Cranfield’s high tech tribute marks Coronation Day
6 May 2023
Manufacturing specialists at Cranfield University have created miniature golden royal monogram symbols to celebrate King Charles III’s forthcoming coronation. The engraving is so small that it can only be seen using a powerful microscope.
The letters are a fraction of the width of a human hair and feature the official cyphers of King Charles III and Queen Camilla with the words ‘Westminster Abbey 6 May 2023’ below.
Created with a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) the exhibit was displayed with high-magnification images to mark the day, using ion microscopes employed usually to spot micro defects within aerospace technology.
The letters themselves were made from recycled gold taken from the coating equipment used to prevent charging of the surface of samples used for microscope imaging.
Cranfield Senior Technical Officer - Materials Characterisation (SEM) Dr Diane Johnson said the project took around two hours to manufacture.
" This project not only showcases our expertise in nanotechnology and microscopy, but also demonstrates a way in which we can use our equipment in a creative and unusual way," she stated.
"To create this microscopic message, we used a very high purity 99.99% piece of gold foil measuring 15mm x 10mm x 0.2mm thick.”