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There's very little holiday cheer to be found on this Christmas record printed by DTU Physics at the Technical University of Denmark.

That's because it's a record so small that it could fit within a single groove of a standard sized copy. This impressive feat of engineering marks the world's smallest vinyl printed record, and it holds just 25 seconds of "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

In a demo showcased by the university's DTU Physics organization, the Nanofrazor Scholar 3D lithography system presses a 15x15 micrometer record into polymer film. More impressively, the depth of the grooves inscribed on this sliver of a record are just 65 nanometers deep.

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"I have done lithography for 30 years, and although we’ve had this machine for a while, it still feels like science fiction," said Peter Bøggild, a physicist at DTU. "To get an idea of the scale we are working at, we could write our signatures on a red blood cell with this thing. The most radical thing is that we can create free-form 3D landscapes at that crazy resolution."

Though there may not be a whole lot of practicality in a microscopic Christmas record, the endeavor showcases a powerful advancement in the world of material science: the ability to manipulate and contour materials with nanoscopic accuracy. In fact, the DTU team believes the exercise marks an important research development, considering the approach could be applied to manipulate other materials in the future to make things such as tiny magnetic field sensors.



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