Xinyi Chen receives the 2012 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad

Xinyi Chen is one of 489 winners of this high-competitive award among about 2 million self-financed Chinese students studying abroad. Xinyi from Rubloff group has been working on his PHD project using ALD for nanostructured electrochemical energy storage devices, as part of our NEES Energy Frontier Research Center (, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. He has made major advances in both the development of ALD processes and materials and in their application to electrochemical nanostructures. Towards his PHD thesis research, he has published 5 papers in high- impact journals. He has defended his PHD in April and start to work for LAM Research as a process engineer.

Xinyi’s website


Marshall Hendricks named John and Maureen Hendricks Energy Research Fellow

Parage Banerjee Joins Washington University Faculty

Gregorczyk Wins Second L-3 Fellowship

Jordan Betz ACS Meeting Talk Recognized by Chemical & Engineering News


Clark School honors Rajkowski, Beyaz, Banerjee for student research

Congratulations to three ISR graduate students for their outstanding research accomplishments within the Clark School of Engineering.

Jessica Rajkowski, a Master’s level Mechanical Engineering student of Assistant Professor Sarah Bergbreiter (ME/ISR) has won the 2010 Dean's Master’s Student Research Award Competition. Jessica won the competition for her research, “Rapid Polymer Prototyping for Applications in Low Cost and Robust Microrobots.”

Mustafa Beyaz, a Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering student of ISR Director Reza Ghodssi (ECE/ISR) won second place in the 2010 Dean's Doctoral Student Research Award Competition for his research, “A MEMS Microgenerator for Small-Scale Power Conversion.”

Parag Banerjee, a Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering advised by Professor Gary Rubloff, won third place in the same competition for his research, “Nano-Energy Devices.”


Israel Perez finishes MSE PhD, joins U California Irvine

Izzy Perez completed his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering by presenting his thesis on August 21, 2009. His thesis, "Nanoporous AAO: A Platform for Regular Heterogeneous Nanostructures and Energy Storage Devices", combining materials processing, new metrology approaches, modeling, and devcies, provided a strong basis for combining self-assembled nanopore structures with ALD processes to form electrostatic nanocapacitors with unprecedented performance. This was a significant stimulus as well for the proposal and establishment of our new DOE Energy Frontier Research Center NEES. Izzy will next join Prof. Phil Collins' research group at UC Irvine as a postdoc. Since the UCI group is a partner in NEES, we hope to continue collaboration with Izzy at UCI.

Wei Lei develops new ALD process for advanced technology at Novellus Systems

Wei Lei received his MSE PhD from the Rubloff group in its early work in atomic layer deposition (ALD). He then joined Novellus Systems, a leading supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment where he has developed and transferred to manufacturing a new ALD process for WN layers to replace Ti/TiN in advanced process, including high volume manufacturing for 45nm DRAM/flash devices. The work is published in the Advanced Metallization Conference 2008 (pdf). A short summery follows.

Copper interconnect has been introduced into Flash and DRAM devices as a result of increasing demand on speed and device density.  And tungsten via still remains as the material of choice for contact to Cu interconnect. The tungsten via to the Cu interconnect brings new integration requirements and challenges to the conventional liner/barrier scheme. For example, in the conventional Ti/TiN liner/barrier approach, a bi-layer of PVD Ti/MOCVD (metal organic chemical vapor deposition) TiN is required: PVD Ti is deposited at the contact bottom for copper barrier followed by a MOCVD TiN barrier layer to prevent Ti from fluorine attack during the subsequent CVD-W fill. This bi-layer scheme has several limitations: i) poor PVD-Ti step coverage, ii) PVD-Ti overhang, iii) Wide contact resistance distribution due to variation on PVD-Ti thickness. In addition, it was reported that SiH4, which is typically used in CVD-W nucleation step, can easily diffuse through MOCVD-TiN. The penetration of SiH4 to the underlying copper may lead to formation of high resistivity CuSix.

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) type of WN barrier developed by Novellus Systems can overcome these limitations. WN film is highly conformal due to its ALD process nature and it has good adhesion on dielectric. WN film is also a good barrier for copper electro-migration and SiH4 diffusion. Therefore, a single thin layer of ALD-WN can replace Ti/TiN as both the diffusion barrier and the liner. ALD-WN barrier has proven its technology and manufacturability advantages and is currently used in high volume memory device manufacturing.

