Prof.dr.ir. W.M.M. (Erwin) Kessels

Prof.dr.ir. Erwin Kessels heads the group Plasma & Materials Processing at the Eindhoven University of Technology, which presently comprises 40+ members. In addition, he is scientific director of NanoLab@TU/e, the TU/e research facilities including a state-of-the-art clean room. He is member of the steering committee of NanoLabNL, a Dutch national facility providing an open-access infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology, and he serves on the management team of Solliance, a consortium in the field of thin film photovoltaics. His expertise covers ultrathin film growth by methods such as atomic layer deposition, plasma science and technology, and advanced surface spectroscopy. His group has an annual research budget of 3.5 M€. He has personally acquired 12 M€ research funds in national and international projects over the past ten years.

In the last 5 years, Kessels’ main research activities have been in the field of the deposition and processing of ultrathin films (typically <30 nm) of many materials (metal-oxides, metal-nitrides, semiconductors, and metals) for a wide variety of applications in the field of nanoelectronics and photonics (mainly photovoltaics). In combination with his recent work on nanopatterning, he has established the research line of “nanomanufacturing”. His recent main activities/achievements are:
• A large part of the research has been devoted to the advancement of the atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique. This includes the development of novel thermal and plasma-based ALD processes and equipment as well as the understanding of the underlying reaction mechanisms through the implementation of several diagnostic techniques new to the field. The pioneering efforts of this new research topic have received worldwide recognition within the ALD community and a globally leading position in the field of plasma-assisted ALD has been established.
• The importance of insight into the surface reactions during materials processing has been emphasized by well-defined studies during regular operating conditions as well as on particular “model-systems”, employing radical and ion beams in high vacuum reactors. A wide variety of surface-science based linear and nonlinear optical techniques have been implemented in these studies.

Five key publications
1. B. Hoex, S.B.S. Heil, E. Langereis, M.C.M. van de Sanden, W.M.M. Kessels, Ultralow surface recombination of c-Si substrates passivated by plasma-assisted atomic layer deposited Al2O3, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 042112 (2006).
2. S. Sioncke, A. Delabie, G. Brammertz, T. Conard, A. Franquet, M. Caymax, A. Urbanzcyk, M. Heyns, M. Meuris J.L. van Hemmen, W. Keuning, and W.M.M. Kessels, Thermal and plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition of Al2O3 on GaAs substrates, J. Electrochem. Soc. 156, H255 (2009).
3. A.J.M. Mackus, S.A.F. Dielissen, J.J.L. Mulders, and W.M.M. Kessels, Nanopatterning by direct-write atomic layer deposition, Nanoscale 4, 4477 (2012).
4. H. B. Profijt, S. E. Potts, M. C. M. van de Sanden, and W.M.M. Kessels, Plasma-assisted Atomic Layer Deposition: Basics, Opportunities and challenges, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A. 29, 050801-1 (2011).
5. W.M.M. Kessels, M. Putkonen, Advanced Process Technologies: Plasma, Direct-Write, Atmospheric, and Roll-to-Roll ALD, MRS Bulletin 36, 907 (2011).