In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, support staff and technicians of our research groups and team - providing a glimpse in their typical day at work. In Episode 2 meet Jacob Baas, research technician in the Nanostructures of Functional Oxides and Solid-State Materials for Electronics groups of Prof. Beatriz Noheda and Dr. Graeme Blake.
I am working as a research technician (Education/Research officer) in two groups, Nanostructures of Functional Oxides (Prof. Beatriz Noheda) and Solid State Materials for Electronics (Dr. Graeme Blake).
Both groups use x-rays to determine the structure of the samples in the shape of thin films or bulk samples (single-crystal or powder) to have a better understanding of the properties from these materials.
The lab safety is one of the important tasks as being the Armico (Health, Safety and Environmental coordinator) for both groups, laser safety officer and x-ray safety officer for the XRD equipment.
We have a chemistry lab, furnace lab and an excimer laser to produce our own research samples and a physics lab for measuring all kinds of magnetic and electrical phenomena against temperatures from 2 Kelvin up to 1000 Kelvin or magnetic fields up to 9 Tesla.
With all of these options we have in the lab I get questions from our group and several groups within the Zernike Institute and ENTEG if we can do this particular experiment or have a certain piece of equipment and of course fix the problems with equipment or having it fixed.
I’m having over 30 years of experience of working in a solid state chemistry lab and it is never boring as the work is changing continuously with the introduction of new equipment and new research lines. I started in a mainly analog environment with almost no computers, besides 3 Atari and 3 XT computers, developing film for XRD and writing data on large sheets of paper and measuring deep in the night to make the most of the last liquid helium drops. Into an almost fully computerized (automated) environment and writing programs for data acquisition. But the most important for me is working with the continuous changing group of enthusiastic students from which I learn a lot and hopefully they can from me.
Contact: Jacob Baas
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