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World’s Smallest House is as Big as Half a Grain of Sand

The world’s smallest house, as big as half a grain of sand, has been crafted by researchers in France.

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Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

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The world’s smallest house is built on a foundation that's 300 micrometers by 300 micrometers – about half the size of an average grain of sand!

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 Besançon, France, and was made using a layer of silica set on the tip of an optical fibre. The house was built inside the scanning electron microscope's vacuum chamber – with a technique similar to the art of origami.

That fibre that was used is less than the width of a human hair, and in order create the house, researchers used a platform called uRobotex.

It is hoped that the team can use this technology in the future to insert such fibres into blood vessels.

The dwelling was recently revealed in a paper published in the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A.

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 emphasises the accuracy and flexibility of the system.
The American Institute of Physics

(With inputs from AP)

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