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Krystyna Dillard-Crawford Krystyna Dillard-Crawford
Mesa State College
Internship: NIST
Online Journal
Week of July 30, 2007 Week of July 9, 2007 Week of June 18, 2007
Week of July 23, 2007 Week of July 2, 2007 Week of June 11, 2007
Week of July 16, 2007 Week of June 25, 2007 Week of June 4, 2007
Week of July 30, 2007
Well this week was inevitable, but just as sudden as though it had been unexpected. Monday I retook a few measurements, calculated the mobilities for the different diF blends, and then graphed the extremely messy results. It was a slow, marginally melancholy day. Tuesday was spent in the Lab as well. I arrived at 8:30am, grabbed a cup o' Joe, and sauntered (there really isn't a better word for it) to the Technology building. I spent the morning hanging out in the Lab, soaking up the atmosphere. Dr. Suehle took Enrique and I out to lunch, it was interesting and fun to hear different perspectives regarding the electronics community. I suppose by this time it had really hit me I wasn't coming back Wednesday, and I probably seemed a bit reserved. A EE from our division made Mango Lassi a couple weeks ago, and I had begged to be treated to it on my last day. So I talked Oana into having a cup and we sat for a bit and talked. I've really appreciated her quick-mindedness and patience, especially when I've needed a poke or prod in a different direction. As a mentor, I couldn't have asked for someone with more enthusiasm or intuition when it came to making everything accessible. I asked a friend of mine for a ride at the end of the day because I wanted to stay as long as possible. At 6:00pm I handed Oana my badge and lab book, and left.

I was glad that Wednesday was filled with a couple of activities, just enough to take our minds off leaving. We met with Liz and discussed our experiences. I don't think anyone had anything but a positive perspective to offer. Afterward, we went on a tour of the White House. I can appreciate opulence only when it belongs to someone else, otherwise there's no scope for the imagination. In other words, it was nice to see, but I wouldn't want to live there.
That evening we treated ourselves to chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate (sounds like a recipe for happiness). It was a lot of fun, and a great way to end the summer.

I don't know if my incredible karma (slight exaggeration) had caught up with me or not, but Thursday was seamless. I mean, NOTHING WENT WRONG!!!! And just to seal the deal, I sat looking at the Potomac while waiting for my flight, sipping a latte and eating peanut butter cup ice cream. This particular combination is an acquired taste and not for the faint of heart. Now here I am sitting in my living room, listening to the news, and trying to placate a very upset cat.

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Week of July 23, 2007

The presentation. That's about all I thought about this week. There was no room for eating. There was no room for drinking. There was no room in my head for anything but anxiety (this replaced all previously stated, evolutionary necessities). But over all, everything went very well. I think the best part of Tuesday was watching Gary engage in dirt baths (sorry, Gary). I think he had just as much fun as we did, or at the very least, he enjoyed the soil durability analysis. I was a goalpost weight, not the most glamorous job, but one that I felt I did with gusto.

The second event of note was the NASA tour on Thursday. I really enjoyed it. I especially liked seeing just how much NASA desks and chairs varied from NIST desks and chairs. On a more serious note, the payload centrifuge was the best, followed closely by the acoustic chamber. I just know those crazy people at NASA come in at the end of the day and rock to their music.

I spent Saturday in Gaithersburg with Oana and Odi. I had a wonderful time. We went to the Washingtonian Center at Rio, saw a movie, and had a really nice dinner. Sunday was spent in Greenbelt, and I was treated to another lake. I like lakes. A lot. The last two days are upon us.

TTFN.

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Week of July 16, 2007

This week we're taking measurements using the semiconductor blends. I'm probably sounding a bit untechnical, but from what I understand it's similar to a preservative. It prevents water and air from reacting with the semiconductor, and it's supposed to contribute to higher mobilities. I haven't seen this happen yet. The highest I've measured is lower than treated devices without the blend. I'm not sure what to make of this. I also looked at the contact angles for a higher concentration of PFBT, and they continue to be low. I spent a good chunk of Thursday and Friday preparing the presentation for Tuesday, and didn't feel like a complete idiot when I gave a dry run at NIST. Tall Swedish People. Just can't shake thought.

I suppose it's not very interesting to hear about riding the metro home, calling friends, taking a shower, and going to bed. So I won't mention them. However Friday night was a bit different, and I admit, even though it must have been fun, I don't remember much of it. Saturday was spent walking around (seem to do that a lot), and Sunday I felt the need to doctor up a few of the graphics for the presentation. So not too much to report there. I think sleeping in was the best part of my weekend, and then being a bit lazy the rest of the day. I think I need groceries, I'll have to look into that.
See you next week.

