posted by: nwasio
Hey everyone! Welcome to my first blog post. So far it’s been a busy summer. It all started with the NANO Summer Institute in mid-July. We had six (mostly) K-8 teachers participate where they learned about Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and my personal favorite, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM). It’s always interesting to see the reaction of others when you try to describe how “small” small really is. They were a great group and I hope they enjoyed their week with us. They seem especially excited to integrate “nano” into their classrooms.
After the institute, I had two high school students, Chris (junior, St. Joe HS) and Guido (senior, St. Joe HS) as well as Sharon Brandt do research in the lab that I work in at ND. Sharon used the STM to study co-adsorbed surfaces on gold. In our lab, we like to tell a little bit of a story for what is happening on the surfaces we study. Chris is doing just that. He is using the STM to do laser experiments on plain gold surfaces and surfaces with an ordered monolayer. So he has been working on scanning the surface before and after shooting it with the laser to look at changes on the surface. Guido, who will be starting his second year with us, will be studying alpha-particle bombardment on graphite using the AFM. We plan to also move toward beta-particle bombardment studies very shortly!
I use a low-temperature, ultra-high vacuum STM for my research. The grand scheme of my research is molecular electronics….where maybe one day we’ll use single molecules in our computers so that they’re better, more efficient, and faster than ever!! Of course, we’re a looooong ways away from that but I do look at single molecules on the surface and study their properties.
That is the summer so far in a nutshell!