Programs & Outreach

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

Cruz-Silva-MRS2019
sattaribaboukani
The MXene Nemo-VahidMohammadi

Droplet of Graphene

Rodolfo Cruz-Silva, Shinshu University 

A droplet of graphene oxide dispersion rises from the surface few ms after collision. This image capture how the column of liquid transforms into a droplet due to the surface tension. Cannon Kiss X9/Tamron macro 90mm, 1/100s, f8.0 and Sunpak flash at 1/64 for high speed capture.

2D Island

Behnoosh Sattari Baboukani, University at Buffalo

Have you ever heard of “Minami-Tori-shima”? A triangular island in the Pacific Ocean! But this one is the “2D island” with the thickness of only 6.5 Angstrom. This image illustrates the atomic force microscopy (AFM) topography 3D image of a single layer MoS2 grown using the CVD technique, then transferred on top of a SiO2 substrate. The mountains represent the 2D MoS2 nucleation spots. This image was taken using the AFM-contact mode after immersing the single layer MoS2 in oil (n-hexadecane). 

The Mxene Nemo

Armin VahidMohammadi, Auburn University

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of a 2D Ti2CTx MXene particle showing similarities to the imaginary Nemo character in Pixar’s animation, Finding Nemo, which portrays an illusion of its reflection in the water. Ti2CTx is a promising electrode material for supercapacitors and batteries. Fake colors were added to the SEM image without manipulation of the original image. 

Bottin-Rousseau-3
ogata_edgeoftheworld
Grand Canyon_Meltem Sezen

Rising Stars

Sabine Bottin-Rousseau, Sorbonne University 

Directional solidification of a transparent, off-eutectic alloy in a thin sample. Optical microscopy. Horizontal dimension: 1 mm.

Edge of the World

Alana Ogata, Harvard University 

At one point, humans believed that the earth was flat and that an "Edge of the World" existed where the ocean fell off into darkness. Today, I can fabricate a film of carbon nanotube bundles and image it’s chaotic, ocean-like waves by electron microscopy with nanoscale resolution. This uncoated-SEM cross section shows a film of entangled single-walled carbon nanotubes falling off the edge of a glass substrate; fabricated for novel nanomaterials in biosensing and disease diagnostics. Image taken on the FEI Magellan 400 XHR SEM at University of California, Irvine.

Grand Canyon

Meltem Sezen, Sabanci University 

 

2019 MRS Spring Meeting

 

 

 

This Nano-duck is a Cr2TiAlC2 MAX particle. The size of the duck is ~3 µm. The rocks where it's sitting on are also MAX particles covered with
Inspired by
Manhattan skyline at twilight. Optical microscope and microfluidic device are commonly used in particle tracing visualization. By this method, we can directly observe the electroconvection at liquid-metal interface during Tin electrodeposition in low concentration aqueous electrolyte under a low constant current density at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nanoduck

Kanit Hantanasirisakul, Drexel University

This Nano-duck is a Cr2TiAlC2 MAX particle. The size of the duck is ~3 µm. The rocks where it's sitting on are also MAX particles covered with "nano-moss".

Erupting Volcano on the Ocean

Kaiyang Yin, Dartmouth University

Inspired by "The Great Wave off Kanagawa," the iconic print by Hokusai, the active volcano on the ocean is erupting. The image is created by cryo-SEM imaging of textured ice surface. Deposition of water vapor into ice was observed in situ at the ice tip and formed the lava.  

Manhattan Skyline at Twilight

Duhan Zhang, Cornell University

Manhattan skyline at twilight. Optical microscope and microfluidic device are commonly used in particle tracing visualization. By this method, we can directly observe the electroconvection at liquid-metal interface during Tin electrodeposition in low concentration aqueous electrolyte under a low constant current density at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art work is based on a scanning electron microscope image. The sample is a gold nanostructure. By the overgrowth of the Au nanoplate, we obtained a peony-like Au nanostructure. Peony is a famous flower of China. So I named this work Gold Peony.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of an oxidized two-dimensional (2D) V2CTx MXene particle showing similarities to the imaginary Yoda character in the Star Wars Movie series.
s19-saa-flower

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Peony

Han Zhang, Chinese University of Hong Kong

The art work is based on a scanning electron microscope image. The sample is a gold nanostructure. By the overgrowth of the Au nanoplate, we obtained a peony-like Au nanostructure.

Yoda

Armin VahidMohammadi, Auburn University

SEM image of an oxidized two-dimensional V2CTx MXene particle showing similarities to the imaginary Yoda character in the Star Wars Movie series. V2CTx is synthesized by selective etching of Al atoms from V2AlC MAX phase and is a promising electrode material for energy storage devices such as supercapacitors and batteries. The SEM image was taken using a JEOL JSM-7000F Scanning Electron Microscope, and fake colors were added using computer software without manipulation of the original image (only eyes and ears are added to the image to help with showing the resemblances).

EGaIn Flower

Minyung Song, North Carolina State University

A drop of the liquid metal, eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) in a strong base electrolyte normally forms a sphere because of its inherently high surface tension. Applying a small, positive electric potential to EGaIn (via the red wire) causes surface oxidation in solution and effectively lowers its interfacial tension. EGaIn then spreads into this flower-like shape to increase its surface area.