Image of the Month

Image of the Month title picture


We have lots of people in the EMU who are acquiring lovely images and great data. If you have an image that you think is good, please submit it to the EMU image of the month competition*. The prize is a $50 gift voucher from the UNSW book store. All submissions are voted on by EMU staff. Your winning entry will be displayed in the EMU and put onto our website.

To enter email your image to us in .tif format with:

  • a brief description (2 - 3 sentences)
  • your full name and your school/department
  • your supervisor's name
  • the microscope (and technique) that you used

*Only one submission per person per month.

*Each person may only win one prize each calendar year.

September 2019

Yong Zhao - School of Chemistry

Yong Zhao TEM image

Yong Zhao TEM image 2

This bright field image shows a spontaneous assembly of hexagonal Pd nanosheets with {111} facet exposed on carbon film. four and a half pieces of regular Pd hexagons stacked together by a face-to-face order, which can be clearly discerned in the false-colour strengthened image. the strong electron irradiation induced the formation of nanopores on the surface of the ultrathin nanosheets.

Image by: Dr. Yong Zhao

Supervisor: Prof. Chuan Zhao

Microscope/Tecnique: cm200 TEM


August 2019

Rokiah Alford and Jonathan Berengut, EMBL Australian Node for Single Molecule Science, School of Medical Sciences

Alford Berengut TEM image

Image by: Rokiah Alford (sample design, synthesis and preparation) & Jonathan Berengut (sample preparation and imaging)

Supervisor: Dr. Lawrence Lee

Microscope/Tecnique: Tecnai G2 20 TEM/ UA negative stain

July 2019

Reza Shahmiri - School of Materials Science and Engineering

Reza Shahmiri TEM image

This image illustrates a grain of bio-ceramic for dental application. The powder consists of zirconia oxide doped with yttrium. Characteristics of the grain boundary are under investigation with the use of TEM/STEM.

Image by: Reza Shahmiri (with assistance of Richard Webster, Yin Yao and Qiang Zhu)

Supervisor: Dr. Owen Standard

Microscope/Tecnique: f200 TEM

June 2019

Yuwen Xu - School of Materials Science and Engineering

Yuwen Xu TEM image

This HRTEM image shows a very tiny ceramic single crystal nuclei obtained by recrystallisation after long time aging. It exposes {111} and {100} facets and is in the two-dimensional truncated diamond shape with newly grown atomic layers near the corners.

Image by: Yuwen Xu

Supervisors: Prof. Charles C. Sorrell and Dr. Pramod Koshy

Microscope/Tecnique: f200 TEM

May 2019

Marta Sanchez Miranda - School of Physics


M S Miranda AFM image

3D atomic force microscopy image: InAs nano-membrane with a set of source/drain leads, four hall contacts and an overarching top-gate, insulated by HfO2. this device allows us to gain important insights into the transport properties of these novel InAs structures grown by selective area epitaxy.

Image by: Marta Sanchez Miranda

Supervisor: Prof. Adam Micolich

Microscope/Tecnique: ICON AFM

April 2019

Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Cheng - School of Chemistry

Pt3Sn@Pt core-shell HAADF-STEM

This HAADF-STEM image shows an ordered Pt3Sn@Pt core-shell in cubic shape with {100} facet exposed. The darker part shows the Sn columns while the brighter grids represent the Pt columns in a Au3Cu type ordering structure. 2-3 atomic layers of Pt shell is also observable from the Z contrast.  

Image by: Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Chen

Supervisor: Prof. Richard Tilley

Microscope/Tecnique: f200 TEM

March 2019

Laicong Qiao - Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering

Gold nanoparticle SEM

We applied electrical technology to control the gold nanoparticle deposition on working electrode. In our experiment, the shape of gold nanoparticle could be successfully controlled (e.g. sphere, flower, dumbbell, popcorn and triangle). In addition, we could also prepare same controlled nanoparticle cluster, such as leaves, seaweed and Christmas tree cluster structures which is shown on the image. This research will provide a reliable surface roughness technology to increase sensitivity of biosensors.

Image by: Laicong Qiao

Supervisor: Dr Guozhen Liu

Microscope/Tecnique: NanoSEM 450

January 2019

Wilson Handoko - School of Materials Science and Engineering

Iron carbide SEM


SEM micrograph of etched pearlite and micron-sized secondary phase precipitations – iron carbide (Fe3C) on the surface of high carbon steel. One inclusion was located on pearlitic phase surrounded by lamellar structures and another one was occupied along the grain boundary. This microstructure was achieved by ultra-high temperature confocal scanning laser microscope with controlled quenching rate (-60⁰C/min) on originated dual-phase (martensite and retained austensite) high carbon steel.

Image by: Wilson Handoko

Supervisors:  Prof. Veena Sahajwalla and Dr Farshid Pahlevaniro. i

Microscope/Tecnique: JEOL 7001f

September 2018

Yu Zhang (YoYo)School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE)


Silicon solar cell TEM

This SEM image shows the cross-section of a silicon solar cell TEM sample prepared the using in-situ liftout technique. Top side is a 3um thick Pt later deposited on top of silicon wafer in order to protect the surface morphology, bottom side is the silicon substrate. When transferring the micro-sized sample from its original place into sample grids, people need to weld sample by Pt deposition. The deposition current is too high so excessive local heat recrystallize the Si sample and re-shape the top Pt layer into micro/nano-spherical structure.

Image by: Yu Zhang

Supervisors: A/Prof. Bram Hoex & Dr.David Payne

Microscope/Technique: PFIB, TEM sample Insitu Liftout


June 2018

Nor Akma Ismail - School of Chemical Engineering


rice bran SEM

This image shows the surface structure of rice bran that has been treated with Ultrasound at maximum amplitude. The rice bran surface structure has become very porous.  Distribution of resistant starch particle has also observed in the porous structure.

Image by: Nor Akma Ismail

Supervisor: A/Prof Jian Zhao

Microscope/Technique: Hitachi s3400


May 2018

Xianjue Chen - School of Chemistry


Gold particle HRTEM

This image shows a gold particle (~50 nm in size) sitting on top of a piece of ultrathin gold nano-sheet of ~5 nm in thickness. The weight of the particle causes local bending of the sheet, which induces a “spider web” like pattern under scanning transmission electron microscopic imaging.

Image by: Xianjue Chen

Supervisor: Prof. Chuan Zhao

Microscope/Tecnique: JEOL f200, STEM



March 2018

Paria Sadat Musavi Gharavi - School of Material Science


GaP ZnS interface HRTEM

This image shows the interface between GaP and ZnS, which were grown as a multilayer film on silicon.  The interface between GaP and ZnS hosts infinitive three-dimensional (3D) defects such a plan of vacancies and dislocations or a plan of twinning. A considerable enhancement of photoactivity is found at multilayered structure containing plenty of twin boundaries compared with twin-less samples using a new definition of “Twin boundary engineering”.

Image by: Paria Sadat Musavi Gharavi

Supervisor: Prof. Nagarajan Valanoor

Microscope/Technique: JEOL f200 TEM 


January 2018

Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Cheng - School of Chemistry

Johnson Pt3Sn cubes and bipyramids

The image shows uniformly-sized ordered Pt3Sn cubes and right bipyramids mainly bounded by (100) facets. The pyramids provided the flexibility of the way particle assemble, breaking the stern 90 degrees given by the sub-10 nm nanocubes forming all kinds of curved pattern. 

Image by: Hsiang-Sheng (Johnson) Chen

Supervisor: Prof. Richard Tilley

Microscope/Tecnique: Tecnai