SEOUL, KOREA — Samsung Electronics together with BMB and Cheil Worldwide are celebrating semiconductors, the nanoscopic, unsung heroes of technological progress, with a new film that features specially built models so small they could only be captured using a scanning electron microscope.
The brief was to bring to life the mighty power of the tiny semiconductor – which, though nanoscopic in scale, has a giant impact when used in a vast array of technological applications: some everyday, others out of this world.
The idea was to show some of their uses by building and filming miniature models, each celebrating a different incredible technology that semiconductors make possible. These included a woman conducting a video call in the palm of her hand and launching rockets into space. All were microscopic in size.
The challenge was not only how to build the models but how to capture the images as they were so small it was impossible to use a traditional camera. The model satellite, for example, was 22,000 times smaller than a real one and featured details smaller than the width of a human hair.
The answer lay in state-of-the-art 3D nanoprinting and a landmark collaboration with photographer and microscopist Stefan Diller, who has spent more than ten years pioneering a system called nanoflight®, which allows microscopic worlds to be captured with dynamic camera moves.
The team’s first step was to make the models. This involved scanning actors in specific poses, then from the scans producing 3D renders. To print the models, the team used a form of printing that allows nanoscopic detail.
The printing process, called Two-Photon Nanolithography involves firing a controlled laser into poly-sensitive resin, causing it to polymerize and form a solid microscopic object – allowing the creation of incredibly small details.
The models were then captured in-camera and for real using a scanning electron microscope which instead of light uses a focus beam of electrons that reflects off the model’s surfaces, scanning and capturing each model’s details with dynamic moves using nanoflight®.
The end result is “Micro Miracles” – a groundbreaking 60-second film that is a micro miracle itself.