Brigham Young University (BYU) researchers made
a tiny nano-cupid for Valentine's Day. The cupid's arm is the width of a human hair. The cupid was made from nanotubes, which are only about 20 atoms across. They are about 99% air.
To make the tiny cupid the scientists first put a pattern of microscopic iron "seeds" on a plate. Next they the blasted the plate with heated gas, which causes a miniature forest of carbon nanotubes to spring up. The nano-cupid is very fragile at this point.
BYU physics professor Robert Davis said in a statement, "It' a really fragile structure at this point – blowing on it or touching it would destroy it."
The scientists then strengthened the nano-cupid by coating it with metals and other materials.
Photo: Lawrence Barrett/BYU