I did my research in Oxford, UK during the summer of 2010 through the CISEI program in Materials Department in UCSB. When I was applying for this program, I chose Oxford because their materials department has a Microscopy and Microanalysis Group which I’m really interested in. It was one of the best summers I have had. My research was about growth and microstructural characterization of Fe(Se,Te) superconductors. I learned how to fabricate and develop superconducting thin films using sputtering as a thin film deposition technique, and I also learn how to analyze and characterize them using microstructural techniques like EDX (Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy), XPS (X-ray Photoelectron spectroscopy), and XRF (X-ray Fluorescence) to analyze and quantify the composition of the thin films, and XRD (X-ray Diffraction) to assess the crytallographic structure and crystallographic alignment of the films. In addition, AFM (Atomic Force Spectroscopy) has been used to image the topography and local mechanical properties of the surface of the thin films.
Other than doing research, I also traveled around Oxford and visited London and Cambridge a couple of times. It was so much fun working and living in a different culture. The people working in my lab were so nice and we hung out a couple of times as they showed me around Oxford. Overall, doing research in Oxford was such a wonderful experience, and I hope to visit it again soon!