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Posted: Oct 27, 2013

Help choose the winners in Argonne's 2013 Art of Science contest

(Nanowerk News) Help Argonne choose the winners of its 2013 Art of Science contest. The annual contest calls for lab employees and users of Argonne’s facilities to submit images and photographs that showcase their research. Some are computer simulations, some are photographs, and some are taken with incredibly powerful transmission electron microscopes that see down to nearly atomic level; all of them show the stunning intersection of beauty and science in Argonne’s world-class labs. Votes will be accepted through Nov. 1, 2013.
Here are some examples of images from the contest:
Forest of Atoms
These tiny cadmium nanorods are so small that the entire field of vision is just 13 x 13 nanometers (for scale, your fingernails grow about 1 nanometer per second). It was taken with a transmission electron microscope with color added.
droplets of metallic indium
These are droplets of metallic indium on a silicon oxide surface. Metallic droplets are a stage in the process to grow nanowires, which scientists are studying for future generations of batteries and other technologies. The nanowires need something to "climb" on to start growing--that's why some of the droplets appear to be covered by ice-like sheets and crystals. (The original black & white scanning electron microscopy image has color added)
Indium Balloon on a Nano Silicon String
Scientifically, this electron microscope image depicts the emergence of silicon nano strands (green) from an indium droplet (blue) during a plasma-assisted physical vapor deposition growth process. The blue balloon is an indium droplet. The growing silicon nanostrands (which form the string) lift the balloon from a silicon wafer substrate - the nanostrand is speckled with indium droplets. Metaphorically, the image portrays a night scene lit up by glowing lights. A blue balloon dances through the night sky, followed by a glowing trail of dusty light. There is something hopeful about the one blue balloon with its speckled tail. It dances playfully and engages the viewer, flying through the sky followed by a trail of dusty light.
gold-tipped cadmium nanorod
A gold-tipped cadmium nanorod covered with gold nanoparticles - which is just 115 nanometers across. (That's smaller than the diameter of an HIV virus.) Image taken by a scanning transmission electron microscope with color added.
droplet of indium (blue) with silicon nano-strands (green)
This "planet" is actually a very tiny droplet of indium (blue) with silicon nano-strands (green) growing around it. Scientists can use a special vapor deposition process to create unique materials, then use an extremely powerful electron microscope to see it and study its behavior. (With color added)
Lead Titanate Domain Terrain
The tallest "mountains" in the landscape below are actually only a few nanometers high (about how long your fingernails have grown while reading this). It's made out of lead titanate, which has unique properties and is widely used in sensors and actuators. The image, which has color added, was created using atomic force microscopy.
You can see all images and vote for them here on the contest site.
Source: Argonne National Laboratory
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