By Jack Williams
This miniature abode takes the tiny home movement to new levels, as it has been dubbed the WORLD’S SMALLEST HOUSE.
On a foundation that’s 300 micrometers by 300 micrometers – about half the size of the average grain of sand – the home, which is also only 20 micrometers long, is too small even for a mite to enter.
It comes with all the expected features, though: four walls, seven windows and a chimney.
It was crafted by nano-robotics researchers at Femto-ST Institute, in Besancon, France, and was made using a layer of silica set on the tip of an optical fiber.
That fiber is less than the width of a human hair, and in order create the home, researchers used a platform called uRobotex.
The home was then built inside of the scanning electron microscope’s vacuum chamber – a technique similar to origami.
It is hoped that team can use this technology in the future to insert such fibers into the likes of blood vessels.
The dwelling was recently revealed in a paper published in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A.
The American Institute of Physics, which publishes the journal, explains in a statement: “The focused ion beam is used like scissors to cut or score the silica membrane ‘paper’ of the house.
“Once the walls fold into position, a lower power setting is selected on the ion gun, and the gas injection system sticks the edges of the structure into place.
“The low-power ion beam and gas injection then gently sputters a tiled pattern on the roof, a detail that emphasizes the accuracy and flexibility of the system.”