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Submitted by Stephanie RibetNorthwestern University Meet the OHM Sponge! This Oleophilic, Hydrophobic and Magnetic material can
be used to recover 30 times its weight in oil from water for many cycles. This
novel nanocomposite membrane is made by coating a polyurethane sponge with a
slurry of nanomaterials. Because contrast in backscatter scanning electron
microscopy images is largely based on atomic number, in this colorized SEM
image, the metal nanoparticles on the OHM sponge glow green.
Jellyfish Janus Particle Submitted by Sarah PerryUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAn SEM image of a 1.5 micron diameter polystyrene-poly(acrylic acid) Janus particle. The underwater effect was added in Photoshop, preserving the morphology and shape of the particle. (Credit: Nicholas Sbalbi)
Submitted by Rongmei NiuNational High Magnetic Field LaboratoryThis
is a high-resolution SEM image of copper "flowers" synthesized by
pulsed electro-deposition. High electrical current density is required
for generating nanotwin structure in Copper. However, over-high current
density accelerates the nucleation of nanotwins, suppresses nanotwins
growth, and causes high porosity.
Nano Christmas Tree
Submitted by Venkatarao SelamneniBITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus
is a high magnification FESEM image of NiS grown on cellulsoe paper
using hydrothermal synthesis method. The morphology looks like Nano
Ziggy Played Stress Corrosion Cracking
Submitted by Tomas MartinUniversity of Bristol
zigzag-shaped crack in an 304 steel corroded in a sodium thiosulphate
solution, extracted from the crack tip using focused ion beam for
chemical analysis in atom probe tomography.
The Beginning of a New Life Submitted by Kent (Jingxu) ZhengCornell UniversityThe
image shows the atomic structure in Mg-Ce alloy captured by advanced
aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. With very minor
coloring effort, the structure artistically illustrates the exact moment
when a new life starts — the formation of a zygote. Seemingly, these
atoms follow a same rule of evolution as our human beings do: all starts
from the very small nucleus.
Submitted by Yi-Sheng ChenThe University of Sydney
image from a slice of an atom probe tomography (APT) 3-dimensional data
shows locations of hydrogen atoms (grey spheres) at the dislocations
with carbon decorations which are color-graded in carbon concentration.
This is the first-ever experimental evidence showing hydrogen can be
trapped at dislocations. This image is a recreation of the data from: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6474/171. The credit of the recreated image is shared with Drs. Jenny Whiting and Andrew Breen in the same institute.
Morning in the Nanowire Nest
Submitted by Vladislav KhayrudinovAalto University
rectangular InAs nanowires with Sn doped InP shells synthesized on
silicon substrates inside a horizontal-flow metalorganic vapor phase
Submitted by Martin BadleyUniversity of Western Ontario
scanning electron microscopy (SEM), this image of the naturally stepped
virgin surfaces of a nuclear fuel pellet, uranium dioxide (UO2), was
captured. This image displays the grain structure of a UO2 pellet. Such
UO2 pellets fuel nuclear power reactors, which have been used
commercially since the 1950s and currently generate approximately 10% of
the world’s electricity. When used nuclear fuel is removed from a
reactor, it is extremely radioactive. The radioactivity will decrease
over time; however, the used fuel will remain a human health risk for
hundreds of thousands of years. For the long-term safety of people and
the environment, the used fuel will be encapsulated within a robust,
corrosion-resistant container engineered to prevent the release of
radionuclides into the environment. To ensure safety, an assessment of
the radionuclide release rate from a breached container must be
performed. Using various corrosion experiments, I can determine the rate
at which radionuclides would be released from the UO2 pellets.
Dangling Bonds Shed Light on Single-Photon Emission
Submitted by Mark TurianskyUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
boron nitride is a two-dimensional material that hosts bright
single-photon emitters. Using first-principles calculations, we
identified boron dangling bonds as the microscopic origin of these
emitters. This image shows the atomic geometry used to simulate the
dangling bond with an artistic rendition of the emission of a single
Submitted by Wenyu WangUniversity of Cambridge
piece of ultrasoft and flexible piezoelectric micro-textile under SEM.
