Best Science Pictures of 2011

In this electron micrograph, which won a “people’s choice” award in photography, ultra-thin layers of a titanium compound make a convincing canyon-like cliff overhang.

When dunked in hydrofluoric acid, a compound known as Ti3AlC2 loses its aluminum to form five-atom-thick layers of Ti3C2. The result is a nearly two-dimensional compound that researchers call “MXene.” Lots more pictures here or here.

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