Scientists Write Periodic Table on Strand of Hair

Playful birthday present illustrates nanotech capabilities
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2010 6:13 PM CST

(Newser) – Scientists have written the entire periodic table of elements on a strand of human hair, the Daily Mail reports. In a playful example of "nano-writing," Nottingham University scientists etched the symbols of all 118 elements onto a hair belonging to colleague Martyn Poliakoff as a birthday present. The technique made use of an ion beam writer and scanning electron microscope. It produced a table so small that 1 million of them could fit on a standard Post-It note.

"Although the application was lighthearted I felt that it enabled us to show people how such nano-writing is done," Poliakoff said.

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