Dry & Cracked, Andrew Koltonow

This is a photo of failure. In this experiment, nanoparticles were suspended in water. Scientists then painted it onto a microscope slide, hoping to make a sturdy membrane that could be peeled off in one piece.

But the coating cracked as it dried, like desert mud. Here, the cracks are lit up, showing the defects through a microscope. The colors come from iridescence, like what you see in soap bubbles.

Andrew Koltonow

Department of Materials Science & Engineering

Tools & Techniques: Darkfield microscope

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