Functionality through complex structures at the nanoscale

Henry I. Smith, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and Director of the NanoStructures Lab, starts his speech by explaining the nanoscale and comparing the functions of living and artificial systems. He explains the fact that, in all systems, high functionality requires a high level of structural complexity. He talks about the information, that lies in the structure complexity and shows a few examples. He explains the planar fabrication process (lithography) that is used, for example, in chips. He describes different forms of lithography and the nanoinput process, used to create CDs and DVDs. Smith then discusses the problems of lithography and their possible solutions, some of which have yet to be invented. He concludes his speech by insisting upon the importance of covering the gap between the molecular domain and dropping the prices of lithography with new technologies.