The Art of Nanotech

  • By Maiken Lilley
  • Posted 11.18.10
  • NOVA

Can science produce art? If the following images are any indication, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Created by nanotechnologists around the world, these images, most of which show materials smaller than the period at the end of this sentence, beautifully meld microengineering with aesthetics. In this slide show, enjoy some award-winning art while learning about some compelling new nanoscale materials and their potential uses.

Launch Interactive

See a selection of award-winning images of nanoscale materials.

These images were winners in the Materials Research Society's "Science as Art" competition. Most images were made with a scanning electron microscope and artificially colored.

Maiken Lilley is an intern at NOVA Online.



(Pandora flowers?)
Courtesy Jian Shi, University of Wisconsin
(Toy chest?)
Courtesy David Gracias, Johns Hopkins University
(Van Gogh's Starry Night?)
Courtesy Mariela Bravo-Sanchez, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Mexico
(Deep-sea creature?)
Courtesy Wen Hsun Tu, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
(Cascade of watermelons?)
Courtesy Yongxing Hu, University of California, Riverside
(Insect eggs?)
Courtesy Waldemar Smirnov, Fraunhofer Institut Angewandte Festkí¶rperphysik, Germany
(Caterpillar massacre?)
Courtesy Sung H. Kang, Harvard University
(Spaghetti and meatballs?)
Courtesy Blythe G. Clark, Sandia National Lab, and Dan Gianola Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
(Turner sunset?)
Courtesy Claudia Hí¼rrich, IFW Dresden, Germany
(Bug eye?)
Courtesy Boaz Pokroy, Harvard University

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