Visual Artist Nedyalka Panova and scientists from UCC and the Tyndall National Institute are exploring the collision of nanotechnology and poetry in the realm of modern life. Using the ultimate methods for miniaturizing computers and electronic devices and the shortest poetic form, haiku, the art and science duet gives a poetic interpretation of the invisible laws of nature that operate on the nanoscale.

The new form of creative entanglement generated by the process of self-assembly of thoughts and matter in an abstract entity is intimation to the creative legacy of George Boole- mathematician, linguist and poet.

At the nanoscale every single atom matters in the same way as in a 17- syllable verse of haiku poems every syllable effects the sound of the poem. Therefore, revisiting the poems through technologies used for fabrication of new memory storage device, our main idea is to speculate with logic and imagination for creation of new forms of abstract art.

In our project we look at the short poems of haiku as a meaningful structure that becomes a new path for creative research for nanofabrication. With the forward-looking subject of self-assembled matter on nanoscale we will demonstrate how the abstract feature of matter changes its pattern when exposed to the same poem translated in English, Japanese, Bulgarian or Irish languages. In a similar manner Boole in his book ‘A Mathematical Analysis of Logic, published in 1847 ‘was intrigued by the way an idea is reasoned and expressed in different languages’.

We are translating the deep observation of modern life, its poetic form in the symbolic logic of a grid, and push matter to further abstraction. Thus we add to the haiku poem’s own nanostructure and meaning a new visual identity, nano-haiga,combining for the first time poetry, visual art and advanced nanofabrication technologies.

On collaborations

I want to quote the mathematician  David Broomhead (1950-2014)

‘I have decided that is about time for me to come out of the closet and confess that I am someone who believes that competition is a grossly overrated concept, and that cooperation is one that is sadly undervalued…Although I have tried to practice cooperative research, I think I have been too silent about preaching its virtues. If you have ever been involved in a cooperative research project, you will probably have experienced the rather magical feeling that accompanies a new insight which has, somehow, been generated within the room, rather than within the head of any one of the individuals present…Good cooperative research requires that there are be a great deal of friendship and trust between the participants; to be really good, it requires a considerable mismatch of expertise. In favourable circumstances, it can produce results which are far greater than the sum of the individuals involved’. June 2004

Artist Bio:

For me a collaboration is a mindset adventure based on dialogue, mutual understanding and trust. It might look like a flying trapeze act where the flyers share very similar values and goals.


Web site:

Nedyalka Panova works on the interface between art and science. She graduated in 2013 with an MA in Art and Science from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK.

Her research topic was nanotechnologies and her thesis ‘Grid and Growth: from nanoscale to macrocosmos’ explores the phenomenon from artistic point of view.

In 2014 Panova was Artist in Residency in The Synthetic Optics group, Physics Department at St. Andrews University on a project funded by EPSRC and resulting in a number of exhibitions. Her project ‘Artist as a materials scientist’ is based on the potential for use of nanofabrication in Fine art.

Panova has been exhibiting widely in Ireland and UK. She has a BA(Honours) in Ceramics Art and Design from CCAD, Cork in 2009 and was a long-term studio resident in National Sculpture Factory. Her work is part of the collections of King’s College, which she collaborated with in 2013.

NANOHAIGA: creative use of visual art and haiku poems for demonstration of electron resist and direct self-assembly related materials and processes

Nedyalka Panova, Anushka Gangnaik, Tandra Ghoshal, Yordan M. Georgiev*, Justin D. Holmes Materials Chemistry & Analysis Group, Department of Chemistry and Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Dyke Parade, Cork, Ireland Antoaneta Nikolova*, South West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria * Member of the World Haiku Association

keywords: electron beam lithography,  HSQ,  directed  self-assembly,  block copolymers,  visual art, poetry, haiku, haiga


Clean Room Tyndall, with EBL master Anushka Gangnaik. It looks like everything has happen here and now but it is not exactly like this.


