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Nano Guitar
A scanning electron microscope photo of the nano guitar

Using high-voltage electron beam lithography at the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility, one of only two similar machines in this country, the structures were sculpted out of single crystal silicon on oxide substrates. A resist is used to pattern the top silicon layer. The oxide that is underneath this layer can be selectively removed using a wet chemical etch. The result: free-standing structures in silicon crystal.
Nano Guitar

The world's smallest guitar is 10 micrometers long -- about the size of a single cell -- with six strings each about 50 nanometers, or 100 atoms, wide. Made by Cornell University researchers from crystalline silicon, it demonstrates a new technology for a new generation of electromechanical devices.

The guitar has six strings, each string about 50 nanometers wide, the width of about 100 atoms. If plucked -- by an atomic force microscope, for example -- the strings would resonate, but at inaudible frequencies.

The entire structure is about 10 micrometers long, about the size of a single human blood cell.

A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. For comparison, the diameter of a human hair is about 200 micrometers, or 200,000 nanometers.


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