The smallest periodic table ever in the World ever?

December 22, 2010

I have seen myriad videos of images being basically printed onto strands of human hair; university logos, names, shapes…but this one takes the biscuit.  The University of Nottingham gave Professor Martyn Poliakoff a birthday treat by ‘printing’ the periodic table onto one of his hairs.

The printing is done by radiating the hair with ions of gallium which flake away teeny weeny bits of the hair at a time.  The resulting periodic table is 86 microns long (you could fit a million of them onto a square the size of your palm) and whilst this little trick is itself ultimately useless it does demonstrate the awesome (in it’s richest and less colloquial sense) capabilities of nanotechnology.

See for yourself. I mean, aside from the lovely chap’s odd-yet-endearing nutty professor appearance and poor televisual suitability, there is some pretty cool technology on show.

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