UTSIP 2018: New Material Synthesis

Michelle Lin // Haverford College Class of 2020

Over a period of six weeks throughout this summer, I had the opportunity to participate in the University of Tokyo Summer Internship Program in Kashiwa (UTSIP). I would like to thank FUTI for the opportunity to participate in UTSIP and study in Japan; this was an experience I never thought I would be able to have.

Within the program, I participated in Satoru Nakatsuji’s laboratory. Professor Nakatsuji’s research focus primarily lies in the synthesis of new novel materials that display magnetic and nontrivial electronic properties. My project over the summer was focused on single crystal growth and electrical and thermal transport measurements. In order to do so, I used different synthetic approaches to examine the properties of a material called Mn3Ga, a mixture of manganese and gallium. Together with my mentor, Taishi Chen, we synthesized polycrystals using a mono-arc, which generates high heat through low voltage and high current, and a box furnace.

In order to measure the thermal and electric properties of the crystals, we used a Magnetic Properties Measurement System machine and gathered information about the crystal’s large anomalous Hall Effect and Nernst Effect. The results we obtained were consistent with our hypothesis and further research within the Nakatsuji lab is being done to further understand the properties and applications of Mn3Ga. Furthermore, I began an experiment using a Bismuth Flux, with hopes that a single crystal of Mn3Ga would grow. If successful, these single crystals of Mn3Ga would be the first in the world; no lab has been able to synthesize such a material yet. Such groundbreaking and novel research was something I would have never experienced at Haverford College and further cemented my interest in materials science.

Apart from research, I participated in a variety of events with the Nakatsuji lab. During the first couple of weeks into the program, I joined my lab in a kickball tournament against all the labs at The Institute of Solid State Physics (ISSP). Although our lab’s team was not particularly strong at kickball, I was able to meet other graduate research students throughout the tournament. Moreover, at the end of the day, we had a barbeque with all the labs in the ISSP. I was able to drink with my lab members while cooking delicious barbeque! We also went to many restaurants to have welcome parties for new members as well as farewell parties for leaving members. I loved how the Nakatsuji lab treated each member as apart of their community

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone for making UTSIP such an amazing experience. I had first hand experience of a graduate student’s typical routine inside and outside of the laboratory. I hope to never forget all the friends and memories I made during my short time in Tokyo. Thank you to all the peers, mentors, professors, staff members, and FUTI for helping me grow and prosper throughout this program.