- Plasma processing
- Supercritical, subcritical, and atmospheric pressure fluids for surface cleaning
- Surface modification to generate superhydrophobic, hydrophobic, and oleophobic properties on paper, polymers, and metals
Dr. Hess’s research interests are in thin film science and technology, surface and interface modification and characterization, microelectronics processing and electronic materials. His group focuses on the establishment of fundamental structure-property relationships and their connection to chemical process sequences used in the fabrication of novel films, electronic materials, devices, and nanostructures. Control of the surface properties of materials such as dielectrics, semiconductors, metals, and paper or paper board by film deposition or surface modification allows the design of such surfaces for a variety of applications in microelectronics, packaging, sensors, microfluidics, and separation processes.
The Hess group often uses glow discharges or plasmas for the deposition, etching, and polymerization of thin films or for the modification of surfaces. For example, plasma-deposited fluorocarbon films are being used to generate superhydrophobic paper and cellulose surfaces for self-cleaning and microfluidic applications. The design of novel, low temperature plasma etching processes for the nano-scale patterning of copper films for advanced integrated circuit fabrication is also of interest. Surface cleaning and modification for control of material properties using a variety of liquid and vapor phase approaches are being investigated.
Our group also uses liquids at atmospheric and elevated pressures for environmentally benign surface cleaning and modification. In particular, we are designing solution-based methods for the modification of cellulose/paper, polymers, and metals to control liquid droplet wetting, adhesion, and absorption. These studies are applied to integrated circuit processing sequences, packaging, and water/oil separation.
Dr. Hess is the Thomas C. DeLoach, Jr. Chair and former director of Georgia Tech’s NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) for New Electronic Materials.