Swiss researchers have produced the world’s smallest inkjet-printed image using quantum dot technology, according to ETH Zurich. The picture, which is a colour picture of a school of clownfish, measuring just 0.08mm-by-0.115mm (or 0.003inches-by-0.005inches) at a resolution of 25,000dpi, can only be seen by the human eye through a microscope. At the width of a human hair, the full image (below) has been verified as the smallest colour image ever printed by Guinness World Records.
Quantum dot technology is being implemented in the next generation of 4K-and-above televisions and monitors, allowing a more efficient alternative to current OLED technology. Using quantum dots for printing could open up the market for printable screens on demand.
“In a futuristic scenario, you could imagine having a plastic foil that goes into a printer and on the other side there is a display coming out,” Dr Patrick Galliker said to the BBC. “You’d have all the functionality of a
screen, which has just been printed using nanomaterials that are in a liquid phase.”
Some, however, are more dismissive about the feat, with Chris Green, a technology expert at the business consultancy Lewis, telling the BBC, “This experiment was a very interesting gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless.”
“But as a technical exercise to demonstrate the sheer versatility of what quantum dot technology can do with regards to imaging, it’s an absolutely fascinating demonstration of what can be achieved with what is not that expensive technology,” Green added.