When you pose a research question and conduct an experiment, you always want to find some sort of result that is in favor of your hypothesis. You’re not always going to find the results you want when you conduct your experiments due to a variety of reasons, however. Human error, substrate wear-and-tear, and chemical inconsistencies are just a few reasons.
The internship I experienced was founded
on top of a single research topic, “Optimal Growth of ZnO Nanorods on
Brass”. We were given a single procedure that was tailored for silicon
substrates, a couple research papers, and the liberty of testing any
variable we deemed fit for optimal array growth. With this liberty,
however, came good and bad consequences. Valeria and I were able to
learn from these consequences—nonetheless being disappointed by bad
results. Changing the acetone percentage in the growth solution bore
great results! We were able to determine that 15% acetone concentration
was the best level for nanorod growth.
molecular weight of the PS-b-P4VP block copolymer didn’t produce the
quality results we assumed would occur. Theoretically, the micelle cores
are comprised on P4VP polymer chains. This means that the size of the
P4VP cores is directly related to the nanorod diameter. This relation
would mean that as the molecular weight of the P4VP increases, the
diameter would increase as well. When we characterized our nanorods for
each molecular weight state (235K/23, 41K/24K, 15K/7K), we saw no
adequate growth pattern that was dependent on the molecular weight of
the polymer. Another important frustration was the difference in
uniformity between brass and silicon substrates. No matter how optimized
we could make unseeded ZnO nanorod arrays on brass look, the arrays
were never going to be as uniform as the silicon substrates.