Numerous metals and alloys would be ideal for specific nanoscale applications — from solar energy to microelectronics — but accurately molding metals into such miniscule shapes has proved challenging.

The labs of Jan Schroers, professor of mechanical engineering & materials science at Yale, and professor Ze Liu of Wuhan University in China developed a method they call thermomechanical nanomolding that allows them to mold crystalline metals into shapes as small as a few nanometers in diameter.

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