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"Nanomushroom," by Pavel Takmakov and Sergei Smirnov

"Nanomushroom," by Pavel Takmakov and Sergei Smirnov. Takmakov and Smirnov make gold nanowires by depositing metals into tiny holes in a membrane made of aluminum oxide. They use a strong base to dissolve the membrane and release the gold nanowires. However, sometimes, when the metals deposited donít spread uniformly, metal blooms on the outside of the membrane, creating mushroom-like growths like this one. Takmakov is a doctoral student in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smirnov is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at New Mexico State University. [Equipment: Hitachi S-3400 scanning electron microscope.]

More about this image
This image is from the second annual scientific art competition held by the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL). CHANL is home to a series of electron microscopes; an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer; a cleanroom with photolithography, deposition and etching systems; and many other powerful imaging tools and equipment. 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. Additional information on the competition and CHANL can be found on the CHANL website. (Date image taken: April 2003; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Sept. 14, 2017)

Credit: Pavel Takmakov; Sergei Smirnov, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University
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