TTFN

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Week of July 9, 2007

Well, this week we are hosting the other interns here at NIST for a tour. Things went really well, even for the procrastinators. Our tour went like so:

  • 1:20 I receive a call that Gary, Ryan, Meagan, and Jesus will be late.
  • 1:30 Katie, Justin, Andy, and Andrea arrive.
  • 1:40 We meet Dr. Suehle (john.suehle@nist.gov), and he introduces us to two scientists performing work on understanding proteins.
  • 2:05 Gary, Ryan, Meagan, and Jesus arrive, and we are given a brief tour of Dr. Suehle's labs.
  • 2:15 We walk to the NanoFab
  • 2:20 Enrique and I realize we're going to be late to the SURF III Synchrotron, so Enrique runs to meet Dr. Charles Clark (charles.clark@nist.gov) who has offered to present his lab.
  • 3:10 We join Enrique.
  • 3:40 I realize we're going to be late meeting with Dr. Muhammad Arif (muhammad.arif@nist.gov) at the Center for Neutron Research, and I run to meet him.
  • 4:05 Everyone else joins me.
  • 4:10 Our tour begins and we are treated to all sorts of research utilizing the neutron particle streams from the reactor.
  • 5:00 The tour ends with all of us being tested for radiation. We passed.
  • 5:30 after a fifteen minute hike we reconvene to take the last shuttle to the metro station. Enrique and I are giving each other high-fives and congratulating ourselves on our ability to plan events.

The tour schedule that Liz will have soon looks much more formal, but this is how it REALLY went. So amidst running to and fro and worrying that things wouldn't go all that smoothly, they did. Woo-hoo.

Oana was absent most of this week, save Friday. She said she had a great time in Seattle where she attended a conference. I'm really glad. I mainly conducted measurements on test beds of varying speeds of deposition. I measured 500, 1K, and 2K RPM deposition speeds. This allows us to see the crystal ordering according to speed. Obviously at lower speeds we see better ordering, but the lowest speed doesn't necessarily give the highest possible mobility. For v=500RPMs, we saw a steady decrease in the mobilities as the channel widths increased, meaning the mobilities didn't drop suddenly to almost nothing (meaning 10E-6 or lower) at 25 microns. So things are going well.

I continue to leave work, come home, read, eat dinner, listen to music, and then turn out the lights rather regularly. And I didn't do anything noteworthy over the weekend, other than catch up with friends back home. Unfortunately, according to GWU I have acquired a fatal virus that they don't want me to share with the rest of the network, so I'm internet poor at the moment. Not sure what to do about that. They suggested I completely wipe my computer clean, and submit my laptop for their inspection. I think I'll just continue checking email at work, thank goodness it hasn't crashed or else I'd be spending all sorts of time trying to get other things accomplished at work. I'm still reading A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens), a fine articulation of the beginning of the French Revolution and Madame Guillotine. I highly recommend it.

Well best of luck to everyone this week, I'm sure we're all scrambling to put our presentations together. Luckily I've been giving five minute presentations for the past six weeks, so hopefully I'm okay to go.

TTFN

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Week of July 2, 2007

This week seemed to be very fruitful.  On Monday and Tuesday I spent most of my time in the lab preparing test beds with the Pentachloro contact solution.  The contact angle wasn't quite as good as it could have been (50 degrees to the previous 65 degrees), but it still yielded some usable results.  I've been urged to abandon testing the diCl and diBr because they don't yield impressive mobilities.  The diF, on the other hand, seems to give the best data concerning whether the contact solution is effective or not.  So, from here on out, I'll be using the diF organic semiconductor exclusively.   

