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Artist of Nature
Hongzheng Jin GS
Department of Electrical Engineering / PRISM
These optical microscopy images show the dye coumarin 47 deposited on top of a thin polymer film. The polymer, which emits light when an electrical current passes through it, can be used to make light-emitting diodes (LEDs). When mixed with the polymer, the dye changes the color of the light that the polymer emits. Droplets of a solvent containing dissolved coumarin 47 were printed onto the polymer film. After the solvent dried, the dye was left behind. In the center of the original droplets crystalline patterns of the dye formed on the polymer surface. The crystalline patterns of the deposited coumarin 47 dye take various forms, resembling trees, a dancer, a mother phoenix feeding her baby, etc. Each pattern is about 100 microns wide. These shapes are formed purely by nature, but since they are so vivid one might think that they were actually created by an "artist of nature." (Advisor: James C. Sturm)