London: Scientists have written, on a strand of human hair, what they believe is the world`s smallest periodic table -- showing the power of nano-writing.
Experts at Nottingham University created the table, which is so small that one million of them could be replicated on a standard Post-It note, using a combination of an ion beam writer and electron microscope.
The symbols of all 118 elements were etched into the strand of hair taken from Professor Martyn Poliakoff, an expert in green chemistry at Nottingham. It was then presented to him as a birthday present, a newspaper reported.
Poliakoff said: "Although the application was lighthearted I felt that it enabled us to show people how such nano-writing is done.
"Our microscopist Mike Fay made the whole operation seem so simple and really demystified it in a most appealing way."
The team from the Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre also entered the festive spirit and took advantage of the winter weather by engraving the words "Merry Christmas" onto a snowflake.
First Published: Thursday, December 23, 2010, 18:44