Today at Berkeley Lab

Undergraduate Interns Poster Session

Andrew Axley
Project Title: Interferometry of Laser and Discharge Produced Plasmas.
Project Description: Development of advanced acceleration and radiation generation concepts based on laser-plasma accelerators.
Intern’s Role: Under supervision of a work lead, assist with setting up experimental systems to diagnose plasmas produced by lasers or capillary discharges.
Intern can expect to learn: The intern will learn valuable knowledge on laser-plasma interaction physics, experimental skills that involve the use of lasers and general laboratory skills. These will contribute to intern’s education and allow intern to make an informed decision on the direction intern wants to go in for graduate school.

Luis Catane
College of San Mateo
Project Title: Solution Processing of Small Molecules for Organic Solar Cells
Project Description: Solar cells are among the most promising technologies for the renewable clean energy. However, conventional silicon-based solar cells are too expensive to be implemented into our everyday life. Organic solar cells (OSCs) have substantial future prospects due to their low cost in both materials and device fabrications, i.e. roll-to-roll printing abundant carbon-based materials. Driven by the continuous development of new materials, processing techniques and advanced device concepts, the power conversion efficiencies of OSCs has been steadily improved to the 6-8% range. Despite those achievements, there are still many issues, i.e. efficiency, lifetime, stability, etc., which need to be addressed before OSCs can be widely utilized. To realize OSCs with efficiencies exceeding 10%, which can also be produced in a low-cost method, our research focuses on the development of new solution processable small molecule photovoltaic materials and low-cost processing techniques.
Intern’s Role: The intern will be working on the device fabrication and testing of organic solar cells to develop a fundamental understanding of the structure-device performance relationship of the small molecules based OSCs. The device performance characteristics of a single cell, including the open circuit voltage, the short circuit current density, the fill factor and the external quantum efficiency will be evaluated. These results will be correlated to the film properties including light absorption, charge carrier mobility, exciton diffusion length and energy diagram. The feedback provided by device work would offer design guidelines for the synthesis of better performance materials, whose morphological/electronic properties are tuned by the changing of molecular structures.
Intern can expect to learn: Fundamentals of solar cells, knowledge about organic electronic materials, skills in electronic devices fabrication and testing, techniques in materials characterization, etc.

Margaret Jezghani
North Georgia College & State University
Project Title: Nonlinear Longitudinal Dynamics in a High Energy Storage Ring
Project Description: Our group is involved in a wide range of subjects for high energy particle accelerators. This project is to explore nonlinear dynamical effects in electron storage rings.
Intern’s Role: The intern will be involved in experimental studies on a storage ring, data analysis and modeling.
Intern can expect to learn: The intern will be exposed to nonlinear dynamics, data acquisition, and computer modeling.

Jorge Montalvo
University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
Project Title: CyanoFuels: Biosynthesis of alkanes and alkylesters in cyanobacteria for production of gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel alternatives.
Project Description: We are using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering to redirect carbon flux in cyanobacteria toward biofuel synthesis. This entails identification of desired genes in cyanobacteria and other organisms, introduction of genes for alkane and alkylester biosynthetic pathways into selected cyanobacteial strains, and inhibition of competing metabolic pathways.
Intern’s Role: Participate in gene identification, strain engineering and evaluation of results.
Intern can expect to learn: Metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, cyanobacteriology, lipid biochemistry, biofuel research

John L.R. Watts
University of California, Berkeley
Project Title: Development of Position Sensitive Detector Arrays for the CERN Collider Upgrade
Project Description: In this project we are developing large detector arrays which integrate electrical, mechanical, and thermal components into a precision low mass structure. These will be used for the tracker upgrade of the ATLAS detector at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.
Intern’s Role: The intern will work in the lab on electrical testing and characterization of these devices.
Intern can expect to learn: The intern will learn about the physics and technology of semiconductor radiation detectors, data acquisition and analysis, and programming of FPGA devices.