University College Cork
Tyndall National Institute; ESB International
Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland
Favourite thing to do in science: study of stars and planets (this is not what I'm working on but it's something I'd really like to explore in the future)
About Me: I am a easygoing person and enthusiastic about my work.
My name is Jun Lin. I’m from China and I came to Ireland in 2008. I went to University College Cork and did my PhD at Tyndall National Institute – a European research centre in Ireland. I live in Cork city. I am working now as a researcher in microelectronics at Tyndall. My job involves a lot of experiments so most of my time at work is spent in labs.
I like cooking. Whenever I have time, I try different Chinese cuisine recipes.
My favourite animal is cat not just because they are cute. I love their dignity and the way they come to people when they need attention, which makes the cuddling time with them more valuable. I watch a lot of cat videos to relieve stress.
I also like watching food YouTube videos especially the ones in which the Youtubers travel around the world to discover what people eat and their food culture.
My Work: I study materials that can be used to make transistors, which are the most basic building blocks of computers. The goal is to make transistors smaller so that our computers can be faster and more powerful.
I study semiconductor materials that are used to make a device called transistor – the most basic building block of computers. A transistor is just like a tiny electric switch. A lot of transistors are packed up to make integrated circuits, which are used in our modern devices like mobile phones and laptops. Transistors are usually made of silicon because of its abundance on earth and its excellent behaviour in a transistor. We need to shrink the sizes of these transistors so that more of them can be packed together in the integrated circuits. Then our computers and devices will become faster and more powerful with more functions. But it is getting harder and harder to keep shrinking these silicon based transistors therefore we need to look for new materials to replace silicon. I’ve been working for years on the behaviour of transistors made from III-V materials, which are compound semiconductors containing elements from groups III and V in the periodic table, because they have much higher mobilities than silicon so transistors made from them can be way much faster as a switch. I am currently working on 2-dimensional (2D) material, which is another potential material to be made into transistors. 2D materials are the flattest and thinnest material possible: they are only one atom thick! So we could cram loads of them together into integrated circuits. But in order to make them work properly in a transistor, every atom in them needs to be in the exactly right place, and this is extremely difficult to achieve especially when we want to make 2D materials over large areas for future mass production. What I am focusing on is to test the electrical behaviour of 2D materials and looking for solutions to improve their crystallinity so that one day they can be widely used in transistors.
My Typical Day: I get to the labs, turn on the machines and get ready for another day with the tiny electric circuits. Then, I spend the whole day trying to find out which of these little devices are the best. Then I tell my friends from the lab about the best one, they tell me about their favourite ones, and we all get together and try to imagine how to make a new computer from them!
I usually get up at 8 am and have breakfast at home. I leave home and drive to work before 9 am. I’m a lab based scientist so I spend a lot of time in the labs growing materials or testing materials or devices. There is usually no specific timetable at work. I just arrange my own working schedule, which can differ from day to day. My schedule depends on when I get new samples to test and when the lab equipment is available – sometimes there is a big queue! When I’m not in the labs, I’m usually doing a lot of reading of other people’s work to compare their work (methods and results) with mine. Reading published work from other scientists is essential in scientific research. Meeting with team members is another activity at work. We discuss our results and plan for future work. I usually finish at about 6 pm but sometimes I need to stay in the labs until later in the evening because some labs may not be free the next day.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
humble, easygoing, good-tempered
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Visiting Morrison planetarium at California academy of sciences
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
What was your favourite subject at school?
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
Published my research work
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1. Overloaded with ideas in science; 2. Speak more than three languages; 3. Have a cat.
Tell us a joke.
Help me with the answer.