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2021 Plenty of Room at the Bottom Image Contest

Every year in honor of National Nanotechnology Day on October 9th, the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) hosts a Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom image contest to celebrate the beauty of the micro and nanoscale.

The Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure, of which the Institute for Nano-engineered Systems leads, is one of NNCI’s 16 member sites. Researchers are invited to submit images of their work taken at NNCI facilities (which at the UW includes the Washington Nanofabrication Facility and the Molecular Analysis Facility) for consideration for the categories of Most Stunning, Most Whimsical and Most Unique Capability.

The winners will be entered into a network-wide competition. Public voting begins October 8.

Most Whimsical – Winner

Zheyi Han, Electrical & Computer Engineering Graduate Student in the Bohringer Lab

Taken on a JEOL-JSM7400F Scanning Electron Microscope at the Washington Nanofabrication Facility

False-colored and decorated scanning electron microscopic image capturing an array of square silicon pillars from an oblique perspective.

Most Stunning – Winner

Nano-wrinkled Head
Zainab Patel, Materials Science & Engineering Graduate Student in the Meza Lab

Taken on an Apreo SEM in the Molecular Analysis Facility

A 3D printed fracture test assembly was plasma etched which formed a thick skin on the printed polymer. When this assembly was pyrolyzed at 900C to shrink the polymer, the skin buckled and formed this unique and highly textured surface never seen before, which seems like a wrinkled human head.

2021 Featured Submissions

The WNF boat by Tran Nguyen
An image of an electrochemical electrode array fabricated at the WNF facility was superimposed with a picture of a boat. The pattern is formed of 50 micron-wide lines.
Cellulose hierarchy in plants by Danielle Pascoli
This image depicts a cellulose macrofiber isolated from plants and its incredible hierarchical structure, leading to much smaller, individual microfibers that spread over the image’s background. The bigger macrofiber is a few microns wide, while the smaller ones are just tens of nanometers wide. We were very excited to simultaneously capture fibers at two very different scales (micro and nano) in a single frame.
The microelectrode lagoon by Albert Folch
An image of electrochemical electrodes fabricated at WNF by postdoc Tran Nguyen (Folch lab, UW BioE) has been distorted for perspective and overlaid with that of a lagoon and a boat.
Galaxy at the Bottom by Zheyi Han
False-colored scanning electron microscopic image of silicon pillars arranged as part of a micro-lens.
Martian valley by Quentin Tanguy
Several tens of thousands of micro pillars (in the micrometer scale) with slightly varying dimensions are distributed very close to each other in a specific layout producing this weird shape. The micro structures are made of a photosensitive resin, and diffract different colors according to their sizes. The vertical stripes are due to a non uniform exposure to light. The specific shapes are meant to redirect light rays in different directions to recreate an optical neuron-like network.
μ2∞ by Khristopher Barr
Combination of image of a thin oxide film and image of a space shuttle in space.
Layers by Michael Riehs
Black phosphorus flake with multiple layers as seen by scanning electron microscopy. As a two dimensional material, black phosphorus can be exfoliated down into single and few layer sheets consisting of only phosphorus atoms similar in many ways to graphene (a two dimensional material consisting solely of carbon atoms).