Far back as the 7th century and in a small island in the Japanese sea, as part of pre-Buddhist or early Shinto ceremonial rituals, Japanese narrative poetry were represented by short lyrical poems called “uta,” or songs. Their subject were prayers, celebrations, formal eulogies, courting and planting. In the 17th century, haikai master Matsunaga Teitoku decided to reprise the elegance of the short poems and taught the classic elements of the form to his finest student, Matsuo Basho (1644 –  1694) who traveled throughout the countryside as a wanderer-poet practicing a life of  lightness. One hundred years later, he was declared the saint of haiku by the Shinto religious and become the most famous poet in Japan. old pond haiga   Old pond – a frog leaps into the water’s sound Set up as a meditative Budist expression of immediate captivation of a still image of the surrounding the poem is as sharp and bright as a mind lighting. We tried to set up an experiment. To see the invisible. To focus on nothingness and to leave our eyes open for the tiniest specks. To change the environment of our perception, to look at the ultimate grid of logic and into silence and emptiness to hear the sounds of the lush of the brush stroke in the air. Our experiment starts here. The poets: Yordan M. Georgiev is a professor of Physics and Electronic Engineering with Research theme: Fabrication and characterisation of planar and vertical nanowire devices in Si, Silicon on Insulator (SOI), Ge, and Germanium on Insulator (GOI) for applications as sensors, FETs, and photovoltaic (PV) cells. He is a member of  World Haiku Association Haiku by Yordan M. Georgiev

Дълги перести облаци


до следващата сутрин

Long cirrous clouds

from here

till the next morning

Scamaill fada clúmhach

Uaidh seo

Chuig an chéad mhaidin eile


Сред голите дървета

уличната лампа

си е същата

Among the bare trees

the streetlamp

is still the same

Idir na crainn loma

Tá an lampa sráide

Fós mar an gcéanna


Кос в тревата


утринния дъжд

Blackbird in the grass


the morning rain

Londubh san fhéar

Ag priocadh

Báisteach na maidine

Antoaneta Nikolova is an Associate professor of East philosophy, Philosophy of religion, Religion and culture of the East, Philosophical aspects of mantic practics, Myth and symbol, Comparative religion, South West University “Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, Member of World Haiku Association.

през огледалото минава сянка

в стаята

не се променя нищо

Сквозь зеркало Скользнула тень Ничто не изменилось в доме

Translation into Russian by Рёто

Tá scáth ann

Ag trasnú an scatháin

Athrú ar bith sa seomra.

A shadow                                                           

is crossing the mirror                                         

No change in the room.    


En skygge

løber hen over spejlet

Rummet uændret.

Translation into Danish by Benny Pedersen


върху дъха си

на стъклото

детето нарисува слънце

Upon his breath

On the window

A child is drawing the sun

In a anáil

Ar an bhfuinneog

Tá páiste ag liníocht na gréine


храсти с рози

покрай пътя

чак до детството на мама


Along the road

As far as mom’s childhood


Atá le taobh an bhóthair

Comh fada le hóige mo mhathair


в палтото на татко

смачкан билет

от шест стотинки

in my father’s coat

a crumpled ticket

from the last century

Taobh istigh de chóta m’athair


Ón céad seo chaite


Nedyalka Panova is a Visual Art and Science Artist. She has a MSc in Hydraulic Engineering (2000) and a MA in Art and Science (2015). Her interest is in nanotechnologies and advanced materials and often chose a collaboration as an engine for the realization of her ideas.

Mушици в небето


от разстояние.

Small flies in the sky


from a distance.

Cuileoga beaga sa spéir

Cuma Éin i bhfad orthu


Времето е толкова лошо

даже кучето

не лае по пощальона

The weather is so bad

Even the dog

Does not chase the postman.

Tá an aimsir comh dona

Nach gcuireann fiú an madra ruaig ar fhear an phoist


Лунна пътека

растяща над залива.

Сърцето ми бодърства.

Half-moon path

over the bay.

My heart is awake.

Cosán an leathghealaí

Os cionn an cuain

Tá mo chroí múscailte

Anatoly Kudryavitsky is a Chairman of the Irish haiku Society,

прожектор на границата

двете половини на

есенното небе

searchlight at the border

two halves of the

autumn sky


hazel catkins

in the mizzling rain…

a long, long dream

лескови реси

в ръмящия дъжд…

дълъг, дълъг сън


sheep unmoved

in the green grass…

a slow passing of clouds

неподвижни овце

в зелената трева…

бавно минаващи облаци


aspen in the rain

each leaf dripping with

the sound of autumn

трепетлика в дъжда

всяко листо капе с

есенен звук


Electron  Beam  Lithography  (EBL)  and  Direct  Self-Assembly  (DSA)  of  Block  Co-Polymers  (BCP) techniques  are  becoming  increasingly  widespread  in  research  and  development  (R&D)  as  a  potential application for scaling down semiconductor device patterning. Visual  artists,  poets  and  scientists  are  exploring  the  entanglement  of  Science  and  Art  to  demonstrate advanced understanding of electron resist and DSA materials, processes and related theories. Using EBL [1] and DSA of BCP [2] in conjunction with the shortest poetic form, haiku, we are exploring the  imaginative  line  between  the  top  down  EBL  process  and  the  bottom  up  approach  of  DSA  and  their interaction as well as the relevant  processes,  characterisation, and  defectivity  to show the invisible laws of nature that operate on the nanoscale, visualised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).


