IST Distinguished Lecture: Gerrit Kroesen

Gerrit Kroesen will deliver an 'IST Distinguished Lecture' on December 15th 2023, co-organised by the group N-PRiME of the Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, and the scientific area of Plasmas, Lasers and Nuclear Fusion of the Department of Physics at IST.

Plasmas in the semiconductor industry: modern trends, opportunities and diversity, by Prof. Gerrit Kroesen

15th December 2023, 11a.m. – Venue: Room 02.1 (IST Congress Center, Civil Eng. Building)

The semiconductor industry is moving towards ever increasing densities and ever decreasing feature sizes. This was kicked off 40 years ago, by two international initiatives: Sematech in the USA and JESSI in the European Union. Those initiatives have lasted for around 10 years. After that, the technology was mature, and industry hardly needed the input of academia for solving their technical challenges in the plasma domain. In recent years, since the moment that feature sizes came below 10 nm, a revival of the field has been taking place. For example: vertical etching angle specifications ask for side wall angles between 89.6 and 90 degrees, anisotropy has been approaching and now exceeds 100, etc. This has evoked a new need of industry for input from plasma physics, sheath physics, fluid dynamics and surface physics and chemistry in these size regimes (Knudsen flow, single atom reactions, etc). Recently, the USA launched the CHIPS act, a package of 45 G$ for semiconductor processing technology. Europe has a similar CHIPS-package. In the presentation the needs of modern-day semiconductor processing will be highlighted, and we will also try to show how we, as people in academia, can cater to that need while at the meantime performing cutting edge fundamental science.

One of the needs of the industry, but also of academia, is diversity. We need a well-trained workforce with a diverse composition. TU/e has embarked on a course of increasing the diversity in the academic population. With that strategy, for instance, the fraction of female staff in tenured academia increased from 2 % to 35 % in 6 years in the physics department. We will describe the vital steps that have contributed to this spectacular shift.

Short bio of the speaker:
Gerrit Kroesen studied Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology from 1977 to 1983. He completed his PhD on plasma physics in 1988 and was appointed Assistant Professor in the Elementary Processes in Gas Discharges (EPG) group in 1985. He took a sabbatical at IBM in New York (USA) in 1990, and another one at the University of Kyoto (Japan) in 1997. Kroesen still works in the EPG group, since 1996 as Associate Professor and since 2000 as Full Professor, focusing on experimental plasma physics. He became Dean of Applied Physics in 2012. Gerrit Kroesen has constantly strived to push the boundaries of plasma physics, by following a combined effort of experiments, diagnostics, theory and modeling. His research focuses on the internal elementary processes in the plasma, but also touches upon phenomena induced at surfaces that are in contact with the plasma. Different application areas have captured his interest over the years. Starting in plasma etching and plasma deposition, he moved on to environmental applications, plasma displays, dusty plasmas, EUV producing plasmas, EUV produced plasmas, to medical applications. He coauthored 200+ papers and 10 patents, and supervised 150+ PhD and MSc theses. Gerrit Kroesen was awarded the Von Engel and Franklin Prize in 2015 for “his pioneering work on plasma deposition and etching where he improved the understanding of plasma and sheath dynamics, plasma and sheath chemistry” and for “his leading contributions to dusty plasma physics, lighting and EUV sources, and his pioneering work in plasma medicine”.