Workshop

This week there was not an actual workshop. Those ended last week. However, we had one last meeting with Dr. Moser to present an overview of our summer abroad experience. Like last week’s final “elevator pitch”, this week tied together everything we have learned this summer. The presentation incorporated the speaking skills we have practiced in addition to the cultural and scientific experiences we have had.

It was essentially a final rehearsal for presenting our experience when we return to campus this Fall. Everyone took turns speaking for about 15 minutes, sharing details from work, excursions, and personal triumphs from this summer. Despite still having time to add to the memories, it was enjoyable to look back at everything we have already done. The quarantine period that started this whole adventure feels so long ago, yet only about two months have passed since then.

Now, when we go back to campus and friends/professors ask about this experience, we are ready to tell them all about it.

Lab Work

This week was a busy week in the lab. With only 10 work days, time is running out to get results. Soyun, Jingshu, and I worked on more electrophoretic deposition. The stainless steel electrodes arrived and our setup greatly improved. We used 4 different solvents and PVDF-TrFE powder to prepare the mixtures. Then we ran tests. 

Setup for EPD

On Monday(7/26), we found that MEK worked as the best solvent for PDVF-TrFE. It actually produced a film on the steel substrate, and we were able to peel it off.

Thin film of PVDF-TrFE from MEK solution

Unfortunately, since then we have not been able to reproduce that film that peels off the electrode. We did, however, make successful depositions of Hydroxyapatite(HAP) and Barium Titanate(BTO) using the same setup. The films did not peel off like the first PVDF film, but the deposition occurred.

Finally, we tried to make films that contained PVDF and either HAP or BTO. To do this, we first performed deposition of PVDF and then let the electrode dry off. Next, we used the same electrode and performed deposition in HAP or BTO solution. These films also did not peel off unfortunately.

HAP-PVDF(left) and BTO-PVDF(right)

Next week we will try smaller electrodes so that the deposition layer can be examined using AFM and SEM. Currently, the steel electrodes seen above are too big.

Excursions

This week in Korean class I learned how to count in Korean. It turns out they have a great counting system. Rather than “eleven” they write “ten-one” and “twenty” becomes “two-ten”. I like this very much. But I will say Stranger Things wouldn’t be the same with Ten-One as the main character.

Korean class: learning to count

Outside of Korean class, I had long nights at the lab so not much basketball this week. However I did eat some great food with Chi Hao, Jason, Gun, and Jingshu. 

Lunch with the lab mates

Then, on Saturday, I met up with Nathan and Chris to explore a fancy mall called the Galleria. Everything except the food was outside my price range so I settled for some dumplings and kept a safe distance from the Gucci bags. But like who cares about fancy brands anyway.

Dumplings…so many dumplings

Sunday was the day I had been waiting for. Gun, my friend from the lab, invited me to hike with him. Nathan joined us and we conquered Daedunsan. It was simply stunning. And terrifying when climbing the so-called “Stairway to Heaven”. Big shoutout to Gun for driving us. Here are a bunch of pictures from the day.

Cloud Bridge on the way to the peak of Daedunsan

Happy faces after crossing that bridge safely

Stairway to Heaven(seen in the top right distance of Bridge pic)

From the peak of Daedunsan

Also from the peak of Daedunsan…Gun got me when I wasn’t looking