In its 175th anniversary year, ZEISS celebrates the work of researchers using microscopy in various application fields with ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest 2021. ZEISS users from around 50 countries submitted more than 1,300 fascinating entries. We were honored by their participation and we are fascinated by the quality of images we received across different research interests and application types. A big thank you to all the participants!
Explore the winning images and honorable mentions of the ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest 2021 on this web page.
The most outstanding feature of the image is the perfect exposure of the nanostructure of the coccoliths."Alicia Gónzalez Segura
Alicia González Segura, Dolores Molina Fernández and Isabel Sánchez Almazo from University of Granada (Spain) obtained this stunning image "as part of a study on phytoplankton biodiversity from the Alboran Sea in the Western Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on the lifecycle of Emiliania huxleyi", Alicia González Segura says. "It is amongst the most abundant eukaryotic microorganism in the oceans." The image was acquired with ZEISS GeminiSEM.
To observe these geometric particles is always fascinating and creates interesting images.Andreas Kopp
Andreas Kopp from Hochschule Aalen (Germany) submitted an image of fluorides on an anode surface of a Li-ion battery, taken with a ZEISS Crossbeam 550 scanning electron microscope at a magnification of 7350 times. "The most challenging part is the sample preparation", he says. "Any contaminations and damages of the samples have to be avoided. The batteries have to be opened and the electrolyte is washed away. In that process, the conductive salt in the electrolyte forms these cubes on the electrode surface."
With the horizontal banding and the coarser quartz crystals in the lower part, the image resembles a crowd.Prof. Bernardo Cesare
Professor Bernardo Cesare has been studying rocks for 35 years, using a polarized microscope as the first and fundamental tool for his research. The awarded photomicrograph shows a "special brazilian agate, made of fine-grained quartz", he says. "Obtaining a sharp, focused image is a challenge, because the grain size is smaller than the sample thickness. With the horizontal banding and the coarser quartz crystals in the lower part resembling a crowd, the image has been appropriately named ‘The Concert’.”
Usually one sees synnema from the top, so to capture them from the side provides a unique perspective.Prof. Cobus Visagie
Professor Cobus Visagie’s image of fungi shows a new Talaromyces species found in South Africa, growing on Oatmeal growth medium. “These structures are relatively fragile and combined with its dry spores are very sensitive to any kind of airflow", he says. "This sample was thus prepared by cutting a block of agar out, carefully placing it on its side, and then taking ±100 extended depth of field images and stacking these together." The image was acquired with an upright research microscope, ZEISS Axio Imager.A2.
The ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest is a competition held by ZEISS for images taken with a ZEISS microscope. In 2021, the submission phase took place between July 1 - 31. The authors of the top images received three prizes: ZEISS Primostar 3 microscope (1st prize), ZEISS Victory Pocket binoculars (2nd prize) and ZEISS Terra binoculars (3rd prize).
With this image contest, ZEISS is celebrating the work of researchers using microscopy in various application fields in the year of the 175th anniversary of ZEISS. Microscopy instrumentation, analytics and imaging capabilities all play a role in meeting many of our society’s most pressing challenges related to climate change, energy, health and food. The contest will be taking place in 2022 again.