||Harry A. Atwater, Jr.
Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science
B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1982; M.S., 1983; Ph.D., 1987.
location: 246 Watson
mail code: 128-95
Research Group |
Electronic materials and devices; nanostructures; growth, characterization, and modeling of thin films.
Our research group is engaged in fundamental and applied research in synthesis, properties and processing of electronic materials for use in the electronic and optoelectronic devices and circuits of the 21st century. Electronic materials research is interdisciplinary, involving issues spanning applied physics, physics, materials science, electrical and chemical engineering. Our group includes graduate students, research fellows and undergraduates from each of these departments. We also maintain comprehensive experimental facilities for growth and analysis.
The group's research efforts cross several areas. As silicon integrated circuit technology is the dominant large-scale electronics technology, a significant effort in our group is aimed at exploring new silicon-compatible materials and structures which may enable new functions and performance to be readily combined in the future with the powerful integrated circuit technology of today. These include study of the growth and optical/electronic properties of new epitaxial group IV compound semiconductors and nanocrystalline group IV structures for potential heterojunction and optoelectronic device applications. Advanced epitaxial growth processes are enabled by new in situ diagnostics using reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy. Polycrystalline semiconductors thin films, having potential enormous applications in thin film solar cells and display devices, are another important research area. Research on polycrystalline GaAs/Ge and Si thin film growth and microstructure is aimed at developing low-cost high-efficiency thin film solar cells. The interconnects in large-scale circuits, which consist of intricate arrays of polycrystalline metal films sandwiched between dielectrics, are of increasingly critical importance in overall circuit performance. We are studying new approaches to fabrication of high aspect ratio submicron polycrystalline metal structures for applications in high-density integrated circuit interconnects.