Nanobamas

A University of Michigan professor has created 3D portraits of US president-elect Barack Obama that are smaller than a grain of salt. He calls them ‘nanobamas’.

A University of Michigan professor has created 3D portraits of US president-elect Barack Obama that are smaller than a grain of salt.

 

He calls them ‘nanobamas’.

John Hart, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, made the likenesses to raise awareness of nanotechnology and science.

Each one contains about 150m hollow carbon nanotubes about 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, stacked vertically like trees in a forest.

To create the nanobamas, the researchers converted Shepard Fairey’s red, white and blue poster of Barack Obama to a line drawing.

They shrunk it and printed it on a glass plate with a laser to create a mask and shone ultraviolet light through the masked glass plate on to a silicon wafer to create the pattern.

Then they grew the carbon nanotubes on the pattern, using a high-temperature chemical reaction.

The researchers photographed the nanobama faces, which are half a millimetre in size, with an electron microscope.

The nanobama is the latest in a line of artwork that Hart has created.

His complete gallery is at nanobliss.com, a site he started in 2006 that contains Michigan logos, snowflakes and a mock Absolut Nano ad that shows nanotubes grown in the shape of a vodka bottle.

Barack Obama gets very small with the help of carbon nanotubes