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The World's Smallest Book Requires a Scanning Electron Microscope to be Seen


On September 25, 2012 reported that Vancouver-based artist Robert Chaplin, using a focused ion beam (FIB) and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) from the nano-processing facility at Simon Fraser University, had broken the Guinness record for the world's smallest book by burning the nano-typographic text from his illustrated story Teeny Ted from Turnip Town onto a microchip thinner than a strand of hair. Chaplin traced the story and type onto a single-crystalline silicon surface where the line weight resolution equated to 42 nanometers (42 millionths of a millimeter). Measuring 70 micrometers x 100 micrometers, the microchip version of the book cannot be seen with the naked eye or with a regular microscope, requring a scanning electron microscope to be viewed.

♦ To make a fine distinction between miniatures, Robert Chaplin's creation should technically be considered the smallest reproduction of a printed book as it is not technically a codex printed on paper. In 2013 the smallest printed codex was Shiki no Kusabana (Flowers of Seasons) printed by Toppan Printing of Tokyo.

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