A SWISS laboratory has created the smallest magazine cover in the world.

Scientists used a tiny chisel to create an image so minute that 2000 of them could fit on a grain of salt.

Scientists carved the 11x14-micrometre image of two pandas that appeared on last month's cover of the National Geographic Kids magazine onto a polymer using technology similar to 3D printing.

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"My idea was to do something similar to chiselling a rock, but just to do it on a nano-scale," said Urs Duerig, a scientist at IBM in Switzerland and one of the inventors of the machine.

The device is roughly the size of a family refrigerator.