Good evening, everyone.
My name is Sofia Azmal,
and I’m a rising high schooler who was given the opportunity to work
inside the Osuji Lab. didn’t have any high expectations coming into my
internship, because I wanted a fresh template to work off of. If my
expectations were too high, I would just disappointment myself. Rather
than visualizing my future, I focused on the “now” and found myself in a
wonderful intern position. Past experiences from EVO goers were
misleading. I’d heard some were scrubbing mud off of fossils, while
others categorized and filed papers. I never assumed that my work would
just be “cleaning up the office space”, but I also didn’t have
expectations that would put me into a critical position in the lab. When
I first arrived, other in the lab greeted me with questionable
expressions—nonetheless with “Hellos”. The days following that first
meet were simple, my mentor and I were given a research question to
investigate for us. The Osuji lab was our oyster to cultivate this
project, and we began testing different variables that would lead to the
most optimal zinc-oxide nanorod arrays on brass. On paper, the project
seemed like a difficult synthesis that focused on the development of
block-copolymer self assembly. I realized during my first week that this
wasn’t the case. The concepts were simple to understand with a little
explanation. Rather than a jumbled mess of chemical phrases, I
understood my mission in the lab for the next month.
My mission was to control the geometry of ZnO nanorods on brass substrates with the use of block copolymer self-assembly.