Research | Queen’s University Canada

Porous Plastic Particle

The photograph is of a water-swollen hydrogel particle created in our chemistry laboratory, taken with an instrument called a Scanning Electron Microscope, which allows us to zone in and see important details on the surface of the hydrogel. A hydrogel is essentially a plastic material that is able to absorb very large volumes of water (up to 800 times its weight!) – much like a baby diaper, swelling as it does so. From the image, the surface of the hydrogel is seen to possess large, distinctive pores, which help us understand how and why hydrogels absorb so much liquid.
Submission Year: 
Photographer's affiliation: 
Academic areas: 
Arts and Science
Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Art of Research categories: 
Invisible discoveries
[Photograph of a water-swollen hydrogel particle]
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Faculty of Arts and Science
Department of Chemistry
School of Graduate Studies
Interdisciplinary research in materials, computational analytics and human-machine interactions
Materials Discovery and Molecular Design
Fundamental Principles of Nature: from Discovery to Application and Innovation
Understanding the Universe, the Planet and our Place
Location of photograph: 
Bruce Hall, SEM Lab, Queen’s University
Photographer's name: 
Ross Jansen-van Vuuren
Display Photographers Affiltion + Faculty or Department: 
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Chemistry