Scientists have made the world’s smallest fidget spinner – because it appears we just can’t get enough of this toy.
The tiny gizmo measures only 100 microns wide, is smaller than the width of a human hair and is barely visible to the naked eye.
The spinning device was created by a team at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Centre for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which develops cutting-edge nanomaterials used by other scientists in its experiments.
The researchers “printed” the device using the Nanoscribe machine – a special tool that converts liquid into solid at a microscopic level.
The process involves using a focused laser beam to draw a shape resembling a fidget spinner.
The excess liquid is then removed and the tiny device is rinsed and developed by the scientists under powerful electron microscopes.
Adam Rondinone, of the ORNL, said: “We felt like it would be an interesting demonstration for younger people who may not know that the (US) federal government maintains these user facilities around the country, which anybody can use as long as they submit a successful proposal.
“It’s a compelling way for us to reach out to the next generation of scientists.”
To see how the device worked, the scientists put it under a powerful optical microscope and blew air on it.
The team will now create an interactive version of the microscopic fidget spinner for the ORNL Travelling Science Fair.