The Space Base

Scientist/Artist Name:

Alberto Brambila Solórzano


Colima´s University, Mexico


Sodium fluoride

What is this picture?

This image which looks like a space base is made of tiny particles of salt! These cubes are made by the crystalline formation of sodium fluoride microstructure. Sodium fluoride is fluorine and sodium atoms and is commonly used in the fluoridation of drinking water.

What is nanoart?

Nano-art is the art of capturing beauty at a smaller-than-microscopic scale. The size is usually so small that standard microscopes cannot see them! These are real images captured by scientists during everyday research using special, high-tech imaging equipment that uses electrons to scan the surface of the materials. Electron microscope images are in black and white and the artists add color with photo editing software to turn them into an art piece.

How small is a nanometer?

A nanometer (abbreviated nm) is a billionth of a meter. Imagine splitting a human hair in half 100,000 times, or imagine how much a fingernail grows in one second, that’s how small a nanometer is. We use nanometers to measure some of the smallest things in the world, like the width of DNA, or even the size of single molecules. We are even able to create technology at this scale as well. The phone in your pocket contains as many as 15 billion tiny switches, called transistors, each less than 10nm in size! 

Brought to you in collaboration with Nanoartography

Science can seem like an abstract concept until it takes form in front of our eyes through art. NanoArtography is an international science image competition that combines nanoscience and art. Creating the art of the unseen with NanoArtography was introduced and started by Prof. Babak Anasori in the USA. NanoArtography is a cutting-edge exhibition that combines art, science, technology and engineering to show just how small an atom is. The competition has garnered almost 1000 submissions, and researchers from around the world submitted images of their research to illustrate what they are studying and showcase its beauty.