Small but mighty, UAlberta creates smallest-ever NHL logo

Nanotechnology experts create Edmonton Oilers logo 40 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have joined the Orange Crush frenzy by creating an Edmonton Oilers logo so small, you could fit more than 900 million of them on top of a puck.

The Nanofabrication and Characterization Facility, better known as nanoFAB, developed the smallest-ever Oilers logo-only 2.4 ┬Ám in diameter-by using a nanomaterial.

The logo was developed by Applied Quantum Materials, a spinoff company run by chemistry professor Jon Veinot, and nanoscale pattern correction methods developed by Applied Nanotools, a local company.

This logo is the second Oilers graphic developed by the nanoFAB team, following one it created for the 2006 playoff run. Eleven years later, the 2017 image is more than 40 times smaller.

The new logo is so small that it can only be seen under the university's helium ion microscope, one of only three in Canada.

"The University of Alberta is a clear leader in Canada, if not the world, in nanomaterials synthesis and materials chemistry." -Jon Veinot

"That really just goes to show the kind of development that has occurred over the last decade," explains Eric Flaim, director of nanoFAB.

Beyond showing team spirit, this type of nanotechnology creates dense patterned nanostructures that are used in a variety of practical applications including sensors and biomedical devices for improved efficiency and sensitivity.

Widely regarded as the way of the future, there are myriad applications for advanced nanotechnology.

"The University of Alberta is a clear leader in Canada, if not the world, in nanomaterials synthesis and materials chemistry," says Veinot.

He was also integral in the development of the Alberta/Technical University of Munich International Graduate School for Hybrid Functional Materials, also known as ATUMS. This unique graduate program, funded in part by NSERC's Collaborative Research and Training Experience, is designed to train the next generation of nanotech experts to be industry-ready upon graduation.

"ATUMS trains young elite scientist and engineers in the essential technical and out-of-discipline skills that will enable them to play key roles in revolutionizing and revitalizing the polymer/materials sector of the Canadian economy," said Veinot.