Berkeley Lab Research Review
By Paul Preuss

Great fleas have little fleas
upon their back to bite 'em.
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
and so ad infinitum.

- Augustus De Morgan


"If you're going to manipulate small things, you need small tools," says Keith Jackson. To build those, you have to start with tools that are a lot bigger.

Jackson, a physicist in the Materials Sciences Division's Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO), heads the LIGA facility at the Advanced Light Source. LIGA (a German acronym for lithography, electroplating, and molding) burns patterns deep into a Plexiglas resist with hard x-rays; the resists are electroplated, then chemically removed, leaving master molds or individual devices-real 3-D machines and parts, not flat pieces like typical integrated circuits.

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