Awardee Interviews | Biography: W.M.M. Kessels

W.W.M. Kessels

Markus ValtinerW.M.M. Kessels, Eindhoven University of Technology “for pioneering work in the application and development of in situ plasma and surface diagnostics to achieve a molecular understanding of thin film growth.”
W.M.M. Kessels (Erwin) currently holds a tenured Assistant Professorship in the Department of Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. His work explores the synthesis of thin films, nanostructures, and devices using methods such as plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, atomic layer deposition, and plasma etching. His research focuses particularly on the development of processes for thin-film manufacturing in collaboration with several industrial partners and it incorporates numerous applications such as microelectronics, photovoltaics, energy storage, photo-nics, and flexible electronics. In addition, a large part of the research is devoted to investigations of the plasma-surface interactions and thin film growth mechanisms. His research group develops and implements advanced surface-sensitive diagnostics - mostly based on linear and nonlinear optics - that can be applied in real time during film growth. The central theme within the work is to improve the understanding of the underlying reaction mechanisms in order to better control the chemical and physical processes such that the desired properties of thin films, processes, and devices can be designed to order.
In recent years, Erwin’s research interest in atomic layer deposition (ALD) has expanded. He focuses on plasma-assisted ALD processes to fully exploit the opportunities delivered by the process and to address its current challenges. He is active in both ALD tool and related hardware development and in the utilization of the technique in less traditional, non-semiconductor applications to establish the benefits of the plasma-based process for these types of applications.
Erwin received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (cum laude) in Applied Physics from the Eindhoven University of Technology in 1996 and 2000, respectively. His doctoral work, which was partly carried out at the University of California Santa Barbara, investigated the plasma deposition process of amorphous silicon. During his postdoctoral research Erwin investigated plasma-surface interactions at the Colorado State University and nonlinear surface spectroscopy at the Philipps University, Marburg (Germany). In 1999 he was the recipient of the Coburn and Winters      Student Award of the AVS Plasma Science and Technology Division. In 2002, he was awarded a fellowship by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2005, he spent a sabbatical leave at the University of California Berkeley.
Erwin has authored and co-authored over 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is co-inventor of several patents. He is an active  member of the AVS, ECS, and MRS and serves on several international conference committees. Within AVS, he has served on the Executive Committee of the Plasma Science and Technology Division (2004-2007) and he will be chairing the 8th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition in 2008 as sponsored by the Thin Film Division.

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