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Marian A. Ackun

University: The George Washington University
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Gradation Date: Spring 2012
Hometown: Gainesville, Va
Project:  Title:  Bias-induced changes in the vibrational spectra of next-generation organic electronic materials.

Molecular electronics is the emerging field designed around the concept of replacing existing solid-state electronic components with organic molecules.  Organic layers incorporated on silicon are of considerable interest because the semiconductor is the current basis of the electronics industry and can be doped to offer different electrical properties.  Previous studies have reported the vibrational and electrical properties of a monolayer between a silicon substrate and a gold electrode, taken on different device structures.. The goal of my project is to examine the effect of an electric field on the vibrational spectra of organic electronic materials.  Two types of samples were examined; a single monolayer for molecular electronics applications and an organic polymer blend that is used for state-of-the-art solar cells.  Infrared spectra of buried molecular junctions were acquired using a p-polarized backside reflection geometry to detect the chemical and conformational structure of organic materials between two electrodes.  A bias applied across these electrodes can induce changes in the vibrational spectra by inducing polarization in the molecules or by inducing chemical charge-transfer reactions.  The data was collected and analyzed via Igor to examine any changes in the original vibrational spectra of the sample

Describe your project.
Your abstract for the seminar is a good starting place.  Include 1 or more figures with descriptive captions. Tell us the context and purpose of your project if you can. Each web page will have the SURFers photo and at least one photograph of you working in the lab.
About me:  I was born and raised in Ghana until I was 10 years old. I had no particular interest in science as a child. It was not till the end of sophomore year arrived when I had to pick classes for my junior year did I meet the teacher that would convince me to consider AP Chemistry. The enthusiasm that my teacher showed through out teaching the class was enough to influence my interest in science. I am now a rising sophomore at The George Washington University with a major in biomedical engineering and a minor in chemistry. In school I am vice-president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and public relations chair of the Organization of African Students (OAS) and a mentor for the engineering school’s New Student Getaway.

This summer at NIST has been a rewarding experience for me. I am really glad that I was chosen to be part of this amazing experience. I pray that I can take the lessons acquired from this summer and use it wisely in the future.


Marian Ackun