Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Smallest stop-motion film

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For the record

  • Who: IBM Research Laboratories

  • What: Smallest stop-motion film

  • Where: United States

Comprising 242 individual frames with a frame size of only 45 nanometres by 25 nanometres (45 x 25 billionths of a metre), the smallest stop-motion film was created by IBM Research Laboratories in San Jose, California, USA, from 29 January to 6 February 2013. Individual molecules of carbon monoxide were "placed" as pixels on a copper sheet to create each frame of the film. The molecules were positioned using a Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM), which uses an ultra-fine metal tip to move the molecules with electrical charge. The film, called "A Boy and his Atom" tells a short story of a boy named Atom playing with a ball, and lasts 60 seconds. Once the molecules of carbon monoxide were in place in each frame, the STM took 4 min 53 sec to scan the whole frame to build up the image recorded on film. This process was meticulously repeated for each frame.


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