Prof. Rubloff to lead new Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC)
UMD is the lead partner in a new Department of Energy center under the new EFRC program. The team, led by EFRC Director Gary Rubloff and co-Director Sang Bok Lee (chem/biochem) includes nine faculty from UMD, out of a complement of 19 researchers at UMD, Sandia National Laboratory (Albuquerque), Los Alamos National Laboratory, UC Irvine, Yale, and U Florida. The EFRC, "Science of Precision Multifunctional Nanostructures for Electrical Energy Storage", will operate an initial 5 years at $14M to uncover the essential science underlying the behavior of electrochemical nanostructures, dynamic cycling of charge, and balance between storage and transport functions.

New IARPA/ARO program to apply ALD to quantum computing

Prof. Rubloff is co-PI on a new program with Profs. Chris Lobb and Victor Galitski (physics) and Charles Musgrave (U.Colorado ChBE) to use atomic layer deposition (ALD) to develop enhanced quality Josephson tunnel junctions as the basis for qubits, devices that are a central platform for quantum computing. The work is closely tied to research in the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS) at UMD and to the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI).
Dean Berlin completes BIOE MS, to pursue MBA at MIT's Sloan School of Management
Dean Berlin, BIOE graduate student, successfully defended his MS thesis on 5/14/09. Dean has been accepted into the MBA program at MIT's Sloan School of Management for the coming fall. Dean has been one of the founders of Callinex, a start-up company to commercialize research advances of our Deutsch and NSF-EFRI research programs.

Xiaolong Luo receives MRS Graduate Student Award

Xiaolong Luo received a Silver Graduate Student Award at the MRS spring meeting in San Francisco April 13-17, 2009 for his presentation "Spatially Localized Quorum Sensing in a Microfluidic Device". He was one of 13 students receiving MRS awards.

Nature Nanotechnology highlights electrostatic nanocapacitor results
On 3/15/09 Nature Nanotechnology published "Nanotubular metal-insulator-metal capacitor arrays for energy storage" by Parag Banerjee, Israel Perez, Laurent Henn-Lecordier, Sang Bok Lee, and Gary Rubloff, describing the team's achievement of nanocapacitor arrays with major improvement in energy density. Appearing in the most widely read nanotechnology journal, it has stimulated much press coverage and investor interest.
Parag Banerjee spends internship at U.Pennsylvania
As part of his Future Faculty Fellow experience, MSE PhD student Parag Banerjee spent two months (Feb-Mar 2009) working in the research group of Prof. Dawn Bonnell at the University of Pennsylvania. Prof. Bonnell leads Penn's Nano-Bio Interface Center.

Prof. Won-Jae Lee joins Rubloff-Lee group for sabbatical
In Feb 2009 Won-Jae Lee, Professor in Advanced Materials Science at Dongeui University in Korea, joined the Rubloff group and collaborations with the Lee group in chemistry to pursue advanced nanostructures for enegy applications. Professor Lee's research has included semiconductor processes and equipment, particularly promoting plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition, pulsed laser deposition, and chemical vapor deposition.


Parag Banerjee awarded Hendricks Energy Fellowship
Parag Banerjee has been named one of the first two John and Maureen Hendricks Energy Research Fellows. The John and Maureen Hendricks Charitable Foundation began the Fellows program to support the efforts of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC), a multidisciplinary initiative that focuses on advancing the frontiers of energy science and technology, particularly forward-looking approaches to alternative energy generation and storage. Banerjee will pursue a research project of his own conception, aimed at realizing new nanostructure devices for highly efficient solar energy capture. He has already played a key role in developing electrostatic nanocapacitors for electrical energy storage.

Parag Banerjee selected as Future Faculty Fellow
After six years' experience in industry at Micron Technology, Parag Banerjee came to UMD and our group to pursue an academic career as a professor. In 2008 he was named to the Clark School's new Future Faculty Program, which prepares graduate students for professor positions. The program provides a supplementary stipend, special advising and seminars, and experiences in teaching and research mentoring. Parag is one of only 20 students from the Clark School to be chosen for the program. (...more from MSE website)

Susan Buckhout-White serves as MSE Teaching Fellow
Susan Buckhout-White is serving as an MSE Teaching Fellow in ENMA 465 during spring 2008. This provides her with experience in teaching as she considers its role in her future career.
Rubloff serves on NSF Engineering Research Centers panel
Professor Rubloff has been chosen to serve on the NSF Blue Ribbon Panel which evaluates and makes the final recommendations for the next group of NSF Engineering Research Centers (ERC's). The ERC program has been highly successful in stimulating a new breed of engineer since its inception in 1985. Rubloff served on a previous Blue Ribbon Panel in 2000. He has worked closely with the NSF ERC program, serving on Industrial Advisory Boards from IBM for ERC's at NCSU and Wisconsin, then as Associate Director of the NCSU ERC, and as Director of the UMD Institute for Systems Research (ISR), a former now-graduated ERC. A historical note: ISR was established from the Systems Research Center, an NSF ERC directed by Professor John Baras and awarded in the first such competition. Rubloff served as ISR's third Director, from 1996-2001.


