National Physical Laboratory create world’s smallest Christmas card

Christmas is about celebrating the special things in life and with some people wanting big, extravagant presents – the National Physical Laboratory have created quite the opposite. 

Sitting at 15×20 microns in size you could fit 200 million of the festive cards onto a regular postage stamp.

If you’re thinking of replicating it, you’ll need a powerful microscope to see it let alone leave a message to your loved ones!

To make the card into a regular 10cm size then you would have to magnify it by 5,000 – the same scale as enlarging a postage stamp to a football field.

Dr David Cox, Research Fellow at NPL, who created the card with colleague Dr Ken Mingard, said: “While the card is a fun way to mark the festive season, it also showcases the progress being made in materials research on this scale.

“We are using the tools that created the card to accurately measure the thickness of extremely small features in materials, helping to unlock new battery and semiconductor technologies.”

The card is made from platinum-coated silicon nitride with a focused ion beam designing the front and inside cover.


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