# 5/5 nm

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#### HSS

##### Senior Member
Would it be okay to read "Space/Line = 5/5 nm" as "the space-line ratio was (or, is) five by five nano meters"?

Hiro

• #### Nunty

##### Senior Member
Hi, HSS.

It looks like it might be okay, but we would need more context to be able to say for sure.

#### Egmont

##### Senior Member
The use of a slash ("/") to mean "by" is unusual. If you mean a square with length 5nm on each side, that would usually be written 5x5nm. Using a slash for this will confuse readers.

Other than that, I agree with Nunty: we need more context. If this is the standard style in a specific professional field, you should use it, but then you should tell us what field this is about.

#### HSS

##### Senior Member
Hi, this is about circuit patterning. You see conductive lines running around on a tiny board, and this particular designation tells us a ratio of the widths of lines to those of the distances. Apart from that, by the way, how would you read it? Is it always 'slash'?

#### Nunty

##### Senior Member
Thank you for the context. A slash is one way of indicating ratios. I was taught to read it as "to": a 5/5 ratio would be a five to five ratio.

#### HSS

##### Senior Member
Could it be 'five nano meters to five nano meters' or even 'five to five nano meters'?

#### PaulQ

##### Senior Member
Ratios are absolute numbers - they have no units.

The usual separator for a ratio is a colon -> 5:5

"Space:Line = 5:5" however, this is an imperfect ratio as the ratio is actually, 1:1

What you are describing is not a ratio; it is comparative widths, so
"There is 5nm between the lines, which themselves are 5nm wide."

#### HSS

##### Senior Member
Ratios are absolute numbers - they have no units.

The usual separator for a ratio is a colon -> 5:5

"Space:Line = 5:5" however, this is an imperfect ratio as the ratio is actually, 1:1

What you are describing is not a ratio; it is comparative widths, so
"There is 5nm between the lines, which themselves are 5nm wide."
Yes, you are right, Paul. It's not a ratio. I'll take it back. Is there any way to literally read "Space/Line = 5/5 nm"?

#### JulianStuart

##### Senior Member
Have you seen this written somewhere? Or did you write this? (You know, source/context etc). The search I did has such things acompanied by "pattern" or "spacing" etc. Are you planning to read it aloud to communicate to others? Will it be accompanied by other (con)text?

(nanometre/nanometer is one word not two!)

#### Egmont

##### Senior Member
The notation you suggest is related to typesetting notation, but it's different. In typesetting, the notation "12/16" means to use 12-point type on lines spaced 16 points apart. However, there's a difference: the 16 points is the total line spacing, baseline to baseline, including the height of the text - so, if all the letters were 12 points tall, there would be 4 points space between the bottom of one and the top of the one below it. You seem to mean only the space between lines, not including the width of the lines themselves. In typesetting notation, that would be 5/10.

I urge you not to borrow this notation. It's from another field, you're using it differently, and circuit layout engineers will not (in my experience) have any idea what it means. I'd write "5nm lines with 5nm spacing between them." If you will have to say this many times, you can use a more compact notation - but, if you do that, define it first.

#### HSS

##### Senior Member
Have you seen this written somewhere? Or did you write this? (You know, source/context etc). The search I did has such things acompanied by "pattern" or "spacing" etc. Are you planning to read it aloud to communicate to others? Will it be accompanied by other (con)text?

(nanometre/nanometer is one word not two!)
I saw this in an academic conference for organic device engineering, but then it was written by a non-native speaker of English. (And the speaker was talking about how precisely the new processing technique can fabricate devices)

#### HSS

##### Senior Member
The notation you suggest is related to typesetting notation, but it's different. In typesetting, the notation "12/16" means to use 12-point type on lines spaced 16 points apart. However, there's a difference: the 16 points is the total line spacing, baseline to baseline, including the height of the text - so, if all the letters were 12 points tall, there would be 4 points space between the bottom of one and the top of the one below it. You seem to mean only the space between lines, not including the width of the lines themselves. In typesetting notation, that would be 5/10.

I urge you not to borrow this notation. It's from another field, you're using it differently, and circuit layout engineers will not (in my experience) have any idea what it means. I'd write "5nm lines with 5nm spacing between them." If you will have to say this many times, you can use a more compact notation - but, if you do that, define it first.
Thanks for the new knowledge, Egmont. Much appreciated!

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