Student Voices

Travel Report: Jenny Wong, Chemistry

May 23, 2014

Jenny Wong, a Doctoral student in Chemistry, received a Graduate International Research Travel Award to further her research in Finland. Her report:

My research topic is on the “synthesis and characterization of lead-free piezo-/ferroelectric materials”. These materials convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa. For example, they are used in sonars, ultrasound-imaging and random access memories. It is also known that these materials may display the electrocaloric effect, where the material changes temperature upon the application of electric fields. This effect is useful for refrigeration systems.

The department of electrical engineering at the University of Oulu in Finland is well-equipped for material research, thus I was able to test my materials for the electrocaloric effect and many other characterizations, including the usage of the dilatometer to test the ceramic shrinkage as a function of temperature. I learned how to properly prepare my ceramic samples, as well as how to analyze the data. In addition, I developed new techniques and skills that are valuable to our research group in Simon Fraser University.

The most valuable part of this trip was to develop the friendship with fellow researchers and students for future collaboration projects.

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