Cheyenne Simmons, a 17 year old student from Sto-Rox High School now attends at a special program here at Duquesne University known as Project SEED, where highs school students have the opportunity to work with real scientists, whether in the lab or focusing more in computational studies. For Cheyenne she does a little bit of both because her project is about making semiconductors out of earth abundant materials. If the compound she uses is capable of being a semiconductor, then making nano particles out of those compounds would be her next step. To sum it up her project is the synthesis characterization of nano-crystalline diamond-like semiconductors.
The main objective for Cheyenne is to form films out of the successful makings of the nano-crystalline structures so that they can be used in solar panels. The lack of resources for energy has become a big problem and now Cheyenne is in charge of determining the best way to supply ourselves with a surplus of energy by doing her best at making nano-particles out of earth's vast amount minerals. However making nano-crystalline structures isn't easy. These minerals must posses certain qualities or characteristics, and that is why she uses Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to decide whether the mineral has the require traits to to qualify as a semiconductor. The next step is elemental analysis, where she uses energy dispersion spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) to identify the compound's structure and properties. So far Cheyenne has received some results for her compounds, but there are a few more things she still has to do like using the UV-Vis-Mr spectroscopy to view at the band gaps. There is no end when it comes to science