Science is based on facts — but it manifests itself sometimes in beautiful images. An image of graphene ink by James Macleod that resembles a prized ‘cat-eye’ marble beat more than 100 entries to take first place in the 2017 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s science photography competition.
“According to the Daily Mail, ‘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.’”
Macleod’s keen eye earned first place overall and first in the ‘Innovation’ category. A process technician at the University of Cambridge Graphene Centre, Macleod says he got the shot as the ink mixing process was under way.
“The dailymail.co.uk quotes Macleod: ‘We are working to create conductive inks for printing flexible electronics and are currently focused on optimizing our recipe for use in different printing methods and for printing on to different surfaces. This was the first time we had used alcohol to create our ink and I was struck by how mesmerising it looked while mixing.’”