Smallest national flag
Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo
0.697 micrometre(s) aka micron(s)
Canada (Waterloo)

The smallest national flag is 0.697 square micrometres, and was achieved by the Institute for Quantum Computing (Canada) in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, as measured on 6 September 2016.

The flag is the national flag of Canada, and its colour was created by oxidising a bare silicon wafer in a tube furnace in order to grow a layer of Silicon dioxide of a carefully chosen thickness. Thin film interference effects in the silicon dioxide layer gives the flag a red colour. However, the flag is too small for conventional imaging techniques, so the only images we are able to see of the flag are in electron-microscopy grayscale.

The Institute for Quantum Computing created the flag in celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial anniversary, and to bring a spotlight to the quantum and nanoscale research being undertaken in Canada.