Jessica Lynn Saylors, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering

This was my second summer working in Professor Lynn Loo’s research group fabricating organic field effect transistors (OFETs) from an organic molecule called contorted hexabenzocoronene (HBC). I used OFETs, a type of switch that forms the basic building blocks of organic electronic devices, to examine the electronic properties of HBC. The main focus of my project was to determine how changing the thickness of an HBC film that comprises an OFET would affect the device’s ability to conduct charge. I fabricated and tested many devices with thicknesses ranging from 40nm to 250nm, using equipment such as a thermal evaporator, optical microscope, and atomic force microscope in my work. As science often does, my project produced both interesting and reproducible results, as well as many more questions to be answered. Through this lab work I acquired laboratory skills, a taste of scientific research and its ups and downs, the thrill of discovery, and the frustration of mistakes and inconsistencies. I plan to use what I learned these past two summers as I expand upon this project as part of my senior thesis.