Dirty Dice -six patterned, self-assembled micro-cubes made of nickel and gold.
See the full image here. Credit: Timothy Leong / JHU
A doctoral student in chemical and biomolecular engineering working with a Johns Hopkins University faculty member affiliated with the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, won first prize awards for both his research and his scientifically inspired art during the 2007 Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting, held in Boston, Mass., in November 2007.
Timothy Leong, who works in the lab of David Gracias, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering was awarded a Graduate Student Gold Award and $400 for his presentation on applications of self-assembling nano-liter containers. MRS gives six such awards (three silver and three gold) during their fall meeting to honor graduate students who authored or co-authored symposium papers that exemplified significant and timely research. Leong was recognized for his oral presentation describing his personal contribution to the ongoing research in the Gracias Lab and also for expounding on the overall significance of the work.
“The nano-liter containers can be manipulated externally with a magnet and by using an inductive heating element,“ says Leong. “What is special is that now we have a platform that gives us wireless spatial and time control over microchemistry.“
MRS “Science as Art” competition winner Timothy Leong. Credit: Mary Spiro / JHU
The MRS also sponsors a “Science as Art“ competition where entrants can show off their artistically interesting scientific images. Out of fifty entries, Leong received one of three first place awards and $400 for his electron micrograph image titled “Dirty Dice“ -six patterned, self-assembled micro-cubes made of nickel and gold (click for image).
“The hardest thing to do when you make a tiny 3-D object is to put a pattern on all the faces of it,“ Leong says. “One of the strengths of our container folding process is that we can put any arbitrary pattern on one or all six faces really easily.“ Leong also says he constructed the dice version of the cubes “to have a little fun in the lab.“
Leong says he is excited to be working in an area of chemical engineering research that is so multidisciplinary and that it can make people say, “Wow,“ both scientifically as well as artistically.
The Gracias lab research interests include micro- and nano-technology, self-assembly, non-linear optics, nanoelectronics, interfacial science, biomedical devices and nano-medicine. For more information, go to http://www.jhu.edu/chbe/gracias/
To see all current and previous year’s winners of the MRS “Science as Art“ contest, go to http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/doc.asp?CID=1803&DID=171434#2007Fall