Self-Illuminating Flowers of Pandora
These zinc oxide “flowers,” which bring to mind the luminous flora seen in the movie Avatar, are small. Just how small? Well, one flower is two micrometers long, which is about a quarter the size of a droplet of fog. The flowers formed in a vacuum chamber at high temperature. When illuminated by ultraviolet light, both the “stems” and the “petals” radiate an almost neon green. (The petals are false-colored in this image for effect.) This luminescing technology could find use in biomarkers to study cells or to aid in delivering drugs to specific targets within the body.
Credit: Shi, Jian/University of Wisconsin