Dreaming small, scientist creates world’s tiniest flag

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Dreaming small, scientist creates world’s tiniest flag

A Korean-American scientist used nanotechnology to create the world’s smallest flag. The microscopic flag is so small that dozens could be planted on a single human hair.
A group of researchers led by electronics professor Kim Mun-je, 45, at the University of Texas at Dallas, used an electron microscope and a nano manipulator to create a minuscule Stars and Stripes Flag and a Texas State Flag.
The flags are made of silicon and platinum, and cannot be seen by humans without a microscope. The technology used to make the flags can be applied to producing next-generation semiconductors, displays and military equipment.
“We are going to announce the technology used to create the flag at an electron microscope conference in Sapporo in September,” Mr. Kim said. “The technology can be applied to many different items such as sensors and transistors.”
“The result of the research means it is possible to create very small mechanical parts that can be only seen with an electron microscope,” said Seo Sang-hi, a nanomaterial development head at the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The University of Texas is doing research on nanotechnologies with the financial support of the state of Texas and Texas Instruments. Mr. Kim is operating a nano research center.
Mr. Kim started researching a nano flag in 2005. Born in Seoul, he went to the United States in 1981 and graduated from Arizona State University in 1984.
He received his Ph.D. in material science at the same school. He published 130 research theses on nano technologies.
“Research on nano technology continues around the world, but this is the first time a three-dimensional object has been created using nanotechnology,” he said. “We are going to start joint research on next-generation electronic fiber and alternative materials for next generation semiconductors with other universities.”

by Sung Baik-you
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