Saturday, December 31, 2011

What happened after graduating..

When I was at DCTC I started working at 3M doing research related to photocurable materials and adhesives in general. Everyday that I wasn't studying at DCTC, I was working in the lab at 3M. I was pretty lucky to have a supervisor who was very nice in teaching me a bunch of instruments and letting me read a lot so I had the opportunity to operate DSM (differential scanning calorimiter), TGA (thermal gravimetric analysis), humidity chambers, (I actually forgot the name of the equipment)..

It was fun and they pay me good enough in my opinions ince I spent acutally most of the time doing fun stuff.

My research consisted in finding a formulation that would cure well and work at high temperatures. I also did a little bit of work with gaskets and nanowires. We tried to use silica nanoparticles in many formulations but they didn't turn out as good as we expected.

I also did research at the U of M in the Biotech Institute. I researched microfluidics. It was fun too. I could use the lab for free and had access to many equipment for free. That was pretty cool. Then I had the option to study Chemistry at the U of M but I decided to give up in science and dedicate myself in finance.

I like a bunch of subjects and I really like science but I found out I really liked science because I wanted to make cool stuff that people could use everyday and I wanted to see people using the things I would hope to eventually invent and when I was I 3M, a lot of my science was just becoming patents and sitting in shelves doing nothing, so I felt that instead of contributing to make science available I felt I wasn't contributing as much as I could. I saw that there was already a lot of good technology already developed and that all that was needed to make that technology available to people is a business guy to invest on the idea and bring it to the market, so I realized I needed to be an investor and not an inventor if I wanted to see technology in the world.

I then started studying finance at UST. Business is a joke compared to science. what business people call hard, science people call easy. 2 years after studying finance I got a job as manager and I'm very happy to say that now I do indeed drive products to the market. my work actually involves working with 3M a little bit as partners and it helps me that I already worked there. I dont use much of nano in my current job but it's ok. it was fun to learn it anyway.

well, that is it!

I'm almost graduating again...

So, I graduated from DCTC a long time ago and I completely forgot about this blog... Sorry. But now I'm back. I don't have any news about nanotechnology.

In one semester I will graduate again! Bye.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Hello everybody!
I graduated from DCTC last spring and now I don't need to take classes at DCTC anymore. I still have this blog and I would like to donate it to some DCTC student who is interested in nanotechnology. If you would like to keep this blog moving (by adding pictures and writing articles), please leave a comment with your e-mail and I will enter in contact with you.
Thank you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Almost done. Now we will have some tests this week and then we will have the finals. Today Bob and I ate pizza in the imaging center in the St Paul campus. We also are doing S-layer self assembled monolayer in the biotech lab. We grew the bacteria 2 weeks ago, we ruptured and isolated the cells (last week) and today we dissolved the protein in a specific solution.
We have a test/quiz on sputtering today for thin films. We will have the last class for X-ray diffraction after this we will learn about FTIR and other things. We could not do the TEM class because someone lost a grid in the optical path. We will try to do the TEM class on the 20th.

Monday, March 2, 2009


No, no.. the blog is not dead; I just didn't have time to write and spend time on the blog.
Ok, there are so maaaany news that I don't know where to start.
Let me go by classes.

Microelectronics - The professor of this class is also the director of the and he knows everything about semiconductor (just a reminder that everything in this blog is Martim's opinion only and of course I can't be responsible for anything I write here). It seems that all in semiconductor is related somehow to diffusion; therefore, my tip is: if you know all the formulas about diffusion, you will do fine for the first week. The teacher also brings some samples (e.g. semiconductor boule, arch lamps...) to the class sometimes and it is interesting to see that he cares to bring those things to class when most people don't pay too much attention to that.

Characterization class - There are 5 (maybe more maybe fewer) teachers specialist for this class and each teacher (for each instrument) determines 20% of your grade. We begun with SEM and TEM and now we are studying AFM. The same teacher that lectures is the one in the lab and that reduces redundancy in information (the microelectronics lab has different teachers for lecture and lab and because of that we many times see all things twice).

Thin films - What I like about this class is the convenience. The teacher said in the first day of class "if all the other teachers give you too much to read, tell me and I reduce my reading part. If they don't five you too much to read, I can give you more things to do". That class is that simple and easy. In most classes people would try to argue with the teacher to get reduced homework but in this class we don't even try because we know that the teacher would eventually accept and I guess the students think that that would be too easy.

Bionano - This class is located in the St. Paul campus and we don't have homework for this class (actually, we don't have homework to any class but the microelectronics one, but we have lab have reports and readings). People who like Biology, really like Biology, so they can stay reading about Biology forever. Since I don't love Biology, the 89459 reading pages are always hard for me. Do you like Biology? Good for you.

