by Marcel Hoek

PhD student

University of Twente

A false color scanning electron microscope image (250 μm) of an eerie landscape of cones and ridges that forms on the surface of YBa2Cu3O7 during pulsed laser ablation. With each pulse, the surface cracks and ripples due to large thermal stresses. The cones form as yttrium collects in the crests of the ripples, causing them to harden and protect the material underneath. The resulting landscape bears a striking resemblance to rock formations called Hoodoos, that form via a similar mechanism.

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