Edmund G. Seebauer
James W. Westwater Professor
Head, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Dr. Edmund G. Seebauer received his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1983 and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1986. He then worked as in a postdoctorate position at Sandia National Laboratories in 1987. In 1988, he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
Engineering of Semiconductor Defects for Nanoscale Devices
Research in this group focuses on the control of defect behavior in semiconducting materials to make nanoscale devices of interest in energy, environmental, and microelectronics applications. Despite the harmful sound of “defect,” such species can actually be beneficial for semiconductor properties. For example, controlled substitution of dopant atoms for host atoms in a semiconductor (as “substitutional defects”) is absolutely essential for the operation of microelectronic devices. Our work aims primarily at controlling the behavior of substitutional, interstitial, and vacancy defects within semiconducting solids and on their surfaces. Indeed, “defect engineering” seeks to control the primary kinds of defects in semiconductors as well as their concentrations, spatial distribution, and mobility. We have discovered two new physical mechanisms to accomplish this control that work particularly well at the nanoscale. The mechanisms include saturation of dangling bonds at a surface and photostimulation. Our work employs both experiments and computations to develop this fundamental science base while simultaneously applying the findings to practical applications.
The principles of defect engineering operate in semiconductors such as metal oxides used in catalysts for energy applications. In fuel cells, for example, metals supported on semiconducting oxides such as Pt/Co2O3 and Pd/V2O5 are known to be among the best catalysts for cathodes and anodes, respectively. Noble metals on semiconducting oxides can be used for generating hydrogen from water using sunlight. Active metal particles are often very small – sometimes only a few nanometers in diameter. The activity can be strongly influenced by defects near the semiconductor surface. Thus, we view these systems as nanoscale semiconductor devices whose behavior can be tailored through control of the defects. This approach provides a new way to create novel catalyst structures with improved activity and selectivity. Defect engineering also finds use in environmental catalysis applications. For example, vanadia (V2O5) supported on titania (TiO2) is the best material for selective catalytic reduction of dangerous nitric oxides to nitrogen by ammonia in combustion exhausts. Titania has many existing and potential uses in water cleanup by photocatalysis, as well as in self-cleaning coatings. One factor that limits the efficiency of such catalysts is unwanted defects that destroy the useful photoelectrons. Defect engineering to remove the unwanted defects would permit higher efficiency.
We are also applying our approaches to the formation of pn junctions for advanced transistors in microelectronics. The junctions are created by ion implantation of dopants and subsequent heating. Heating gives the atoms in the structure enough energy to move around so that damage left over from implantation can be healed, and so that more dopant atoms can move into useful sites. The annealing is done with very powerful lamps. However, the annealing also makes the dopant sink deeper and adversely affect device performance. Since nearby surfaces as well as photostimulation are involved, we are employing our two methods of defect engineering to devise new ways to solve this problem.
M. Y. L. Jung, Charlotte T. M. Kwok, Richard D. Braatz, and E. G. Seebauer, "Interstitial Charge States in Boron-Implanted Silicon," J. Appl. Phys., 97 (2005) 063520(1-5).
Kapil Dev and E. G. Seebauer, "Band Bending at the Si(100)-Si3N4 Interface Studied by Photoreflectance Spectroscopy," Surface Science, 583 (2005) 80-87.
Z. Wang and E. G. Seebauer, "Temperature-Dependent Energy Thresholds for Ion-Stimulated Defect Formation in Solids," Phys. Rev. Lett., 95 (2005) 015501(1-4).
Charlotte T. M. Kwok, Kapil Dev, Richard D. Braatz, and E. G. Seebauer, "A Method for Quantifying Annihilation Rates of Bulk Point Defects at Surfaces," J. Appl. Phys., 98 (2005) 013524.
Zheng Ni, E. G. Seebauer, Richard I. Masel, "Effects of Microreactor Geometry On Conversion:Differences Between Posted Reactors and Channel Reactors," Ind. Eng. Chem. Research, 44 (2005) 4267-4271.
