Kathleen Dunn Ph.D.

Dunn, Kathleen
Position Department / Business Unit
School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering and UAlbany Institute for Materials
Institution Disciplines
University at Albany--State University of New York Physics Nanostructures
City State / Provence
Albany New York
Country Website

Professor Dunn's research group has two main foci: the extension of traditional metal-based interconnects to the nanoscale regime as well as novel materials for next generation wiring schemes for semiconductor applications. In order to characterize such nanostructures, Dunn's group has also become involved in the development of electron and ion based characterization techniques.

Areas of Research
• Electron microscopy, ion microscopy liners, metallization, defects in metals, ultrafine wires, TEM, SEM, FIB, EELS, ALD, TEM-STM

The extension of conventional metals to the ultrafine regime (where the wire width approaches the mean free path of an electron). encounters both morphological as well as quantum mechanical effects that impact the conductivity of the metal wire. In the extreme case of atomic conductors, where a wire may be only one or two atoms wide, the conductivity is actually quantized. Dunn's team studies these wires using a specially modified transmission electron microscope (TEM) holder with connections which allow simultaneous electrical measurements. Other students working in this area are looking for novel means for controlling interfacial energies as a means to controlling nucleation and growth, while still others are investigating the microstructural origin of killer defects such as electromigration voids using advanced characterization techniques such as electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS).

Novel structures we are investigating include molecular conductors such as carbon nanotubes and artifically engineered biological molecules. Finally, Dunn's group recently became involved in high temperature superconductor research, since nanoscale phenomena often control the current carrying capabilities of these wires as well.


• Ph.D. Materials Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001; M.S. Materials Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997; B.S. Applied & Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 1991

By this Researcher

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