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- Jun 11, 2004 at 3:04PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

It's been a very busy first week. I woke up
at 3:00 on Sunday morning in order to catch
my flight out of Cedar Rapids, IA at about
6:30. I arrived at the airport in Washington
a little after noon, and from there I took a
taxi to George Washington University where I
checked into my apartment.
On Monday morning I went to ACP with the
other interns for orientation, and then in
the afternoon Joe and I went to NIST, which
is where I am working this summer. I am
working with John Suehle on molecular
After a group meeting on Tuesday, I spent
the next three days learning how to make
different electrical measurements and
learning how to do work in the clean room. I
have learned that you have to be really
careful when making measurements on the
devices that I am working with, as
electrical contact is made with small
needles, and you have to make sure that you
have electrical contact without scratching
the device.
Thursday night I went with Allison and
Christine to view Ronald Reagan's body in
the rotunda of the Capitol. We waited in
line for six hours, but I feel that the
experience was worth the wait in line. We
happened to be in the rotunda at the time of
the changing of the guard, which was also an
interesting experience.
I did not have to go to work on Friday
because all government agencies are closed
because of Reagan's funeral.

Replies to

Week 2 - Jun 18 2004 4:02PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

On Saturday afternoon I wandered around Washington with Brett, Matt, and Joe. We saw the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. After that we went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for a few hours, and while we were there we saw an IMAX movie.

I became much better at making four point probe measurements on devices on silicon wafers this week. After some practice I have been able to make electrical contact with the probes without scratching the device too much. So far I have worked with devices that have gold dots evaporated onto a layer of a conducting polymer on top of a silicon wafer. Eventually an organic molecule will be used to try to make a molecular device, but first it is important to understand the electrical properties of the gold and the polymer on the wafer. I have also spent a significant amount of time getting settled in at NIST this week.  This included a lot of small tasks related to getting my email account setup, and I also had to participate in information technology security training, which isn't as complicated as it sounds. All I actually had to do for this was watch a rather long lecture on spyware. This morning I had an orientation session for the NIST Microfabrication Facility, which went over proper techniques for using the clean room, a brief description of equipment in the clean room, and various safety information, including hydrofluoric acid safety information.

On Tuesday there was a NIST Semiconductor Electronics Division picnic at a local state park. It was a nice break, and it was a good chance to meet some more people in the division.

Week Three - Jun 25 2004 4:12PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

On Saturday all of the SPS interns went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We got lost on our way there, so we arrived a little late, but after that everything went well. I spent most of the day there, and I still feel like I haven't seen everything that the museum has to offer.

On Sunday I attended the baptism of my first cousins daughter. It was nice to be able to visit some of my relatives that I haven't seen in a while. Having family in the D. C. area makes being away from home a lot easier. Even though I don't have much time to see them, it's nice to know that they are around if I need anything.

As for my work at NIST, things are progressing quite well. We moved the probe station that I have been using to a vibration free table, which should result in more reliable measurements. In addition to this, the molecular semiconductor project that I have been working on is moving forward at a good pace.

Week #4 - Jul 02 2004 4:13PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

It's the end of week number four. Even though it seems like I've finally just settled in at NIST and at my apartment, the internship is at the halfway mark.

On Saturday I went to the National Capital Barbecue Battle. It was advertised as being the biggest and best barbecue outside of Texas. It did not live up to its reputation. This event was minor league, at best. There were very few competitors, and though the event had been advertised as having a lot of free samples, there really weren't that many.  I guess I'm just used to the barbecue at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA, which is much, much bigger, and where many of the competitors give out samples.

Everything at NIST is going very well, and I'm really enjoying my experience here. I passed the Microfabrication Facility Safety Certification Examination, which means that when I go into the clean room I can actually do work myself instead of just observing. The first task that I completed in the clean room was spinning some of the conducting polymer onto gold-coated, doped silicon wafers.  The next step will be to add more gold on top and  then etch the polymer.A large portion of this week was spent building a plexiglass box to encase the low temperature probe station. This box will be filled with nitrogen to try to eliminate some of the problems that have been caused by moisture in the air.

I'm starting to get really tired of the Metro system. There are always delays, always some new problem. In the past couple weeks I have experienced delays from a suspicious package on one of the platforms, a fire at some point on the orange and blue lines, and a train having to be taken off of the tracks. And of course there are the new rate hikes that went into effect on Sunday.

Looking back at what I have just written it seems that I have done quite a bit of complaining, but I've really had a pretty good week. I'm really looking forward to the 4th of July weekend, and to make it even better NIST is giving us Monday off since the 4th is on a Sunday.