Nanoparticle - The nanoparticle class is pretty simple and consist of a total of 5 classes. This is what we usually do-> an aerosol of the solution that we want the particles, then we dry the droplets (ending up w/ the NP only), we then neutralize them, separate by sizes, and count; we introduce some variations and see how that affects the # of particles, and sizes, and charge, and all that. By the way, the particles we synthesize are of sugar, salt, or Poly-Styrene Latex (they are not dangerous at all).

Microelectronics lab - I already patterned and etched a wafer, aligned a mask, opened and closed the oxidation furnace, saw PECVD and LAD working, measured oxide thinness in the ellipsometer, and lost a pen in the fabrication facility. I also broke wafers in the right crystal plane direction. This is one of the main labs.

Overall the classes are not hard, but they take time. E.g.: is not hard to run simulation of SEM in a computer and contrast with what you get in real life but to do that may take you a full day. Understand?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm ready

Notice that I have an air compressor on my table. The blue book in the middle is the packet that we have to buy, and it says Tran (the name of the instructor I assume) on the cover . Read the first pages and you will see that the author thanks Deb Newberry. There is still one Nanobio used book left at Coffman Union bookstore. They did not have other used books for our classes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Almost there

Tomorrow I will go to the University of Minnesota Bookstore at Coffman Memorial Union
to buy the following books:
Fabrication Engineering At The Micro & Nanoscale, 3rd (9780195320176 Campbell),
Mt 3121 Sec.1 Tran Course Packet 281055910039B (which is not a book),
Bionanotechnology : Lessons From Nature (9780471417194 Goodsell).

As a good student, I waited until the last days to buy the books!

Go to: to know your user name to log in in your U of M account (just type your last name to find yourself. If nothing is found, then you did not initiate your account, and you will need the letter that they sent you (your student ID is there) to initiate the account). [If I knew the last 3 lines 2 hours ago, I would not have wasted 2 hours trying all passwords and possible user names that I can imagine... ]

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

The school always have some totally unrelated activities going on. Previous week they had an exposition of gingerbread houses. I took some pictures.

I guess the idea is to create a happy environment [who knows?]. I have seen the "free popcorn and pizza day," another day they had people playing Guitar Hero and watching movies in the middle of the cafeteria, there was a guy singing "Guantanamera" with super loud speaker (that was actually hilarious), I also saw people performing dances from other culture without any explanation of why they were doing that - not that they need an explanation to dance; I just thought that maybe there was a purpose to dance. I don't know. Maybe they are just happy.

Poor trees

After three semesters, you will have read that much. Those are all papers that I got from the classes; each folder is one class. I will select one random paper per day from each folder and post it here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter vs. Summer

Winter vs. Summer

Notice that the cars are in the same position.
You have to read the very first post to understand why I'm posting this.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Have you heard about Nanosota?

Howard Lovy, "freelance technology/business editor and writer" mentioned our blog in his blog.
If you visit his blog, don't forget to chek out the nanobama.

Third Semester Calendar

If you have google calendar, just click in the "+ Google Calendar" button to add these events to yours calendar.
Disregard the rowing, cedar park elementary school, and 3m events because they are not part of the program.

4th Semester Capstone Calendar - Spring 2009

These are the classes for the last semester (spring 2009); thus, disregard the fact that you see classes scheduled for this month.

Because they scheduled classes in one day OR other day, you can see that many classes have their hours overlapping.

We should confirm our schedule at

To know what books we will need, go to:

Prior to take the class MT 3141 Principles and Applications of Biotechnology Laboratory (before the first Tuesday of the first week of class) , we will have to complete the online safety training modules: Introduction to Research Safety and Chemical Safety at

We all have to pay the tuition in full (~$4,853 if full-time) before January 24.

Volunteering at Rochester STEM

Aqueous Ferrofluid

Mine didn't spike. :-(

The little secret to make it spike is to put the magnet not too close to the fluid; it works better when the magnet is half an inch away from the solution.

Can you multitask?

I know I didn't post anything in the last two weeks, but I have a reasonable explanation for that.

This is what I had to do last week: 5 lab reports, read 2 manuals, revise two essays, write a 6 pages argument essay, two problems sets for nanoelectronics, take-home test for nanoelectronics, 3 reports about companies and conferences I went, take-home test + homework for quality class, 1 paper critique for biotechnology, problems for material science.

