Researchers Print Smallest Color Picture Ever

Posted: Dec 17 2015, 5:50am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Researchers Print Smallest Color Picture Ever
Credit: Scrona/ETH Zurich

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The color printed picture measures only 0.0092 mm2 which is as small as the cross-sectional area of a human hair

Researcher have printed the tiniest ever color inkjet-printed image that is as small as a cross-sectional area of a human hair.

Scrona Ltd. and ETH Zurich company researchers used 3D NanoDrip printing technology to create the image. It measures only 0.0092 mm2, which is as tiny as a small cut off piece of a human hair or single pixel of retina display. Moreover, it made its way to Guinness World Records as tiniest printed picture as well.

Since image is too small, it is not possible to see with naked eye and special microscope is required to view it. The image depicts a bunch of clown fishes sea around sea anemones. Thanks to the photorealistic 24 bit color depth, such a small scene has been able to achieve the level of accuracy and intensity which one can only associate with big, broad picture.

The other aspect which makes its color so lively and close to reality is so-called quantum dots (QDs), nanoparticles that emit light of a specific color. It works similar to an inkjet printer which places different color individually in their precise pattern and then combine them together. QDs are known for their intense color appearance and can make unlimited number of shades and variations.

To create this specific image, layers of red, green and blue quantum dots were printed at a resolution of 25'000 DPI, which is an inter-pixel distance of 500 nanometers. Quantum dot layers were placed at each pixel location with great precision to achieve the desired outcome. This incredible accuracy and clarity was not possible without Scrona’s groundbreaking new 3D NanoDrip printing technology and this technology will open new avenue for creating more advanced gadgets and devices.

A company Kickstarter is already developing a sleek gadget called µPeek to view the miniature images and to alter them artistically just like the photography is done.

“Using a novel 3-D nano printing technology, we will create what even upscale computer chip fabrication processes wouldn’t realize.” Kickstarter states on website. “Your image will be condensed to the size of a single grain of salt, made of pure gold or fluorescent nanoparticles.”

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