May 18, 2016, by Lindsay Brooke
Off to the palace – a specially made glass corgi carries tiniest birthday message to the Queen.
Etched on a strand of Corgi hair it had to be the Queen’s tiniest birthday message. Now the unique 90th birthday message has been placed in a glass corgi – specially made by Clive Dixon, The University of Nottingham glassblower – and is on its way to the palace.
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 on a corgi hair using a beam of Gallium ions. The team enlisted the help of University glassblower Clive Dixon to make a corgi to carry the message to the Queen.
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.
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