Yesterday, we did two large group activities. During the first, we had a presentation by Dr. Selim Unlu on the practice of reasearch. He shared with us his philosophy concerning what qualifies as legitimate research and what practices should be followed in today's age in order to perform successful research.
Foremost is the concept that you should not be fearful of failure. It is most important to follow your curiousity and to create an educatied plan to delve into new areas of study. You may be utilizing developed systems but you should be taking them into new directions.
Be organized and meticulous in your record keeping and data anaylsis. Follow a code of conduct as you persue your research. It is of importance that you disseminate your research to get others' imput. However, be careful to do so while maintaining protection for your ideas. This protection mechanism may include the search for patents. Be aware that to receive a patent, all of your work must be properly documented and dated. This is why the maintenance of a lab book is necessary.
Following Dr. Unlu's presentation, a group of us went to the cleanroom to work with Dr.Helen Fawcett in preparing target slides. We used a masking system to burn a sample pattern onto a plastic substrate. We used a centrifuge type device to place layers of HMDS and photoresistance onto the disk. Then, using the mask and an ultraviolet light, we removed some of the photoresistance from the surface. This leaves a surface that we will later go in and place a test sample structure on.