NanoJapan represents an opportunity for students to see firsthand the research aspect of their chosen field. As an undergraduate student majoring in electrical engineering and Japanese, this unique program afforded me an extraordinary opportunity to conduct research at Hokkaido University. This program helps undergraduate students to develop long term personal and professional relationships that are essential in today’s global society. Prior to participating in NanoJapan, I had been studying Japanese language and culture along with my engineering curriculum. This program strengthened my interest in Japanese and offered an opportunity for me to fuse my two majors in a way I never imagined. Hopefully I will be able to continue nurturing what I have gained this summer during the rest of my undergraduate education.
Research Project Overview - " Growth, Fabrication, and Characterization of Carbon Nanotube Based Devices"
For my research, I worked with Sueoka-sensei’s group to fabricate field effect transistors that utilized carbon nanotubes as the channel of the transistors. I then studied the electrical characteristics of these transistors. During the week, I would be at the lab from 9 in the morning to about 5 or 6 in the evening. Usually, I would work on reports or do reading on my topic in the morning and spend the afternoon in the lab working alongside my graduate student mentors. My process involved a wide variety of steps, so I was able to learn how to operate a lot of different equipment. This was my first research experience and was an extraordinary opportunity that I will be able to build on in the future.
The Sueoka lab is an incredibly welcoming and friendly group. Sueoka-sensei is an exceptionally warm professor who takes a lot of joy in teaching and interacting with his students. He teaches several in-lab seminars each week (ranging from English to quantum mechanics). These are usually conducted in Japanese, however they use English textbooks and I highly recommend participating. The students in the lab are also very kind. Many of my favorite memories are from traveling around the Sapporo area and spending time with my lab-mates and Sueoka-sensei. My research itself was not very independent; everything I did in lab was with one of my graduate student mentors. However, this gave me more chances to get to know my lab-mates and use my Japanese.
Claire McTaggart Presents at the 2009 RQI Summer Research Colloquium
Claire McTaggart gave a poster presentation on the Growth, Fabrication, and Characterization of Carbon Nanotube Based Devices at the 2009 RQI Summer Research Colloquium on Friday, August 7, 2009.
Daily Life in Japan
While in Japan, I tried to make every moment count. During the week I was usually at the lab for most of the day (9-5ish). Lunch was typically spent in the cafeteria with my co-workers, while for dinner I would eat-out somewhere in Sapporo with the other NanoJapan students or cook something simple in the dormitory. For the weekends, I would travel around Hokkaido with my lab-mates. We went everywhere from hiking and hot springs to game centers and soup curry restaurants. It was immensely enjoyable to explore places I wouldn’t have even heard about otherwise. I was also able to take some longer trips with the other NanoJapan students, including visiting the northern most point of Japan (Cape Soya) and meeting up with the Tokyo-based NanoJapan students in Hakodate. Additionally, the dormitory at Hokkaido University was very nice. We each had a single room with internet access. On each floor, there was a kitchen, shared bathroom and a free laundry room.
My Favorite Experience in Japan was...
Traveling around Hokkaido with my lab-mates.
While I was in Japan I wish I had...
Spent more time exploring Sapporo. It’s the fifth largest city in Japan and I only really saw a very small portion of it.
Tips for Future NanoJapan Participants