This woven structure is only several micrometer thickness, enabling high
transparency and breathablility. Made of piezoelectric polymers, this
micro-textile could potentially be used for conformal skin electronics.
Satellite View of Giant Bush
Submitted by Md Ashiqur Rahman LaskarArizona State University
electron microscopy (SEM) image of thermally formed Formamidinium
iodide (FAI) crystals from its solution. The FAI crystals look like a
satellite view of giant bush spreaded over a vast land.
Love of Two Nanoparticles
Submitted by Fei HanThe Chinese University of Hong Kong
TEM image of two head-to-head hollow nanoparticles. These well-designed
hollow fullerene nanoparticles have hydrophobic interaction at their
openings, and thus they will be naturally attracted by each other. I
tried to give them lives, to show a special romance at the nanoscale.
Submitted by Andre SchleifeUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Secondary electrons that are ejected from a thin aluminum slab after impact of an energetic proton.
An Electrical Hybrid Heart
Submitted by Jue DengMIT
image of bioadhesive electrodes seamlessly and comformably integrated on
a rat heart. The different colors in this electrical hybrid heart are
added based on the density of materials captured by X-Tek HMXST225
Visualizing Nonfluorescent Reactions via Competitive Chemistry
Submitted by Xianwen MaoCornell University
fluorescence microscopy can only interrogate entities that fluoresce. I
recently developed a new optical imaging technique called COMPEITS that
enables quantitative super-resolution visualization of nonfluorescent
processes. This attached image is an artistic representation — based on
the COMPEITS imaging — showing a single catalyst particle with 12
different degrees of competition between a target nonfluorescent
reaction and an auxiliary fluorescent reaction.
Submitted by Amin Rabiei BaboukaniFlorida International University
original SEM image is the phosphorene nanosheets on the surface of
stainless steel obtained via the bipolar electrochemistry method. I
modified the image through Adobe Photo Illustrator and provided flowers
and pots as an artistic image.
Submitted by Maria Teresa MalachevskyCentro Atomico Bariloche - CNEA
magnesium diboride superconducting wire, characterized by X-ray
micro-tomography. It consists of several Ti-sheathed filaments with a
magnesium diboride superconducting core. Wire failed during drawing and
was scanned to detect the origin of the failure. The image shows the
titanium sheath isosurface.
Micro-Meisje met de parel
Submitted by Andrea CordaroAMOLF
met de parel, Johannes Vermeer circa 1665, oil on canvas, Mauritshuis,
The Hague, Netherlands. An array of suitably sized dots can imitate a
gradient; optical microscopy images of the final sample.
Through the Looking Glass
Submitted by Rachel OsmundsenThayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College
electron micrograph of a foil of the high entropy alloy AlCoCrFeNi2.1
with bend contours. Taken on a 200kV FEI Tecnai F20 TEM in bright field
mode. Horizontal dimension is 11.76 microns.
Submitted by Adam Budniak and Yaron Kauffmann Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
averaged filtered atomic resolution HAADF-STEM micrograph of a
mechanically exfoliated CrPS4 crystal and EDS elemental maps showing the
atomic distribution of the all elements and Cr, P and S respectively.
The insets present the simulated structure showing the position of the
atom columns of chromium (red spheres), phosphorous (blue spheres) and
sulfur (green spheres).
