An Electrical Engineering Internship Experience

Getting the Internship

As a college student, the first thing you probably want to do is to find an internship. That is exactly what I am thinking all the time. It is not easy to get an internship especially in industry. Many internships require you to have prior experiences while no one can have experiences if no one can get one. Well fortunately, here at UCSB, we have fantastic program for all students who want to have such experience. I get an internship in Professor Rodwell’s group this summer. You will know Professor Rodwell, if you are an electrical engineering student like me. When he sent out an email looking for interns, I replied instantly. After a few talks with my mentors, I got the internship.

After I started working, my mentors talked with me about application emails. My mentor said that he received about 50 or 60 emails. Many of those did not even state the applicant’s name and only wrote that “Hi, I’m interested in your intern.” Of course, you would not want interns who just said those two sentences. In the application or the email, the basic information about yourself must be included as well as your interests in the program and some background. The first impression is always important.

Working in UCSB NanoFab, the Cleanroom

The most exciting part of my internship is going to the cleanroom, UCSB NanoFab. The NanoFab is a lab on the first floor of engineering science building. A lot of processes go on inside, like production of nano-devices, chips, and transistors. Entering the lab, the first task is to gown up. Since the object processed in the cleanroom are so small, those gowns are protecting the devices from you not the other way. One of my jobs was to make several ALD deposition onto my wafers. ALD stands for atomic layer deposition which uses gas phase chemical process to deposit materials on different wafers. The ALD deposition machine is one of big machines in the lab. It has three chambers for different deposition of different materials. The procedures on the machine are straightforward. First, wafers are extensively cleaned through Acetone, Isopropyl and distilled water. Then they are put into the ALD machine. Different gases are sent though the chamber and layers of materials get deposited on the wafer. Then wafers are taken out carefully. When all wafers are processed, measurements are made to know how much material are put onto wafers. These might seem simple. While I have a lot of samples, I will spend several hours sitting in front of the machine waiting for results. The patience required for researchers is a lot.