Week #4 Update

Continuing research during this week, I noticed contamination of my sintered blank glass slides. Scans of these slides showed high counts and multiple spots showed contamination. These slides should in theory show very few counts, as they are simply just blank glass. To try and deduct the source of this contamination I scanned blank glass slides that were not sintered, thus never placed in the muffler furnace. To my surprise, I found that the slides showed little contamination, being what we expected our sintered slides to be. I decided to remake a new batch of sintered blank glass and TiO2 slides. After taking scans of these, contamination was still found. The next logical assumption would point to the muffler furnace itself. The next day, to cleanse the furnace, we held the muffler at 1000 degrees Celsius, airing it out every hour to try and dismiss any possible contaminants from within the oven itself. Sure enough, new batches of sintered blank glass and TiO2 made after this cleansing were seen to show very little contamination, and has seemed to resolve the problem.

With this issue out of the way, I can once again continue data collection of EY on TiO2. Finding this contamination was actually very helpful, as we can now make sure our data set does not include data obtained from the contaminated slides. Quality assurance is vital to any project, but especially research that looks at samples and data on the single molecule level.