National Physical Laboratory

The World's Smallest Snowman

Further Information

Duration: 1:23

Uploaded: 4 December 2009

Science: Engineering Measurement


See how a nanomanipulation system was used to assemble a ‘snowman’, 10 µm across, 1/5th the width of a human hair.

The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.

Last Updated: 13 Oct 2014
Created: 18 Jun 2012

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