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The winning photo: nanoflower
|The winning image in the photo competition recently held at
the Department of Engineering, was taken by Ghim Wei Ho, a PhD student working for
Professor Mark Welland, at the Nanoscience Centre.
The 3-dimensional nanostructure in her photograph is made up of silicon-based material. It was grown using a chemical vapor deposition process. The growth mechanism is analogous to vapour-liquid-solid (VLS) growth where gas precursors in the vapor phase decompose into catalyst particle which subsequently supersaturate into different forms of structures. The material is both amorphous and crystalline in nature.
The image was taken with a scanning electron microscope and is not a composite of several images but is colour modified using the colour balance function in Adobe Photoshop.
Ghim Wei explains a little about her research:
"My PhD project in the Nanoscience Centre involves the fabrication and characterisation of
novel nanostructures. The nano-flowers image is an example of a number of different
morphologies that have been produced using chemical vapor deposition. In addition to
'flowers' I can also grow nanowires, cones, rings etc. Apart from their beauty as
three-dimensional structures, detailed characterisation reveals a complex mixture of
amorphous and crystalline material which not only determines the ultimate structure but
also provides a unique material with potential applications for both electronic and
photonic devices. For the remainder of my PhD, I will be focussing on the potential device
aspects of these extraordinary structures."
This work is supported by Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and a Research fund from the IRC. The Nanoscience Centre is located on the University's West Cambridge site.
Ghim Wei Ho
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