Robert M. Wallace received his B.S. in Physics and Applied Mathematics in 1982 at the University of Pittsburgh where he also earned his M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1988) in Physics, under Prof. W. J. Choyke. From 1988 to 1990, he was a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry at the Pittsburgh Surface Science Center under Prof. John T. Yates, Jr.
In 1990, he joined Texas Instruments Central Research Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff (MTS) in the Materials Characterization Branch of the Materials Science Laboratory, and was elected as a Senior MTS in 1996. Dr. Wallace was then appointed in 1997 to manage the Advanced Technology branch in TI’s R&D which focused on advanced device concepts and the associated material integration issues. In May 1999, he joined the faculty at the University of North Texas as a Professor of Materials Science and director of the Laboratory for Electronic Materials and Devices. In 2003, he joined the faculty in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics. He is a founding member of the Materials Science and Engineering program at UTD, served as an interim head for the program. Dr. Wallace also has appointments in the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics.
Research in the Wallace group focuses on the study of surfaces and interfaces, particularly with applications to electronic materials and the resultant devices fabricated from them. Current interests include materials systems leading to concepts that may enable further scaling of integrated circuit technology and beyond CMOS-based logic. These include the study of the surfaces and interfaces of compound semiconductor systems including arsenides (e.g. InGaAs), nitrides (e.g. GaN), phosphides (e.g. InP), as well as antimondies (e.g. GaSb), and most recent 2D materials such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides. He has authored or co-authored over 300 publications in peer reviewed journals and proceedings, and is an inventor on 45 US and 27 international patents/applications.
Dr. Wallace is also a co-inventor of the Hf-based high-k gate dielectric materials now used by the semiconductor industry for advanced high performance logic in microprocessors. He was named Fellow of the AVS in 2007 and an IEEE Fellow in 2009 for his contributions to the field of high-k dielectrics in integrated circuits.
The size reduction and economics of integrated circuits, captured since the 1960’s in the form of Moore’s Law, is under serious challenge. Current industry roadmaps reveal that physical limitations include reaching aspects associated with truly atomic dimensions, and the cost of manufacturing is reaching such values that only 2 or 3 companies can afford leading edge capabilities. To address the physical limitations, 2D materials such as graphene, phosphorene, h-BN, and transition metal dichalcogenides have captured the imagination of the electronics community for advanced applications in nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. The ideal materials have much appeal, but the reality of defects and impurities will surely compromise the intrinsic performance of such device technologies. This talk will present a sample of our recent work examining defects, impurities, and passivation, as well as the potential device performance implications.