Major: Physics and Math (prospective)
What’s going on? We’d love to hear how your internship is going! This summer, I am doing summer research in Professor Xuemei May Cheng’s group. In our lab, there are five undergraduate students – Alena Klindziuk, Yilun Tang, Ji Yoon Ahn, Zhuyun Xiao and me, and two graduate students Xiao Wang and Xuzhao Chai. A typical day of us is like this: get up at 7 a.m.; prepare our food for lunch; get to our lab at 9 a.m.; start to make samples, do measurements and analyze the data we get. Our lab is located at the basement of Park Science Building. We have one giant clean room with Sputtering system and Photolithography facilities in it, a room for Atomic Force Microscopy(AFM), and a room, shared with Geology Department, for Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM). One main goal for our research is to analyze the magnetic properties of certain nanomaterials. We use our Sputtering system to sputter different films of different thickness, use photolithography to make patterns on the sample. Then we use XRD and AFM t o identify our samples and use VSM to analyze the magnetic properties of the sample. Right now, my group and I are in Argonne National Lab in Chicago. This time, we want to use X-ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism(XMCD) to verify and have a deeper understanding for the conclusion Professor May Cheng got before! Hope we will get some new interesting results for the characteristic of Pt film on Y3Fe5O12! This summer is my first try of serious science research. The whole research period is much longer than I thought it would be. It takes long time for us to make everything work at the first stage and even longer time to get an ideal sample. Then, when we measure the sample and analyze the data, results could end up being totally unexpected on our way of catching the tail of the truth.
Why I applied for my internship: I like the quote from Sleepless in Seattle: “ What if someone you never met, someone you never saw, someone you never knew was the only someone for you?” I take it as my motto when exploring life. I applied for this summer research because I wanted to give myself a chance to figure out if science research is my true love.