Week 5 - Jul 09 2004 2:39PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

I had a pretty good 4th of July weekend. I went with Matt and Allison to see Spiderman 2. I thought it was a really good movie. On the 4th, I decided to go see the fireworks by the Capitol. I ended up watching the fireworks display from the Capitol steps, so I was within the area where they broadcast "A Capitol Fourth" every year on PBS. I was a long ways from the stage, but it was still a really good experience. Afterwards I walked back to GW University, because the lines outside the Metro stations were about a block long.  Even though it took me almost half an hour to get back on foot, I think it would have taken me much longer to get back by the Metro, probably at least a couple of hours. Since the 4th was on a Sunday, I had Monday off. I didn't really do anything exciting with my time off, but it was nice to just get an extra day to relax.

Things have really been picking up this past week at NIST. We are starting to progress quite rapidly on the molecular electronics project. A piece of equipment that was down is now running. This piece of equipment allows us to deposit oxides onto silicon wafers. We deposited a layer of oxide onto several doped wafers and then spun some of the conducting polymer on the wafers. After baking the wafers, we deposited gold dots on top of the polymer, after which the polymer surrounding the gold dots was etched. In this way we were able to make capacitors. After measuring the resistance to ensure that there was a layer of oxide present, I measured the electrical breakdown of the oxide.

Week 6 - Jul 16 2004 4:50PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

Last Friday night I went on a haunted Washington tour with Heather and Christine. The history behind everything was really cool, although some of the ghost stories made me want to laugh, although they seemed to scare other people on the tour. After that we went to the rooftop restaurant at the Hotel Washington, which has a good view of the city. On Sunday afternoon I went to the Museum of Natural History. While I've already been there twice, I still haven't seen everything, so I'm thinking about going back again sometime this weekend.

As far as the molecular electronics project at NIST, everything is progressing very well. We made another test structure this week that is really only one step away from trying to make a molecular device. There is a layer of gold that was evaporated onto a silicon wafer. On top of that a layer of oxide was deposited. Holes were then etched in the oxide down to the gold. The conducting polymer was spun on top, and gold dots were evaporated on top of the polymer. After that the polymer surrounding the dots was etched. I made some electrical measurements on the structure today, and I think that next week we should be able to put the actual molecules in the holes in the oxide.

The other SPS interns came to NIST for a tour on Thursday, and we showed them around the labs here and gave a brief explanation of what goes on here. In addition we also showed them the facility where the new clean room is located. Everything should be moved over there by October, so I won't be around when the new clean room opens.  

And to answer Justin, no water fight at the picnic this year.

Week 7 - Jul 23 2004 4:34PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

This last week has gone by rather quickly. I spent a large part of last weekend with family members who live in the D.C. area. It was nice to be able to spend some time with family again. I took care of my 19 month old cousin for a while, and it seems like he never runs out of energy.

At NIST I made more electrical measurements on the test structure that is almost ready for molecules. I measured several IV curves and it seems that everything should be ready to go. There was one particularly important development. It turns out that gold deposits more uniformly on a silicon oxide wafer than on doped silicon wafers, so we will most likely be switching to the oxide wafers.

On Thursday all of the interns went to ACP to practice our presentations for next Tuesday. My presentation needs a few changes, but other than that I think I am ready. Thursday afternoon we went on a tour of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. We saw many different things including an instrument that is about ready to be launched and the large centrifuge. We also went on a tour of their clean room, which has much of the same equipment that the clean room at NIST has, but the gowning procedure for entering the NASA clean room is a lot more strict than for entering the NIST clean room.

The End - Jul 30 2004 4:22PM
Anthony Moeller
8 Posts

This is it, the last journal entry of the summer. It seems like my internship just started, but I only have two more days left.

Last Saturday Gary White had the interns over to his house. There was al lot of good food and I had a good time. I played basketball for the first time in at least a year. On Sunday I went to Harper's Ferry with my relatives. Even though the weather wasn't the best for walking around outside, I still enjoyed myself. The demonstration on blackpowder muskets and rifles that were at one time made at the U.S. Armory there in the 1800s was probably the best part of the day. On Wednesday night Jack Hehn took all of the interns to see the theatre production Crowns, and I really enjoyed it.

It seems like everything with the molecular electronics project at NIST is coming together just in time. I just finished running IV curves for one of the devices that we assembled molecules in, and it looks like the molecules are there, and I think that we were able to make electrical contact through the molecules. The current through the device with the molecules is between that of a device where the conducting polymer is shorted to the gold and that of a device where there no holes were etched through the oxide layer, which is just what should happen.

I've really enjoyed my internship at NIST this summer, and now that it is about over I can look forward to starting grad school in a couple of weeks. The one thing that I won't miss is the Metro.

I'd like to thank Gary White, Jack Hehn, Liz Caron, my advisor at NIST John Suehle, and everyone else who helped make this experience possible.

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