Cell Improvements and More Exploring

Back for the fourth blog.

These past two weeks have been the best so far.  After failing to receive any appreciable results in the previous weeks, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I decided to persist and not give up.  I went through the entire cell fabrication process again from scratch and make a new batch of 12 cells.  As I was going through the time-consuming and extremely delicate process, I noticed that my cells came out a much darker color than they were before.  I asked Dr. Wu about this and she said that the darker color of the cells indicated that they would give a higher efficiency.  I was very optimistic about this.  After I finished making the cells, I went to the device measurement room where I performed IV (current-voltage) measurements and the results this time, unlike before, were astounding.  All of my cells averaged about 10% efficiency and I acquired a maximum efficiency of 14%.  This was a great moment for me as all the time and effort I put in learning and practicing the procedure finally yielded more commensurate results.  To celebrate this, the other lab members and I went out to eat at a Taiwanese KFC since we considered this to be a special occasion.  

Later that week on Thursday, Professor Lin took me and the rest of the lab members out to a special restaurant located in the center of Taipei, in order to give one of the doctors a farewell dinner, as she would be leaving in a couple of weeks to start a postdoc at none other than UC Berkeley, a coincidence I found to be very interesting.  It was a fun time where we all had a pizza buffet and had a nice view from the 9th floor of the streets of Taipei.  From my first experience being there and seeing what it's like, I couldn't help but think that Taipei is a full Chinese version of New York.  It piqued my curiosity and led me to explore that area later during the weekend.  After dinner, some of the other lab members and I decided to go watch Spider-Man: Homecoming, a day before its release in the U.S., as the movie had premiered in Taiwan the Wednesday of that week, a couple days before its domestic release date.  We went to a large department store called CityLink that had multiple stores, restaurants, and confectionaries.  It was a great day overall, although I was extremely exhausted as I didn't get back into my hotel room until 2 in the morning.

Most recently though, I finally had the chance to explore Raohe St. Night Market, a famous night market in the Nangang district of Taipei.  At first, I didn't know what to expect, but after I arrived there, I was blown away by the look and robustness of the area.  The night market has an entire alley along Raohe St. that hosts multipled vendors and stores that are wedged into the walls of the adjacent buildings.  As I walked along the night market, I couldn't help but be amazed by all the vendors and chefs performing live cooking and the multiple types of stores that lined along the walls to my right and left including clothing stores, trinket stores, groceries, etc.  As the night went on, the night market became increasingly crowded and I found myself as a part of a line of people that was streaming along the night market as it was extremely crowded from both sides.  I also had the chance to try some takoyaki cooked in melted cheese and mayonnaise, which I personally think is one of the best things I've ever eaten.  I also had the chance to try out the bubble tea provided in the area. Unlike previous bubble tea I had, this bubble tea had very large tapioca pearls that were cooked in melted chocolate so the bubbles themselves had a strong chocolate taste to them.  It was definitely one of the best bubble teas I've tried so far since I got here.  After trying out the food and bubble tea and taking some nice pictures, I decided to head back to my hotel room and call it a night.

After today, my 6th week working in Taiwan will be finished and I still have more places I want to explore.  I plan on exploring National Taiwan Museum and the beach this weekend to give me the full experience.  I look forward to my remaining time here.

Until the next blog.