David Graves: Plasma Physics Research
The move to Tan Hall from Gilman Hall resulted in a great increase in the amount and quality of space for experimental studies for the Graves group. The Graves group studies, primarily, phenomena in gaseous plasmas, especially as used in manufacturing semiconductor devices and related thin solid film devices.
Historically, the group has focused much effort on modeling and numerical simulation of plasmas, with only a limited effort experimentally. But that changed dramatically when we moved to Tan Hall. From that time, the group expanded considerably into experimental studies, and now the second or third generation of experimental Ph.D. students have completed their thesis work in Tan Hall.
We are currently studying the nature of by-products created in plasma etch equipment from etching various new materials such as low and high dielectric constant insulating materials, as well as etching of proposed new metallic gate electrode materials. The experimental equipment used for these studies was donated, in part, by Lam Research Corporation and IBM Research.
More recently, studies of radical-assisted atomic layer chemical vapor deposition of thin films were made in this system. We have now built an additional vacuum-beam system, in part from equipment donated by Lam Research Corporation. This research focuses on fundamental understanding of the nature of radical-surface and ion-surface interactions, especially as applied to challenges associated with making interconnects for semiconductor devices (the so-called ‘back-end’ of the process of semiconductor device manufacture). These studies are also relevant to a general understanding of nanometer-scale control of surfaces exposed to reactive plasmas.
The Graves group uses this vacuum beam analysis system
Research in Tan Hall
Roya Maboudian: Semiconductor Surfaces
Susan Muller: Studying the Mechanics of Complex Fluids
Clayton Radke: Colloids and Interfaces
Angelica Stacy: Solid State Chemistry