TECHNOLOGY: Big Blue's Tiniest Logo

Big Blue's Tiniest Logo

They are among the most famous initials in the world, found almost anywhere computers are used. But last week the letters IBM appeared in the pages of the British science journal Nature in an unprecedented form. Two IBM researchers, in a scientific and marketing tour de force, had spelled out their corporate emblem by dragging atoms across a crystal of nickel one at a time. The result: the world's smallest corporate logo, measuring 660 billionths of an inch long.

It was a remarkable demonstration of the precision with which single atoms can now be manipulated, a skill that could conceivably be...

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