The nanowires seen here in green are synthesized with nickel using an electro-deposition method that causes them to grow (much like grass in the springtime). Such nanowires hold promise as key components of environment and health sensors and energy-scavenging devices. At the upper left we see a butterfly-like figure; these micro-shells are a byproduct of the process of making nanowires. We are not sure why these micro-shells form or whether they have any useful applications in their own right. This image was taken with an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope, which allows us to see nanostructures in their native state with extraordinary three-dimensional clarity. Field of view: 50 microns.