Jesssica Saylors, 2013, Chemical and Biological Engineering

My internship was part of a larger project exploring the potential of contorted ­hexabenzocoronene (HBC), a carbon-lattice molecule, and its derivatives for use in ­organic-based electronics and solar cells. I mainly examined two variables, film ­thickness and crystallization temperature, and hoped to determine how these ­affected the ­electronic properties of crystalline HBC films. My day-to-day activities mostly ­involved making, preparing, testing, and analyzing the data derived from HBC films. In the end, we were able to describe a number of connections between the variables we ­explored. I learned not only the science and lab technique involved in my project, but also about working in a research lab, the time and effort that goes into making a scientific ­advancement, and the excitement and frustration that comes along with it. Working in the lab this summer has given me valuable experience to help me decide if I would like to pursue research in the future, and has started me thinking about shifting my ­academic focus closer to materials science.