April 25, 2014 | Written by: IBM Research Editorial Staff
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National Geographic Kids today claimed its ninth GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for the Smallest Magazine Cover, using technology from IBM, at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. To create the record-setting cover, IBM scientists invented a tiny “chisel” with a heatable silicon tip 100,000 times smaller than a sharpened pencil point. Using this nano-sized tip, which creates patterns and structures on a microscopic scale, it took scientists just 10 minutes to etch the magazine cover onto a polymer, the same substance of which plastics are made. The resulting magazine cover measures 11 × 14 micrometers, which is so small that 2,000 cover images could fit on a grain of salt.