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3-D Pandas Go Microscopic for Magazine Cover
April 27, 2014

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Swiss scientists have used a very small chisel to create the smallest magazine cover in the world, a version of the March 2014 cover of National Geographic Kids that is so small that 2,000 of the covers would fit into one grain of salt. The precise measurements are 11-by-14 micrometers.

The chisel is a relatively new invention and required a silicon tip 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil to be heated up to an incredibly high heat in order to do the "chiseling." The result was something like a 3D image, but on a microscopic scale.

The machines aren't at a price range low enough for widespread use, weighing in at about 500,000 euros (or nearly $700,000). The company SwissLitho, has a licensing agreement with IBM.

Among the expected uses of the new machine are nano-scale security tags in artwork, money, and passports, the scientists said.

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