2014 - A Summer to Remember RET Program at FIU by Michael Weiss With special gratitude to my mentor, Dr. Irene Calizo and the students Ingrid Sadegh who made the learning experience so unforgettable. Monir Kris Prior to working in the lab, it was necessary to complete several safety trainings: Chemical Handling Safety Basic Principles Environmental Awareness Parts 1 and 2 EPA: Hazardous Waste Awareness Fire Safety HAZCOM: In Sync with GHS Laboratory Safety: The Finer Points Laser Safety PPE: Don’t Start Work Without It Safe Use of Fumehoods Small Spills and Leaks My lab experiences began with being trained to use the Hall Effect Measurement System. Using this, I was able to collect the following types of data on graphene samples. Bulk Concentration Sheet Concentration Mobility Resistivity Cross Hall Coefficients Magneto-Resistance Conductivity Vertical/Horizontal Ratios Next, I was taught how to transfer graphene from copper foil to another substrate. This process occurred in three phases. Phase 1 Cleaning PMMA Coating to protect the graphene Dry Etching Wet Etching with ferric chloride Phase 2 o Cleaning of a silicon dioxide substrate through sonication and heating with acetone, isopropanol, and deionized water o Dry etching o Scooping out graphene from a copper etch bath o Cleaning the graphene sample with deionized water o Placing graphene sample on the clean silicon dioxide wafer Phase 3 o Spin coating with PMMA o Cleaning with acetone, isopropanol, and deionized water o Drying with nitrogen Later, I was taught how to complete an exfoliation process. Breaking the silicon dioxide wafer into pieces Cleaning the wafer pieces via sonication and heating with acetone, isopropanol, and deionized water Spreading a sample of graphite or molybdenum sulfide on a piece of scotch tape Transferring the graphite or molybdenum sulfide to the silicon dioxide wafer pieces Heating these wafer pieces at 70°C Examining the wafer pieces for purity Additionally, I became proficient in operating the Raman Spectrometer to characterize graphene. Static spectral acquisition Extended spectral acquisition Map image acquisition Every Tuesday, my group and I attended a Pressure Sensor Fabrication Workshop where we learned about the processes of pressure sensor fabrication and photolithography. Every Wednesday, our entire group attended seminars at FIU or webinars from North Carolina State University. These presentations were highly informative and enlightening as they were conducted by some of the most prestigious engineers and scientists in their fields. These include Dr. Nezih Pala and Dr. Sakhrat Khizroev from FIU and Dr. M. McCord, Dr. James Lebeau and Dr. Ewan Pritchard from North Carolina State University. Every Friday, our entire group attended a Curriculum Workshop facilitated by Ms. Kerlyn Prada and formed a Professional Learning Community. Educational protocols we were exposed to include: Fears and Hopes Protocol Four “A”s Text Protocol Tuning Protocol Microlabs Protocol Warm Wheel Protocol Charrette Protocol Change in Practice Protocol Free Form Mapping Zones of Comfort, Risk, and Danger During the six weeks we spent at FIU, we took advantage of the numerous opportunities for collaboration and, speaking for myself, I know that I will be able to effectively incorporate what I learned into my classroom curriculum and enhance the learning experiences of my students. Thank you Stephanie and Dr. Milani for providing such an inspirational and worthwhile experience.