Meet Jennie Yang, the 2016 Geballe Fellow

Salleo website picture

Hello! I’m Jennie, a rising sophomore and an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) student in the Materials Science and Engineering Department this summer. I’m a part of Professor Alberto Salleo’s group, although my research is completely unrelated to their work in electronics/photonics and polymeric semiconductors. Considering my presence in this blog, that shouldn’t be surprising.

For the foreseeable future, I will be working with realgar, an arsenic sulfide mineral that was once prized as a pigment for its vibrant orange color. Specifically, I’ll be analyzing its degradation (realgar degrades into a yellow compound, pararealgar, when exposed to light) under different oxygen levels. I’ll be sure to do a more thorough explanation of my project in a future blog post, so stay tuned!

This is a continuation of Shawn Lee’s REU project from last year. He wrote a blog post introducing the project, if you want to learn a little more about realgar. Also here’s a selfie that I probably shouldn’t have taken in the lab!

Lab selfie

I promise the hand holding the phone was ungloved; I did not contaminate my phone with arsenic!

I have always been torn between STEM and the arts. I would take all sorts of math-y science-y classes in high school, but I’d be painting and playing the viola at the same time. I’m doing lab work in the materials science building, but I’m also a student docent at the Cantor. This project, really this whole experience, seems to be exactly what I’ve been looking for my whole life.

I’m so excited to be here, and I can’t wait to share what I find with everyone in the near future!

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