Wednesday, the 4th of July, was so exciting!  Of course the opportunity to sleep in during the middle of the week was neat too, but the festivities throughout the day were so much more fun.  The DC parade started at 11:45 (if I recall correctly), and we didn't start seeing the different groups until 12:15 (we were at the very end of the parade so my times may be off a bit).  I was particularly impressed with the Asian-American patriotism that showed through an expression of two cultures each mutually beneficial to the other.  I really enjoyed the Bolivian dancing, and at the end a large group promoting peace were united in pulling a HUGE cart behind them.  Talk about reducing emissions.  After the parade, I headed to the mall and air-conditioning (I'm really not intolerant of heat, but the parade lasted 2+ hours).  Apparently while I was traveling back from the mall there was a tornado warning, how strange is that.  The mall (not to confuse you, the one in front of the Capitol), from what I hear, was evacuated and people were told to seek shelter.  When I came out of the metro it was raining dogs (I love cats, can't have it raining cats; I like dogs too, maybe it was raining chihuahuas), but it let up quickly and I made a break for it.  We walked to the mall about 8:45, and at 9:20 we were treated to something incredible.  I've never seen such a sight before, and naturally I expected a lot this being our nations capital.  I was not disappointed.  We also wore our prism glasses, but I took them off half way through.  It was a glorious evening that inspired all sorts of "warm, fuzzy feelings," the most important being pride.  I love America, and I hope it continues to be a haven for civil liberties, dissent, and freedom.

Well, back to work Thursday.  I was urged to take measurements on the test beds that I'd prepared on Tuesday, boy does time take its toll!  The currents were low (this means the mobilities were low too), but after annealing them (putting them on a hotplate @ 85C) the mobilities seemed to improve just a bit.  I also created more devices, but varied the deposition speed (500RPM, 1KRPM, 2KRPM).  I continued measurements through Friday.  Oana is leaving for a conference next week so we outlined a plan of what I could do while she's away.  I made the mistake of jumping into that plan on Friday, but I'm a pro at scaring up all sorts of things to do and will no doubt bite off more that I can chew.

Saturday was spent at the Folklife Festival and I would like to point out the following: great entertainment, REALLY REALLY REALLY expensive food, maximum sun exposure, and interesting booths of cultural activities/characteristics.  I wore SPF (it's that mind of spring steel that came up with that one), and I drank lots of water (there it is again).  I didn't however seek shelter a lot (minor cog out of kelter), and that was important since by the end of the day I had absolutely no motivation whatsoever.  The three cultures presented were Mekong, Northern Ireland, and Roots of Virginia.  All three were very interesting, and I encourage everyone to go.  In particular the Nine Dragon Stage was featuring all sorts of cultural presentations; I sat there for at least an hour just enjoying the music.

Sunday I was running errands.  I won't spoil your imagination with an account of that.  Monday morning is here, and another week of trying to learn as much as possible is upon me.  TTFN

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Week of June 25, 2007

As with all scientific research, we have times were we start to believe what we're doing isn't bearing any fruit (this might have been funny if I were a biologist). At the beginning of the week I felt this way, and the week would have ended this way were it not for some scientific intervention on Friday. Apparently our new contact solution is showing promise, not as much as our previous solution, but enough to rally for. And I'm excited once again to test for its ability to improve the mobilities of the three di-compounds. Oana, too, was very excited and we've made plans to continue testing concentration, time for treatment, and spin-casting deposition. One might say we're up and running again, but I don't run. So with renewed vigor, I will be conducting further measurements in the hope we'll turn up something very helpful.

This weekend I spent in Philadelphia with a good friend of mine. It was spectacular, I didn't think a person could squeeze that many events into one weekend. Boy, was I wrong. The bus I took left from Chinatown. While late Friday night, it was on time Sunday which I was thankful for because I needed the sleep. The busline Apex (apexbus.com) charges $28 for a roundtrip fare, quite reasonable I thought, and its pickup and drop off points here in DC are VERY easy to find. Overall, as a quick weekend getaway, I highly recommend it, and the area is just beautiful. Well, I hope everyone else had a pleasant weekend, and here we go again!

TTFN

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Week of June 18, 2007

Well three weeks down, and five to go. I say this with a bit of sadness since time is flying by so quickly. At work we're experiencing some hold ups concerning the contact treatment. And while this might be thought of as just another part of science, it also seems odd. Initially our results are encouraging, and then the next day it seems as though we've been given a completely different bottle of solution. There are two other students also doing research in this area, and they're just as frustrated as I am. I will be working with the oxide treatment this next week since further research into the contact solution, at this point, is not recommended. The oxide treatment also proves challenging because the organic compound does not cover the surface properly, but it has been suggested that the deposition speed is key. I'll be conducting measurements with the oxide treatment only, and then calculating the mobility to see if it improves. As I may have mentioned earlier, I have also measured mobility with another contact treatment, NTP. I'll review my data and then plan to combine the two if the increase in mobility is substantial. Overall, I'm still enjoying my work in spite of all the apparent setbacks.

