A group of researchers at the University of Osaka managed to develop a super-small “pen” that is able to write or draw by arranging individuals atoms on metallic surfaces.
As an example, the word “Si” was inscribed on a semiconductor surface, manipulating silicon atoms (see picture). The process took 90 minutes to complete. The letters are sized at just 2×2 nanometers, about 40,000 thinner than the human hair.
Shinnosuke Abe, an associate professor at Osaka University involved in the experiment, was quoted as saying it’s impossible to create smaller letters. He went on claiming that this technology could theoretically lead to super-miniaturization of any given object in the future.