Growing the Green Fields

A.J. Hart and R. Wartena, 2006

Color-enhanced SEM image of carbon nanotubes structures on a silicon substrate

Entry in Material Research Society's Science as Art competition for Spring 2006

The following image depicts structures of aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown from a catalyst film on a silicon substrate, by atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition. At first, a uniform film of CNTs grows, and then the "blades" of grass sprout upward and grow more rapidly than the surrounding film. The blades are then constrained by a second substrate, a "cap" which is spaced above the growth substrate. The blades bend and change direction when they run into the cap. The image was taken using a Philips XL30 FEG-ESEM, and then digitally-enhanced using Adobe Photoshop.


Original SEM image