Progress in understanding and optimizing materials processing in wet chemical environments requires the use of in situ measurements of the structure and dynamics of the metal-electrolyte interface under realistic conditions. These measurements can provide insight into the mechanisms of relevant atomic, molecular, and mesoscale film growth and dissolution processes.
This project has several thrust areas ranging from measurements and modeling of surfactant mediated growth to the investigation of both surface and thin film growth stress. Particular attention has been given to the role of electrolyte additives in the formation and performance of advanced nanoscale and mesoscale interconnects as used in state of the art microelectronic devices. Measurements are also underway that detail the use of underpotential deposition (upd) reactions to precisely control the composition and structure of 2-D and 3-D alloys. This is complemented by measurements of stress changes that accompany alloy formation as well as the inverse dealloying process. An integral part of the program is the development of mechanistic linkage between atomic and molecular phenomena and rational design of the desired nanostructures.