For my PURM Project, I worked in the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter in Dr. Agarwal’s lab, under the supervision of Gaurav Modi. During my time at the lab, I learned about the process of fabricating nanowires using the Vapor-Liquid-Solid method, and I was able to learn the technique and then practice making nanowires myself. I used the furnace in the lab to heat my samples to 900°C, which caused shiny yellow crystals to form where before there were just gold droplets. I loved learning about the process of growing nanowires, and it was especially fascinating that I was able to observe this process in the lab.
Observing these nanowires was very interesting to me, as I learned about their photo luminescent properties, as well as the various techniques used to observe them in the lab. The nanowires are so small that a standard microscope is insufficient for observing their crystalline structure, so it is necessary to use an electron beam microscope. I learned about the techniques used in order to fabricate the devices that can hold the nanowires in order to test their resistivity, and we discussed what it means when the structure of the nanowires change.
I learned so much about the field of materials science and what it is like to work in a lab from my time at LRSM. I am so grateful for the opportunity PURM and the Agarwal Group have provided for me.
To see my poster, visit Penn Presents: https://presentations.curf.upenn.edu/poster/nanowire-fabrication