t’s the little things that make Christmas special, and with this in mind, the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington has created the world’s smallest Christmas card.

Measuring in at 15x20 microns in size, you could fit over 200 million cards in a single postage stamp. The card requires a powerful microscope just to see it, let alone read the festive message inside.

To make the card 10cm in height, you would have to magnify it 5000 times - equivalent to blowing up a postage stamp to the size of a football field.

Dr David Cox, Research Fellow at NPL, who created the card with colleague Dr Ken Mingard, said: “While the card is a fun way to mark the festive season, it also showcases the progress being made in materials research on this scale.

"We are using the tools that created the card to accurately measure the thickness of extremely small features in materials, helping to unlock new battery and semiconductor technologies.

"It’s a genuinely exciting development that could help to make new technologies and techniques a reality.”

The card is made from platinum-coated silicon nitride, usually used in electronics, and both the design on the front and the message inside were carved out by a focused ion beam – a jet of charged particles.

The tools used to make the card are being used to develop cutting-edge techniques for understanding materials on a tiny scale, helping to further the miniaturisation of electronics, and the development of new battery materials.