A Boy And His Atom, Single Molecules Serve as Pixels in The World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Animated Film

Carbon monoxide molecules serve as pixels in the world’s smallest stop-motion animation, “A Boy And His Atom.” A team of IBM researchers shot the film with a scanning tunneling microscope that magnified the image 100 million times. The microscope was also used to move the carbon monoxide molecules for each frame of the animation. For more on how researchers created the animation, see this making-of video. The film was made during the course of IBM’s research into atomic-scale memory. In 2012, IBM researchers used 12 atoms to store one bit of data—current technology requires 1,000,000 atoms to store the same information.

Thanks The Shamptonian Institute!