PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Organic molecular beam deposition (OMBD) research. Italian scientist Roberto Zamboni (left) using apparatus to make thin films of organic materials. These films have a range of uses, from light- emitting properties that could be used in display screens, to semiconductor properties that could be used in electronics. Also known as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), the desired materials are heated and slowly evaporated in a vacuum, and deposited molecule by molecule on to a substrate, building up a thin film with the right properties and composition. Organic materials can provide a wider range of properties than inorganic materials. Complex equipment is used to maintain the vacuum, heat the materials, and to monitor the process.
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