Amazing Images from FEI's Image Contest - May 2013 Winners

By Will Soutter

FEI's ongoing microscopy image contest is always a source of beautiful and fascinating images, and this month's winners are certainly no exception.

The competition features images taken using FEI's range of electron microscopy tools. Winners are selected monthly in each of four categories: "The Natural World", "The Human Body", "Around the House", and "Other Science". At the end of the year, an overall winner is selected from the monthly category winners by voters on FEI's website - we featured the winning image from 2012 here on AZoNano back in February.

The competition is part of a joint project between FEI and National Geographic, to produce a film titled "Mysteries of the Unseen World". Selected winning images from the competition will be featured in promotional materials for the movie.

The images below were the winners in each of the four categories for May 2013.

"The Natural World"

This false-color SEM image from Marcos Rosado shows a yellow mimosa flower (acacia dealbata) about to open. The width of the visible field is 4.35 mm.

The image was taken as soon as possible after picking from the tree, to make sure it was still fresh, and avoid any damage to the structure.

Acacia dealbata (yellow mimosa) flower about to open

Image credit: Marcos Rosado/FEI, © All Rights Reserved

Image details

Created by: Marcos Rosado
Instrument used: Quanta Family
Magnification: 69x
Horizontal Field Width: 4.35 mm
Vacuum: High Vacuum
Voltage: 1.5 kV
Spot: 3.0
Working Distance: 15mm
Detector: SE

"Around the House"

This image was submitted by Francisco Rangel, and was produced as part of research conducted jointly by the Laboratório de Tabaco e Derivados (LATAB), the Divisão de Química Analítica (DQAN), and the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia (INT), in Brazil.

It shows a cross-transverse view of the cellulose acetate fibers in a cigarette filter. This is a higher magnification picture - the field of view here is just 0.3mm across, which gives you an idea just how fine these fibers are.

Cigarette Filter

Image credit: Francisco Rangel/FEI, © All Rights Reserved

Image details

Created by: LATAB/DQAN/INT
Instrument used: Quanta Family
Magnification: 1000X
Horizontal Field Width: 298 μm
Vacuum: 131 Pa
Voltage: 10 kV
Spot: 4.5
Working Distance: 15
Detector: Mix: SE + BSE

"The Human Body"

This picture from Lowrens Tiedt is fairly self-explanatory - a common head louse, balancing on two human hairs. Tiedt has wittily titled this picture, "Lice Olympics (Pole Vault)".

Head lice

Image credit: Louwrens Tiedt/FEI, © All Rights Reserved

Image details

Created by: Lowrens Tiedt
Instrument used: Quanta Family
Magnification: 200
Horizontal Field Width: 1.504 mm
Voltage: 5 kV
Spot: 4
Working Distance: 20 mm
Detector: SE

"Other Science"

This is a miscellaneous category, open to any images which do not easily fit into the other three categories. This covers a broad range of images from research into advanced materials, biological structures, and chemical processes.

This month's winning image in this category, created by Cyril Geudj using an FEI Strata™ STEM, and simply titled "The Web", is an extremely high magnification image of a grid he uses to grow samples for TEM observation. Few other details are given about this image, but it certainly seems very far removed from the macroscopic world we are familiar with - fitting perfectly with FEI's stated brief of "exploring the sub-microscopic world" and "discovering unseen aspects of our everyday lives".

The WEB

Image credit: Cyril Geudj/FEI, © All Rights Reserved

Image details

Created by: Cyril Geudj
Instrument used: Strata Family
Magnification: 20,000
Voltage: 5 kV

To read more about the FEI image contest, view the full galleries, or learn more about FEI's electron microscopes and other instruments, visit the competition website.

Date Added: Jun 12, 2013 | Updated: Jun 25, 2014
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