Photo Competition 2023

Congratulations to all winners!

On March, 8th 2024, the award ceremony for the 2nd "Chemistry@UNIVIE Photo Competition" and the "Prize for Good Teaching 2023" took place in the Carl Auer von Welsbach Lecture Hall of the Faculty of Chemistry.

The Faculty of Chemistry 2nd "Chemistry@UNIVIE Photo Competition"

in collaboration with the Directorates of Studies (SPL 27 & SPL 53), DoSChem - Vienna Doctoral School in Chemistry and the student representation STV

We would like to thank all participants for their great, inspiring and beautiful submissions, which also reflect the diversity of chemical sciences prevailing at the Faculty of Chemistry. The jury was very challenged to choose the winners!


Category: Chemical Reactions

1st: “Blooming spark undulation”

By Moritz Zelenka, Department of Physical Chemistry

Contrary to intuition it is not that difficult to set steel ablaze. You just have to use fine steel wool, which is a bundle of very thin steel filaments. This means that many of the iron atoms in steel wool are exposed to air containing oxygen. Iron atoms are famous for reacting with the oxygen surrounding them forming so called iron oxides. Normally, this is observable as rust, but in the case of steel wool and its high surface area this reaction can proceed much faster generating a lot of heat and light. Iron oxides produced in a slightly more refined manner have gathered interest for wide spread applications. An example is the sustainable production of hydrogen from just water and sunlight, where iron oxides act as catalyst.

2nd: „Christmas Lights in the Lab“

By Viktoriia Savchenko, Department of Biological Chemistry

Under ultraviolet light, the array of various fluorescent compounds in ethanolic solutions mirrors the vibrant, illuminated streets during Christmas time. Highlighted are the fluorescent solutions featuring yellow acridine orange, orange-red TAMRA, and the light-blue Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS)—a significant bacterial quinolone extensively researched by the Böttcher lab.

3rd: „KidsKitchen“

By Vanja Lukovic, Department of Didactics of Chemistry

Red cabbage juice in a combination with dry ice, universal indicator, caustic soda and ammonia solution, prepared in the chemical didactic kitchen of Teenage Masterchefs.

Category: Lab Life

1st: „299792458 m/s“

By Sofie Mika, Department of Physical Chemistry

It is quite easy to get lost between all of the mirrors and optics which are used for our laser experiments. However, all those components allow for great flexibility so that our laser setups can be used for a multitude of different experiments. Reactions can be followed on time scales on which even the incredibly fast motion and dynamics of molecules become detectable. Never before seen interactions and even couplings between molecules can be observed. The downside is that a long time can pass before a laser setup finally reaches the stage where actual data can be acquired. Seasons pass while calculating optical properties, designing the setup and of course aligning mirrors over and over again. But in the end, all the time and research spent pays off when our measurements provide us fundamental insights.

2nd: „Happy Lab Life“

By Sofie Zehentner, Department of Physiological Chemistry

Welcome to the lab rollercoaster, where the highs are successful experiments and the lows, well, failed experiments, but which hopefully catapult you into successful experiments. Never forget that you are not alone on this crazy ride. So, here's to all colleagues who make lab life happier. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Lab Life in 2024! May not only successful experiments make you happy in 2024 but may you and your colleagues also make each other smile.

3rd: „Hands of a Chemist“

By Olivera Cvetkovic, Department of Functional Materials and Catalysis

Regardless of the area of chemistry they are active in, synthesis or analytics, organic or inorganic chemistry, working on larger scale or with tiny amounts of the material; every chemist sooner or later faces the task of sample preparation. Whether it is for various measurements, catalytic screenings, in vitro or in vivo tests or something entirely different, countless vials are waiting in endless queues. Fill this rack, fetch that sample block, take the spatula, get the syringe, do not forget to label the samples... This leaves us, chemists, with hands full of work, quite literally. However, a bit of imagination here, a splash of colour there, some finger acrobatics on the side, and this otherwise mundane task becomes much more interesting and can even bring a lot of joy in the everyday (lab) life.

Category: Special Mention

“For the Love of Chemistry”

By Patrick Schimpl, Department of Organic Chemistry

This collage of 63 unique photos of famous scientists from the wider nexus of our discipline pays homage to each researcher's efforts, as lab equipment and research interests are subject to change over the decades, yet inspiration, hard work and due diligence of single researchers and the scientific collective is what drives scientific progress and enables the continuous advancements of society along the values of prosperity, equality and freedom. The central picture is the only futuristic depiction, and - together with this work as a whole, as each picture was uniquely designed utilising Dalle3 - wants to gratefully highlight the wonderful promise artificial intelligence heralds to support the scientific community in this cause (and the image's many adorable flaws remind that AI is a scientific endeavour as well, still requiring additional work to be put in).