Pictorial Blue by the Rayleigh Diffusion
Submitted by Anne PillonnetInstitut Lumière Matière, Université Lyon1/CNRS
result of research into the artistic gesture and photonic processes,
the blue pictorial colour of the eye does not originate from a pigment
but from the particular dispersion of colourless particles in a
multi-layer structure. This protocol based on natural raw materials
opens a new look at the history of art, in particular the skills
described in ancient manuscripts. This blue is present in nature; it is
that of the sky, glaciers, irises or certain butterfly feathers and
wings. Following this art-science research, the complete drawning,
‘Hineni’ by Anne Goyer, has been integrated into the Pio Monte della
Submitted by Sarah N. ChowdhuryPurdue University
butterfly on a glass substrate is printed using an innovative technique
of generation of colors from random Ag nanoparticles and gap-plasmon
modes. This method is lithography and fade-free, environment-friendly
and has the potential to replace the traditional carcinogenic color
Electron - Hole Are In Quarantine!
Submitted by Tushar DebnathLudwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU)
girls (electrons) and boys (holes) are in quarantine (confined) in
different rooms (domains) of a house (nanocrystal) called “Mn-doped
Perovskite Nanocrystals” due to the creation of different small rooms by
the red bricks (Mn impurity) within a single nano-house, by displacing
the bricks (unit cells) and know as “Ruddlesden–Popper defects”. The
high-resolution image of such single Mn-doped Perovskite Nanocrystals
was obtained from atomically resolved high-angle annular dark-field
scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM).
Submitted by Nourin AlsharifBoston University
SEM of a
damaged pen in an array of polymer pens. The fabrication process
included an insufficient degassing period, and a bubble remained in
between the silicon mold and the polymer. During the unmolding process,
the sharp tip of the pen must have gotten stuck in the cavity, resulting
in a tip expressing the feelings of 2020. SEM image taken with a Zeiss
Supra 55, at Boston University.
Picasso's Domain Boundary
Submitted by Xiaoxing XiaLawrence Livermore National Laboratory
is a SEM image of spontaneously formed domain boundaries as a result of
an electrochemically induced structural transformation of a tetragonal
Si microlattice via cooperative beam buckling. Scale bar: 50μm.
Submitted by Jonathan SingerRutgers University
color photograph of a 3D printed hydrogel lattice in the shape of a
lotus leaf that mimics the superhydrophobic nature of the natural leaf
through a conformal self-limiting electrospray deposition of
hierarchical porous polymer on its outer surface.
World's Smallest Arabesque Pattern
Submitted by Azusa HattoriOsaka University
We wove an
"Arabesque pattern" by designing the crystal facet faces on a Si. To
our knowledge, this is the world's smallest Arabesque pattern.
Submitted by Iqbal UtamaUniversity of California, Berkeley
two graphene layers are stacked together with very small twisting
misalignment, the lattices may prefer to reconstruct into registry in
alternated stacking domains. Here, we imaged a network of reconstructed
triangular domains in a twisted double bilayer graphene using a
technique called scanning microwave impedance microscopy (sMIM). sMIM
provides a high sensitivity to probe the structure of van der Waals
superlattices with exquisite resolution even at room temperature. sMIM
distinguishes the stacking type of the 4-layered graphene in this 4 µm^2
area based on their local conductivity, where the more resistive
rhombohedral stacking appeared with blue tint as compared to the Bernal
stacking domains (yellowish tint). With its capability, sMIM is ideal
for characterizing van der Waals heterostructures, which are known to
exhibit correlated electronic phenomena and topological physics that
strongly depend on the structural details of the devices. This work by
Lee, Utama, Kahn, et al. has been accepted in Science Advances (2020).
The Mysterious Valley
Submitted by Aleksander ProminskiUniversity of Chicago
image of a synthesis product is a grove with wires. With a little
imagination, it can be turned into an icy ravine in the land of fire.
Who might inhabit such a strange land? No one else but the three curious
Friendly Liquid Sodium Face
Submitted by Daniel LandmannEmpa
The image visualizes
electrochemical plating of sodium metal droplets from a
sodium-beta''-alumina solid electrolyte coated with a porous carbon
coating to prevent sodium dewetting. This configuration enabled
reversible stripping and plating of a cumulative capacity of >10
Ah/cm2 at an ultrahigh current density of 1000 mA/cm2 without dendrite
formation. It was taken with a microscope and a digital camera on an
open electrochemical cell operated at 250 °C in inert argon atmosphere.