I also had to return some books to the county library and renew a book at my school, do laundry, wash dishes, do groceries, prepare food for the week, wash the bathroom (actually I have to do all kinds of unpleasant chores in my home), talk with my family in South America, prepare something to present to the elementary school students, and now I have to fix my car because it just started to make a squealing noise.

That was one week ago; now I have to do many more things.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Even More Pictures

They were trying to see the wavelength absorbance of cadmium selenide quantum dot nanoparticles synthesized with different cooling times. The two metal discs are sample holders for the Ubi Hysitron nanoindenter.
To make sure that he is not able to see quantum dots, John always does a visual check.

More Lab Pictures

I took this picture from the corner of our lab. What a handsome person. The displacement vs load graph is visible on the computer screen.

I guess I should be helping them at that moment.

I tried to do the DCTC indents again, but this time the result was more random; my expectations were high after one hour and thirteen minutes indenting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

DCTC Nanoindented

This is the 3D view.

We had the idea of indent DCTC in a piece of quartz... so we did...

This was our firts try and it took us less than one hour because we only did 21 indents, the letter D gets one extra indent. Actually the indents themselves take only 2 seconds, 1 to load and another 1 to unload, but the wating time to stabilize the piezo in it's right position requires more time (1 minute for us). The view area of the sample is 100 micrometers squared.
If we have time we will try another time but with more indents and we will give tilted coordinates to the instrument hoping to get a straight image at the end.

2008 Greater Rochester STEM Summit

John demonstrating the laser on the nanoparticles.

Some kids learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Bob, Kim, and John went to Rochester Community and Technical College representing the AAS degree in Nanoscience Technology on Tuesday, November 4. More than 800 people attended the event and there were 65 booth.

Can you see the link to view the video of the event (it's in your left and top of the screen)?? The pictures were taken by John.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chapter 4 - Modern Theory of Solids

Kim, Bob, and John right after the last class of elementary quantum physics (chapter 3). They seem happy. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This is my English class.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Optical Diffraction Day

Yesterday in the lab we used many slides with patterns (lines, dots, etc..) to produce diffraction patterns with a laser beam. We measured the distance between the slide and the screen, the distance between the constructively interfered waves and with that we calculated the spacing between the lines in the slide (using Bragg's Law).

I used an optical microscope to check if the spacing was calculated properly, but I could not do this because we needed a calibration standard and we didn't have it (I actually tried to use a ruler as calibration standard but in this way my values were not the same).

Other students used the STM, AFM and nanoindenter...

I'm not in the pictures because I'm holding the camera, and Deb went somewhere when I took the pictures.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


or go to DCTC web page
You will know if you are in the right place when you see a screen like this one

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

more than half of the semester done

We just did test number 5 in Nanoelectronics!

My Nanoelectronics class math:
17 weeks = 1 semester
17 -11 = only 6 weeks (two test + 5 hw sets + 2 articles report) left

Tomorrow we will have Nanomaterials test about engineering alloys, polymeric materials, ceramics, and composite materials.

(ok, let me explain this post: I don't have anything special to say, but I have a picture that I took today, while some students were re-checking their math in the test, and I want to put it here... and I didn't want to put the picture without any writing.)

The Plan

Hello everyone,

I'm posting the schedule of the major to give a better idea of what classes we take here at DCTC for those who are not familiar with the program. The chart was created by Deb Newberry, she is the founder of the program and also teaches some classes.

Notice that in the chart there is a summer term planned. I opted not to take summer classes; thus, I had to do everything during the normal school year. I'm telling you this because if you plan to do the same then it's good to know that you will have to study a little hard to get a good grade, but don't worry too much because this is a technical school and most teachers don't give huge home works (most... not all) because they assume people have to work.

by the way, Deb was the one who gave us the idea of making this blog which is being really useful for me because now I have an extra stimulus to learn how to write (I'm sorry again for the grammar mistakes).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nanoscience Technology Blog

This blog is being created by Nanoscience students from Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN, we will post about things we are currently doing (labs, activities, etc) in the program.
I hope this blog will help to promote this amazing program that we are in and thus possible students will have a better notion of what they will learn here at DCTC.

Let me just explain that right now the person writing here is Martim, and English is not my first language thus you will probably see a ton of grammar mistakes because I'm still taking my English classes. :-)

First PS: Dr. John Nelson thinks the landscape is only beautiful to watch on TV and not here in real life because it reminds him that he is in a coooooooold place.
Second PS: Dr. Nelson is the Physics and Nanomaterials professor, and right now he is helping us to look micelles in the microscope.
Third PS: Martim likes the landscape because when the Nanomaterial class is boring he can just look the white of the snow in the window. :-) Martim is cool!