BY SHAWN PROCTOR
Welcome to part 6 of a 7-part series featuring the 2021 Falvey Scholars. Read more about them every Monday and in the upcoming issue of Mosaic: the Library’s bi-annual publication.
Falvey Memorial Library is honored to announce the 2021 Falvey Scholar award winners. We will showcase the research of our eight young alumni on the blog and in the fall issue of Mosaic.
Sponsored by the Library and the Center for Research and Fellowships, the Falvey Scholars program recognizes outstanding undergraduate research at Villanova University. Award winners are selected from a pool of candidates generated by applications submitted by a senior Villanova University student or a group of students working on a senior project together with the recommendation of the advisor to the senior thesis or capstone project completed for academic credit.
View the 2021 Falvey Scholars Awards virtual booklet.
Falvey Scholar: Nicholas Yoo
Hometown: Orange, Conn.
Other Honors: Villanova First Year Match Program Grant; Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows (VURF) Grant; Oak Ridge National Lab Visiting Faculty Program–Student Grant; Villanova Small Research Grant
Project Title: “The Atomic Interaction between Polymers and Two-Dimensional Materials”
Faculty Mentor: Bo Li, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
Learn about Nicholas’ research in his own words:
Tell me about your Falvey Scholar Award-winning research project.
Nanomaterials are an exciting kind of new material that we’ve been researching, because this has so many applications for many fields. First, a literature search was performed in the field of polymers and 2-D nanomaterials to find a foundation and build our own novel ideas from there.
Building off past work, Dr. Li and I formulated an experimental plan to grow polymer structures on the surface of MoSe2. The MoSe2 samples were analyzed with high class equipment such as a Raman spectrometer and atomic force microscope before and after polymer growth to determine which characteristics of the material affected it.
We also cross-referenced our data with data found in literature to check for any irregularities in our samples that may have occurred during experimentation. The experimental procedure was also modified a few times to better control the polymer growth. This was done through a combination of trial and error and literature review.
How did Falvey Memorial Library support your research?
Falvey was crucial to being able to complete the project. Using online databases, I was able to access almost any article I wanted for free. I built the foundations of the entire project using the articles I was able to access through the Library. I designed my own experiment after learning which solvents promoted the most controllable growth, the temperature range for growth, etc.
I continued to use the Library’s resources throughout the project to compare our results to past work and understand more of the work that already has been done in the field. The Library helped me understand the existing work done in the field of polymers and nanomaterials and pursue a novel direction to further the field.
What impact did this project have on you? And what’s next for you?
I learned how to write papers and create poster presentations as well as the day-to-day work of a researcher. I want to go to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in chemical engineering and potentially conduct more research in the field of nanomaterials.
Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.