IBM Scientists Create The Tiniest Map Of The World

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News Posted: Mon, Apr 26 2010 7:52 PM
IBM scientists have created a realllllly small 3D map of the world. (Howsmall IS it?) Well, it's so small that 1,000 could fit on one grain ofsalt (if you take for granted that the diameter of a grain of salt isthree-tenths of a millimeter).

Of course, this begs the question:how would one measure the distance between New York and Los Angeles?

Seriously,though, the technology opens the doors for all sorts of miniaturizedobjects with tremendous detail. One thousand meters of altitude in thereal world corresponded to about eight nanometers on the teensy globe.It took 2 minutes and 23 seconds to carve out.

"Advances in nanotechnology are intimately linked to the existence of high-qualitymethods and tools for producing nanoscale patterns and objects onsurfaces," physicist Dr. Armin Knoll of IBM Research – Zurich said in arelease. "With its broad functionality and unique 3D patterningcapability, this nanotip-based patterning methodology is a powerful toolfor generating very small structures."

A tool with anextremely sharp tip and just 500 nanometers long is similar to thoseused in atomic microscopes. It can create complex structures such as arelief map of the world on a nano scale. The component mills awaymateria, much as a sculptor chips away everything from the hunk ofmarble that's not what his sculpture looks like.

A 3Dreplica of the Matterhorn also was created with this component, whichremoved 120 layers of material from a molecular glass substrate that"consists of snowflake-like molecules." The world map was created using adifferent polymer, called "polyphthalaldehyde," developed by IBM FellowHiroshi Ito in the 1980s. That is molded by using extreme heat to"unzip" pieces from it.

IBM said the techniquesused in the experiments have implications in "electronics, future chiptechnology, medicine, life sciences and optoelectronics."

IBMdid not, however, give the distance in nanometers between Los Angelesand New York City.

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realneil replied on Tue, Apr 27 2010 9:24 AM

Nanotechnology means Gnat's A*s*s in Geek. Big Smile

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gibbersome replied on Tue, Apr 27 2010 11:21 AM

I wonder how many maps would fit into the period at the end of this sentence

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Wow, That is some real James Bond type of stuff there!

Imagine when Someone like Inspector is looking back on that the way we do with the 3.5 disc drives!

I just hope this tech doesn't get perverted into being used for some nefarious purposes!

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