Beautiful Science

Origami, or paper folding, is associated with leisure, but it is also of interest to scientists developing sophisticated yet small microelectronic devices. It is difficult to make tiny structures for technological purposes, but researchers in China a
PHOTO: ROB FELT, GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Origami, or paper folding, is associated with leisure, but it is also of interest to scientists developing sophisticated yet small microelectronic devices. It is difficult to make tiny structures for technological purposes, but researchers in China and the United States have developed a method that requires just a few LEDs. They shone light on one side of a thin layer of a special liquid that solidifies on exposure to light. Because the side exposed to light solidifies first, it causes the film to bend from uneven shrinkage. Shown here is an origami crane made in this way which is no bigger than a 25-US-cent coin.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Beautiful Science'. Print Edition | Subscribe