2016 FEI Image Contest Monthly Winners

The 2016 FEI Image Contest is underway, and we have received many impressive images from a wide variety of submitters. We have chosen the best images from three instrument-based categories (SEM, TEM and DualBeam) as our monthly prize winners. Each monthly winner will receive a $400 cash. Congratulations to all of our winners. Nicely done!

See the winners:

November Winners  |   October Winners  |   September Winners  |   August Winners  |   July Winners  |   June Winners

November Winners

Category: SEM

Gall bladder

Courtesy of Mrs. Nicole Ottawa

Surface of the gall bladder showing the cells with microvilli.

Image Details

Magnification: 3000x
Sample: Medical, CP dried, Pd coated
Detector: SE, BSE, BSE
Voltage: 7kv
Vacuum: high vac.
WorkingDistance: 10mm
Spot: 3

Taken by Quanta SEM

Category: TEM

A (CNT) bundle is strong

Courtesy of Dr. Bharath Natarajan

This is a 3D volume reconstruction of a forest of carbon nanotubes (CNT) embedded in epoxy, visualized using Amira. The TEM sample was prepared by focusing ion beam milling in a FEI Helios FIB and imaged in a Titan TEM using TIA's tomography suite. The tilt series was reconstructed using the SIRT algorithm on Inspect 3D. The reconstruction was then processed in an in-house software to identify CNT bundles and color them based on their size. This bundling information in key to understanding the network properties as well the axial mechanical properties of these composites.

Image Details

Sample: CNTs in Epoxy
Detector: GIF
Voltage: 300 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 896 nm
Spot: 3

Taken by Titan

Category: DualBeam

3D Reconstruction of Fischerella

Courtesy of Ms. Han Chan

A cyanobacterium that was isolated from a terrestrial sample in 1971. Images taken by Helios NanoLab 650.

Image Details

Sample: cyanobacterium
Detector: TLD
Voltage: 2 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 25.45 μm
WorkingDistance: 4.0

Taken by Helios NanoLab

October Winners

Category: SEM

Laocoon

Courtesy of Dr. Mauro Mazzocchi

It is quite strange zirconium diboride neoformation, snake-like in shape, due to impregnation of organic porous templant. Effects of crystal growth are visible as topographic altitude curves on surfaces

Image Details

Magnification: 4,000x
Sample: Zirconium diboride
Detector: SE
Voltage: 8kV
Vacuum: -
WorkingDistance: 9.0
Spot: 2.5

Taken by Quanta SEM

Category: TEM

6H polytype of silicon carbide

Courtesy of Dr. Michał Rawski

Stacking of ABCACB planes making 6H polytype of SiC crystal. Sample prepared with FIB lift-out method.

Image Details

Magnification: 1000000x
Sample: silicon carbide
Detector: BF-CCD
Voltage: 300 kV
Spot: 3.0

Taken by Titan

Category: DualBeam

Association of cancer and myeloid cells

Courtesy of Dr. Rita Serda

Immune surveillance by macrophages and monocytes is important for removing foreign invaders from the body, eliminating dead or damaged cells, and tissue homeostasis. Functional plasticity of macrophages enables them to respond to different stimuli, performing a variety of immune modulatory roles. During tumor development, macrophages are among the first immune cells to migrate into the tumor. Stimuli, including molecules secreted by cancer cells, polarize macrophages into various tumor-associated macrophage subpopulations. Factors secreted by macrophages include immunosuppressive cytokines, inflammatory chemokines, and phagocytosis molecules. Shown here are multiple macrophages (white) associating with a breast cancer cell (red). At the University of New Mexico, we are using nanotechnology to deliver agents that influence immune cells to actively participate in destroying tumor cells.

Image Details

Magnification: 15000x
Sample: cells
Detector: SE
Voltage: 20 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 20 um
WorkingDistance: 10
Spot: 4.5

Taken by Quanta 3D

September Winners

Category: SEM

Nanocurtain

Courtesy of Mr. Ezra Feilden

Carbon foams can be readily made by thermal decomposition of organic material such as sucrose under vacuum at high temperatures. Foams created this way typically consist of cells of glassy carbon separated by very thin (<50 nm) carbon membranes. When they cool down to room temperature, these membranes often break and buckle due to thermal stresses, giving rise to the structure in the image.

Image Details

Magnification: 1500
Voltage: 5 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 70μm

Taken by Quanta SEM

Category: TEM

Nanofibers in Muscle

Courtesy of Dr. Mark McClendon

Here we see the sarcomere units in the muscle tissue (red) of a mouse that was injected with a regenerative nanofiber matrix (blue). The nanofibers were injected with a micro-manipulating device that allows us to align the nanofibers parallel to the muscle tissue. The alignment of nanofibers allows proliferating cells to match the organization of the neighboring muscle thus accelerating the healing process after injury.

Image Details

Horizontal Field Width: 44um

Taken by Tecnai

Category: DualBeam

Macrophage Tunneling Nanotubes

Courtesy of Dr. Rita Serda

Mouse macrophages communicate through bridges known as tunneling nanotubes. The nanotubes are active sites involved in endocytosis of nano particles and transport of nanoparticles between cells. This image was taken at a 52 degree tilt and the nanoparticles were false-colored red.

