Pushing the tiny-house movement to bizarre new limits, French scientists have constructed the “world’s smallest house” on the tip of an optical fiber.
With each wall spanning about 0.0006 inches in length (15 micrometers, or 15 millionths of a meter), the humble chalet is too small to accommodate a dust mite, an amoeba or a sperm cell. It’s about 10,000 times too small to host a tardigrade; it’s even too small to hold a piece of tardigrade poop.
So, why build a house so small that even a tardigrade can’t make use of it? Mainly just to prove it can be done. According to a new paper published in the May issue of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology, this project was a test of a new nanoconstruction platform known as the MicroRobotex (or μRobotex) station — a high-tech rig built at the Femto-ST Institute in Besançon, France, with the sole purpose of affixing microscopic, 3D components onto ridiculously small surfaces.