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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Acoustic Levitation for Applications in XUV-Spectroscopy
Disciplines:  Chemistry, Electrical Engineering
Mentor:  Scott Cushing, Assistant Professor, (CCE),
Mentor URL:  (opens in new window)
Background:  Acoustic levitation of droplets has matured into a versatile technique in analytical chemistry, allowing for the contactless handling of samples. Here we hope to employ this novel method for the use in XUV spectroscopy experiments to investigate liquid-surface dynamics and interactions, which demand for stable ultrasonic traps (i.e., traps with a well-defined, steep, pressure gradient). With the stability of a trap mostly depending on geometrical parameters used for the transducer and reflector design, a successful implementation relies on an accurate and thorough determination of the sound pressure profile. By employing theoretical predictions of the pressure profiles, and subsequently verifying the accuracy of these predictions by a comparison with experimental measurements, the goal would be to incorporate a highly-stable and accurate levitation setup into our ongoing spectroscopic efforts.
Description:  The project would involve the design and implementation of an acoustic levitation setup, which is intended to be used for the trapping and control of liquid samples in our XUV spectroscopy experiments. Numerical simulations (e.g. COMSOL) to study pressure profiles and subsequently optimizing the trapping geometry will play a crucial role at the beginning stages. This would include looking at various possible designs, such as ones utilizing a mirror geometry that would allow for the possibility of trapping liquids against a solid surface. Finally, building the levitation setup based on the theoretical/numerical studies will require some wide-ranging electronics work, encompassing signal theory, amplifiers (negative feedback, lock-in), PCB design/Arduinos, as well as soldering of electrical components amongst others.
Student Requirements:  Interest in spectroscopic techniques, and general knowledge of electronics. Experience with numerical field simulations a bonus.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    both Caltech and non-Caltech students 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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