Week 2: Una semana alegre!

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Sunday, June 7, 2015


Veronica Martinez-Vargas

Another successful week has gone by quicker than I expected, and I am definitely taking my time in appreciating what D.C. and surroundings cities have to offer. On Saturday, I went to Columbia Heights and stopped by Los Hermanos, a dominican restaurant, and got the chicken, rice, and pea plantains combination with some tostones on the side. On Sunday, I went to the Takoma Park Farmers Market and bought a home-made loaf of bread and finished half of it by the end of the day, that's how good it was. On Wednesday, I went back to Columbia Heights and as I was coming out of the metro station I was met with the most beautiful surprise, it was a street vendor from El Salvador selling elotes locos! I did not hesitate to rush over and buy two. Thursday, was Italian Pizza Kitchen and wow the slices were huge for a resonable price! So when it comes to appreciating, I've made sure to eat the delicous, diverse, and savory food of DC. To end my week, I attended the exhibition RISERS at the exhibition venue Hierarchy, which consisted of a short film and portrait series featuring undocumented immigrant youth in the district. 

The OM that I will be using this summer!

This week at NIST was pretty fun and productive. After reading several articles and talking to Dr. Suehle last week, the week consisted on getting hands on experience with the optical microscope (OM), training on the atomic force microscope (AFM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). We are close to building this solid state nano sensor that will be able to look at proteins and measure the electrostatic potential of the single molecules that compose them. Isn’t this AWESOME?! The potential applications for this device are just fantastic and useful to our world. We are helping out with the fabrication steps, which means exfoliating the material, transferring it to a substrate, finding it with the OM, characterizing the material using the AFM, and mass generating with AutoCAD, which is a computer software used for 2D or 3D drawings and more. Mind you, this is my first time working with an AFM, SEM, or AutoCAD so all of this has been pretty exciting to me. On Thursday, we practiced the transfer process making use of our lab skills, this brought back so many memories from both my organic and analytical chemistry labs! I felt really comfortable doing this. Finally, we ended our week by witnessing the electron-beam lithography process at the Nano-fabrication facility. 

I could not be happier with how my second week turned out. I’m ready for next week. 

Veronica Martinez-Vargas