My host institution was Tokyo University and I worked under Dr. Shigeo Maruyama, on the Hongo (main) campus of Tokyo University. My research concerned the growth and characterization of vertically aligned single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT’s). I grew samples of vertically aligned SWNT’s on a silicon substrate using alcohol chemical vapor deposition, and then conducted Raman spectroscopy on the samples. The purpose of my research was to observe the changes in the Raman spectrum caused by different orientations of the substrate with respect to the incident laser.
While in Japan I lived in a guesthouse in Todaimae, which was walking distance from campus. This was quite convenient, and I was pretty lucky to find such a residence. Over the weekends I would usually find somewhere to travel to, either with a friend or by myself. There are a lot of things (museums, shrines, theme parks, parks, stores, restaurants etc.) to see in Japan, even if you’re staying in one region of the country. The rail network in Japan is extensive, so it’s also quite easy. I found the food in Japan to be very good. I actually miss Ramen, which was a staple of my diet during my stay. Japan is a very different place from the US, and I think it was because of this that the time I spent there was very enriching.
One influence that my research had on me was that it allowed me to gain a scientific mindset in making observations, collecting information, and presenting my results in a valid way. It also gave me some insight into what kind of research I may be interested in doing in the future. This semester I am doing research in the Dr. Pasquali's Lab in the Chemistry Department at Rice University regarding the length distributions of SWNTs. Currently I plan on studying abroad in Israel in the coming Spring 2008 semester, and after graduating I plan on attending graduate school in physics.
Before I left for Japan I wish I had...
Bought a form of the JR Eastpass that is intended for foreigners. They are cheaper and you can’t buy them while in the country. These passes allow you to use the extensive train and metro system in Japan.
My favorite experience in Japan was...
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