A competition for microphotographs has produced some of the strangest and most beautiful sights in semiconductors and life sciences.
Microphotographs have been a familiar part semiconductor technology development since the earliest days. But the things that semiconductor engineers need to be able to see have been getting smaller and smaller as we have ridden Gordon Moore's down escalator. And as they get smaller they seem to get stranger and more beautiful.
There is a competition that promotes the most bizarre and most beautiful examples of "micrography," which is associated with the annual International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam technology and Nanofabrication. The 56th annual EIPBN conference is due to take place May 29 to June 1 at the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel, Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Title: Nanotube Nebula
Description: Scanning electron microscope image of bundled carbon nanotubes with a thin coating of SiO.
Submitted by: Matthew Bresin of College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, (SUNY Albany)
The above micrograph was deemed to be the best electron micrograph for 2011 and there are nine other honorable mentions with such titles as: The Burghers of Calais, The Engineer's Pole Dance and The Holly and the Ivy.
To find the other nine honorable mention micrographs I refer interested readers to the pages of scanning tunneling microscope maker Zyvex Labs, sponsor and archivist for the competition, where you can find all the 2011 micrograph entries and micrographs from previous years.
To give readers an idea what to expect here is a winner from 1995...Title: The Debutante's Ball
...and here is a winner from 2001.Title: The Art of Biotechnology
Description: A fluorescent image of a DNA chip after
hybridization. False colors represent intensity of fluorescence. Chip contains 129,000
oligomers 25-basis long and was programmed from a scan of Van Gogh's painting "Starry night."
Submitted by: Franco Cerrina, University of Wisconsin
Related links and articles: eipbn.orgZyvex Labs micrograph competition archive