Contest Winners

Grand Prize Winner, Scientific Merit

Polarization Vortex

Christopher Nelson, "Polarization Vortex"

This image is a colorized map of the electric dipole moment of a ferroelectric BiFeO3 film which includes a polarization spiral. Such dipole flux-closure vortex structures are well known in magnetic materials as a mechanism to reduce energy from stray fields. Similar patterns in ferroelectric materials have only been reported in low-dimension nanodots and nanowires. Here we show that they also form at the interface of a ferroelectric film and a strong insulator (TbScO3 bottom). The arrows indicate the direction and magnitude of the displacement of the central Fe cation, which indicates polarization. The color and intensity corresponds to the angle and magnitude of the polarization respectively.

Grand Prize Winner, Artistic Merit

Breaking free

Anne Juggernauth, "Breaking free "

SEM image of large PMMA particles in a batch of commercial 1um particles. This shows the imperfections and polydispersity size for commercial polymer micro-particles.

Category I - Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (First - Third Place)

Ferns

Kevin Bergemann, "Ferns"

This picture shows a squaraine variant which was spincoated onto a silicon substrate and then solvent annealed to induce crystallization. This sample in particular showed very large crystals, seen at 5x magnification. By using a polarization microscope, we are able to see the different directions of crystal domains as different colors on a yellow background of amorphous material. This sample was created as part of a study into controlling the crystallinity of squaraine materials, which allows us to optimize their electrical and optical properties for use in photovoltaics.
Lava Flow

Brian E. Lassiter, "Lava Flow"

Although copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) is widely used as a blue dye in applications such as car paints, it also is also a well-studied organic semiconductor. When it is deposited by organic vapor phase deposition, it typically forms a polycrystalline film; however, when deposited under certain conditions onto a single crystal substrate such as potassium bromide (KBr), single crystal films can be grown over macroscopic areas. In this case, the features on the surface are from an imperfect cleaving of the KBr surface.
Microneedle formation on AISI 4340 steel by Laser Ablation

Sudip Bhattacharya, "Microneedle formation on AISI 4340 steel by Laser Ablation"

Ordered arrangement of micron sized "needles" structures were formed by ablation of AISI 4340 steel surfaces with a Ytterbium doped fiber based femtosecond laser. The purpose of this investigation was to systematically develop periodic array of micron sized structures on the alloy surfaces by laser ablation to enhance their surface properties, such as hydrophobicity, absorptivity etc. The aim was also to understand the mechanism behind these "micro-needles" formation and systematically characterize their microstructure.

Category II - Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (First - Third Place)

Watercolors

Jennifer Dibbern, "Watercolors"

This image depicts the many surface steps found directly above rows of InAs quantum dots. Though the quantum dot rows are not visible in this image, these surface steps radiate upward from the first row of quantum dots as a consequence of the stress field they create within the heterostructure.
Piezoresponse ripples in ferroelectric BiFeO3

Jake Jokisaari, "Piezoresponse ripples in ferroelectric BiFeO3"

Piezoresponse microscopy allows the domain boundaries in ferroelectric materials to be directly imaged. This image is a representation of the vertical 71 degree domain boundaries, shown as vertical relief, overlain with the lateral response information, shown by color. The change in the lateral domain orientation is caused by the defects indicated by the red arrows. These defects stabilize the 180 degree domain boundaries surrounding the gold areas, where the vertical domains still exist, but are offset from the remainder of the structure. Understanding of the effect of defects on the formation and motion of domain boundaries is critical for the creation of novel ferroelectric memory devices.
Nanogold dendrite

Robert Nidetz, "Nanogold dendrite"

A bright-field and dark-field image of a dendrite of nanogold that was formed during a gold nanorod synthesis procedure.

Category IV - Digitally Enhanced or Colorized Images of Microstructures (First - Third Place)

Shockwaves

Kevin Grossklaus, "Shockwaves"

This colorized SEM image shows part of the fracture surface of a GaAs single crystal wafer. The sharp ridges in the image are produced when the GaAs cleaves along specific atomic planes, often producing a regular pattern on the surface.
Jagged Fracture

Kevin Grossklaus, "Jagged Fracture"

This colorized SEM image shows part of the fracture surface of a GaAs single crystal wafer. The sharp ridges in the image are produced when the GaAs cleaves along specific atomic planes, often producing a regular pattern on the surface.