Description This is a photograph taken through a microscope, but it hasnt been colored in Photoshop. The microscopic crystal shown contains titanium oxide nanoparticles. The varying concentrations of titanium oxide embedded in different areas of the crystal change the way it reflects light, resulting in the myriad of colors you see here. Titanium oxide is used in all sorts of everyday items from sunscreen to marshmallows. Researchers like James Hedrick create these polymer crystals to develop and study new specialized materials which can be used in 3D printing.
These images stem from cutting-edge research on campus, winning our annual Scientific Images Contest which goes on display in galleries across Chicago.
Through partnerships with schools and community groups, we train Northwestern researchers to share their expertise and creativity in a community centered way. Sales from these images goes to support our education and outreach activities, connecting researchers to the wider community.