What might sound like science fiction at first is actually modern day reality: employees from Carl Zeiss have “written” an 800 x 600 nanometer football field onto a photo mask.
Derived from the Greek word “nanos” meaning midget or dwarf, nano is a prefix that describes one billionth of a measuring unit. A nanometer is thus one billionth of a meter. Unimaginable, you say? To give you an idea of just how small this playground is, it would fit 15 quadrillion times on a real football field.
Photo masks are projection templates made of fused quartz that are used to manufacture semiconductors. Using an electron beam device, employees from Carl Zeiss created the world’s smallest football field on a photo mask in time for the European Championship. The MeRiT® system, with which the football field was made, is actually a mask repair instrument and not intended for the promotion of sporting events. The MeRiT® systems are usually used to repair defects on photo masks by applying missing material or etching away excess material.
Unfortunately, an open air event where the masses gather to drink beer and watch the games on large screens won’t be possible as the players are only 15 nanometers tall and play with a ball that has a diameter of only 20 atoms. Nope, this game can only be seen through an electron microscope. But not to worry, Carl Zeiss manufactures these high-resolution microscopes.
June 17, 2008