Micrograph of the Month
Introducing Micrograph of the Month! To highlight our authors and their works, each month we'll feature an interesting and visually striking micrograph (or series of micrographs) taken from a recent publication.
This month’s images were taken from two different papers in the Special Edition of JSST featuring work presented at the 20th International Sol-Gel Conference held in St Petersburg during August 2019, highlighting the rich diversity of the areas in which sol-gel science and technology is impacting.
The first is from the work of Drozdov, Prilepskii, Koltsova, Anastasova and Vinogradov entitled “Magnetic polyelectrolyte-based composites with dual anticoagulant and thrombolytic properties: towards optimal composition” (JSST, 95(3), 771-782 (2020)). The micrographs illustrate the structure and morphology of magnetite nanoparticles, together with their behaviour as a magnetic fluid, which are used to explore the concept of magnetic polyelectrolyte-based thrombolytics.
The second is from the work of Desponds, Banyasz, Montagnac, Andraud, Baldeck and Parola entitled “Microfabrication by two-photon lithography, and characterization, of SiO2/TiO2 based hybrid and ceramic microstructures” (JSST, 95(3), 733–745(2020)). In this work, the effect of precursor chemistry on the resolution achieved during 3D printing of sub-micron features in ceramic grids using a two-photon laser absorption process is investigated. The micrographs illustrate the effect of increasing the Ti:Si mole ratio in the precursor sol formulation from 0.4 to 1.
This month's images were taken from the work of Shijiao Zhao, Rui Xu, Jingtao Ma, Xuping Lin, Xing Cheng, Xingyu Zhao, Shaochang Hao, and Changsheng Deng entitled "Preparation and microstructure characterization of crack-free zirconium nitride microspheres by internal gelation combined with two-step nitridation" (JSST, 95(2), 398-407 (2020)). The internal gelation method was used to produce zirconia gel micropheres, where were then nitrided at 1500-1600 °C under reducing conditions. The optical micrograph in image (a) illustrates the size uniformity of the gold-colored microspheres obtained, while the SEM micrograph in image (b) illustrates their crack-free surface structure. Images (c) and (d) further illustrate the microstructure of the product, with the crystal faceting evident in (d).