Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Canals and the Clean Room

Canals and the Clean Room

This past weekend, a few of us visited Amsterdam! We were greeted with beautiful weather that framed the famous canals and architecture. One of the highlights was visiting the Anne Frank House, which gave us an amazing and haunting perspective of life in Amsterdam during World War II. I’d read the diary before, but seeing it come to life in the actual warehouse, including the original bookshelf and Anne’s bedroom wall art, made everything feel more real.

After some more sightseeing and enviously watching boaters on the canal, we decided to rent a boat and take it for a (slow!) spin. Lydia’s dream of driving a boat finally came true, even though she didn’t have any sort of boating license. We still made it back in one piece, despite the turns and pass-throughs that often needed all four of us to help steer. Seeing Amsterdam from a canal perspective was definitely worth it!

In the lab, I went on my first clean room visit to cut a large silicon wafer into smaller ones that cells could be grown onto for simulating re-entry mechanisms later on, observed with our lens-free microscope. Preparing to enter the clean room was a twenty-minute process that included putting on steel-toed shoes, a hairnet, a full-body suit, and knee-length boots. Walking around was a bit difficult at first, but eventually I got the hang of it. I’ve never seen clean rooms so enormous and extensive as they are here at IMEC! I also don’t know how people recognize each other in those suits to have conversation--I could barely recognize myself when I peeked in the mirror. Though this was probably my only visit, I’m really excited that I actually saw the clean room and get to say I did some work in it.

Until next time!

Lakyn Mayo is a rising junior in Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and an IMEC intern with the Johns Hopkins INBT IRES program. She likes dogs, mountains, and getting lost running in new places.

Canal's-eye view

Outdoor Market in Amsterdam

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