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Discovery
New Record for World's Smallest Letters

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Image showing the red and blue letters retrieved from a data cube.

Molecular holograms are fashioned with scanning tunneling microscope manipulation. When illuminated by two-dimensional electron gas, a three-dimensional holographic projection is created.

Here, two pages of information, the red and blue letters, are retrieved from a data cube verifying that the quantum nature of electron states has features smaller than anything possible or that can be used to construct elements such as letters directly with atoms. The information density limit of discrete matter identified with atomic manipulation is surpassed by showing that electrons are capable of subatomic encoding.

Credit: Image credit: Hari Manoharan / Stanford University


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Stanford University professor Hari Manoharan explains creating the world's smallest letters.

Credit: Stanford News Service

 

Holographic projections are read by mapping 2D electron wavefunctions revealing an S and a U.

Credit: Stanford News Service

 

An electronic S formed by tiny bits of information packed more densely than its underlying atoms.

At high energies, the size of electron waves diminishes, allowing electronic features that are smaller than those created with atomic matter. The bits that this high-energy electronic S represents are packed more densely than the invisible underlying atoms.

Credit: Hari Manoharan / Stanford University.


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Photo of Chris Moon (left), Hari Manoharan and Laila Mattos (right), the subatomic writing team.

From left to right, physics Ph.D. student Chris Moon, team leader Hari Manoharan and physics Ph.D. student Laila Mattos worked on the subatomic writing project.

Credit: Image credit: L. A. Cicero / Stanford News Service


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