Articles by: maz

New guy (me) and some Pretty Pictures

Hello readers of Chemical Forums Chemistry Blog!  My name is Maz and starting today, I’ll be blogging on this site along with Mitch and another fellow named ‘movies’.

Oh and because I always get asked this question by lots of people; yes my real name is Maz.  No it isn’t the most creative user name, but I don’t think there are many other chemical bloggers name Maz out there.  If there are…well I am more special then them.

I am sure there are some of you who also frequent the forums and are wondering who the heck I am.  While my profile says I’ve posted 102 times, this is actually my first post on the site.  I am here because starting back in December, I started working with Mitch up at LBL, Berkeley’s science lab.  After a while he showed me more about this website and when I found out he was looking for a co-blogger, I thought it could be a fun distraction from physics, chemistry, and our research.

Speaking of our research, a while back Mitch posted some pictures of the spin coater we designed (ctrl+f: pimp my spin coater), and before that he had posted some SEM images of some Eu2O3 films he had made.

Well, I thought I’d offer a little before and after here, so you can see that spin coating is indeed a viable method for radioactive target development.   Check these babies out:



Note the scale difference.  The first picture is at 1mm across the bar, the second is at 20um! WAY Better.



Granted, the old pictures are more fun to look at, but they aren’t at all what we need.  We are trying to make a crack-free homogeneous thin film.  The new pictures show that we are getting very close.

But that isn’t to say that we don’t have the occasional contaminant.  Check this out:

Isn’t it just beautiful? I am pretty sure that came from the potassium we failed to filter out completely in our older process.  Since then, we have eliminated the addition of base to our polymer solution.

These next couple of images are simply an optical zoom from a Profilometer are of layers with a much higher concentration of the metal (by ~x90).  We know they aren’t even close to the crack-free homogeneous thin film we are looking for, but they are so darn pretty.  I figure that the higher conc. of metal is enough that we are seeing some funky polycrystalline structure arising instead of the epitaxial growth we want.  I wonder, if I greatly slowed down the growth (lower the temp, b/c atm we are blasting it) I would see a more homogeneous growth.

Moving right to left:  The multi-colored stuff is the HfO2 followed by the Si wafer (super-reflective stuff) followed by the platform.

I’m not yet sure what happened here.  Perhaps the light (source above) hit the cracks, which are a few micrometers wide, diffracted, reflected, and came out interfering to give a neat green color?  Whatever the case, it’s awesome looking.

See that is the best part about science.  We thought we were just about done with spin coating and the first 1/3 or so of this project.  I had figured that I knew just about all the parts of spin coating that were relevant to our project.  Sure enough, something entirely new and unexpected came up.

And now for something completely different:

Need a spin coater?  For just $500 you will get your very own thin-film processing, spin coating device!  Complete we a variable speed knob, stand, wafer-attaching-mechanism, and 3 cool colors in L.E.D’s!!.  For a limited time only, we’ll even include an instructional video with Mitch and I showing you how to mount your wafers and add your solutions!  Don’t waste thousands of dollars on those old, dull, monochromatic coaters!  Spin with STYLE! Call 1-800-PIMP-COAT now!
Yes, our number is based in London.  I couldn’t think of a cool way to use only seven letters.

1.)  Next time I’ll try and remember to post a little more about myself.
2.)  Wish me luck (at least mentally) for my quantum midterm tomorrow.

Until next time I leave you with this article that some may find interesting, but I found funny. (I am a physics and chem double major, so maybe that is why)

Claiming Einstein for Chemistry


By March 4, 2007 0 comments materials chemistry