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Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom

The NNCI Image Contest 2021 - Winners and Honorable Mentions

In honor of National Nanotechnology Day, October 9th, the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) hosts our annual Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom image contest. Referencing Richard Feynman’s 1959 lecture, "There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom," this image contest celebrates the beauty of the micro and nanoscale. Images featured in this contest were produced at one of the 16 NNCI sites during the past two years.

Sites from across the NNCI contributed stunning, unique, and whimsical images of the micro and nanoscale for the 2021 image contest. The public cast over 2,400 votes to determine this year’s winners. In addition to first place, honorable mentions were also selected. First place winning artists will receive up to $1,000 in travel support to a professional conference of their choice and their NNCI site will receive a framed print of their winning image. Sites who received honorable mentions will also receive a framed print of their image.

micro blooming lotus

Winner - Most Stunning
A Micro Blooming Lotus
Artist: Aofei Mao and Peixun Fan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
NNCI Site:  Nebraska Nanoscale Facility

nano head

Honorable Mention - Most Stunning
Nano-wrinkled Head
Artist: Zainab Patel, Graduate student, and Lucas Meza, University of Washington
NNCI Site: Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure


cups floweth over

Winner - Most Unique Capability
Our Cups Floweth Over, But Can Easily Tip
Artists: Greg Allion, staff, and Sravanthi Vallabhuneni, student, North Carolina State University
NNCI Site: Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network

Stainless Steel 3D Pillar Array

Honorable Mention - Most Unique Capability
Femtosecond Laser Patterned Stainless Steel 3D Pillar Array Surrounded by Laser Induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSS)
Artist: Thomas S. Marchese, Undergraduate, Georgia Institute of Technology
NNCI Site:  Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor


Lotus on Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Coating

Winner - Most Whimsical
Lotus on Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Coating
Artist: Mohsen Hosseini, Ph.D. Student and William A. Ducker, Professor, Virginia Tech
NNCI Site: NanoEarth

Nano Strawberry Fields Forever

Honorable Mention - Most Whimsical
Nano Strawberry Fields Forever
Artists: Ana C. Barrios, Graduate Student, and Francois Perreault, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
NNCI Site: Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest

Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom 2021 - Submissions

Most Stunning

Most Unique Capability

Most Whimsical

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