Summer Summary

Going into summer research this year, I had no idea what to expect. For the past three years, there had been at least one more experienced student to share the work and provide guidance, but this summer I was the only one on my project. Even though I was very nervous at the beginning, it ended up being a great experience because it forced me out of my comfort zone. Since the only other student in the lab was on an entirely different project, I had to become much better at explaining the core concepts involved in my work, while also learning a lot about her art conservation project. I also became better at speaking up and going to my PI with questions when I was unsure about aspects of a new procedure.

Even though I had to completely switch the direction of my research halfway through the summer, I would say the summer was a success overall. Figuring out that the new technique (TCSPC) that we had been trying might not work for single molecule concentrations of dyes was important, even though it was not the result we had hoped for, because now we can move forward to finding different applications for TCSPC and using alternative techniques for studying low concentrations of dyes. Additionally, I was able to finish a study of the dye Rhodamine 560 (R560) on glass, which produced really interesting results. I am really looking forward to trying to interpret these new finding, presenting them at the Summer Research Showcase in the fall, and continuing with the next part of the project: a study of R560 adsorbed to titanium dioxide nanoparticle.

I hope you all had a great experience with summer research like I did, and thanks for reading!