We are using silicon (Si) substrates  and  the  hydrogen silsesquioxane  (HSQ)  negative tone electron  resist to demonstrate the EBL patterning method for capturing examples of the tiniest haiku poems translated in to different  languages  (Fig.  1).  In  a  subsequent  step,  the  haiku  poems  nanostructures  are  used  as  guiding features between which different concentrations of the poly(styrene)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) diblock copolymer   are spin coated to create self-organised patterns on the  nanoscale. The annealing is done in  the  presence  of  toluene  solvent  vapours  at  50o C  for  1.5  hours  and  then  the  samples  are  immersed  in Ethanol for  approximately  15  hours  at 40 o C  to  dissolve one of the copolymers, PEO, and  achieve higher visual contrast. Finally, the resulting BCP structures are imaged by a high-resolution SEM. With these  experiments  we explore the topography of the poems  using graphoepitaxy and the features of patterns that occur due to the block copolymer repulsion forces. In the areas limited  within and  in-between  the individual  characters  and syllables of the poems,  unusual geometrical patterns have been observed  (Fig. 2).  We interpret these patterns as a self-assembled  nanohaiga directed by the morphology and the linguistic geometry of the haiku poem.  Moreover, we demonstrate  how the BCP pattern changes when interacting with the same verse translated into different languages. Therefore,  revisiting  the  haiku  poems  through  technologies  generally  used  for  fabrication  of nanoelectronic, photonic, magnetic, etc. devices we speculate with logic and imagination for creation of new forms of abstract art at the nanoscale.

Abstract_MNC2015_Nanohaiga_Panova et al_1-2

Fig. 1 SEM micrographs of nano-versions of the famous haiku poem Old  Pond  by the prominent classical Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694). The poem is written by EBL with the HSQ resist on Si substrate in five languages and four different  alphabets/characters: (a) contemporary Japanese, (b) classical Japanese, (c) English, (d) Bulgarian and (e) Irish. The size of the whole letters/characters is between 200-400 nm but the width of the structures/lines outlining them is down to 20 nm


Fig.  2  SEM  micrographs  of  BCP  patterns  resulting  from  the  interaction  between  the  PS-b-PEO diblock copolymer  and Japanese characters from the  Monkey’s Raincoat  poem by  Matsuo Bashō. The poem is written by EBL with the HSQ resist on Si substrate in Japanese. PS-b-PEO usually forms vertical cylinders which are seen in the regions away from the HSQ structures. As a result of its interaction with the Japanese characters,  however,  horizontal  structures  resembling  finger  prints  are  formed  within  and  around  the characters.

3.SUMMARY The anticipated impact of this collaborative work is related to the speculative and practical outcome of the experimental propositions  that the artists  have  made. We suggested, for the first time,  the combined use of language and  self-assembly  in a process dealing  with the special properties of matter that occurs below a certain size threshold. We  add to the  haiku poem’s own  nanostructure  and meaning  a  new visual identity,  nanohaiga,  using the powerful approach of the directed self-assembly and pushing matter to further abstraction. 4. REFERENCES [1] W. Henschel, Y.M. Georgiev and H. Kurz. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 21, pp. 2018-2025 (2003). [2]  C.  Cummins,  A.  Gangnaik,  R.A.  Kelly,  D.  Borah,  J.  O’Connell,  N.  Petkov,  Y.M.  Georgiev,  J.D. Holmes, M.A. Morris. Nanoscale 7, pp. 6712-6721 (2015).


Special Thanks to Elsa Giraud for the BCP processes, Timothy Collins for AFM images, John O’Connell for translation into Irish and for running this webpage and Barbara Kosmala for the great conversations. This project is funded  under the Nanohaiku Project  through the UCC Strategic Research Fund and the College of Arts and Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Creative Practice Support Fund.

If you need more information about the project please contact: or +353 899 857 409