The Delicate Balance
Submitted by Durba SenguptaNational Chemical Laboratory
image is from simulations analyzing the bending of complex lipid
membranes by external protein inclusions. The snapshot shows the protein
caveolin (shown in red) and complex lipid composition (varying colors)
making up our cells. Overcoming mechano-elastic forces (bending modulus,
stress modulus) to bend membranes is not easy - but caveolin can do it!
Life On The Red-Orange Planet
Submitted by Kyle McCallETH Zurich
from rough cutting of a CsPbBr3 single crystal leads to a desert-like
surface. Image taken through optical microscope lens to give a round
Silicon Solar Cell with Subwavelength Features
Submitted by Ashish PrajapatiBen Gurion University of the Negev
enhancement in solar cells based on arrays composed of inverted silicon
cones. The photovoltage increases with a decrease in bottom diameter,
and it is due to the high excitation level of the individual inverted
cones composing the array. The excitation level of the array-nested
inverted cones is more than two orders of magnitude higher than the
excitation of array-nested NPs.
Flowing Lava in a Solar Cell
Submitted by Urvashi BothraIITB-Monash Research Academy
image of lava flowing among the rocks is actually a lateral phase
separated bulk heterojunction morphology of organic solar cells. Here,
lava resembles an acceptor-rich matrix phase and the rock like
structures are donor-rich enclosed phase. In this 5 μm x 5μm 3D AFM
(atomic force microscopy) topographic image, the lava and top background
are edited using photoshop to give a better artistic expression,
keeping the AFM information intact. Created by Urvashi Bothra and Pranay
Submitted by Yuzhou ZhaoUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
A blended image combining atomic force microscopy and shape simulation of a supertwisted tungsten disulfide nanoplate.
Spruced Up Atoms
Submitted by Olivia LicataUniversity at Buffalo
and nitrogen atoms obtained through three-dimensional atomic imaging in
atom probe tomography (APT) are shown as the Rockefeller Center
Christmas tree's green foliage. Single magnesium atoms represent the
lights, while large spherical magnesium clusters resemble the ornaments
on the tree. These clusters have been color-coordinated based on size.
The traditional star atop the tree has been replaced with an ultraviolet
laser beam, initiating the field evaporation necessary for APT
Submitted by Preksha TiwariIBM Research Europe
of various microscopy images taken during clean-room fabrication of
metal-clad cavities. The image consists of: a bright field microscopy
image of a InP chip with poor resist adhesion, dark field microscopy
image of a chip with evaporated silver, dark field microscopy image of
an orientation square, and a SEM image of a etched InP cavity with
resist for side wall protection after Ar ion milling.
It's Not Too Late
Submitted by Artis LinartsRiga Technical University, Institute of Technical Physics
image of thin film PVDF dielectric breakdown during corona triode
polarization as a shadow of Bonsai tree showing similarities to the
recent west coast wildfire apocalypse. A reminder that we are all
responsible for carbon footprint!
Submitted by Heesoo ParkQEERI, HBKU
cage, in a hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite, accommodates organic
molecules. To represent the physical properties using a machine learning
model, we carried out the density functional theory calculations of the
mixed-cation perovskites and trained the regression models with a range
of organic molecules. In the figure, ML models are rushing into the
PbI3 cage when the cage door is open to organic molecules, as they are
trained with organic molecules. The perovskite structure was obtained by
performing the density functional theory calculation. And the figure
was rendered by Blender, 3D computer graphics software.
Escaping the Maze
Submitted by Thomas MoranUniversity of Connecticut
Minecraft maze made from the 'up' domains in single crystal multiferroic
ErMnO3, resolved via tomographic piezoresponse atomic force microscopy.
