World's smallest Christmas card created

Posted by Emma Woollacott

They're notably tight-fisted in Scotland, and now a group of engineers at Glasgow University have found a way to potentially slash postage costs - they've created the world's smallest Christmas card.

Invisible to the naked eye, it's just 200 micro-metres wide by 290 micro-metres tall - so small that 8,276 of them could fit on a postage stamp.

Professor David Cumming and Dr Qin Chen from the University’s School of Engineering etched the Christmas tree image and the words 'Season's Greetings' onto a minute piece of glass.

"Our nanotechnology is among the best in the world but sometimes explaining to the public what the technology is capable of can be a bit tricky," said Professor Cumming.

"We decided that producing this Christmas card was a simple way to show just how accurate our technology is. The process to manufacture the card only took 30 minutes. It was very straightforward to produce, as the process is highly repeatable – the design of the card took far longer than the production of the card itself."

The colours were produced by plasmon resonance in a patterned aluminium film made in the University of Glasgow’s James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

"You could fit over half a million of them onto a standard A5 Christmas card – but signing them would prove to be a bit of a challenge," says Cumming.