MichaelWeiss - FIU RET: Research Experience for Teachers

2014 - A Summer to Remember
RET Program at FIU
Michael Weiss
With special gratitude to my
mentor, Dr. Irene Calizo
and the students
who made the learning
experience so unforgettable.
Prior to working in the
lab, it was necessary to
complete several safety
Chemical Handling Safety
Basic Principles
Environmental Awareness
Parts 1 and 2
EPA: Hazardous Waste
Fire Safety
HAZCOM: In Sync with GHS
Laboratory Safety: The Finer
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
Phase 2
o Cleaning of a silicon dioxide
substrate through sonication
and heating with acetone,
isopropanol, and deionized
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
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
Examining the wafer pieces for
Additionally, I became proficient in operating the
Raman Spectrometer to characterize graphene.
 Static spectral acquisition
 Extended spectral
 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
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
 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.
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