A Boy and His Atom: The World's Smallest Movie by IBM
IBM scientists used a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to move carbon monoxide atoms on a copper plate surface. The STM acts like a needle that drags the atoms across the surface using magnetism.
The ability to move single atoms, one of the smallest particles of any element in the universe, is crucial to IBM's research in the field of atomic-scale memory. In 2012, IBM scientists announced the creation of the world's smallest magnetic memory bit, made of just 12 atoms. This breakthrough could transform computing by providing the world with devices that have access to unprecedented levels of data storage. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, the scientists moved atoms by using their scanning tunneling microscope to make … a movie, which has been verified by Guinness World Records™ as The World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film.