Jose Venegas.

I spent my summer at the Adolphe Merkle Research Institute in Switzerland conducting research and development on perovskite solar cells. My professors, Andria Costello Staniec and Zhao Qin, both informed me about this opportunity and provided letters of recommendations. My work aimed to increase their long-term stability by increasing ion-migration resistance through bio-inspired strategies. This was done through a systematic approach of solar cell fabrication, perovskite characterization, and testing photovoltaic performances over time. Even though I had a small background in chemistry and physics, I worked hard to expand my knowledge which directly resulted in promising results. Additionally, I enjoyed having the opportunity to practice my French, try new foods, and meet new people from across the world.

I was surprised by the modern and resourceful research facilities available for me to use. Instruments were new and well maintained, chemical precursors were well tracked, and labs, offices, and hallways had plenty of space and cleaned often. I plan to work off many of the fundamental chemistry background I gained from this experience by finding a photovoltaic lab at SU and continuing perovskite solar cell research.

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