nk497 writes: Canadian researchers have found a way to speed up self-assembling chips — by using microwaves instead of traditional ovens. Self assembly is seen as key to enabling nanotechnology, but until now the block co-polymer method, which directs nanomaterials to create moulds and then fills them in with a target material, was too slow to be useful. . “By using microwaves, we have dramatically decreased the cooking time for a specific molecular self-assembly process used to assemble block co-polymers, and have now made it a viable alternative to the conventional lithography process for use in patterning semi-conductors,” the researchers said. The technique could make the technology a viable alternative to conventional lithography for chip production. "We've got the process — the next step is to exploit it to make something useful."