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'Painting' Of Mona Lisa Created On Surface One Third The Width Of A Human Hair

6 August, 2013


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MessageToEagle.com - Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have "painted" the Mona Lisa on a substrate surface approximately 30 microns in width - or one-third the width of a human hair.

The team's creation, the "Mini Lisa," demonstrates a technique that could potentially be used to achieve nano-manufacturing of devices because the team was able to vary the surface concentration of molecules on such short-length scales.

The image was created with an atomic force microscope and a process called ThermoChemical NanoLithography (TCNL).


Mini Lisa image

Georgia Tech researchers have created the "Mini Lisa" on a substrate surface approximately 30 microns in width. The image demonstrates a technique that could potentially be used to achieve nano-manufacturing of devices because the team was able to vary the surface concentration of molecules on such short length scales.


Going pixel by pixel, the Georgia Tech team positioned a heated cantilever at the substrate surface to create a series of confined nanoscale chemical reactions.

By varying only the heat at each location, Ph.D. Candidate Keith Carroll controlled the number of new molecules that were created.

More heat produced the lighter shades of gray, as seen on the Mini Lisa's forehead and hands.

Less heat produced the darker shades in her dress and hair seen when the molecular canvas is visualized using fluorescent dye. Each pixel is spaced by 125 nanometers.

"By tuning the temperature, our team manipulated chemical reactions to yield variations in the molecular concentrations on the nanoscale," said Jennifer Curtis, an associate professor in the School of Physics and the study's lead author.

"The spatial confinement of these reactions provides the precision required to generate complex chemical images like the Mini Lisa."


Using of ThermoChemical NanoLithography (TCNL)


“We envision TCNL will be capable of patterning gradients of other physical or chemical properties, such as conductivity of graphene,” Curtis said.

“This technique should enable a wide range of previously inaccessible experiments and applications in fields as diverse as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics and bioengineering.” The paper is published online by the journal Langmuir.


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