As you can probably tell, it’s been a slow news week on the nanotechnology front.   But I found the following pretty interesting–nanotechnology has a place in the Olympics.  And no, its not related to the nano-soccer event held earlier this year or the material in Michael Phelps’ suit.

Researchers at Northwestern University have used a new form of lithography to reproduce the Beijing Olympics’ logo 15,000 times, and all inside of one square centimeter.  The new method, Polymer Pen Lithography, has the unique ability to write in three different scales in one device.

The logos, see below, are so small that 2,500 of them would fit on a grain of rice.  The logos are assembled from dots that were 90 nm in diameter, meaning 20,000 dots were used to make the logos.  Oh, and the whole process only took about 40 minutes.  The researches also constructed an integrated circuit using the same technology, and while likely a bigger discovery, how can it compare to the Olympics?

Image: Mirkin Group, Northwestern University