In the process, she has taken the company’s first direct image of the honeycomb lattice of Paragraf’s graphene
Paragraf has a unique process for depositing uncontaminated, monolayer graphene directly on substrates using standard semiconductor manufacturing tools. In October 2022, Disha Bandyopadhyay had the opportunity to join Paragraf as a Research Intern at its Somersham, Cambridgeshire headquarters to explore using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) to directly observe grain boundaries in graphene.
During Disha’s internship at Paragraf, she gained valuable experience in using STM, investigated sample preparation methods and studied graphene samples produced by the company. After setting up the imaging procedure initially, she spent most of her time experimenting with different tactics to hunt for and capture atomic-scale images of any artefacts in graphene. The process highlighted the importance of image processing when analysing STM data, and various filtering techniques to remove noise from images were explored to allow the spotting of grain boundaries more easily.
“Disha’s work has allowed us to explore and push the capabilities of our desktop STM,” said Lok Yi Lee, Senior Scientist at Paragraf. “While the small sampling area of STM and ambient air scanning condition have made the project challenging, Disha persisted with trying out new and creative ways of searching for artefacts and data processing. In the process, she has taken the company’s first direct image of the honeycomb lattice of Paragraf’s graphene!”
In addition to enhancing her research skills, Disha’s time at Paragraf involved seeing first-hand the inner workings of a startup and the challenges of device fabrication with advanced 2D materials. She even had the chance to witness some of the cutting-edge deposition equipment in action, which she said was an exciting and illuminating experience.
Paragraf’s Research Director, Natasha Conway, said “This is an excellent example of how Paragraf’s intern programme provides both benefits to the intern and to Paragraf. I’m happy we could provide Disha with this opportunity to experience working in industrial research ahead of her PhD. In turn she has enabled us to explore a new imaging technique for Paragraf graphene, with great success.”
How Disha found this opportunity
To gain research experience prior to starting a PhD program, Disha searched for internships and submitted an enquiry on Paragraf’s website. She then had an interview and site visit arranged by the Paragraf HR team and started with the company a short time later.
After these months at Paragraf, Disha will be starting her PhD in polymer additive manufacturing at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland from April.
Paragraf on intern opportunities
Paragraf sees internships as a great opportunity to bring talented and enthusiastic students into the team to explore new ideas and focus on projects. The company is also keen to show students the range of career opportunities available to them in the future and offers a range of internship opportunities within all areas of the business throughout the year. Disha joined the Paragraf Research Team and there are a number of internships already organised for that team for the summer as well as others in the Development and Production teams.
Year-long placements where students can be involved in more in-depth projects and explore more areas of focus are also available. A year-long placement can really help students explore a range of career options and see what interests them the most, steering their focus in their final year of university as well as increase their employability for the future.
Students interested in an internship with Paragraf in the autumn or winter and the opportunity to work on cutting edge technology should send their CV to HR@paragraf.com with a covering letter explaining why they would like to join the Paragraf team and how long they would like to work with us for and when.
If you are ready to help transform the electronics industry in a full-time career opportunity at Paragraf, visit careers page to see if we have an opening for you.