Texas Lutheran University
NIST Research Intern
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Developing New Characterization Techniques
Vanessa and fellow SPS intern Jose are working with the CMOS and Novel Devices Group, Engineering Physics Division, Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The CMOS and Novel Devices Group develops new characterization techniques, physics-based models, and data analysis methods to accelerate the commercialization and manufacture of high performance and reliable electron devices for the electronics industry. The Group develops the advanced metrology tools to enable quantitative and mechanistic assessment of reliability issues in emerging electronic devices. Another key thrust is to develop new measurements, physical models, and data analysis techniques to accelerate the development and commercialization of nanoelectronic device-based medical technology for life sciences and personalized health care.
Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, such as 3-D printing are becoming an innovative and efficient way to produce highly customized parts for applications ranging from automotive to biomedical. Polymer-based AM parts can be produced from a myriad of materials and processing conditions to enable application-specific products. However, bringing 3-D printing from prototype to production relies on understanding the effect of processing conditions on the final product. Raman spectroscopy is a powerful and non-destructive characterization technique that can assist in determining the chemical homogeneity and physical alignment of polymer chains in 3-D printed materials. Two polymers commonly used in 3-D printing, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC), were investigated using 1- and 2-D hyperspectral Raman imaging. In the case of ABS, a complex thermoplastic, the homogeneity of the material through the weld zone was investigated by comparing Raman peaks from each of the three components. In order to investigate the effect of processing conditions on polymer chain alignment, polarized Raman spectroscopy was used. In particular, the print speed or shear rate and effect of strain on PC filaments was investigated with perpendicular and parallel polarizations.
I am a Senior physics and chemistry double major at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. Following my undergraduate career I plan to attend graduate school with the intentions of becoming a professor at a university similar to the size of TLU. At my university I am very active in many components of campus life such as Student Government, Center for Servant Leadership, the Women’s soccer team, and our SPS chapter. With SPS we work very diligently to make sure that there is a connection between the children of the community and our chapter. What is most rewarding, as president of SPS, is the interest that students develop in physics once they are a part of the outreach that we put on throughout the year.
I am a born and raised Texan who loves to play soccer. I have been playing for over 15 years and I don’t plan to stop any time soon. In past years I have had the opportunity to do 2 summers of chemistry research and I am excited to finally have the opportunity to experience physics research at NIST. Aside from the work that I will be doing in the lab, I am also really looking forward to meeting new people and exploring DC!