Description This is a photo of failure. In this experiment, nanoparticles were suspended in water. Scientists then painted it onto a microscope slide, hoping to make a sturdy membrane that could be peeled off in one piece.But the coating cracked as it dried, like desert mud. Here, the cracks are lit up, showing the defects through a microscope. The colors come from iridescence, like what you see in soap bubbles.
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.