Over the summer, I undertook 3 months of research at the Laboratory of Nanoscience for Energy Technologies. My project explored photoluminescence in ultra-thin, monocrystalline, gold flakes.
The lab I was working with was incredibly welcoming and friendly. I was actively encouraged to ask questions and also enjoyed a lab hiking trip.
The first few weeks involved reading research papers to familiarise myself with the territory and understand the contextual background of the group’s work. Following this, I had training sessions so that I would be able to work with the laser and custom microscope apparatus in the labs. I was then able to operate independently and conduct the experimental work.
My project also involved a computational component; I programmed a theoretical solution from a peer-reviewed paper and was able to compare this simulation to my experimental data and found it to be a good fit.
Outside of the lab, I took advantage of the summer to spend most of my time enjoying the mountains and lakes of Switzerland’s awe-inspiring landscape. Each weekend promised a fresh, new hiking adventure spanning several of Switzerland’s cantons.
Although the main language in the research group was English, I was also able to practise my French by making friends outside of work. This has now inspired me to take up a French course in Cambridge in order to undergo some more formal training.
Overall, the summer was wonderful for exploring both new academic and cultural horizons and I am deeply grateful for the support EPFL, E3 and LNET were able to offer me in this endeavour.
Physics student, University of Cambridge