Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > The power of a speck of dust: Summer research leads to international opportunity

Abstract:
Bethel College senior physics major Matthew Hershberger, Clay Center, knows the power of a speck of dust

The power of a speck of dust: Summer research leads to international opportunity

North Newton, KS | Posted on February 17th, 2010

As a part of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network's Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (NNIN REU), Hershberger spent last summer in Colorado working with structures that are less than 100 nanometers in at least one dimension.

"When you work with structures this small," Hershberger explains, "a piece of dust landing in the wrong spot could destroy all of your work. Most of the work must be done in a special laboratory, such as the Colorado Nanofabrication Lab, designed to keep the air and working environment clean. I wore a lab coat, gloves and shoe booties every day I was in the lab."

As part of its summer research program for undergraduates, NNIN has 14 sites around the United States, with five or six undergraduates helping with research at each.

According to its brochure, "NNIN provides users across the nation - in academia, small and large industry, and government - with open access, both on-site and remotely, to leading-edge tools, instrumentation and capabilities for fabrication, synthesis, characterization, design, simulation and integration, to help enable their individual nanoscience research projects. The NNIN also has extensive education, training, and outreach activities."

Tracy Tuttle, Bethel assistant professor of physics, says that these programs seek out "sound, rigorous, liberal arts educated students - like the kind of education Bethel excels at.

"[Bethel students] can communicate their experience and results well both in written and verbal form," Tuttle adds.

Hershberger conducted his research at the University of Colorado at Boulder with funding from the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, the National Science Foundation and the Colorado Nanofabrication Lab.

"My specific project, in lay terms, was making tiny drawbridges out of gold with the intent to trap a molecule in the drawbridge as it closed," says Hershberger. "Once a molecule is trapped, the resistance of the molecule can be measured, which can help model how electrons move through the energy levels of the atoms in the molecule.

"This has applications in making molecule-sized circuit components, which could lead to smaller, faster computers," he adds, "but converting the research to industry applications is still decades away. Since I only had 10 weeks, I focused on making the drawbridges and combining designs from other scientists so the process would work on the machines available at the University of Colorado."

Besides the scientific results of his research, the summer experience also resulted in a rare opportunity for Hershberger. Each year, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network International Research Experience for Undergraduates (NNIN iREU) selects about 10 students from those who participated in the summer program to conduct research at an international location the following summer.

Hershberger has been invited to work at the Forshungszentrum Jülich, a research laboratory in Jülich, Germany, in summer 2010. "The goal of [NNIN iREU] is to develop an awareness of the global nature of research and technology in the 21st century," he says.

One of the challenges of the experience will be language. "We were told that in the lab everything would be in English," says Hershberger, "but outside the lab we would have to fend for ourselves.

"As of February 1, 2010, I knew no German," he admits. Since then, he has been learning basic German from his roommate and another mod-mate. While he has not traveled in Germany before, he has been to Latin America several times.

"I know a little bit of Spanish, so [at least] I have been in situations where I did not know the language of the land before and survived."

Hershberger has been able to use last summer's research experience for his senior seminar paper and presentation, a Bethel graduation requirement, and he says he believes "the education I received here at Bethel allowed me to gain access to this amazing opportunity."

"I am always very pleased and proud of Bethel students when they are able not only to be accepted to REU programs but to have an opportunity to show off their fine Bethel education," says Tuttle. "Research Experiences for Undergraduates are a fantastic opportunity for students to travel and put their Bethel education to good use in the ‘real world' setting of research."

After this summer, Hershberger plans to pursue graduate school for condensed matter physics, which covers nanotechnology. After graduate school, he hopes to go into industry for research.

"There is an increasing demand for scientists with nanotechnology experience," he says, "and any research experience I am able to pick up will certainly help me through my career."

####

About Bethel College
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Bethel College

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Host R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics September 25th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Host R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics September 25th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) September 25th, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

Laboratories

Cannibalistic materials feed on themselves to grow new nanostructures September 1st, 2018

A Novel Graphene Quantum Dot Structure Takes the Cake August 24th, 2018

Virginia Tech researchers develop novel process to 3D print one of the strongest materials on Earth August 23rd, 2018

Connecting the (Nano) Dots: NIST Says Big-Picture Thinking Can Advance Nanoparticle Manufacturing August 22nd, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Academic/Education

The Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Tsukuba near Tokyo in Japan uses Deben's ARM2 detector to better understand catalytic reaction mechanisms June 27th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

SUNY Poly Professor Eric Lifshin Selected for ‘Fellow of the Microanalysis Society’ Position for Significant Contributions to Microanalysis June 13th, 2018

Grand Opening of UC Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI) to Spotlight JEOL Center for Nanoscale Solutions: Renowned Materials Scientists to Present at the 1st International Symposium on Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ISAMS) April 18th, 2018

Chip Technology

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers: Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Nanoelectronics

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry September 14th, 2018

Laser sintering optimized for printed electronics: New study sheds (laser) light on the best means of laying down thin-film circuitry September 13th, 2018

September 5th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Profiles

Russia’s Nano-enabled Products Market to Witness Massive Growth February 8th, 2011

Adept Technology Announces Orders for Over $600K from Chinese Partner January 18th, 2011

Nanostart-held ItN Nanovation Receives Major Follow-on Order in Saudi Arabia November 29th, 2010

Homegrown Companies Developing Batteries for Clean Energy Storage November 2nd, 2010

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project