Vote today for top science image

Jun 23rd, 2020

By Jeff Green

Photo by Stephanie Gallant
Vote today for top science image

An eye-catching image by a PhD researcher is among the top 20 finalists for a national contest.

Members of the university community can vote for Stephanie Gallant’s Mighty magnetic marvels for the 2020 Science Exposed People’s Choice Award.

The image features magnetic cobalt ferrite crystals, ranging in size from about 50 nm to 600 nm, roughly 10,000 times smaller than a poppy seed. The crystals are being used to investigate how shape and size play a role in enhancing electromagnetic fields for use in optical sensing devices.

Ms. Gallant, a Memorial alumna, is completing her doctoral research with Dr. Erika Merschrod in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science.

“Our group specializes in materials chemistry, where we develop and study new optical-electronic materials, looking into their ability to be used in future electronics or sensors,” Ms. Gallant explained.

“I specifically work on developing novel material combinations and surfaces for use as optical sensors. My project focuses on using magnetic nanoparticles as components of these sensors, where my surfaces can be used to detect trace amounts of oil by-products in water.”

Ms. Gallant took her image in The Earth Resources Research and Analysis Facility, which is part of the CREAIT Network.

“I collected the image using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM),” Ms. Gallant noted.

“I've digitally coloured the SEM image to distinctly point out the various shapes created during the synthesis of the nanoparticles. Creating nanoparticles with a particular size/shape in mind can be challenging, as every factor -- temperature, stirring speed, volume of production, etc. plays a role in the product you obtain.”

To vote for her image go here.

Science Exposed, organized by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and l’Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas), is devoted exclusively to showcasing images of scientific research, in all fields of study.

Participants are eligible for a chance to win one of three jury prizes as well as the People’s Choice Award. 



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