Washington is so big. I mean really big. And the sightseeing has become a laborious project, almost too big to even consider. I admit I'm really only inspired one day out of two on the weekends. This particular weekend we enjoyed the Washington monument, the Botanic Gardens (my favorite), and the National Museum of the Native American Indian. I've always wondered what the "view from the top" looked like, and I was not disappointed. The landscape viewed from the top of the Washington monument was breathtaking, and in each alcove there were offered photos of D.C. at earlier times in her existence. This provided an excellent comparison of different stages of her evolution. The Botanic Gardens, my favorite, were simply wonderful. I really wanted to sit and just listen to the fountains and waterfalls. The environment was so completely relaxing that leaving was difficult, and I hope to return next weekend with something to read. I always feel sad when faced with the plight of the Native American Indian, and the Museum, while concentrating on presenting culture, could not help but contribute. Even now, hundreds of years after some many horrors were committed, their existence is threatened on a daily basis. As I understand it, the Supreme Court has been very unfriendly, and they've had numerous setbacks in reaching justice even in the past ten years. Not to mention those indigenous tribes who have been decimated by modern wars and governments in other countries. A very good point was made as we left, the Germans must come to terms with their participation in the Holocaust and similarly we must come to terms with the destruction and apathy suffered by the Native Americans. It's social responsibility, and it feels like even now the contract is being broken. Well, on a lighter note, the weather has been fine if a bit hot, and Monday is looking like rain. The rain seems to bring cooler temperatures, and we'll all be celebrating.

TTFN

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Week of June 11, 2007

Two weeks down. It truly doesn't feel like it, and the only tell-tale sign is being more comfortable in our surroundings. I spent last week figuring out the best time to allow the TFTs to treat in our new contact treatment. Sometimes frustrating, especially since our solution appeared to be too dilute, we finally figured out a high concentration matched with sixty minutes would do the trick. So this next week I'll be spin-coating the devices with our organic materials after being treated. I'm pretty excited. It appears that the contact treatment contributes to a higher mobility by changing the organic material, but we'll wait to see the rest of our outcomes. We also had a picnic on Thursday, it was great! I never new that the people at NIST had skill in Volleyball! And I made sure to demonstrate how to catch the ball with your face. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a more involved internship or an experience that I've learned so much from.

I played the hermit over the weekend, catering to my selfish desire to read. And boy did I read, laughing foolishly over my novel. That is another thing I ought to mention, during our commute to NIST I read a lot. Surely that makes up for not being in classes? Currently I'm reading Men of Mathematics. Quite fascinating, I highly recommend it. It is interesting to see meted out the private life of those who were so instrumental in placing us where we are. I think its important to not only understand their contributions, but also the effect their lives had upon their own societies. I like to think I'm learning more about those giants upon whose shoulders I now stand.

TTFN

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Week of June 4, 2007

I am having a great time here at NIST. My mentor, Oana, is helpful, patient, and encouraging. So far I haven't committed some heinous act such as annealing a test bed to the hot plate or dropping something that really shouldn't be dropped. Jokes aside, I feel as though my work is contributive to the project as a whole. I am excited every time I arrive and tired when I leave. Dr. Gurlach, who is very busy, is very encouraging as well. As Oana described, he seems to care about the scientist as a whole person. I really admire that. At this point I've been give the opportunity to "stumble" around to find out how things are done and how I'll get to do them later. Since last Tuesday I've been in the lab doing something, always exciting!! Oana's enthusiasm is contagious and I've caught the bug.

I couldn't imagine cooler floormates than my fellow interns. Truly, I am impressed by each of them. They all have their own sense of humor or world outlook, and each is refreshing. We've managed to feed each other at least once since we arrived, and we're continuing this habit through this week. I need to note that Farragut West on the Orange or Blue line is closer to the apartments than Foggy Bottom, there is a safeway in the "basement" of the Watergate Complex (not too heavy on the selection, but they've got what you NEED plus they are open 6am-10pm seven days a week), and there is a lovely sandwich shop two streets in front of the Reagan Building that will dock you $4.19 for a pretty decent size sandwich (plus they also have salads ~$5.40?). Insofar we've seen some of the government buildings, as well as some memorials. Please note, bring tissues to the Holocaust Museum (you'll need them, I did). Oh, and there seems to be some unstated rules about crossing the street when the "red hand" is shown, run if you can, cross with caution, or "it is suggested you stay where you are, but if you decide to leave they won't hit you...hard."

TTFN

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