An image of swirling graphene ink has scooped the top prize in a prestigious science photography competition.
James Macleod’s Graphene – IPA Ink beat more than 100 entries to claim first place in two categories, including that of the overall winner, in the 2017 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) science photography competition.
The photograph shows powdered graphite whirling in alcohol on its course to becoming graphene ink, a uniquely conductive ink which can be used to print electrical circuits on to paper – heralding a new era of ultra-flexible electronics.
Other entries in the competition included a microscope image of an optical wire at the thickness of a human hair, and a researcher and student purifying water in Tanzania using a solar-triggered catalyst to neutralise harmful contaminants.
Here are some of the winning images in EPSRC’s other categories:
Starry ceiling by Eleanora Brembilla
This photo was taken in a black room without windows to calibrate the equipment for research being conducted to quantify the daylight access in school buildings.
Highland cattle solar cells by Dr Lourdes Ferre Llin
This image shows a side view of a group of solar cells, and was taken after dopant (a substance used to produce a certain electrical characteristic in a semiconductor) was driven into the cells to form an internal electrical field.
3D printed robotic soft gripper lifting a light bulb by Khaled Elgeneidy
Soft robotic devices, such as this entirely 3D printed gripper, have major advantages when it comes to grasping objects which have complex geometry and are delicate.
Waste water treatment by Alexander Wright
The photo shows a bubbling plasma reactor for waste water treatment.
Spiralling light by Wei Cao
This photograph shows the spiral shaped structures of optical wires only hundreds of nanometres wide through which light travels into a silicon chip.
Tiny ‘golf ball’ microparticles that could be used to repair tissues by Dr Marta Alvarez Paino
These tiny biodegradable polymer particles resembling golf balls are among advanced biomaterials being developed to promote regeneration of damaged tissues.
Polluted water purification by Michael Coto
This image shows Michael water testing with a local student and friend, Jonathan Nkungu in Vingunguti, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, using a solar-triggered catalyst to neutralise harmful contaminants.
Pyramids in a desert by Dr Diego Alonso-clvarez
Taken with an iPhone 4s through an optical microscope, this image shows the variety of textures appearing on the surface of a silicon solar cell.
Fastnet from above by James Bassitt
This image, taken with a drone, will be used to build up a picture of the behaviour of the lighthouse under severe wave impacts.
DNA of an optical fibre by Rob Francis-Jones
The soft magenta glow of a hydrogen lamp highlights the fundamental building block of an optical fibre – a hollow glass preform that can be drawn down to create a fibre the width of a human hair.
Yin and Yang by Dr Milos Nedeljkovic
This scanning electron microscope image shows the surface of a silicon chip, which has been patterned to create a wire that can guide infrared light.
iCub and Eve by Dr Patricia Shaw
This image shows the iCub robot and a young girl (called Eve) turning colourful toys into meaningful stacks. The research aims to build models for the robot to learn about its environment by interacting with it.