MSE Seminar: Returning the favor: ALD for catalysts, or catalytic reactions for ALD?

Friday, October 16, 2020
1:00 p.m.
via Zoom
Sherri Tatum

Speaker: Parag BanerjeeMSE Associate Professor, University of Central Florida, UMD MSE Alum ('11)


Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) enables precise surface engineering by exerting control over film structure and composition at the nanoscale. This idea has led to the use of ALD for developing efficient heterogenous catalyst materials. If ALD can design efficient catalysts, can the favor be returned i.e., can our understanding of catalyst reactions help us design better ALD chemistries?

This talk will probe these ideas with some recent work from our Group. Dr. Banerjee will highlight case studies where we use ALD to atomically engineer surfaces for i) CO2 photoreduction and ii) N2 electroreduction reactions. The emphasis will be on ALD’s unique ability to systematically modify a surface, thereby unraveling the reaction mechanisms. He will flip the story next and show how decades old work on homogenous catalysis in ruthenium complexes help us understand the deposition characteristics of a new ruthenium precursor molecule. The resulting “catalytically enhanced” ruthenium ALD process has one of the lowest reported deposition temperatures in literature and thus, is of special significance for use as ‘barrier layer’ in copper interconnect technology.

The key message of the talk is that ALD and catalysis science bear strong resemblances. Advancing new materials and process chemistries require increased synergy between the two.


Dr. Parag Banerjee joined the University of Central Florida, Orlando in Fall 2018 as Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Prior to this appointment, he was an Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Banerjee's current research focuses on two aspects of atomic layer deposition (ALD). First, he seeks to understand how ALD process chemistries work using in situ techniques. Second, he develops new materials via ALD that address issues of performance and reliability in energy and electronic devices. The understanding gained as a result of these efforts have led to development of high yield CO2 photoreduction and N2 electroreduction catalysts, improved reliability of photochromic displays and Si photovoltaics. Professor Banerjee has over 50 publications and 8 U.S. and international patents.

Professor Banerjee obtained his PhD in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Gary Rubloff at UMD, College Park. He was awarded the John and Maureen Hendrick’s Energy Fellowship. From 2000 to 2006, Professor Banerjee was an R&D process engineer at Micron Technology Inc, developing understanding of high-k dielectric reliability in DRAM transistors and capacitors.

Audience: Campus 

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