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Xinqi ChenDr. Xinqi Chen, Research Associate Professor

What inspired you to work in this field?

What inspired me to work in the field of nanotechnology is the wideness of the field and all the different applications that its research can be used toward. I have worked on projects involving nano-film structure, semiconductor replacement, and analyzing atomic structure, as examples.

What’s the most interesting project or achievement that you’ve been involved in at NUANCE?

Since I joined the NUANCE Center in 2005, I have been involved in a variety of different projects. One that stands out is a project that I was working on with my colleague Yuan Li that involved the synthesizing of the heterostructure of gold.

What are the everyday practical applications of your research/work? How does what you’re doing make a difference to non-scientists?

Our work at the NUANCE Center has a variety of applications that are used in everyday items and practices. One such example would be the work that I have done with Wrigley Chewing Gum. Wrigley will come to us with a new piece of gum and request that we examine its surface to look for roughness and other features of the gum.

What excites you most about the future of nanotechnology?

With a field [so] broad and wide, there are many different things to be excited about. Personally, I’m excited about the potential that nanotechnology has to shrink the size of semiconductors, as well as the tools that we use in our daily lives like phones and computers. Thirty years ago, it was hard to imagine having something like a smartphone, something so small but with so much processing power, but today millions of people own one. It shows that new research and developments are always in motion, and it will be exciting to see what comes around in the next five to ten years.