Kim Sha, 2019, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Over the summer, I conducted research related to organic semiconducting electronic devices such as organic solar cells (OSC) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). These are being extensively studied as alternatives to their inorganic counterparts due to desirable properties such as suitability for flexible applications and high-throughput production. However, the use of stacked material layers in these devices can lead to structural instabilities that have yet to be fully characterized. For this project, I developed a methodology based on an optical technique (spectroscopic ellipsometry) to quantitatively investigate structural changes to samples heated at various temperatures. I enjoyed being responsible for the entire process, from preparation and fabrication of the stacked thin films, to testing and optical analysis. I was also able to discuss my progress with an insightful advising professor and seek advice from graduate students and other engineers. It was a rewarding experience that has given me a sense of what life is like in the academic community as a researcher.