For many electronic applications, such as in computer chips, it is desirable to make components as small as possible to keep the temperature of the components low and to increase the speed of the device. Thin metallic coatings (films) can be used instead of wires to make electrical connections. Gold is especially useful because it does not oxidize readily. Its atomic mass is 197 u. A gold film can be no thinner than the size of a gold atom. Calculate the minimum coating thickness, assuming that a gold atom occupies a cubical volume in the film that is equal to the volume it occupies in a large piece of metal. This geometric model yields a result of the correct order of magnitude.

  • CreatedSeptember 09, 2009
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