Big thinking and printing on the nanoscale

Friday, April 25th, 2014
McGill is now home to the first microscopic 3D printer sold anywhere in the world and the potential research applications of the device range from custom-printed transistors to… research-related magazine covers

McGill is now home to the first microscopic 3D printer sold anywhere in the world and the potential research applications of the device range from custom-printed transistors to… research-related magazine covers

Just how small is “nano?” To get a feel for it, consider that a strand of human hair is approximately 80,000 – 100,000 nanometers wide (a nanometer is 1/1,000,000,000 of a metre). How small is Headway’s magazine cover after a turn with the newly-arrived, one-of-a-kind microscopic 3D printer recently delivered to McGill? About a tenth of a nanometer! The IBM-patented technology is famous for having printed the smallest magazine cover in the world , which measures 0.011 by 0.014 millimetres and is visible only with the help of an electron microscope.

Prof. Peter Grutter, Dept. of Physics, and Matthieu Nannini, Manager of the McGill Nanotools – Microfab facility, recently demonstrated to Canadian Press journalist Benjamin Shingler this nano-patenting tool’s amazing powers and the promise it holds for research, commercial applications and, obviously, promotional opportunities like the tiny magazine cover.

“It has a wide range of potential applications, including energy-efficient transistors in cellphones, nano-sized security tags, and a better understanding of the genetic root of diseases like Alzheimer’s” –  Read the full article and watch the video to see Headway in the miniature

Read more about the printer in The Guardian

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