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Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Student Sees Summer Research Published

Julie Bellfy ChE ’11 (right) with Jonathan Shaw, graduate student at Cornell University

Julie Bellfy ChE ’11 had her summer research results published in the March 2011 edition of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ academic journal, Transactions on Electron Devices. Over the summer of 2009, Bellfy worked with top researchers at Cornell University to fabricate a Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (MOS) capacitor with the integration of an organometallic redox molecule. They then developed a way to use the charging and discharging of the capacitor to move the redox molecule between its different energy levels.

“To be published as an undergraduate student is very fulfilling. It validates the many long hours and late nights spent in the lab,” says Bellfy. “Working with professors, graduate students, and other researchers from all over the world at Cornell, I learned how to work as a part of a very diverse team to achieve a common goal. Also, since this research position was available through the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, I quickly had to become very familiar with terms and concepts that were initially foreign to me as a Chemical Engineer. This experience taught me how to integrate my knowledge of Chemical Engineering with new concepts and apply them in a creative and innovative way.”

Bellfy received the opportunity to conduct research at Cornell through the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network Research Experience for Undergraduates (NNIN REU). Although her team originally set out to formulate the MOS capacitor, they soon realized that their work would involve much more to ensure reliable performance. The goal of the project became to develop a method that would rid the device of the “traps” in the oxide, without compromising the integrity of the redox molecule. To do this, they utilized different methods of oxide deposition and annealed the capacitor at various temperatures to prevent the redox molecule from “boiling off” of the device.

The research, entitled "Cyclic Charging of Redox Markers in MOS (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) Capacitors," contributed to the research of the Cornell team and made strides toward developing multi-bit memory at low potentials. Bellfy was even able to present her project at the NNIN REU Convocation at the University of Michigan in August 2009. Future work and advancements explored by the researchers may include examining effective sidewalls, over-etching, and slow deposition within the capacitor’s functions.

This summer, Bellfy will work as a Sales Engineering Intern at Tozour-Trane in the design, application, and sale of systems, equipment, and engineered solutions for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. She will graduate in December 2011.