Current Research Areas

Electrochemical Engineering:

Electrochemical phenomena are important in a wide range of technologically significant processes, including deposition and etching of surfaces, corrosion, energy conversation, and chemical synthesis. The behavior of such systems often involves spatial and time scales that span more than ten orders of magnitude that need to be considered simultaneously. In our research program, we carry out experimental observations and link them to simulation tools and remote computational resources in a collaborative Web-based high-performance computing environment.


The shift to Cu for on-chip interconnections represents one of the most important changes in materials that the semiconductor industry has experienced. Of particular importance is the need to understand how trace amounts of solution additives influence the evolution of deposit shape and morphology. We use a suite of experimental tools to construct hypotheses about how deposition occurs in the presence of additives. The hypotheses are encoded in computer simulations that link non-continuum phenomena with continuum phenomena.

Corrosion and Etching:

All structural metals are thermodynamically unstable and corrode. For most cases, a protective passive surface film stifles corrosion. However, in engineering alloys, small inclusions trigger microscopic dissolution events that form aggressive species that play a catalytic role in the breakdown of passive films. We have developed new micro experimental methods to investigate a range of pure metals and alloys. Object-oriented programming is used so that code optimization can take place concurrently with improvements in the knowledge of the underlying chemical events.

Web-Base Collaborative Tools:

Our program serves as the lead program for implementation of the Alliance Science portal, a Web-based environment that links scientists, engineers, and computer experts to each other. The portal brings together tools needed to support comprehensive, inter-active, multiscale simulations that span from the molecular through continuum chemical reactor design to plantwide control and optimization.