Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Well, I think its high time I blogged about the stuff I actually work on.

Currently I am working in the broad field of semiconductor optics. In a more specific way, I try to make really really thin films (~ 50 nm) of tungsten oxide and characterize them.

Why tungsten oxide? Cause it is a really interesting substance in the sense that it has a chromogenic nature. Chromogenic materials are ones which have the ability to change their color due to incident signals. Chromogenic materials may be further divided into different types depending on what sort of signal causes the change in color. They can be photochromic ( light signals), electrochromic (electrical signals), gasochromic ( gas signals).

The really cool thing about tungsten oxide is it is sensitive to all three types of signals.

So right now my job is to make really thin films of tungsten oxide on different host materials (substrates). In order to get these films made, laser pulses are made incident on a tungsten oxide target which then gets deposited on the substrate. By varying the different parameters we can have different sorts of films.

These films can then be used to devise sensors.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

After a really long hiatus I am back to promising that I will be more regular with my blog. Lots of things have happened since I last typed in anything for the WWW ( whole wide world) to know.

Since the last time lots of things have happened and I think theres a need for an update.

I have got more used to Chapel Hill. Growing used to the small town and its unique social life. You bump into the same people everywhere you go, giving it the close knit feel that you expect from a town of around fifty thousand people. I have discovered quiet a few new watering holes in this town.

Unlike earlier where our weekends meant time spent at Fuse and nowhere else, we have started other places as well. Most notably Milltown. Its a really cool place with a lot of outdoor sitting, which is always great because of the awesome Carolina weather. Also it has a really long list of European and American beers to chose from. The only notably negative side of Milltown is that the service really starts to suck after 1 am. Also if you really just want to have alcohol and you are in no mood to enjoy the weather and you think PBR would do as good a job, Fuse is a better place for purely economical reasons.

Other places which have become quiet a favorite include Elmo's, which serves awesome breakfast food. This has become quiet a regular sunday brunch place for us. The only downside is that it seems to be regular sunday thing for a lot of other people as well, which translates to a 40-45 minutes wait every time.

However, if you are in a hurry you can always go to Panzanella or Weaver Street Market and its still real good.

There have been other changes too...but I will get to them soon enough...