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Lab Spotlight: Argonne - Nanoparticle "Eruption"

ANL Nano Eruption


While it resembles lava erupting down the sides of a volcano, this image is actually nanoparticles just nanometers across—on the scale of the diameter of a human hair. The nanoparticles, made of polystyrene and magnetite, assemble themselves into these mountains and ridges. The research, led by Argonne National Lab’s Yongxing Hu, studies how to assemble nanoparticles into structures such as photonic crystals (found naturally in opals), which could be used in future optics and circuits.

More technically, this is a dark field optical microscopic image of self-assembled polystyrene nanoparticles (130 nm in diameter) in ferrofluids in between two glass substrates without external magnetic field.

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