Metal under the microscope: IW shows prizewinning pictures

Bright metal under the light microscope: For this image steel chips were etched with nitric acid. (Photo: Mareike Reiter)

IW | “Different appearances of metal“: This is the title of a photo exhibition in East Friesland, Germany, organized by the Institute of Materials Science (IW) of Leibniz Universität Hannover. The pictures have been created by five employees working in the metallography sector of the Hannover Centre for Production Technology (PZH).

Just few people are aware of the unique look of metal under a light microscope. This is why the Institute of Materials Science (IW) has organized a photo exhibition which gives a microscopic insight into the structure of metals. 

The structures are visualized by microscopic images of metal samples, so-called micrographs. Depending on the material and purpose of investigation, they are ground, polished and sometimes treated with various etching agents. Micrographs provide materials scientists important insights, because microscopic images are able to visualize interactions and processes in the material, as they are caused by temperature influences or deformations. 

The pictures have already won several prizes. Since 10 April, they can be seen for three months at the Café Timberlae (Leerer Landstraße 12, Großefehn/Timmel, Germany). 

by Judith Kebbe

Image gallery for this article

  • Bright metal under the light microscope: For this image steel chips were etched with nitric acid. (Photo: Mareike Reiter)
  • This microscopic image shows cast aluminium which was colour-etched with Weck’s reagent. (Photo: Ute Teuber)
  • Different appearances of unetched marble under a light microscope. (Photo: Mareike Reiter)
  • East Frisian insider tip: Café Timberlae in Großefehn/Timmel. (Photo: Ines Knälmann)
This website uses cookies to provide you with the best possible functionality. You agree to the use of cookies by using our website without changing your preferences. (Data Protection)