Edmund G. Seebauer and Charlotte T. M. Kwok, "Microelectronics Fabrication," in Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing, ed. Sunggyu Lee (Taylor & Francis, 2005).
Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan, Michael Y. L. Jung, Richard D. Braatz and E. G. Seebauer "Measurement of Defect-Mediated Diffusion: The Case of Silicon Self-Diffusion," AIChE J., 52 (2006) 366-370.
Vaidyanathan Subramanian, Zheng Ni, E. G. Seebauer and Richard I. Masel, "High Temperature Titania-Alumina Supports," Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 45 (2006) 3815-3820.
Edmund G. Seebauer, Kapil Dev, Michael Y. L. Jung, Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan, Charlotte T. M. Kwok, Joel W. Ager, Eugene E. Haller, and Richard D. Braatz, "Controlling Defect Concentrations in Bulk Semiconductors through Surface Adsorption," Phys. Rev. Lett., 97 (2006) 055053(1-4).
Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan, Houda Graoui, Majeed Foad and Edmund G. Seebauer, "Influence of Surface Adsorption in Improving Ultrashallow Junction Formation," Appl. Phys. Lett. 89 (2006) 152114.
Xiao Zhang, Min Yu, Charlotte T. M. Kwok, Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan, Richard D. Braatz, and Edmund G. Seebauer, "Precursor Mechanism for Interaction of Bulk Interstitial Atoms with Si(100)" Phys. Rev. B, 74 (2006) 235301.
R. D. Braatz, R. C. Alkire, E. G. Seebauer, E. Rusli, R. Gunawan, T. O. Drews, X. Li, and Y. He, "Perspectives on the Dynamics and Control of Multiscale Systems," J. Process Control, 16 (2006) 193-204.
Edmund G. Seebauer and Meredith C. Kratzer, "Charged Point Defects in Semiconductors," Materials Science & Engineering Reviews, 55 (2006) 57-149.
A. S. Dalton and E. G. Seebauer, "An Improved Theory for Temperature-Dependent Arrhenius Parameters in Mesoscale Surface Diffusion," Surface Sci., 601 (2007) 728-734.
Z. Wang and E. G. Seebauer, "Temperature-Dependent Energy Thresholds for Ion-Stimulated Defect Formation in Solids: Effects of Ion Mass and Substrate," Surface Sci., 601 (2007) 2453-2458.
Vaidyanathan Subramanian, Jieun Choi, E. G. Seebauer, and R. I. Masel, "TiO2-Al2O3 as a Support for Partial Oxidation of Propane," Catal. Lett., 113 (2007) 13-18.
S. H. Yeong, M. P. Srinivasan, B. Colombeau and Lap Chan, Ramam Akkipeddi, Charlotte T. M. Kwok, Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan, and Edmund G.Seebauer, "Defect Engineering by Surface Chemical State in Boron-Doped Pre-amorphized Silcon", J. Appl. Phys., 91 (2007) 102112.
C. T. M. Kwok, K. Dev, R. D. Braatz and E. G. Seebauer, "Parameter Sensitivity Analysis and Maximum A Posteriori Estimation of Energetics in Silicon Self-diffusion," Automatica, in press.
Vaidyanathan Subramanian, Nicolas Ndiege, Edmund G. Seebauer, Mark A.Shannon, Richard I. Masel, "Synthesis of Tantalum Pentoxide Films for High-Temperature Photonic Bandgap Applications," Thin Solid Films, corrected proofs available online 2007.
Ramakrishnan Vaidyanathan, Michael Y. L. Jung and Edmund G. Seebauer, "Mechanism and Energetics of Self-Interstitial Formation and Diffusion in Silicon," Phys. Rev. B, 75 (2007) 195209.
- Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation, 1988
- Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1994
- Inventor Recognition Award, Semiconductor Research Corporation, 1995
- Fellow, Study in a Second Discipline, University of Illinois, UC, 2000
- Fellow, American Vacuum Society, 2001
- Beckman Associate, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois, UC, 2004-2005
- Distinguished Lecturer, Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2004-2006
- James W. Westwater Professor, University of Illinois, UC, 2006-
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007
- Fellow, American Physical Society, 2007