STATES CHRONICLE – While other scientists are busy trying to 3D print different objects, the smallest color picture was printed with Nano.
And when we say ‘the smallest’ we are not exaggerating as the Guinness World Records has made it official – this is the only inkjet-printed color image of such small size. To understand better what we mean by ‘small’, I will tell you that it has only 0.0092 mm which is pretty much the same to a pixel on a retina display.
Being so small, it’s obviously not visible to the naked eye and therefore you need to see it through a miniature microscope. The microscope, as well as the 3D NanoDrip technology which helped printing the smallest color image in the world, are being commercialized by a company called Scrona.
However, the company is not the creator of these devices. The 3D NanoDrip and the µPeek were created by ETH Zurich. The ETH is the Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland, which is a top university as good as MIT, Cambridge or Stanford in the science and technology departments.
You might be wondering what’s in the picture or maybe you’re imagining that a picture at that size probably doesn’t show much. The smallest picture in the world actually shows a pretty detailed image of some clownfish. I’m saying detailed because it has a 24 bit color depth which for that size is quite remarkable.
Scientists managed to create it by depositing QDs (quantum dots) that were individually colored. The process is similar to the way an inkjet printer works combining different color inks in precise patterns. The QD nanoparticles can be programmed to have a specific color and they can also be combined to create an unlimited number of shades. The colors created from combining quantum dots are very intense and are used in the manufacturing of flat panel displays that have the highest possible resolution.
The precision with which QDs are placed is sub-nanometer, otherwise the image might end up not being correctly recreated, as pixels would ‘blend’. The ability to do this and handle nanoparticles with such precision can have an impact on the way scientists and engineers will manufacture things at micro-scales in the future.
Image source: www.bing.com