The 53rd International Conference on
Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology
and Nanofabrication

Micrograph Contest

“ A good Micrograph is worth more than the MegaByte it consumes.”

Entries Presented by Dr. John Randall

        Sponsored by



The rules include the following:
• Entries have to be of a single image taken with a microscope and could not be significantly altered.
• There is no restriction with respect to the subject matter.
• Electron and ion micrographs have to be black and white.

In 2009, 73 entries were submitted. There were many outstanding micrographs. The work represented in the submitted micrographs covered a wide range of fields including micro mechanical, photonic, and integrated circuit fabrication, chemical and dry etching,  laser optics, carbon nanotube structures,  carbon nanotube growth experiments,  biological samples, material science experiments and, of course, e-beam, ion beam, and photo lithography experiments.

The esteemed panel of judges who selected the award winners were:

Don Tennant - Cornell
Michaele Melngailis – Citizen of the World
Tom Kenny - Stanford

There were six awards:
Grand Prize
Most Bizzare
Best Photon Micrograph
Best Ion Micrograph
Best  Electron Micrograph
Best Video

There were 6 Honorable Mentions.

All 2009 Entries (with original titles)

Judges exercised their prerogative to liberally interpret the award categories, change the micrograph titles, and even rotate the micrograph if it pleased them. 


Title: Larmor City

SEM images of silicon pillar forming the black-silicon obtained by plasma etching

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 8,000X
Instrument: FEI DB Nova 200 Scanning Electron Microscope
Submitted by: Alfredo Rodrigues Vaz, Carla Verissimo. e Clovis Fischer        
Affiliation: LPD/CCS – UNICAMP -

Most Bizarre

Title: Lost Souls

Rh(110) with TiOX covered regions (dark in SEM). A well-prepared Rh(110) surface with deposited titanium was heated and exposed to oxygen. The corresponding preparations and the acquisition of the depicted SEM image were conducted in an ultra-high vacuum environment. A more detailed characterization showed that the bright areas consist of pure rhodium while the dark areas are covered with titanium and oxygen.

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 4,000X
Instrument: Omicron/Zeiss UHV Scanning Electron Microscope
Submitted by: Michael Schirmer, Marie-Madeleine Walz, Hubertus Marbach, Thomas Lukaczyk and Hans-Peter Steinruck         
Affiliation: University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany


Title: Mum’s the Word

Optical micrograph of the culet of a brilliant-cut diamond that is covered with developed positive photoresist sporting the pattern of a future pick-up coil

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 100 x
Olympus MX-61 
Submitted by: A. Imre & M. Abliz                      
Affiliation: Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Lab


Title: The Floating Bucket of Desire

Chromatography bead mysteriously hovering above its substrate. This is an image of a core-shell chromatography bead. It is highly insulating and has no conductive coating, which may have allowed it to stack on top of an (unseen) neighbor. This particular shell has fractured, allowing the core the chance to be seen better.

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 1,000X
Instrument: Carl Zeiss Orion Plus
Submitted by: Larry Scipioni                             
Affiliation: Carl Zeiss SMT, Inc.


Title: “Avian Collision”

Description: Particle on aluminum on glass

I’m still looking for the micro horses… (Previous title referred to a hat and horses)

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 5000X
Instrument: FEI Quanta 3D
Submitted by: V.G. Kutchoukov and P. Kruit  
Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


This Video is high quality and takes a while to download. Click link if you would like to DOWNLOAD VIDEO.

Title: Romantic Yearning

Live video (SEM imaging) of a micron-scale bridge being fabricated with a Ga+ ion beam in a dual-beam instrument by ion-beam-induced deposition (IBID) using a platinum precursor gas.

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 25,000x
Instrument: FEI Quanta 3D FEG
Submitted by:
Aurelien Botman                      
Affiliation: Technische Universiteit
Delft (Netherlands)

HONORABLE MENTION (MicroGraph Rotated by Judges)

Title: Egyptian Coaster

300nm  thick Al on Si after lift-off. Obviously something went terribly wrong in this e-beam exposure, but I think it’s beautiful.  

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 68.3KX

Instrument: Homemade, Raith e_line  
Submitted by: Yigal Lilach & Hadar Steinberg 
Affiliation: The Hebrew university of
Jerusalem, Israel.


Title: Humpty Dumpty

Evaporated metal “spit”

Magnification: 2.12 KX                     
Instrument: Leo Genesis 1560
Submitted by: J. Pagliuca                                         
Affiliation: Raytheon RF Components


Title: “Mexican Wedding Cakes.”

Metal deposited on polystyrene microspheres leaves a culinary impression..

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 13 KX
Instrument: LEO 1550 VP FESEM
Submitted by: Evan Brown                                                    
Affiliation: CNM - California Institute of Technology


Title: “Rope a Dope”

Interwoven structure generated by
CVD with ethyne resulting in the depicted “rope-shape”  We acknowledge the fabrication of the shown structure by Prof. Dr. Nadejda Popovska and Katya Danova (University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany). Interwoven structure generated by CVD with ethyne resulting in the depicted “rope-shape”.

Magnification: (3"x4" image): 60.18 KX               
Instrument: Omicron/ZEISS UHV SEM
Submitted by: Michael Schirmer, Marie-Madeleine Walz and Hubertus Marbach
Affiliation: University
Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany


Title: Gulliver in Lilliput (the only title the judges did not change)

A 3T3 cell attached to an array of
PDMS pillars. The cell on the substrate is critical point dried and gold-coated for SEM imaging. This is a SEM image of a 3T3 cell attached to the top of a hexagonal array of PDMS pillars. The cell on the substrate is critical point dried and gold-coated for SEM imaging.

Hitachi 800 SEM
Submitted by:
Saba Ghassemi                          
Columbia University


Title: A Thousand Points of Light?

Self-organized nanostructures on a Si surface induced by low-energy ion beam erosion                  AFM image: 2  µm x 2 µm, z-scale 3 nm

Magnification: 50 kx                   
Instrument: MFD-3D AFM, Asylum Research
Submitted by: J. Völlner, B. Ziberi, F. Frost                                                          
Affiliation: Leibniz-Institute of Surface Modification,
Leipzig, Germany

2008 Micrograph Contest Winners
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