Todd Siler, “Metaphorming NanoCrystals (1 to 100 nm) for Creating NanoLeafs” (2013–14). Mixed media on cut and welded aluminum plate, 38 cm x 46 cm x 46 cm
Artist Todd Siler designed this piece to invoke, on the macroscale, the nanocrystals that would power an “artificial leaf” that uses light from the sun to split water into H2 and O2 or to generate electricity. Such visualizations help the scientific process, collaborator Geoffrey Ozin wrote in his 2009 book “Concepts of Nanochemistry.” “Once you can ‘see’ a model of the process in your mind you can more easily develop a hypothesis.”
Ozin is a chemistry professor at the University of Toronto. In addition to his research, which has earned him recognition as the “father of nanochemistry,” Ozin is a dedicated educator renowned for his work bringing chemistry education beyond the traditional bounds of the textbook, classroom, and lab. Siler is an internationally recognized visual artist and innovator. Much of his work is motivated by a desire to communicate science to the public and to use art to envision viable solutions to real-world global challenges. You can explore their collaborations, which range from neuroscience to nanochemistry, at www.artnanoinnovations.com.