Internal Summer Placement
Supervisor: Prof. Jon Goff
Project Title: Patterning of sodium ions and control of electrons in sodium cobaltate
"I took part in a six week summer project here in the department between my second and third year. I worked together with research staff and PhD students from the Condensed Matter Group. The main aim of the project was to grow sodium cobaltate crystals using a floating zone furnace and investigate their structure through x-ray diffraction.
I particularly enjoyed the practical aspects of the project as it was very experimental based compared to a lot of other internships. Not only did it allow me to work with a range of technical equipment, but it also had a well balanced theoretical component as it required the use of various software packages for data analysis. Most importantly I was able to experience first hand what it felt like to do real research.
I was even lucky enough to join the team for a day at the Diamond synchrotron facility in Oxfordshire where they were investigating the temperature dependence and ordering of sodium ions in the crystal structure. A summer internship is an excellent opportunity for finding out which field you are interested in pursuing and it has definitely influenced my choice of third year modules. Overall it was without doubt a worthwhile experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is unsure about, or thinking of doing research after their degree!"