based on the X-rays bouncing off of the structures, which is then combined into a realistic model.
This technique will majorly be used to resolve details and check for flaws (especially for the components of salient medical and aviation equipment) in intricate computer chips, which would enable scientists to actually see the interior design of these minute creations.
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