April 20, 2016, by Lindsay Brooke
Queen’s birthday message is etched on Corgi hair
Etched on a strand of Corgi hair it has to be the Queen’s tiniest birthday message.
To celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday scientists based in the new Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre in the School of Chemistry etched their birthday wishes using a beam of Gallium ions.
The hair was kindly donated by Cracker and CJ – two Corgis living in Nottinghamshire who are from the same blood line as the Queen’s corgis.
The hair was taken to the new Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre where the samples were carefully prepared for etching.
The work was carried out on a Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscope manned by Dr Chris Parmenter. Chris is part of the interdisciplinary group of scientists who hold the world record for creating the smallest test tube and for writing the smallest version of the periodic table on a human hair. So, what better way for them to send a 90th birthday message to the Queen.
There is a serious side to this science. When fully operational the NMRC will also host a state of the art electron beam lithography system; a powerful suite of surface characterisation equipment (X-ray photoelectron spectrometers, Raman microscopy); and a comprehensive sample preparation laboratory.
The new centre, officially opened this week, will allow us to peer into the fundamental world of the very, very small and addresse some of the major challenges facing humanity – medicine, materials for energy production, storage, electronic devices and novel catalysts.
For more information check out the full press release.