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Michael Fancher, M.A.

Director, Advanced Manufacturing Performance Center,
Director NYS Center for Advanced Technology in Nanoelectronics & Nanomaterials (CATN2),
Principal Investigator: Cyber-Physical Systems,  Clean Energy Projects, and Entrepreneurial Programs.


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Gregory Denbeaux Ph. D.

Project Manager Vacuum Systems & TGMS Data Analytics Test-beds, Associate Professor of Nanoscience

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Professor Denbeaux’s research focuses on high-resolution microscopy for lithography and magnetic materials. The likely next generation lithography technology for semiconductor manufacturing will be extreme ultraviolet lithography. This technology will have a dramatic reduction in wavelength to near 13 nm to provide a decrease in feature sizes for printing, but there are still some hurdles to be overcome before this technology will be implemented by semiconductor manufacturers. Some of those hurdles relate to the multilayer reflective surfaces used for the optics and the mask. Denbeaux’s research focuses on high-resolution optical techniques to help gain a fundamental understanding of the printability of defects and patterns on masks for extreme ultraviolet lithography. This is done by using a microscope with 13 nm wavelength illumination to accurately “see” with high resolution what will actually be printed.

Denbeaux’s research on magnetic materials focuses on nanometer-scale magnetism and magnetic recording. The magnetic storage density on commercial hard disk drives has been dropping by nearly a factor of two each year. This has led to magnetic features on the magnetic media approaching the grain size in the magnetic layer. Denbeaux’s research is to study the interactions between the grains and the magnetic properties. The magnetic studies are done using an x-ray microscope and a contrast mechanism known as x-ray magnetic circular dichroism. This technique provides image resolution below 20 nm coupled with the ability to apply magnetic fields during imaging and the ability to directly determine the magnetization within each layer of a multilayer material.

Eric Eisenbraun Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Nanoscience

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Professor Eisenbraun’s research groups focus in several primary areas. The first is researching new materials and processes for use in CMOS transistor gate stacks. This involves developing high performance high-k dielectric materials as well as metallic gate electrode materials.

The second area is advanced interconnects. This includes developing refractory metal-based barrier/adhesion layers such as TiSiN and HfN for copper metallization, and researching how these layers can be integrated with cutting edge porous low-k dielectric interlayer dielectric materials. The third area involves the development processes for the growth of refractory metal-based materials such as TaN and SiCN for use as corrosion resistant and wear-resistant coatings. These have a broad range of particular applications. The fourth area is researching very novel materials for very advanced interconnect and device applications. This includes working jointly with other researchers to develop bioengineered protein-based molecular systems for use as nanoscale interconnect and device applications.

Ross Goodman, J.D.

Attorney and Assistant Vice President for Policy and Regulatory Affairs

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As Associate Vice President for Business Development and Economic Outreach, Mr. Goodman’s responsibilities include: strategy and execution of developing new consortial activity, including requisite economic outreach; cultivation and management of relationships with scores of companies, investors and government agencies and provide support by preparing proposals for funding to support new and ongoing public-private partnerships and other initiatives; coordinate and synthesize internal and external resources across numerous disciplines for successful results; draft memoranda of understanding and letters of intent in support of new industrial and governmental relationships; prepare economic development reports for CNSE’s impact on companies within New York State.

Selected Achievements

Developed and coordinated strategic consortia, center, and program activities that have resulted in more than $500 million of public and private investments through industry, university and government partnerships in diverse technology areas that include: semiconductor, photovoltaic, power electronics and silicon photonics.

Joseph Piccirillo

Assistant Vice President for Module Engineering

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As CNSE Process Development Engineering Manager, Mr. Piccirillo is responsible for providing process baseline and advanced technology development management necessary to support a diverse customer base portfolio. His development team contains the full complement of process capability, equipment knowledge and industry experience to provide diverse solutions in technology areas critical to the semiconductor industry. The process development team maintains collaboration with key development partners – representing chip manufacturers, equipment suppliers, materials suppliers and many others – to advance CNSE’s core technologies. As Engineering Manager, Joe works closely with the CNSE Integration and Operations teams to provide and improve FEOL, BEOL, MIM capacitor, FinFET, Nanowire and other module element offerings at the 32/22nm technology nodes.

Robert Geer, Ph.D.

Professor of Nanoscale Science

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A major focus for Professor Geer’s research group is in the area of nanometrology: developing novel processes to quantitatively measure fundamental properties of nanoscale structures and devices. For example, ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) and heterodyne force microscopy (HFM) have been used to carry out near-field nanomechanical imaging for carbon nanotubes, nanobelts and nanowires and map nanoscale variations in mechanical modulus in a variety of nanoelectronic test structures. These approaches utilize dynamic interactions of commercial and custom-fabricated microcantilevers with surface structures of interest.

Complemented by nanoscale structural and electrical characterization techniques, the nanomechanical metrology development activities are opening new areas of quantitative mechanical analysis of nanomaterials. Strongly complementing these efforts are recent investigations into near-field scanning optical spectroscopy for strain metrology of nanoelectronic devices. This research utilizes surface plasmon resonances of illuminated, metallized nano-tip structures to produce a nanoscale evanescent optical probe capable of generating optical excitation (fluorescence, Raman scattering) from a nanoscale region of a sample of interest. This approach is currently being used to investigate strain in Si-based structures.

A second area of interest concerns investigations of self-assembling, DNA-based molecular wires and devices for next generation integrated circuits. This research focuses on manipulating the self-assembly of beta-sheet proteins to form nanoscale conductive structures suitable for molecular electronic applications. Dip-pen nanolithography is currently being applied to these materials to controllably deposit test structures suitable for electrical and structural characterization for prototypical molecular-electronic device architectures.

Lastly, Professor Geer’s group is very active in nanomechanical processing for planarization in IC fabrication, so-called chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP). New CMP protocol development is undertaken with commercial CMP materials suppliers to support standard and novel planarization processing for a variety of CNSE nanoelectronics programs including 3D electronics. Professor Geer’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, the Office of Naval Research, the New York State Office of Academic Research and Technology, the Dow Chemical Company, the Dow-Corning Corporation, W. L. Gore, Inc., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Raytheon Vision Systems, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation (MARCO).

Pilar Sosa Idelchik, MD.

AMP Project Manager

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Pilar earned her MD from Universidad del Valle de México, campus Querétaro.

Pilar joined the Brenner team in August 2014, during her final year of medical training. Her research focuses on nanotechnology in medicine and healthcare, assessing occupational exposure and nanotoxicology of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) used in the semiconductor industry. Her focus is on the implementation of newer, faster and less expensive methods, such as hyperspectral imaging, to assess occupational exposure to ENMs that could have health related effects, in an effort to improve preventive medicine in the nanotechnology industry. Pilar is also an active participant in educational outreach events that focus on the applications of nanotechnology in modern medicine.

Patrizia Burinska

Advanced Manufacturing Workforce and Data Platform Coordinator

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