Researchers set Guinness World Record for smallest printed color image

Researchers from Switzerland's ETH Zurich and connected start-up Scrona have been confirmed as setting a Guinness World Record for the smallest printed color picture ever known. The image of several clown fish around a sea anemone, seen above, has an area of just 0.0092 mm², making it as small as the cross-section of a human hair. Inkjet printed image is equal to a single pixel from a retina display, measuring 80 µm by 115 µm.

The image was printed with ETH Zurich's own 3D NanoDrip printing technology, which is now being commercialized by Scrona, a spin-off of ETH. The photo features 24bit color depth, making it almost as colorful as the fish scene would appear in reality. However, because the printout is so small that it's invisible to the naked eye, officials from the Guinness organization has to use a special microscope just to see it.

ETH explains that the picture was produced through the use of quantum-dots (QDs), or nanoparticles that can emit light of specific colors, and in intense amounts, making them appear vivid and clear. The researchers printed layers of quantum dots in red, green, and blue at a resolution of 25'000 DPI, or distances of 500 nanometers.

ETH Zurich hopes this Guinness-recognized achievement will lead to advancement in the optics and display technology sectors. From now until January 9th, Scrona has launched a Kickstarter campaign offering to print a micro-image for backers, using any photo they provide. Order will even include a miniature microscope that will allow them to view the printed image.