I remember meeting Erwin several years ago through my Italian-Dutch circle of friends. As we tend to attend the same conferences, I have had the pleasure of attending several of his talks. Throughout the years he has expanded from strictly performing plasma research to becoming a pioneer in the field of atomic layer deposition (ALD). His experience spans from studies of the kinetics of the plasma gas phase to the development and commercialization of ALD grown materials for solar cell applications. However, one thing has not changed throughout the years: his enthusiasm and passion for research.
Recently, in November 2015, he was appointed Associate Editor of the very prestigious journal, the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A.
It is a great honor and pleasure to feature Dr. Kessels on The Science and Engineering Cafe as Scientist of the Week. His interview will be posted in a week from today, but here’s a preview of his background and professional experience.
Erwin Kessels is a full professor at the Department of Applied Physics of the Eindhoven University of Technology TU/e (The Netherlands). He is also the scientific director of the NanoLab@TU/e facilities which provides full-service and open-access clean room infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology. Erwin received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree (with highest honors) in Applied Physics from the TU/e in 1996 and 2000, respectively. In his doctoral thesis work, he addressed the plasma-surface interaction during the deposition of amorphous silicon thin films. This research was partly carried out at the University of California Santa Barbara. As a postdoc he was affiliated to the Colorado State University and Philipps University in Marburg (Germany) where he learned about surface science. In 2004/2005 he spent a six-month sabbatical leave at the University of California Berkeley. In 2007 the American Vacuum Society awarded him the Peter Mark Memorial Award for “pioneering work in the application and development of in situ plasma and surface diagnostics to achieve a molecular understanding of thin film growth”. In recognition of his research, he received a NWO Vici grant in 2010 to set up a large research program on “nanomanufacturing” in order to bridge the gap between nanoscience/nanotechnology and industrial application. His research interests cover the field of synthesis of ultrathin films and nanostructures using methods such as (plasma-enhanced) chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) for a wide variety of applications, mostly within the areas of nanoelectronics and photovoltaics. Within the field of ALD, he has contributed most prominently by his work on plasma-assisted ALD and his research related to ALD for photovoltaics. Erwin chaired the International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition in 2008 and he has published over 200 papers and holds 2 patents. Erwin likes to travel and to visit museums, in particularly those with modern art, and a large part of his free time he spends on swimming, running and cycling.