Feature
     

Internship Opportunity: When Nano Knocks, Open the Door

By Greta Petry (October 15, 2007)

Dimitri Vaughn
 

Senior chemistry major Dimitri Vaughn had a unique internship at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering over the summer. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Dimitri Vaughn's chemistry studies received a big boost from tiny particles, specifically nano-size particles, when he recently interned at the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

Under the guidance of Associate Professor of Nanoscience Robert Brainard, Vaughn, a senior from Syracuse, N.Y., conducted research into photoresists, which are light-sensitive materials used to pattern nanoscale features on microchips.

"The experience changed me," said Vaughn, whose plans include research and teaching chemistry. "Research experience and summer internships take you out of the classroom. You are given the opportunity to seek and create new knowledge."

Vaughn was among 21 students from across the U.S., Canada, and Russia who participated in the prestigious Summer Internship Program at the NanoCollege this summer.

Brainard said Vaughn's chemistry background was a perfect fit. "Intellectually I treated him like a first-year or second-year graduate student, and he generally impressed me with his understanding of science and chemistry."

Robert Brainard and Dimitri Vaughn
 

Vaughn's mentor was Associate Professor of Nanoscience Robert Brainard, an expert in photoresists, light-sensitive materials used to pattern the nanoscale features on microchips. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

Of his mentor, Vaughn said, "Professor Brainard is creative and outgoing, a good person and an expert in resist chemistry. I felt accepted and very comfortable in his lab. And CNSE provides access to several types of state-of-the-art equipment in lithography, microscopy, and diffraction."

Vaughn added that while the overall experience with independent research "has allowed me to sharpen the skills necessary to successfully advance in the field of chemistry, it has taught me how to be self-motivated, disciplined, professional, and creative when solving problems."


Related Links:
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)
CNSE Undergraduate Summer Internship Program
Department of Chemistry

 


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