A Day in the Lab is a Q&A series that gives readers a glimpse into the lives of Princeton researchers across the chemistry department. This installment features Tia Lee, a second year graduate student in the Scholes lab. She graduated from the University of Toronto with B.Sc. in chemical physics and mathematics in 2011.
1) What she’s working on:
I am currently working on studying the photophysics of singlet exciton fission in the functionalized pentacene nanoparticles via various spectroscopic techniques.
2) Typical daily routine:
My days usually varies, but daily routine of 10:30 am coffee, 12:00 pm lunch and 6:00 pm dinner applies. Outside of those times, I spend early morning making a rather ‘unrealistic’ to do list for the day and replying to emails. And rest of the day I do the tasks on my to do list!
3) Most effective organizational tool:
I will have to say for ‘effective’ tools, I am a big fan of a daily planner, COLOURFUL pens and lots and lots of post it notes. I also like to take the scintillation vial box, take out the divider inside and organize my papers/folders based on the topics.
4) Most productive time of the day:
I work best after dinner around 7-10. In the morning I usually am a resident of a ‘struggle city.’
5) Strategy for keeping up with the literature:
I don’t have particular strategy for keeping up with literature, but I periodically go on web of science and key word search and see if any interesting papers are published recently.
6) Most essential scientific instrument:
7) Favorite way to spend a break:
I like to spend my break time with friends and family. If I am with group of people, then I like to spend it with any combination of board games, cultural food night and movie night. If I am spending it alone at home, then I like to read, play music, or paint. Oh, let’s not forget about Netflix :).
8) Most interesting research right now (outside of your lab):
I’d have to say the most interesting research involves chemical aging of bourbon whiskey.
9) Favorite element/compound:
Fused benzene rings. Not because I am working on related systems, but because it is fun drawing them, despite how my friends might not approve of my way of drawing fused benzene rings. Apparently, I have unusual way of drawing it. I don’t draw one hexagon at a time, but rather I start off with something that looks like conjugated alkene chain.