Alan C. West

Principal Investigator

We are interested in a large number of problems that are often characterized as belonging to "electrochemical engineering" as well as the emerging field of microfludics. Applications in electrochemical engineering include electrochemical metallization processes, corrosion, fuel cells, batteries, and waste-treatment processes. Applications in the area of microfluidics include sensors and "labs on a chip." Research efforts are focused mainly on basic issues concerning the design and control of electrochemical systems. A particular application involves studies of both feature and wafer scale phenomena in the copper metallization process that has been introduced into the computer industry for advanced, on-chip interconnects.

Experimental and numerical methods for characterization of mass transfer and reaction mechanisms in electrochemical systems are of particular interest. We have simulated and analyzed a variety of practical metallization and dissolution processes and collaborate closely with researchers in the area of computational fluid dynamics. Our current focus is experimental analysis, utilizing AC-impedance spectroscopy, electrohydrodynamic impedance spectroscopy, and quartz microbalance techniques, in addition to more traditional electrochemical methods. We characterize deposit and surface structures using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and other methods.