Don't get caught!
2D Mosaic Arch Reminiscent of Gothic Architecture
Submitted by Kyunghoon LeeLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
double bilayer graphene with small twisted angle generates
reconstructed alternate ABAB (Bernal) and ABCA(Rhombohedral) staking
patterns. With local electrical conductivity measurement by employing
scanning microwave impedance microscopy (sMIM), we observe the 2D mosaic
arches and windows, reminiscent of Gothic style architecture such as
enlarged windows and exaggerated arches, commonly found in churches and
cathedrals, and other similar buildings in Europe. Our work (Lee, Utama,
Kahn, et al) has been accepted in Science Advances (2020).
Submitted by Dawn Raja SomuFlorida Atlantic University
image provided is a 3D rendering of images obtained using
synchrotron-based x-ray nano-computed tomography of Acantharea, a marine
planktonic organism. Acantharea are particularly unique due to their
mineralized skeleton being made from strontium sulfate. The background
and coloring of the image were adjusted to bright complementary colors
to emphasize the shape of the skeleton.
Micro Lake in the Nano Mountains
Submitted by Samuel WhiteVanderbilt University
atomic-force microscope (AFM) image of a PMMA resist on silicon,
patterned with electron beam lithography. Special thanks to Dr. Dmitry
Koktysh for suggesting the color scheme.
A 2D Quasicrystal and Approximant in Traditional Architecture
Submitted by Amin AziziUniversity of California Berkeley
ADF-STEM image of a two-dimensional (2D) quasicrystal and approximant
that can be exfoliated similar to graphene using the common scotch tape
method. The atomic-scale structure (i.e. the pattern in the extended
eyebrow window) can be characterized by square−triangle tiles with 2-nm
edge length. The observed structure is very similar to geometric tiling
and glasswork decorations seen in traditional architecture. Both
atomic-resolution and background images are taken by myself using an
aberration-corrected FEI Titan3 (60−300) microscope and a Sony alpha
mirrorless camera, respectively.
Sodium Dragon Playing with a Pearl
Submitted by Qianwen ChenSouthern University of Science and Technology
Chinese Dragon playing with a fiery ball and flying over the mountains
symbolizes the vital life force, and the precious pearl at the center of
the fire ball symbolizes the purest of energies. The image highlights
the style of traditional Chinese ink painting. The image captures the
sodium dendrite growth on a copper current collector during the
charge/discharge process of a sodium battery using an optical
microscopy. Horizontal dimension: 2.1 mm.
Submitted by Sujin Rebecca LeeGeorgia Institute of Technology
art work is based on a polarized optical microscopy image.
Jack-o-lanterns are cholesteric microgels derived from chitin
nanocrystals that were made with microfluidic device. The mean size of
lanterns is ~200 µm. By preserving the twisted structure of the chitin
nanocrystal suspension in a polymer microgel, we obtained pumpkin like
An Icy Crevasse
Submitted by Douglas HendrixUniversity of Connecticut
crevasse formed after drop casting an aqueous high molecular weight
polymer, used for dispersing components of ultra-high performance
concrete. Imaged in an SEM. The width of the image is 75um.
Seung Kyun HaMassachusetts Institute of Technology
is a Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of a two-dimensional (2D)
Ruddlesden-Popper phase layered perovskite crystal. Individual layers
of 2D perovskites, which can be clearly seen in this image, are held
together by weak van der Waals forces and form stacked structures. This
image reminds us the beauty of Grand Canyon, so I call it ‘2D
Golnaz IsapourMassachusetts Institute of Technology
of colloidal crystals are one the most amazing phenomena in photonics.
This picture captures self-assembly of aqueous colloidal gels, within
microspheres or freely floating on a hydrophobic substrate, displaying
brilliant structural colors. Optical Microscope- Dark field in
Reflection- Objective x10.