By Jaimi Ross
As was a recipient of the 2017/2018 Nanoscale Summer Research Scholarship, I have worked in Professor Jamie Quinton’s research group during the 2017/2018 summer break. My role has been to observe and assist Jasmine Wiese on her Honours project. This project was focused around developing a thin-layer anti-microbial coating on magnesium to increase its durability and resistance to corrosion.
Through working with Jasmine I’ve helped her prepare samples, assisted her in the lab, and learnt about previously foreign analytical techniques such as Auger Electron Spectroscopy and XPS – from the science that makes them work to the data analysis of the samples. Over this time, I have been able to experience science and research in a way that has not been possible in my undergraduate studies so far. It has allowed me to connect and apply physical and chemical concepts to real world applications in ways that I didn’t consider previously; as well as experience the realities of research.
While there have been challenges and times when things may not work in the way we want them to, this has allowed me to begin developing the skills required to adapt and deal with such challenges as they arise. Once the challenges were sufficiently resolved, we were able to obtain multiple XPS spectra of the samples we had previously prepared in the lab. This was to confirm the presence of a thin-layer film through survey and high resolution scans.
I’d like to offer my thanks to the Flinders Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology for offering the opportunity, as well as Jamie and Jasmine for welcoming me into their group and allowing me to be as involved as I could and work with them over the past couple months. This has been an invaluable experience for me that has made me sure of what I hope to achieve in my future, both at university and after graduation. It is an experience that I would recommend to anyone who is considering a future in scientific research.