The smallest house in the world, “built” by hand, literally

What is being discussed now can be called the smallest house in the world today, because its dimensions are many times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

This tiny building was built by Travis Casagrande, a fellow at the Canadian Center for Electron Microscopy at McMaster University. An interesting fact is that all this was done literally by hand, with the help of visual control of a beam of charged gallium ions, which acted as the thinnest cutter, removing layers one after another from the surface of a silicon crystal.

Snowman hed

As a result of the work of Travis, a tiny structure was obtained, measuring 6 by 10 microns. In contrast, the microscopic house, created last year by the staff of the French Institute FEMTO-CB, is twice as large. Moreover, the new microscopic house has a much higher level of detail, on its “walls” you can see inscriptions and even individual “bricks”.

And the basis for the microscopic house is the head of a snowman of a relatively larger size, which was made of material used in studies related to lithium-ion batteries.

Snowman and human hair

“I believe that such projects spur people’s interest in science”, says Travis Casagrand, “Now this interest is of great importance, because modern science, which is developing by leaps and bounds, constantly requires an influx of young and initiative scientists who are able to generate a large number of unique novelty materials ideas”.