Week 8: Beached Up

Share This:

Sunday, July 24, 2022


Divyansh Chamria

With the final two weeks of the internship starting tomorrow, I have spent the last week trying to get as much out of my time as possible. I finished a draft of my slides for the intern symposium and fixed the issue I had with diode measurements on Monday, which turned out to be a hardware limitation. I also started learning how PCB design, and have nearly finished the first draft for our chip. We are planning to use this in an Ultra High Vacuum environment (almost 10-11 mBar) so the materials needed to be carefully selected to prevent outgassing, where gases trapped within the PCB material start escaping because of the vacuum and damage the board. Once I had the materials finalized I moved on to the actual design. It is quite simple looking as we only need to contacts to attach the sample to, but it was still daunting to learn how the design process works in a relatively short period of time. Luckily, one of the postdocs in my lab is an electrical engineer, and he helped me learn the software. Lastly, we also tested the LCR meter with a new sample and deduced that the problem was with the MOS capacitor we were testing earlier. Now, I just have to add some extra functionality and before uploading it to GitLab.

It was a busy week outside of work as well. On Thursday, we had the NIST tour organized by Joseph Kopanski and all the interns (and Brad) were able to go through several facilities and labs. Some of the highlights were the anechoic chamber, the low-temperature STM lab and the PEEM lab (where I usually work!). The tour took almost the entire day, and we were all tired by the end, but I was glad to have explored more of the NIST campus. Friday was also hectic as we left NIST at 3 in order to be able to go to Brad’s Physics career talk. I learned a lot from the talk, and it helped me calm my nerves about applying to grad school during the upcoming semester. We ended the day by going to Quigley’s for happy hour with Brad.

A lot of the interns went to Sandy Point Beach on Saturday morning. It was very, very hot outside, and the water was infested with jellyfish. After a few people were stung, we all promptly got out and spent the rest of the time playing games and eating lunch. Overall, it was quite fun, and we even got to visit Annapolis on the way back. In the evening, we also went out to a pub called Mad Hatter, which was themed around Alice in Wonderland. On Sunday, Valeria, Gizem and I went to a Beach House concert at The Anthem. This was the largest concert I have ever been to, and it was very surreal to hear them play live. The concert took up most of the evening, and we came back to eat some French toast before calling it a night.

Divyansh Chamria