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As part of its “Innovation Nation” series, the Science Channel recently featured new laser printing research conducted by Craig Arnold, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton. The novel methods showcased on the Science Channel may open the door to new printing capabilities for; small electronics such as microbatteries or the OLEDs used on computer screens, televisions, and cellphones. Arnold likens the underlying technique to inkjet printing on a tiny scale.  A laser blasts microscopic materials, transferring tiny patterns to any substrate, packing more into small areas.

To protect the materials from being damaged when being blasted by the laser, they are coated with a polymer that acts “sort of like a bullet-proof vest,” according to Innovation Nation host Miles O’Brien, who calls Arnold’s research “a big idea on a tiny scale.”