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Now I am out of the business, its fun to look back and think about it on a broader perspective. Semiconductors have transformed our lives since the late 70's - for good and bad.

Personal (mis)information, Internet , Working from home , Factory automation, Globalization, Clever cars - hybrids rely on electronics.


These are enabled  by Integrated circuits, flat panel displays, light emitting diodes, cameras  and solar cells. These are all based on semiconductors.

What is it that outsiders do not understand about the semiconductor industry....  

                 Make enough of anything simultaneously and it will be cheap, divide into units that will yield. 

                 Its a manufacturing tour-de-force.

                 An industry that represents 10% of US manufacturing  is basically people free due to essential                       automation - and that's a trend for the future. 

These technologies push the  limits; 

Integrated Circuits have  minimum line width of 100 atoms. This example

was made by Molecular Imprints.

Flat Panel Displays are made on glass 3m (12 feet)  on a side = 2 people high and wide. 

Light Emitting Diode's are a light bulb in a grain of sand with remarkably thin layers (10 atoms thick).  

Solar cells are very large area  light collecting diodes, that cost less than $10 for each cell. 

Cameras are light collecting diodes linked to storage memory cell that can create an image with 100 photons.

The scales are breathtaking.........



interesting projects


Molecular Imprints, the company that brought me to Austin, shows imprint patterns  75 atom features covering a 450 mm wafer. 

Starting to get traction !




Design Strategy for Low e windows with effective insulation






Something different, a longer look at solar energy,  
New solar cells for an undifferentiated, overcapacity, rocket ship


First to sub 7 nm half pitch phase separation in 1978 !


Small angle X ray scattering from a phase separated sample, period of the phases = 14 nm,

M.P.C. Watts, E.F.T. White “Phase Separation And Mechanical
Properties Of An Amorphous Poly(Ether-B-Ester),” Multiphase
Polymers, A.C.S. V 176, p153, 1978


Semiconductor Blogs mostly at


Imprint for semiconductors comes out of the closet at   Advanced Lithography
Ready for nanoimprint ?

3D patterning news at Photonics West
3D construction ahead


More updates
ReRAM Gains Even More Steam

New memory solutions
ReRAM Gains Steam

New transistors demand new materials
Manufacturing Of Next-Generation Channel Materials

Molecular Imprints is acquired
Molecular Imprints becomes a virtual reality company

Some thoughts on how Moore's law really can be extended
3 ways to reload Moore's law

New approaches to imaging both large and small  

5 reasons EUV will or will not be used
an interview with Matt Colburn of IBM regarding
data that speaks to the real status of EUV

The new year starts as usual with Photonics West

LIFT your 3D printing application

GaN on Si meets Si

Follow on thoughts on consortia with my annual
gratuitous use of a sport picture !
Are consortia fair competition ? – the NFL model


Update to the story on next generation hard drives
Hard drive update - BPM achieves 1.3 T bit per squ. inch

Two articles on the role of big data in fab management
Predictive fab management
Big data in the fab

Will DSA and multi-patterning take over as CD's shrink ?
Directed self assembly - hype or revolution

The race between HAMR and patterned media
The uncertain future of hard drives

July - upgraded to Contributing writer at

Climate change and new business opportunity
The largest planet wide business opportunity….ever

What happens when shrinks no longer work ?
Beyond Moore's Law

Some thoughts on the most recent Cosmos episode on the age of the earth  .....
Defects And Contamination Control

Summaries from Photonics West 2014


Bio systems

I presented a paper on the technology of insulating
windows at Photonics West in Feb. SPIE Newsroom
asked for a short summary.
Identifying the best insulating windows

The final paper will be published  as
M. Watts
Design strategy for low emissivity windows with effective insulation,
Proc. SPIE 8981, p. 8981-53, 2014. (In press.)

The big news for imprint watchers, MII gets acquired
A Milestone In Imprint Lithography

A consortium celebrates a significant anniversary
IMEC’s 30th Anniversary: A Consortium With Impact

Happy New Year !
First thoughts ... Printed Electronics particularly after CES 2013
Printed electronics gets serious about manufacturing


3D printing keeps getting new news
More 3D Printing Applications

Bringing back fond memories of managing software programs
Lessons from

Returning to more traditional patterning
3D Printing: Is This A Real Manufacturing Revolution?

Time to meet a patterning master
an octopus that cloaks with both color and texture

It's Printed Electronics season
Printed sensors enable new ways to interact with portable devices.

Back to displays
OLED displacing LCD but not affecting industry leaders.

Final thoughts from Adv. Litho.  
Directed Self Assembly, double patterning and crying in beer

Yet more from Adv. Litho
“More photons are good”, KLA’s new scatterometry tool provides another fine example.

Drill down at Adv. Litho...
Cymer’s EUV team has an exciting few months

It's time for SPIE Advanced Lithography
Extreme sources, block copolymers, and resist polishing
at SPIE Advanced Lithography.

Another blog from Photonics West
Optical interconnect for flexible electronics

New blog  
Pyramids are not just for Pharoes
LED and optics developments from Photonics West

New paper - a summary of developments in large area Wire Grid
Polarizers made by Agoura Technology. I will present two papers,
based on this work at SPIE Photonics West and SPIE Advanced Lithography  
A process for, and optical performance of, a low cost
Wire Grid Polarizer


Printed electronics - IDTech update

Patterned Media - getting closer

2 blogs on SPIE's Photonics West  conference  

An customizable imaging spectrometer – otherwise known as a “hyperspatial imager”

High performance LED’s on Si wafers – the race is on

5 blogs on SPIE's Advanced Lithography conference

You Nits - a different way to think about nanolithography

Incumbency rules ! – in lithography as elsewhere.

Advanced Semiconductor Device Lithography - pushing the
optical limit for lithography   

Advanced Semiconductor Device Lithography - what is going to happen next   

Directed Self Assembly – record breaking small features


Different wavelengths from one material – a new freedom in LED design  IEEE Photonics  

Transdermal patches – a maturing bio imprint application ?

IEEE Photonics Conference 2011 preview

How to Print an Electron

Printed electronics for RFID’s make progress

Nanomenhirs, a new opportunity for Obelix

Cell phone optics - imprint manufacturing

Patterned LED Substrates   

Photonic Cloaking Devices

HAMRing imprint or not

Imprint as the next NGL- the saga continues

Optics out of metals


Impattern perspectives on the latest conference news have
been "Top 5 news stories" at Semiconductor International.

Photonic Crystals for LED's


Miracle free applications for printed electronics

Next generation printed electronics  

Imprint developments    


Strategies for the fabrication of low cost molds

Advances in Roll to Roll Processing

Microfluidic Devices; Materials and Processes

Patterned Light Emitting Diodes

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