Best Microscopic Images Of The Year Defy Belief Once Again

This is not a photograph of the Grand Canyon. Or any other canyon on Earth. But it's in our planet. It's the winner of the 2011 edition of FEI's electronic microscope image contest.

It is a capture of the cracks of a metal piece, after the a bending test failure.

Images taken with electronics microscopes — like the Nova NanoLab DualBeam used for this photo — are in black and white. The resulting images can then be coloured, often to highlight features that are useful for researchers or just for fun.

The image of the crack was coloured by Martina Dienstlede, from the Institute for Electron Microscopy at the Graz University of Technology.

Second place: Capillary net of an alveola showing the erythrocytes within the blood vessels.

Third place: Forepart of a mite.

Like most electronic microscope images, these winners are beautiful and defy belief. I wish I had electronic microscope vision built in.

Check out the gallery for more amazing examples. [FEI]

First place: Crack after failed bending test.

Third place: Forepart of a mite.

A slope cutter Ar+ milled semiconductor sample.

PAN Microfibres and Microspheres.

Copper fibres.

FIB cut on PES filtration membrane.

Head of a moth.

Cross-section of leaf.

Iron nodule as egg shell filled with calcium carbonate.

Nano Forsterite is a synthetic mineral consisting of Mg and Si, O.Minerals was subjected to 35oC, 90 ATM, 95-100 per cent water saturation super critical CO2.


Partially dried red blood cells clotted on the cotton fibres of a gauze wound dressing. Imaged at low vacuum to avoid charging of cotton fibres.

Silver nanorods and particles growth on copper crystals.

These structures are defective capacitors of a Silicon chip.

Zno nanoparticles obtained by hydrothermal synthesis using microwave heating.

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