Researcher uses electron microscope to etch tiny 'gingerbread house'

By Ben Hooper
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Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A researcher at Canadian university said he used an electron microscope to carve the world's smallest "gingerbread house" in a piece of silicon.

The Canadian Center for Electron Microscopy at McMaster University said research associate Travis Casagrande carved a smiling snowman smaller than the width of a human hair out of silicon and etched the tiny "gingerbread house" structure atop the snowman's head.


The university said the house is half the size of one that was declared the world's smallest when it was created last year in France.

"I think projects like this create science curiosity," Casagrande said. "I think for both children and adults, it's important to be curious about science. Looking into how this was made leads to more interest in science, and that builds more science literacy, which allows everyone to make better decisions."

Casagrande previously used similar methods to create a tiny Canadian flag mounted on a pole in a minuscule hole on the side of a penny.

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