NanoArtography Previous Winners

 Check here for past NanoArtography Competition Winners!

NanoArtography 2017 Winners

FIRST PLACE: The Space Base by Alberto Brambila Solórzano, Colima´s University, Mexico.

The Spatial Base of NaF is an image obtained by SEM, was synthesized through the CVD method, this microstructure formed by the coupling of the cubes in space, this base seems to be floating in the middle of nowhere waiting for some traveler. Image width is 0.5 mm.

SECOND PLACE: Evolution of peptide nanostructures by Charalampos Pappas, Advanced Science Research Center, City University of New York, USA.

This TEM image represents an example of a supramolecular peptide nanostructure that was discovered using a dynamic peptide library approach, where peptide sequences are dynamically exchanged, giving rise to a competition of sequences and resulting in the spontaneous selection and formation of stable self-assembling nanostructures. Image width is 0.0002mm.

THIRD PLACE (tie three ways): Magnetostatic Spawn by Aleks Labuda, Asylum Research, Santa Barbara, USA.

Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid. Surfactants in the fluid prevent the agglomeration of the nanoparticles because their strong Van der Waals forces exceed the particles’ weak magnetic attraction. Reducing the size of the magnetite (or hematite) nanoparticles to below 10 nm is key in preventing their precipitation from the carrier fluid. At such length scales, brownian motion ensures their indefinite suspension under normal conditions. This photograph demonstrates the magnetic properties of this liquid as it shape shifts under the magnetic field setup by two carefully positioned rare-earth disc magnets. One magnet lies below a silicon wafer, while the other hangs from above. The protruding cones are a result of the compromise between the minimization of magnetic energy versus the minimization of surface free energy.

THIRD PLACE: Vanadium Oxide Leaves by Mallory Clites, Drexel University, USA.

Bilayered vanadium oxide has a flexible layered crystal structure that allows for the intercalation of various ions and molecules. In this image, a large, positively-charged organic molecule, cetyltrimethyl ammonium, has been inserted into the space between vanadium oxide layers. After synthesis, the vanadium oxide forms thick nanobelts that wrap together tightly to form the shape of petals or leaves, resulting in the design shown. Image width is 0.03 mm.

THIRD PLACE: Mysterious night at rocky mountain by Ulugbek Shaislamov, Jeju National University, South Korea.

Presented vertically aligned nanostructures are Cu nanorod arrays that were prepared by template based electrodeposition method. Irregular height of the nanorods resamples rocky mountain that is lit by moonlight at mysterious night. Image width is 0.55 mm.

People’s Choice: The flower and the bud by Anurag Singhania, Gunda Harini, and Dr. Kabeer Jasuja, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, India.

The image represents magnesium and boron based nanostructures synthesized by a bottom-up approach being developed by our research group. The phenomenon of self-assembly in the presence of specific capping agents results in formation of extremely small scale clusters which appear like growing flowers. One of the clusters resembles a full grown flower and another cluster nearby it resembles a bud in the process of growing. The clusters seem connected by a stalk like structure. This nanoflower and nanobud was imaged using a Scanning electron microscope. Image width is 0.009 mm.

Honorable Mention: Self-assembled liquid crystal flower by Wei Feng, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.

Chiral nematic liquid crystal molecules self-assemble into fingerprint pattern. In the polarized optical microscope, we can observe beautiful textures with various shapes. In the picture, there are two kinds of domains: the bright areas are planar domains and the black areas are homeotropic domains. The molecules can self-assemble into different shapes, for example, “flower-like” patterns. Image width is 0.45 mm.

Honorable Mention: Nanoyarn Meteorite by Ariana Levitt, Drexel University, USA.

This is a false-colored SEM image of an electrospun core-shell nanoyarn, where the core is stainless steel yarn, and the sheath is composed of PAN nanofibers. PAN nanoyarns, once carbonized, are promising materials for wearable energy storage applications. Image width is 0.5 mm.

Honorable Mention: Bismuth heart by Wei Sun, Southeast University, China.

In this SEM image, we happened to find a heart-shape in a sample of bismuth nanoparticles. The special shape were formed during the drying process. Because it looks like a heart, the bismuth nanoparticles were colorized red.


NanoArtography 2016 Winners

FIRST PLACE: Michael Ghidiu, MSE, Drexel University


MXene Library

MXene Ti3C2 ‘clay’ has a layered structure that can be easily sheared, creating fantastic forms on the microscale. This is an SEM image of Ti3C2 stacks that have been partially sheared along the basal planes, giving the appearance of books, and has been colorized to emphasize the likeness.

SECOND PLACE: Ariana Levitt, MSE, Drexel University


Piezoelectric Nanoyarn Galaxy

An electrospun PVDF-TrFe nanoyarn. PVDF-TrFe is a polymer capable of forming piezoelectric nanofibers without the need for additional poling. Nanoyarns are higher-order architectures of nanofìbers and are fabricated by twisting bundles of aligned nanofibers together during the electrospinning process.

THIRD PLACE: Richardo Tranquilin,  Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil


Gerbera Flower

The general idea of this work is the association of nature with microscopic images, both in their shapes and colors, so it is possible to converge the microscopic world to the common worldwhere so we can show that this small world works with the same forms of the macro world. Also taking a special look on the images that exhibit abstract forms. The image was obtained through Field Emission Gun – Scanning Electron Microscope (FEG – SEM). The material presented in this image is strontium tungstate.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Kanit Hantanasirisakul, MSE, Drexel University


Ti3CN Antelope Canyon

The curved structure presented in the picture is a porous Ti3CN Mxene. The width of the “cliff” on the right hand side of the picture is approximately 20 microns. The author tries to match the MXene microporous structure with the Antelope canyon in Nevada. MXene and antelope do have something in common in the sense that they are made from soil (clay for MXene).

HONORABLE MENTION: Laura RiccardiIstituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova, Italy.



Molecular dynamics simulations of monolayer protected gold nanoparticles in water. To avoid boundary conditions artifacts the system is replicated in all three directions of space, mimicking an infinite system. The foruth dimension is time. Molecular dynamics simulations allow to follow the dynamical evolution of the system, typically in the nanosecond to microsecond time scale.

HONORABLE MENTION: Gabriel Burks, MSE,  Drexel University.


Gasp!!! Fall is Here, but Winter is Near

This image is dedicated to the millennials, who find themselves at the crossroads of constant change. Society is in perpetual motion it is to our advantage to be prepared to adapt to these changes. The scarecrow gasps at the sight of yet another predicted change upon the horizon, but it also knows that its place in the field is crucial for the eventual success of the crop (especially in the midst of the changing environment. So to the millennials, be strong in your values, flexible in your ways, and never-ending in your pursuits. Fall is here, but we all know that winter is near!
Scientifically speaking, this image is one of colorized Poly(vinylidene fluoride) PVDF crystallites viewed under scanning electron microscope.

HONORABLE MENTION: Yuriy Smolin, CBE, Drexel University


Polyaniline blueberries on carbon nanofibers twigs

Electrospun carbon nanofibers are coated with a 10nm polyaniline coating using oxidative chemical vapor deposition (CVD). During this specific reaction, spheres of polyaniline formed on the surface of the carbon nanofibers, along with some rough patches. The spheres reminded me of blueberries and the rough patches reminded of insects that craw on twigs such as red caterpillars, and the nanofibers reminded me of green twigs.  So I made this image to reflect this natural scene in my mind.