Advancing Material Science in Microelectronics through Atomic Layer Etching


  • Jadyn Worthington, Computer Science, University of Delaware

Faculty Mentor(s)

  • Robert Opila, , University of Delaware
  • Omar Talib, , University of Delaware



This research focuses on advanced microelectronics development and analysis using atomic layer etching (ALE) techniques, and other applications. The study explores ALE in optimizing fabrication and performance by achieving precise material removal at an atomic level. The research aims to overcome the limitations of conventional etching methods and unlock the full potential of solar energy conversion, leading to cheaper, lighter, and more efficient solar cells.

To investigate this, the study utilizes an angle-resolved photoemission python program integrated into the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) machine to characterize surface chemical composition and electronic states. 

Additionally, an inverse photoelectron spectrometer (IPES) vacuum system facilitates accurate measurements of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals. The combination of these sophisticated tools provides a comprehensive understanding of the electronic behavior of metallic and semiconductor materials.

The research endeavors to advance the field of microelectronics by harnessing the potential of ALE and angle-resolved photoemission techniques. Through cutting-edge instrumentation and computer programming, this study pushes the boundaries of microelectronics fabrication and performance optimization. The anticipated outcomes include the successful development of innovative microelectronics, paving the way for wider adoption in various industries, particularly in the solar energy industry. The resulting solar cells are expected to be not only more cost-effective but also lighter and more efficient in converting sunlight into electricity, contributing to the promotion of sustainable and renewable energy sources.