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Dragonfly Webinar July 17

(MC)2 is hosting a Dragonfly lunch-and-learn webinar on July 17, which will be of interest to users of our Zeiss Xradia Versa 520 3D X-ray microscope. We will be joined by a Dragonfly expert who will walk us through analyzing two tomography datasets in the Dragonfly software. Pizza lunch will be provided. 

Notable topics of interest will include data segmentation, i.e., 2D segmentation via histogram thresholding, using the segmentation trainer, watershed algorithms, and masking regions of data for easy segmentation. 

We will also explore working with meshes, data quantification, and extraction of particle and porosity size distributions. 

Please register at the link below if you plan to join so we can get a proper headcount.

Winners of Second Image Contest Announced

Congratulations to the winners of our second user image contest! The contest was judged by (MC)2 staff. 

1st PlacePrashant Kumar, “Glowing Dendrites” (Image acquired from the FEI Helios 650 Nanolab SEM/FIB)

“Excess amounts of L-cysteine precipitates in a typical dendritic pattern, while clusters of cadmium line the edges of these dendrites giving it a glowing appearance. The precipitation occurs when the solution is supersaturated with L-cysteine. The image was taken using FEI Helios SEM at 1 kV and 100 pA of beam current to minimize the charging effect. The image is false colored using photoshop to enhance the dendritic pattern.”


Eric Kazyak, “Snow in the Forest” (Acquired from the FEI Nova SEM/FIB)

“This SEM image shows the branched nanostructures that make up the scales of a Morpho butterfly wing. The regular spacing interacts with visible light, giving the butterfly its famous iridescent blue coloration. The “snow” layer is a thin zinc oxide layer deposited by Atomic Layer Deposition to impart photocatalytic activity and tune the structural coloration across the visible spectrum. The branches are 50-100 nm wide, and the ZnO layer is 35 nm. I placed snowflakes in the background to reinforce the appearance.”

Naomi Ramesar, “Pyrite Reef” (Acquired from the FEI Nova SEM/FIB)



“Spherical FeSx supraparticles (SPs) are assembled from fiber-like assemblies. This intermediate-stage SEM image shows the existence of both stable SPs and fiber intermediates. To replicate the coral reefs of Trinidad and Tobago where I grew up, false color was used.”



Thomas Maulbeck, “Rutile Heartstrings” (Acquired from the FEI Helios 650 Nanolab SEM/FIB)

“These are rutile TiO2 crystals growing on the top surface of Ti-20 at.% Nb oxidized for 1h at 900C. The image was colorized, cropped and colormapped with “Reds” in Python to make the heart shaped centerpiece pinkish-red.”



(MC)2 Image Contest Reopens

(MC)2 is excited to begin our second image contest and is accepting submissions until Friday, April 19. Winning images will be framed and displayed in the center. A number of entries will also be featured in a new ongoing photo collage in the hallway outside the (MC)2 office.

User Photo Collage

Additionally, the first-place winner will receive a $50 gift card to a local restaurant of their selection, and runners-up $25 gift cards.

The contest remains open to all graduate students and post-docs at U-M or other universities. Images must be obtained using an instrument at the center and may be modified artistically if you choose.

To enter, click here.

Please upload the highest quality image with regard to file size, bit depth, and resolution. Preferred image width is 1024 px or above. Image should be in .tif format. You are welcome to submit multiple entries if you would like.

All entries should include the following:

  • A title for the image
  • A clear and detailed legend
  • A short paragraph describing the scientific context
  • Explanation of any artistic modification of the image (if relevant)

Participants grant the center permission to use submitted images in any form in the future, including editing or publishing them on our website, twitter, or other media.

Image Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the first (MC)2 image contest!


1st PlaceWonjin Choi, “Dandelion Pollen Grain” (Image acquired from the Tescan MIRA3 SEM)

“This image is an SEM image of a dandelion pollen grain, a reproductive micro structure produced by the male part of a plant. Spiky surfaces can help them to cling to the carrier and transport the grains. The diameter of pollen is about 20 microns. False colors are used to create a mysterious atmosphere.”


Suk Hyun Sung, “Sub-angstrom resolution, picometer precision characterization of charge density wave material system 1T-TaSSe” (Image acquired from the JEOL 3100R05 TEM)
“Layered material 1T-TaSxSe1-x exhibits extraordinary phase transition (including metal-insulator transition, and super-conductivity) thanks to charge density wave and associated periodic lattice distortion. To characterize the phenomena, sub-Angstrom and picometer precision is essential. Here, the HAADF-STEM image taken on JEOL 3100 R05 demonstrates 80 pm resolution with sub 10 pm precision. The ‘Z’-contrast highlights heavy Tantalum atomic columns as well as Selenium rich columns. The image was averaged over 25 cross-correlated images.”
Jiao Yan and Zhengzhi Mu, “Helical Candies – Trick or Treat” (Image acquired from the Nova SEM/FIB)
“Our group has been working on the fabrication of chiral materials for decades, and the helix is the most intuitive chiral structure. However, helical structures are not that easy to obtain considering its complexity. In this work, very uniform and clean helices with homochirality (right-handed) were fabricated. The helices look very much like candies, and they were taken around Halloween, so we colored all the helices in the image with different colors.”
Huai-Hsun Lien, “The butterfly ‘D’ effect” (Image acquired from the JEOL 2010F TEM)
“This image is taken in Al-20 wt.% Si sample that is laser treated, the high cooling rate results in ultrafine Si grains as shown in the image. Each of the ‘butterfly’ wings spans 50 nm in width and 100 nm in length, which is unattainable in conventional casting techniques. The significance of the defects will manifest themselves in mechanical response. False colors are used and some blurring of the image to highlight the ‘butterfly’ structure.”

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