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Berkeley Lab Intern Honored in Intel Science Talent Search Print

intel-wangA New York high school student who wrote a research paper based on her work as a Berkeley Lab Chemical Sciences Division intern this past summer has been named one of 300 semifinalists in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search, the most prestigious and oldest pre-college science competition in the nation. Chloe Wang, a 16-year-old Dobbs Ferry High School student, spent six weeks in the Chemical Sciences Division and at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) preparing experiments for ALS beamtimes for a research project on hydrogen separation membranes. Wang worked closely with Chemical Sciences Division scientists Hendrik Bluhm and Christoph Rameshan.

“They introduced me to lab procedures and showed me how things operate,” says Wang. “The ALS was probably the most interesting part of the Lab that I saw because it’s such a convergence of scientific disciplines and I’d never been anywhere like that before.”

Wang’s winning research paper, “Effects of Water Vapor on Hydrogen Permeation through a Metal Membrane,” selected from more than 1,700 entrants, examined filtering out hydrogen from other gases by passing it through a thin sheet of metal. Her research determined that water vapor has a negative effect on the permeation of hydrogen. Wang says she’s very interested in alternative energy and found it rewarding to contribute to the preparation of ALS investigations on hydrogen separation research.

Wang’s summer research was part of a project that continues at Molecular Environmental Sciences Beamline 11.0.2 using ambient-pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The beamline’s in situ measurement capabilities allow scientists to study liquid/vapor and solid/vapor interfaces under more realistic conditions.

“Chloe’s initial research gave us parameters and ideas about the issues we’d need to address in our subsequent research,” says Bluhm. “She was a wonderfully enthusiastic student to work with and extremely bright.”