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Science as Art

  MRS Foundation LogoAs a special feature of MRS meetings, we offer the popular Science as Art competitions with entry open to all registered meeting attendees. 

Visualization methods provide an important tool in materials science for the analysis and presentation of scientific work. Images can often convey information in a way that tables of data or equations cannot match. Occasionally, scientific images transcend their role as a medium for transmitting information and contain the aesthetic qualities that transform them into objects of beauty and art.

The galleries below represent some of the best entries from past meetings.

Copyright for these images belongs to the Materials Research Society. To request permission to reuse the images, please contact us here »

In addition, we invite you to view this video featuring some of the best entries from past MRS Science as Art competitions:

Science as Art Winners

2021 MRS Fall Meeting

Click on image to see a full-size version in a new browser tab. 

MXene Lighthouse

A 3D Printed Molecular Ferroelectric Metamaterial

Rooms in the Silver-Platinum Nanowire

MXene Lighthouse

Mohit Saraf, Drexel University

This SEM image represents Ti3C2 MXene cliff which is being buffeted by star-speckled waves. No matter how dark it may become, the lighthouse will continue to light the way. Scale bar is 1μm.

A 3-D Printed Molecular Ferroelectric Metamaterial

Yong Hu
University at Buffalo

Pictured is an artistic rendering of manufacturing mechanical metamaterial of imidazolium perchlorate by the stereolithography method. The printed molecular ferroelectric metamaterial structure is shown to enable a tunable-frequency vibration-isolating architecture.

Rooms in the Silver-Platinum Nanowire

Serkan Koylani
Middle East Technical University

Galvanic replacement between platinum and silver results in the formation of the small islands on the silver nanowires during platinum deposition. We considered those islands as rooms of a house by referring to Richard Feynman's very famous comment on nanoworld. The original image was obtained using JEOL JEM-2100F Transmission Electron Microscope in high-resolution mode (HR-TEM).

Calcite Flower

Jean-Henri Fabri's Dream Garden

Nano Constellation

Calcite Flower

Arad Lang

Calcite incorporated with aspartic acid, grown using a hydrothermal method. Taken with Ultra+ HR-SEM (Mag of X5.3k).

Jean-Henri Fabri's Dream Garden

Libin Yang
Syracuse University

The best way to know the world is to observe, and people throughout history have devoted themselves to observing and recording everything they see, just as Jean-Henri Fabre did 100 years ago, in a garden called Harmas de s érignan, trying to use watercolors to render this ingenious creature, the fungus. This figure is reproduced based on a Scanned Electronic Microscope image of Pleurotus Eryngii mycelium growing on a hardwood substrate. Pleurotus Eryngii belongs to the basidiomycetes has a unique structure of their mycelium called clamp connection ((L. Yang, D. Park, Z. Qin, Material Function of Mycelium-Based Bio-Composite: A Review, Frontier in Materials, 2021)). The logic behind the creation of this art piece is, through SEM, we can get infinitely closer to that tiny and fascinating world. As with the first discovery of a universe in a drop of water, there is always a romantic fantasy of what has never been seen which is to Imagine the universe not only diversification but also uniqueness. These microscopic structures, and the ideals that people seek, reflect the obscure but exact truth of nature.

Nano Constellation

Mahshid Iraniparast
Tufts University

This is the image of ultrabright fluorescent silica nanoparticles with confocal microscopy. However, I saw a night sky full of shiny stars with different constellations, including Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.