Image Details

Magnification: 25,000
Sample: mouse macrophages
Detector: SE
Voltage: 30 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 15 um
WorkingDistance: 10
Spot: 7.0

Taken by Quanta 3D

August Winners

Category: SEM

Dog Flea

Courtesy of Mrs. Nicole Ottawa

Dog flea between dog hair

Image Details

Magnification: 70x
Sample: Biological, gold coated
Detector: SE, BSE, BSE
Voltage: 7kV
Vacuum: High vac
Horizontal Field Width: 1,7 mm
WorkingDistance: 12mm
Spot: 3

Taken by Quanta SEM

Category: TEM

Multi-walled Carbon Nanotube filled with Iron Nanowire

Courtesy of Dr. Mert Kurttepeli

It is an aberration corrected TEM image acquired from a multi-walled carbon nanotube filled with iron nanowire. This image is acquired by Dr. Mert Kurttepeli and Dr. Nadja Tarakina with an FEI Titan microscope operated at 120 kV equipped with an image correcter, a probe correcter and a monochromator. The image itself enables us to understand the interaction between the iron nanowire with the carbon nanotube and to see if there is any direct link between those two.

Image Details

Magnification: 295,000x
Sample: Multi-walled Carbon Nanotube filled with Iron Nanowire
Voltage: 120 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 13.66nm
Spot: 2.0

Taken by Titan

Category: DualBeam

Spongy

Courtesy of Dr. Maria Carbajo

This material is a mixed lanthanum, titanium and copper oxide with perovskite structure, used as catalyst in processes of wastewater treatment. A cross section made by a focused ion beam (FIB) shows a very porous inner structure, with a similar appearance to a sponge.

Image Details

Magnification: 5000x
Sample: mixed oxide
Detector: SE
Voltage: 30kV
Vacuum: 10e-4Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 59.7 μm
WorkingDistance: 10 mm
Spot: 5.5

Taken by Quanta 3D

July Winners

Category: SEM

cascade confetti

Courtesy of Dr. Eric Formo

Hydrothermally synthesized BaFeSi4O10 crystals of varying sizes. We are interested in the hydrothermal chemistry of BaFeSi4O10 both for what insights this method can provide into the geological formation of gillespite, the mineral form of BaFeSi4O1O, and as a potential route for making novel hybrid materials with other metals.

Image Details

Taken by Teneo

Category: TEM

Silver heart, Gold decoration

Courtesy of Dr. Ming Lin

A High resolution TEM image clearly demonstrates a core-shell structure. the perfect lattice match between silver and gold gives rise to the growth of gold shell outside the heart-shaped silver core.

Image Details

Magnification: 490,000
Voltage: 200 kV

Taken by Titan

Category: DualBeam

cysteine rose

Courtesy of Mr. Andrea Jacassi

It is a crystal of cysteine produced drying an high concentrate solution of cysteine on a silicon nitrite substrate

Image Details

Magnification: 3998x
Voltage: 5kV
Horizontal Field Width: 37.3 um
WorkingDistance: 5.4mm

Taken by Helios NanoLab

June Winners

Category: SEM

Nanofibers and Neural Cell

Courtesy of Dr. Mark McClendon

Caption: False color image of an embryonic neural cell (blue/green) derived from the mouse spinal cord and cultured on a synthetic nanofiber gel (purple). The prolongations of the cell (green) are extending throughout the nanofibers to re-establish a neural network with other cells. These nanofibers (~10nm in diameter) were specifically designed to encourage neural outgrowth by mimicking the environment of spinal cord tissue. Science: Spinal cord injuries often lead to lifelong disabilities and the key to functional recovery is reconnecting the neuronal pathways that were damaged. One solution is to induce neural stem cells in the spinal cord to regenerate the cellular extensions while discouraging scar tissue formation that would otherwise block the reconnections from occurring. Shown in this image is a mouse neural cell growing on a synthetic nanofiber gel that has been designed to mimic the native environment of the spinal cord tissue. A local injection of these nanofibers following spinal cord injuries in mice was able to reduce glial scar formation and restore hind leg function with only one treatment. More Info: J. Neurosci., 28(14), (2008) 3814-3823 Journal of Neuroscience Research 88(14), (2010) 3161-3170 Biomaterials 43(20), (2013) 4749-4757 Biomaterials 35(1), (2014) 185-195 Biomaterials 35(31), (2014) 8780-8790 Laboratory website: http://stupp.northwestern.edu/group/index.html

Image Details

Magnification: 15,000X
Sample: Neural Cell coated with Osmium
Detector: SE
Voltage: 3kV
Vacuum: 1 e-3Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 25um
WorkingDistance: 10
Spot: 3

Taken by Quanta SEM

Category: SEM

IR lamp blown filament

Courtesy of Mr. Marcos Rosado

A blown filament from an IR lamp is shown on the image. The melted area seen on the tip is where it burned and cracked while working. The rest of the filament, that is in a healthy state, is a perfect and beautiful double spiral geometry .

Image Details

Magnification: 160
Sample: IR lamp filament
Detector: SE + BSE
Voltage: 20 kV
Vacuum: 10e-4 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 1.89 mm
WorkingDistance: 10 mm
Spot: 4.0

Taken by Quanta SEM

Category: TEM

Gold Triangles

Courtesy of Mr. Durga Prasad Muvva

Green synthesis of Au Trianlges by false color

Image Details

Magnification: 71000x
Voltage: 200 kV
WorkingDistance: 3
Spot: 1

Taken by Tecnai

Category: DualBeam

Cracked iron

Courtesy of Dr. Thomas Loeber

Cross section of an iron sample which was heavily bended until it cracked. The ion image shows the resulting crack and also the crystal structure of the iron. The crack changes the crystal structure from large clusters at both sides to very small clusters near the crack.

Image Details

Magnification: 20.000
Sample: Iron
Detector: ETD SE
Voltage: 30
Horizontal Field Width: 10.4
WorkingDistance: 13 mm

Taken by Helios NanoLab

See the winners:

November Winners  |   October Winners  |   September Winners  |   August Winners  |   July Winners  |   June Winners