Programs & Outreach

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


Corporate Partners

Science as Art

  MRS Foundation LogoAs a special feature of MRS meetings, we offer the popular Science as Art competitions with entry open to all registered meeting attendees. 

Visualization methods provide an important tool in materials science for the analysis and presentation of scientific work. Images can often convey information in a way that tables of data or equations cannot match. Occasionally, scientific images transcend their role as a medium for transmitting information and contain the aesthetic qualities that transform them into objects of beauty and art.

The galleries below represent some of the best entries from past meetings.

Copyright for these images belongs to the Materials Research Society. To request permission to reuse the images, please contact us here »

In addition, we invite you to view this video featuring some of the best entries from past MRS Science as Art competitions:

Science as Art Winners

2020 Virtual MRS Spring/Fall Meeting

Click on image to see a full-size version in a new browser tab. 

TB Electron-Hole Are In Quarantine
Jellyfish Janus Particle
TB Opaline Lake

Electron-Holes Are in Quarantine!

Tushar Debnath, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU)

The girls (electrons) and boys (holes) are in quarantine (confined) in different rooms (domains) of a house (nanocrystal) called “Mn-doped Perovskite Nanocrystals” due to the creation of different small rooms by the red bricks (Mn impurity) within a single nano-house, by displacing the bricks (unit cells) and know as “Ruddlesden–Popper defects”. The high-resolution image of such single Mn-doped Perovskite Nanocrystals was obtained from atomically resolved high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM).

Jellyfish Janus Particle

Sarah Perry, University of Massachusetts Amherst

An SEM image of a 1.5 micron diameter polystyrene-poly(acrylic acid) Janus particle. The underwater effect was added in Photoshop, preserving the morphology and shape of the particle. (Credit: Nicholas Sbalbi)

Opaline Lake

Golnaz Isapour, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Self-assembly of colloidal crystals are one the most amazing phenomena in photonics. This picture captures self-assembly of aqueous colloidal gels, within microspheres or freely floating on a hydrophobic substrate, displaying brilliant structural colors. Optical Microscope- Dark field in Reflection- Objective x10.

TB Its Not Too Late
Love of two nanoparticles
Nano Christmas Tree

It's Not Too Late

Artis Linarts, Riga Technical University, Institute of Technical Physics

Optical image of thin film PVDF dielectric breakdown during corona triode polarization as a shadow of Bonsai tree showing similarities to the recent west coast wildfire apocalypse. A reminder that we are all responsible for carbon footprint!

Love of Two Nanoparticles

Fei Han, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

A TEM image of two head-to-head hollow nanoparticles. These well-designed hollow fullerene nanoparticles have hydrophobic interaction at their openings, and thus they will be naturally attracted by each other. I tried to give them lives, to show a special romance at the nanoscale.

Nano Christmas Tree

Venkatarao Selamneni, BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus

It is a high magnification FESEM image of NiS grown on cellulose paper using hydrothermal synthesis method. The morphology looks like Nano Christmas Trees.



2020 MRS Spring Meeting

Click on image to see a full-size version in a new browser tab.

ceramic-goldfish - Copy
the-dark-spirit-of-cnts - Copy
mxene-chameleon_submitted-image - Copy


Shuohan Huang, Missouri University of Science and Technology 

Ceramic goldfish found in Lake MXene of possibilities. The main part of the scene, including the fish and MXene rocks is a colored SEM image of a sample of multilayer Ti3C2 MXene. The seaweed does not belong to the original image and was added for a stronger artistic expression. The SEM image was acquired using an FEI Helios Nanolab Dual-beam microscope at 5 kV accelerating voltage, 6500x magnification and 5 mm working distance.

The Dark Spirit of CNTs

Sara Al Nasser, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology

An SEM image of a Buckypaper membrane of CNTs and bio-polymer. the ghost like shape was noticed in the CNTs entanglements and was highlighted using Photoshop.

Mxene Chameleon

Kartik Nemani, Indiana University - Purdue University

MXene Chameleon waiting for MAX. A freeze dried flake of Ti3C2 MXene. The morphology and shape of the flake are preserved while rendering it to look like a Chameleon holding on to a branch under a moonlit night. The eye and the leg are artistically added to highlight the creature. Created by Kartik Nemani, Prasanna R. and Babak Anasori.

blooms-for-batteries - Copy
alive-composite-grown-1 - Copy
hubbard_mrs-science-as-art - Copy

Blooms for Batteries

Muhammad Ihsan Ul Haq, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The artwork represents a collection of carbon coated Na3V2(PO4)3 blooms, which is advanced cathode for sodium ion batteries. The rational assembly of nanoflakes under optimized conditions yielded flower-like structure of ~1 to 4 µm size. The image was taken using a JEOL JSM-67000F scanning electron microscope and different colours were added using image editing software without exploitation of the actual image


Laura Rivera-Tarazona, The University of Texas at Dallas

Fluorescence image of a shape-morphing living composite coated on a glass slide. Hybrid material is made of baker's yeast embedded in a polyacrylamide hydrogel. Only living cells that can proliferate in the patterned region are able to deform the hydrogel matrix and expand it to read the word "ALIVE".  NOTE: The idea of this image is to create a lenticular moving picture that shows how the living composite morphs from flat to a 3D structure. 

(Thermoplastic) Flower in the Sun

Amber Hubbard, North Carolina State University

Stimuli-responsive polymers have gained increasing attention for their applications ranging from soft robotic grippers to actuators. By controlling strain within thin thermoplastic sheets, these small grippers can transform into three-dimensional shapes based on a photothermal response and withstand loads >24,000 times their own mass.