from the try-to-catch-this-wave dept.
John Pierce writes " An article (.pdf, see 3rd page) in The Industrial Physicist (October 2000) describes 3-Dimensional Holographic constructions of atoms 'beamed' directly onto a surface. Controllable interference patterns between beams of atoms are produced by modulating the charge differences within a diffraction grating. Atoms are deposited in predetermined locations over the entire field in parallel. This technique will eventually allow fast atomic level 3-D assembly, without physically handling each atom.
It would seem this is a major advance over recent molecular "ink jet" printing, and shows how quickly atomic and molecular handling techniques are progressing."