This week I made it to the lab! (Insert fireworks and confetti) I was there with the student I’m working under for just a morning, but we accomplished a lot(or at least in my mind we did). The achievements are as follows:
He gave me a tour of the lab. It looks nothing like the sci-fi movies but the equipment was still cool. Considering a budget research lab, the researchers have found cost-effective ways to get everything done. In fact, we were using a cheap ink-jet printer to print silver(like the actual expensive Ag) onto our circuitry. Two things I would never have imagined going together.
We had a laser printer/cutter. To show me how it worked he printed me a smiley face. Then using the same polyimide strips, we cut out squares that we would use to actually print our stuff on. They’re orange take a look:
They’re sitting on glass… things… I forget what they’re called but they’re the rectangles that you put stuff on? Glass slides? I think slides is the word. But yeah this is what they look like after I cleaned them as to minimize error during the laser printing process. Don’t worry, I’m a trained professional(I had no clue what I was doing but I got the job done). And then this is what they look like during the laser printing process:
I’m not exactly sure what the beam of light is, but I think that its the energy released from slapping graphene onto the strip. And the light is super bright so I had to wear protective goggles to take this picture. They made everything blue. And then, we used double sided tape(the cheap kind because we’re on a budget, remember) and stuck it to a piece of printer paper, and as previously stated we ran it through an ink-jet printer to stick silver over our printout.
It was at this stage we encountered the most amusing errors. The printer really disliked us, because we could not get it to print silver onto our circuitry. But it printed just fine on normal paper. In fact it printed the system dialogue using silver ink, which was frightening because THIS STUFF IS EXPENSIVE. It was actually kind of entertaining how it didn’t work only when we needed it to. But by some miracle, by guessing different solutions, we managed to get it to work. But it was still a scuffed process and we spent probably a good 2 hours just on this printer. But it was fun!
I think that next week we intend to test our designs on animals. See y’all soon!