From Azonano.com, news from Canada:
Forget the phrase, “sharp as a tack.” Now, thanks to new University of Alberta research the popular expression might become, “sharp as a single atom tip formed by chemically assisted spatially controlled field evaporation.” Maybe it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily, but considering the researchers have created the sharpest object ever made, it would be accurate.
The scientists, working out of the National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT) at the U of A, used a unique process to make the sharpest tip ever known and opened the door to a range of possibilities. Technically speaking, they were able to coat peripheral atoms near the peak with nitrogen, making it a one atom-thick, tough protective paint job.
…their sharp tips will allow electrical characterization of extremely small objects, in turn allowing new device concepts to be discovered and tested.