Welcome to our gallery of beautiful data.

The data collected using our instrumentation is confident, precise, and scientifically relevant… and sometimes it’s a work of art. Below are a few examples of particularly pretty data with a brief explanation of the science behind them.

Alien

A topographic map collected from an ataxite meteorite sample. Ataxite meteorites are dual phase materials, in this image one phase appears darker and the other phase appears lighter. It appears as though a smiling alien is on the surface!

Art Gecko

A topographic map collected from a hexahedrite meteorite sample. This hexahedrite meteorite contained precipitates of schreibersite that stand in relief on the surface (in this image they appear lighter). If you imagine the two precipitates as eyes, the grain boundary traces out the shape of a gecko!

Blue Steel

A composite topographic image of stainless steel. Higher features are highlighted in blue, this highlights regions of secondary phase precipitation (predominantly carbides).

Crosshatch

A topographic map collected from a thermally sensitised AISI Type 304 stainless steel. The crosshatch pattern is formed as a result of plastically stressing the sample. As the sample deforms, atoms slide over one another forming lines, or dislocations, as regular intervals.

Crossing the Boundary

A composite topographic image of stainless steel containing a single grain boundary (highlighted in white), separating two grains in the alloy. The grain boundary appeared topographically higher due to the presence of intergranular carbides.

Graphene Origami

A 3D topographic map of a sheet of graphene. Graphene is a 2D material, a thin sheet that is one atom thick. These sheets can become folded, appearing like a piece of paper, as seen here!

I <3 AFM

A 3D topographic map collected from an ataxite meteorite sample. Ataxite meteorites are dual phase materials, in this image one phase appears darker and the other phase appears lighter. In this frame the two phases form a heart.

Rainbow Steps

A topographic map of a freshly cleaved mica surface. The steps have been coloured like the rainbow!

Spaceman’s Best Friend

A topographic map collected from an ataxite meteorite sample. Ataxite meteorites are dual phase materials, in this image one phase appears darker and the other phase appears lighter. It appears as though a beagle is looking up at the sky.

That's No Moon!

This optical image shows the cantilever beams (the gold shapes at the top) and the textured surface under a droplet of water. As the water evaporated the edge of the water droplet appeared at the bottom of the image, making the surface resemble the surface of the Moon.

Turbine Blade

A composite 60 x 30 micrometre topographic image of turbine blade material. The left hand side shows the single crystal nickel superalloy, the right hand side shows the diffusion bonded coating, and the central region shows the bonding region between them.

Very Little Italy

A topographic map collected from a hexahedrite meteorite sample. This hexahedrite meteorite contained precipitates of schreibersite that stand in relief on the surface (in this image they appear lighter). The regions of schreibersite appear to form a leg, somewhat resembling Italy, approximately 340 billion times smaller than the real thing!

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