A new technique has been developed by IBM that makes it possible to achieve 100,000dpi (dots per inch) printing.

The process, revealed by scientists at IBM Research in Zurich, creates dots that are 100 times smaller than a red blood cell and measure 60nm. Direct assembly is used by the printers which means every dot is extremely accurate in comparison to traditional printing methods which use a more random technique of distributing ink.

The new technique places nanoparticles on to the paper surface with a greater level of control. The research is hoped to help develop devices such as nano-wires, optical chips and medical biosensors.

The printing process was developed by Tobias Kraus, Heinz Schmid, Walter Reiss, Nicholas D. Spencer, Laurent Malaquin and Heiko Wolf and is described in further detail in a paper (http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/v2/n9/full/nnano.2007.262.html) written by the IBM researchers.

The technique will not be able to be implemented commercially for several years.