Perez image published in 2007 Materials Today calendar
Izzy Perez' TEM image of ALD nanotubes released from AAO templates has made the Materials Today calendar, as one of 12 finalists in the Materials Today research image contest.
Rubloff-Lee team Finalist in OTC 2007 Invention of the Year Competition
Parag Banerjee, Israel Perez, Erin (Robertson) Cleveland, Gary Rubloff, and Sang Bok Lee have filed a full US patent "Lateral Two-Terminal Nanotube Devices and Method for their Formation". This invention has been recognized as a Finalist in the 2007 Invention of the Year competition by UMD's Office of Technology Commercialization.
Nano-Bio Systems Laboratory (NBSL) established
Formerly the LAMP "annex", the laboratory in JM Patterson 2227 adjoining the LAMP lab has been converted to form the Nano-Bio Systems Laboratory (NBSL). It is home to a substantial research effort in biological microsystems (bioMEMS), supported by major grants from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and the NSF's Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program, collaborative efforts involving Professors Bentley (BIOE & UMBI),, Ghodssi (ECE/ISR), Payne (UMBI), and Nan (UMB Pharmacy). The NBSL now contains equipment for microfluidics and bioMEMS assembly and testing. It houses a new Horiba Jobin-Yvon microRaman system, including fluorescence imaging capability, a Zeiss confocal/fluorescence microscope, and various systems for assembling bioMEMS devices to carry out and measure multistep biochemical reaction sequences.


Israel Perez heads to Santiago, Chile for a workshop on Transmission Electron Microscopy
Israel Perez was selected to go to Santiago, Chile in July 2006 for an NSF/DOE sponsored trip to attend the Pan American Advanced Studies Institute's (PASI) workshop in Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) in Materials Science, held at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago. Click here for the full scoop.
Israel Perez wins best poster Award
Israel Perez has won the Best Poster Award at the MEMS Alliance Special Topics Symposium, held Tuesday April 4, 2006 at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Izzy has been able to produce high-K dielectric nanotubes using ALD HfO2 onto Prof. Sang Bok Lee’s (Chemistry Department) nanoporous alumina templates. His winning poster was "ALD-based HfO2 Nanotube Manufacturing from Porous Alumina Nanotemplates".
Wei Lei finishes PhD, joins Novellus Systems
Wei Lei finished his PhD in MSE in 2006 and has joined Novellus Systems in San Jose. His PhD research focused on atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes and prototype designs for ALD manufacturing equipment, and specifically on implementing real-time chemical sensing methods to identify operative surface chemistry and to enable advanced process control in ALD.


Joann Cai finishes PhD, joins Intel
Yuhong (Joann) Cai completed her PhD in MSE in December 2005, then joined Intel's long-term research effort in Phoenix in 2006. Joann's research was centered on the development of spatially programmable chemical vapor deposition, and particularly the implementation of real-time mass spectrometry into this novel equipment design for chemical process monitoring and control.


Programmable CVD / ALD patent
U.S. patent 6,821,910 was issued Nov. 23, 2004 to Professors Ray Adomaitis, John Kidder and Gary Rubloff.  It describes spatially programmable chemical vapor deposition and atomic layer deposition reactor designs for electronic materials processing, and particularly the key features of a gas delivery showerhead which incorporates segmented gas injection and exhaust gas recirculation through the showerhead.  These concepts, developed as part of the NSF programmable reactor project, envision a new paradigm of intelligent reactors which are spatially programmability to enable robust uniformity and/or combinatorial process development, and which employ sensing and modeling to achieve new levels of process control.
Rubloff named founding Director of Maryland NanoCenter
Prof. Rubloff has been named to lead a new activity on campus, the Maryland NanoCenter. The NanoCenter is a partnership between engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences colleges at the University of Maryland. It is organized as a center within the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP).
Soon Cho completes PhD, joins Intel
Soon Cho finished his PhD in MSE in spring 2004, receiving an A. James Clark School Fellowship for the semester.  Soon's thesis covered his work at Northrop Grumman, centered on the application of real-time, in-situ chemical sensing for metrology and advanced process control in GaN MOCVD growth processes.  The techniques and algorithms he developed are now used routinely in Northrop Grumman's processes, e.g., to control the thickness of a 20 nm AlGaN layer to 1%, which has a direct relation to device speed.  His previous work on W CVD processes in LAMP were a strong basis for the Northrop Grumman work. Soon started a new position at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, CA in fall 2004.


Gary W. Rubloff
301 405-3011
office: 1128 Kim Bldg
mail: 2145 AV Williams Bldg
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-3285