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2002 SPS National Interns
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Eva Wilcox Eva Wilcox
Brigham Young University, UT

Internship: National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)
Online Journal
Where are they now? Week of August 2, 2006 Week of July 12, 2006
Week of August 16, 2006 Week of July 26, 2006 Week of July 5, 2006
Week of August 9, 2006 Week of July 19, 2006 Week of June 21, 2006
 
Where are they now?


Eva Wilcox Barker—2002 SPS Intern

Entry posted July 12, 2008

I am not currently working, but I'm at home with my daughter, Sarah, and pregnant with our second daughter, Hannah. My husband just completed his first year of medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzger School of Medicine.

I do have vague plans to continue my studies of nuclear physics by pursuing a medical physics career at some point in the distant future. I may instead return to teaching, but time will tell!

Eva Wilcox Barker—2002 SPS Intern
Entry posted July 13, 2006
Immediately after the conclusion of my internship, I traveled to China for a semester to teach. I had studied two semesters of Mandarin Chinese before I went, and I did get better at understanding and communicating while there. Teaching was fun and traveling around the country was very interesting. I started my masters' immediately afterward, and finished August, 2005. My thesis is titled, "Novel Neutron Detector for n-n Scattering Length Measurement."

I am now Eva Wilcox Barker. I got married on December 27, 2005 to Eric Max Barker from Oregon. We are still living in Provo, as Eric still has one more year of BYU before starting medical school. I am expecting our first child in December so that's exciting!

This past year I taught physics and earth science at a charter school in Spanish Fork, UT called American Leadership Academy. I loved it. I got to build my own program and curriculum since it was a new school last year. I am looking for something part time August through November before the baby comes, when I'll happily be a stay-at-home mom.

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August 16 , 2002

The final week before approaching presentations: and I have research worth presenting, life is good. In fact, this week has mostly been one of preparation for my final presentation, to be given on Tuesday. Tying up odds and ends. Attempting to give my work a sense of finality despite the remaining week of work I have ahead!

The research this week has been the sample cleaning measurements: turns out that to the best of our knowledge and current ability to measure, the silicon dioxide (native oxide) is best removed by putting the film on a surface of 300 degrees centigrade, removing a measured 4.5 angstroms (a couple of bonded atoms distance) five minutes after the heat treatment. Immediately after? Well, who knows exactly but quite possibly around 7 angstroms. The oxide readily grows back over time until it reaches stability in air once more. Another fairly effective cleaning method is rinsing the film with de-ionized water, methanol, and again de-ionized water. Nearly 4 angstroms (after waiting five minutes in lapse time) comes off. In case anyone in my audience cares.

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August 9 , 2002

The final week before approaching presentations: and I have research worth presenting, life is good. In fact, this week has mostly been one of preparation for my final presentation, to be given on Tuesday. Tying up odds and ends. Attempting to give my work a sense of finality despite the remaining week of work I have ahead!

The research this week has been the sample cleaning measurements: turns out that to the best of our knowledge and current ability to measure, the silicon dioxide (native oxide) is best removed by putting the film on a surface of 300 degrees centigrade, removing a measured 4.5 angstroms (a couple of bonded atoms distance) five minutes after the heat treatment. Immediately after? Well, who knows exactly but quite possibly around 7 angstroms. The oxide readily grows back over time until it reaches stability in air once more. Another fairly effective cleaning method is rinsing the film with de-ionized water, methanol, and again de-ionized water. Nearly 4 angstroms (after waiting five minutes in lapse time) comes off. In case anyone in my audience cares.

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August 2 , 2002

Hello, all. This week being a hot one in Maryland, the power in the NIST hallways was turned off to conserve it for other Pepco users! Which is fine, you get used to walking around in the dark. Research: I finished one element of the repeatability measurements and started another only to run into temporary state of postponement because of some programming problems. However, I did get to cut up a silicon wafer with a diamond cutter!

The hafnium data is completely analyzed now, I am putting everything together in big graphs so that we can compare the different types of hafnium samples and make some real conclusions about the relationships between thickness and temperature for the deposited films. After all, conclusions are rather important to have in any kind of research paper, which is the next step from here. I'll keep you posted! I started analyzing some titanium oxide data as well.

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July 26, 2002

This week the research got fun and interesting! In fact, the hafnium data that I have been analyzing turned out to have some interesting features in the dielectric functions for the samples. These features, or the lack thereof, describe whether the material is amorphous or crystallized. So, now my job is to make connections between what types of samples (how they are grown, annealed, etc.) have these features and develop a working theory as to why or when the hafnium becomes crystallized. I don't know how much more I can say as my advisor plans to write a paper on this very soon.

The repeatability measurements have been quite well behaved and repeatable, which is nice. Next week perhaps I will start looking at repeatability after sample cleaning with water, with methanol and water.

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July 19, 2002

This week, I got the hang of running the equipment: I didn't break or drop a single thing! We have improved the way we do the repeatability measurements, so that more factors are held constant than we used to. Now we keep track of the humidity and temperature, as well as use a very stable sample: stable because it has been open to the air for a very long time so the oxide layer has stopped growing.

The other project of the week has been to do some modeling of the hafnium films, for which we had to fabricate a dielectric function because hafnium dioxide has no published dielectric function. Part of that is because the function changes depending on how the film is grown, and even how thick it is made. We have made a lot of progress in fitting a function to our experimental data, so there is hope that in studying these functions we will find publishable data.

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July 12, 2002
I have been learning how to do many things and of course this entails making many mistakes. I threw an optic for a mirror out of alignment so my advisor took the opportunity to redesign the optic entirely. I then turned to data analyzation and modeling of thin film samples to determine such things as thicknesses of Hafnium dioxides and optical constants like the dielectric function of Hafnium dioxide, and hit many program glitches. By today, however, I am back taking data again and running the system almost on my own (I naturally am still making some really blatant mistakes) and analyzing the repeatability of the Spectroscopic Ellisometry system, compared to the commercial vacuum ultraviolet system in the next lab over. Later this afternoon I will join the remainder of the interns at NASA for a tour, which I am quite looking forward to.

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July 5, 2002
These past two weeks have been filled with fun, the 4th of July, and work. The 4th of July I spent with Lauren and Katie, we walked around D.C. and spent time in museums, and picked a great location to see the national celebration on the capital lawn, and the fireworks so we thought. It turns out we were a little too far to the left but it doesn't matter. Katie and Lauren were kind enough to put me up for the night so I didn't have to fight the crowds rushing back to the suburbs, that was especially nice.

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June 21, 2002

I attended a hearing in Congress on Wednesday about NSF funding. It was very interesting, mostly because the representatives are really trying to find a way to pass a new budget for NSF, doubling its funding to match the doubling of NIH funding. This is because the technology supporting NIH comes from research supported by NSF. In addition, NSF supports educators with grants, there is a large concern because the 50% of the science and math teachers leave after five years to work in industry or research for double the money. It is hoped that we can remedy this problem by paying teachers more. The next stage after this hearing is for appropriation of funds, this one merely was collecting information as to why NSF should receive additional funding.

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