Leonardo da Vinci used oil-based paint to create his Mona Lisa. The folks at Georgia Tech used ThermoChemical NanoLithography to create their version, dubbed the "Mini Lisa," reports the Christian Science Monitor. The result? An almost indescribably small gray-scale copy. Think one third the width of a human hair, or .0001 inches wide. The idea here wasn't so much to create art as to demonstrate the potential of nanotechnology, says Popular Science.
"This technique should enable a wide range of previously inaccessible experiments and applications in fields as diverse as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, and bioengineering," says a physics professor at the school. The process involved a microscopic beam and the meticulous application of heat to create lighter or darker shades of gray. Gizmag has a detailed description with illustrations. (Is this better than beaming the Mona Lisa to the moon?)