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October 2018

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 NanoArt Image Contest!

In celebration of National Nano Day, the Foundry Community and the general public have selected the winners of the Foundry’s 2018 NanoArt Image Contest. An image submitted by Chih-Hao Hsu showing a 6-arm crystal metal organic framework (MOF) was selected as the Foundry’s Choice. Lin Su submitted an illustration of Listeria bacteria performing extracellular electron transport that was voted to be the People’s Choice. Lin’s entry also won second place in the Foundry’s Choice round.

There was a three-way tie for third place in the Foundry’s Choice round, with submissions by Florian Brown-Alvater, Brett Helms, and Won Jun Jo receiving equal numbers of votes.

#NationalNanoDay is an annual celebration on 10/9 to help raise awareness of nanotechnology, how it is used in products that enrich our daily lives, and the challenges and opportunities it holds for the future.

We solicited entries from the Foundry Community, and received 28 amazing submissions from our staff and users. Entrants were asked to write a lay-friendly description and also to describe the potential application of their work.

The submissions were voted on by the Foundry Community to determine the Foundry’s Choice, and votes were solicited from Berkeley Lab and the general public by social media to determine the People’s Choice. The top 3 placements in each category will be professionally printed and displayed in the Molecular Foundry lobby.

Foundry's Choice - 1st Place

Submitted by Chih-Hao Hsu, this 6-arm crystal is a type of “MOF” or metal organic framework, with embedded sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are phase-change materials with high latent heat, making them ideal for applications related to thermal management. The crystals could be used to improve power plants’ cooling systems.

The material was made by Chih-Hao Hsu and Jeff Urban of the Molecular Foundry, using the Inorganic Nanostructures facility and the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM). The image was taken using the ThemIS electron microscope at NCEM.

Foundry's Choice - 2nd Place

Submitted by Lin Su, this image depicts a Listeria bacterium transporting electrons through its cell wall into the environment as tiny currents, assisted by flavin molecules shown in yellow. The illustration was done by Amy Cao of UC Berkeley, to describe the findings of Light et al., 2018 whose team included S. H. Light, L. Su, R. Rivera-Lugo, J. A. Cornejo, A. Louie, A. T. Iavarone, C. M. Ajo-Franklin, and D. A. Portnoy (DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0498-z).

The researchers used the Biological Nanostructures facility to study extracellular electron transport. Their findings provide some understanding of the interaction between gut bacteria and human cells from a new point of view, and also create new opportunities for the design of bacteria-based energy-generating technologies.

Foundry's Choice - 3rd Place

Submitted by Florian Brown-Alvater, this figure shows the calculated energies of excited electrons (horizontal axis) at different momenta (vertical axis) in crystalline naphthalene. Understanding the interaction of nuclear vibrations and electrons allows us to design more efficient materials for numerous optical and electronic applications, like photovoltaics, LEDs, or nanoscale electronic circuits. The researchers used the ABINIT software suite and the resources of the Theory of Nanostructured Materials facility.

Foundry's Choice - 3rd Place

Submitted by Brett Helms, this image shows the architecture of a vascular network that charges and discharges a battery electrode. Improved batteries could be used to electrify aviation and long-haul trucking. The researchers involved with this work include: L. C. H. Gerber, P. D. Frischmann, F. Y. Fan, S. E. Doris, X. Qu, A. M Scheuermann, K. Persson, Y.-M. Chiang, and B. A. Helms.

The material was made in the Organic and Macromolecular Nanostructures facility and imaged by SEM in the Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures facility.

Foundry's Choice - 3rd Place

Submitted by Won Jun Jo, this image depicts a cobalt oxide-coated silicon nanowire forest. This material is being developed to help commercialize solar fuel technologies. The material was made by Won Jun Jo and Heinz Frei using the Nanofabrication facility, and the image was taken using SEM.

Foundry's Choice - 4th Place

Submitted by Ron Zuckermann, this image shows a collection of peptoid polymers that can be programmed to fold into precise nanoscale architectures, like nanosheets (above) and nanotubes (below), depending on the precise chemical sequence of monomers in the chain. These peptoid nanostructures mimic protein structure in many fundamental ways, paving the way to create a new class of robust, atomically-defined bio-inspired materials. Peptoid nanosheets (above) can be functionalized to display surface loops which can bind to proteins, viruses and cells. These 2D affinity reagents can potentially neutralize pathogens by physically wrapping/enveloping them, akin to nano-flypaper or molecular velcro.

Foundry's Choice - 5th Place

Submitted by Stephanie Mack, this is pattern of an image showing a two-dimensional slice of the path electrons would travel along in a high pressure structure of lithium. This circular shape it follows is unusually robust and in this case is part of a novel feature called a topological nodal line. Topological materials could be useful for new nanotechnology devices because the conducting electrons are very robust against defects and in quantum computing.

People's Choice - 1st Place

Submitted by Lin Su, this image depicts a Listeria bacterium transporting electrons through its cell wall into the environment as tiny currents, assisted by flavin molecules shown in yellow. The illustration was done by Amy Cao of UC Berkeley, to describe the findings of Light et al., 2018 whose team included S. H. Light, L. Su, R. Rivera-Lugo, J. A. Cornejo, A. Louie, A. T. Iavarone, C. M. Ajo-Franklin, and D. A. Portnoy (DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0498-z).

The researchers used the Biological Nanostructures facility to study extracellular electron transport. Their findings provide some understanding of the interaction between gut bacteria and human cells from a new point of view, and also create new opportunities for the design of bacteria-based energy-generating technologies.

People's Choice - 2nd Place

Submitted by Brett Helms, this image shows the architecture of a vascular network that charges and discharges a battery electrode. Improved batteries could be used to electrify aviation and long-haul trucking. The researchers involved with this work include: L. C. H. Gerber, P. D. Frischmann, F. Y. Fan, S. E. Doris, X. Qu, A. M Scheuermann, K. Persson, Y.-M. Chiang, and B. A. Helms.

The material was made in the Organic and Macromolecular Nanostructures facility and imaged by SEM in the Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures facility.

People's Choice - 3rd Place

Submitted by Chengyu Song, a “galaxy” of single atoms: This electron microscopy image shows a collection of metal atoms – the material is proposed as a new energy-transforming catalyst.

The image was taken at the National Center for Electron Microscopy using the TEAM 0.5 microscope by Jing Tang (Stanford University), Chengyu Song (MFD, LBNL), Peter Ercius (MFD, LBNL), and Yi Cui (Stanford University).

Thank you to all the particpants, to those who voted, and congratulations to the winners!