Chrome Labyrinth. Michael Woodson. Millions of tiny wrinkles formed when Woodson layered a sheet of chromium (0.1 micrometers thick) on a layer of acrylic polymer and heated them together. “Totally accidental,” he says.
The Sarlacc. Adam Shields. This ant spiracle is 35 microns wide, smaller than the width of a human hair, and leads to the respiratory system. “Reminiscent of the Sarlacc, the desert monster in Star Wars,” Shields says.
Touched by His Noodly Appendage. Jerome Carpenter. The image shows human bronchial epithelial cells fixed with formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, then critically point dried and sputter-coated with gold palladium.
Trompetenblume. Joseph DeSimone, Holger Misslitz, Hans-Werner Schmidt. This is benzene trisamide, a small organic molecule. A special treatment of water, heat and cold caused the one-dimensional, flexible nanofibers to form a trumpet shape.
Some look familiar. Some look strange. All are images submitted by students and faculty to a scientific art competition sponsored by Carolina’s Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL).
CHANL, established in 2006, is home to electron microscopes, an x-ray photoelectron spectrometer, a cleanroom with photolithography, deposition, and etching systems, and many other powerful tools for imaging and fabrication. These tools enable nanotechnology scientists to view matter on an atomic or molecular scale or, more precisely, matter measured in nanometers. One nanometer is equal to one billionth of a meter.
The scientific art competition takes place in the spring and is open to anyone on campus. Entries this year came from students and faculty across the University, including many in pharmacy, biomedical engineering, medicine, computer science, studio art, physics and astronomy and chemistry.
CHANL is part of the Institute for Advanced Materials, Nanoscience and Technology. CHANL operates as a shared instrumentation laboratory open to UNC researchers from all departments as well as to researchers from other universities, government labs, and industry.
Each image shown here is described in its caption. Here’s information about the image creators.
- Nanomushroom. Pavel Takmakov and Sergei Smirnov. Takmakov is a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry at UNC. Smirnov is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at New Mexico State University. Equipment: Hitachi S-3400 scanning electron microscope.
- Touched by His Noodly Appendage. Jerome Carpenter. Carpenter is a doctoral student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNC. Equipment: Scanning electron microscope.
- Chrome Labyrinth. Michael Woodson. Woodson is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemistry. Equipment: Motic PSM-1000 microscope.
- Trompetenblume. Joseph DeSimone, Holger Misslitz, and Hans-Werner Schmidt. DeSimone is Chancellor’s Eminent Professor in the Department of Chemistry at UNC. Misslitz and Schmidt are professors of macromolecular chemistry at the University of Bayreuth. Equipment: LEO 1530 FE-SEM with Schottky-field-emission cathode and an in-lens detector (secondary electron detector).
- The Sarlacc by Adam Shields. Shields is a doctoral student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNC. Equipment: Scanning electron microscope.
Published October 25, 2010.