Image of the month

self-oscillating hydrogel

This month's image shows a piece of Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) self-oscillating hydrogel, prepared by air-drying for SEM imaging and elemental microanalysis. The image was recorded by PhD student Tunde Geher-Herczegh (Biomedical Engineering, SBS) who analyses BZ hydrogels in order to understand the complex non-equilibrium physical-chemical processes that occur in these materials, as well as characterise their durability and shelf-life for potential soft robotics applications. SEM imaging combined with elemental microanalysis is used as an excellent tool for quantifying certain transition metal contents in gel samples while in storage, since these may signal chemical degradation and structural changes over time. The micrograph was colourised by Amanpreet Kaur.

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