Micromonument Project Combines Art, Engineering and a Social Message

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A small team of designers working with The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Institute of Technology has created the world’s first monument to nanoscience, honoring the technology’s vital role in solving global issues, particularly in the recent development of Covid-19 vaccines and testing platforms. Created with dual photon polymerization, by designers Crawford George, Alexandria Jones and IEN engineering staff Philip Anschutz, the monument presents the International Flag of Planet Earth at the microscale, standing at only 128 nanometers tall and slightly wider than a red blood cell.

The flag was chosen due to its universal symbolism of exploration and achievement, planted in the microscale to replicate traditional imagery of an explorer’s flag, creating a familiar sense of physical human presence.

The project was proposed early December 2020, just as the first COVID-18 vaccines began to roll out. It has since developed with input from leading nano-scientists and researchers in fields such as materials engineering, space exploration, biotechnology, and environmental sustainability.
At the time of the flag’s construction, nanotechnologists were sequencing and storing information in DNA, building quantum computers, sending rovers and helicopters to Mars, and rearranging materials on the atomic scale.  No longer science fiction, nanoscientists are imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter that can’t be seen with the human eye. These achievements are not often recognized by the general public, but deserve to be celebrated. This research allows us to observe the world more intimately; and when new materials are created or current ones are manipulated at this scale it can revolutionize the way we live our everyday lives. The Micro-Monument is an attempt to raise awareness for the interdisciplinary work being accomplished in Nanoscience, and aims at building a stronger emotional connection towards these scientific achievements.
Presented on a crystalline silicon plaque and created using the same materials and techniques as those used in the production of semiconductors, the Micro-Monument currently lives online at with hopes of expanding into physical exhibitions. The Micro-Monument is etched with the words, “This flag stands as a monument to scientific achievement at the nanoscale, celebrating the continued interdisciplinary research dedicated to improving our understanding of the world.”
The Micro-Monument Project was created using the IEN cleanroom facilities and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the South-Eastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC).


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Christa Ernst
  • Created:10/11/2021
  • Modified By:Christa Ernst
  • Modified:10/11/2021