On the pulse


By Joanna Marchant MICROMACHINES could be made more cheaply and simply using a modified form of electrolysis, say scientists in Germany. They have found that ultra-short pulses of electric current let them sculpt metal structures only a few micrometres across. Electrolysis involves passing a current through a solution, removing ions from one electrode and depositing dissolved ions at the other. This can be used to do useful jobs such as refining chemicals or electroplating, in which layers of metal are deposited onto an object. By using pulses of current lasting just nanoseconds,
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