Nanotech Squeezes Bible onto a Pinhead


In a move that would have made Gutenberg’s head explode, Israeli scientists have printed the entire Old Testament onto a silicon chip that is only 1/1000th of an inch square—tinier than a pinhead. This “nano-Bible project,” developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, demonstrated a nanotech building process that might someday be used to store a person’s medical history in his DNA.

Scientists wrote the Bible by utilizing a focused ion beam (FIB) generator shooting tiny Gallium ions that etched the manuscript onto a gold surface, guided by a newly developed computer program written at Technion. Developing the program took more than three months, but writing the full text took only 90 minutes.


“The nano-Bible project demonstrates the miniaturization at our disposal,” explains Professor Uri Sivan, the head of the University’s Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, who conceived it. “This research could lead to the creation of more advanced miniature structures—and imaging—on a nanometric scale, advances in storing information in very small spaces, and the use of DNA molecules to store information.”—Robert E. Calem