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.

News Videos
1 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

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)

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!