Robert Geer

Robert Geer

Ph.D.
Robert Geer
Professor of Nanoscale Science

Contact

Phone Number:
518-956-7003
Office Address:
NFE
4102
Location
Albany
Faculty/Staff
Faculty
Departments
Nanoscience
College
College of Nanoscale Sciences


Watch Professor Geer's "Inside CNSE" video interview about a chemical mechanical planarization tool.

Listen to Professor Geer's interview on SCIENCE AND SOCIETY.

Read Professor Geer's Nanotechnology Now Web site article: Nano-optics: Shining a new ‘light' on strained silicon.

Read Professor Geer's Nanotechnology Now Web site article: Post-CMOS Nanoelectronics: Primetime for nanotechnology solutions.

Degrees

  • Ph.D. Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, University of Minnesota (1991)
  • B.S. Physics, Miami University (1986)

Awards

  • National Research Council Research Associate (1992-1995)
  • IBM Graduate Fellowship (1990-1991)

Areas of Research

  • Nanomechanical and nano-optical metrology
  • Planarization processing for IC fabrication
  • Molecular self-assembly
  • Novel approaches of scanning probe microscopy

Description of Research

A major focus for Professor Geer's research group is in the area of nanometrology: developing novel processes to quantitatively measure fundamental properties of nanoscale structures and devices. For example, ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) and heterodyne force microscopy (HFM) have been used to carry out near-field nanomechanical imaging for carbon nanotubes, nanobelts and nanowires and map nanoscale variations in mechanical modulus in a variety of nanoelectronic test structures. These approaches utilize dynamic interactions of commercial and custom-fabricated microcantilevers with surface structures of interest.

Complemented by nanoscale structural and electrical characterization techniques, the nanomechanical metrology development activities are opening new areas of quantitative mechanical analysis of nanomaterials. Strongly complementing these efforts are recent investigations into near-field scanning optical spectroscopy for strain metrology of nanoelectronic devices. This research utilizes surface plasmon resonances of illuminated, metallized nano-tip structures to produce a nanoscale evanescent optical probe capable of generating optical excitation (fluorescence, Raman scattering) from a nanoscale region of a sample of interest. This approach is currently being used to investigate strain in Si-based structures.

A second area of interest concerns investigations of self-assembling, DNA-based molecular wires and devices for next generation integrated circuits. This research focuses on manipulating the self-assembly of beta-sheet proteins to form nanoscale conductive structures suitable for molecular electronic applications. Dip-pen nanolithography is currently being applied to these materials to controllably deposit test structures suitable for electrical and structural characterization for prototypical molecular-electronic device architectures.

Lastly, Professor Geer's group is very active in nanomechanical processing for planarization in IC fabrication, so-called chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP). New CMP protocol development is undertaken with commercial CMP materials suppliers to support standard and novel planarization processing for a variety of CNSE nanoelectronics programs including 3D electronics.

Professor Geer's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, the Office of Naval Research, the New York State Office of Academic Research and Technology, the Dow Chemical Company, the Dow-Corning Corporation, W. L. Gore, Inc., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Raytheon Vision Systems, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation (MARCO).

Research Experience

  • Growth and characterization of thin and ultra-thin liquid-crystal/polymer films and chemisorbed self-assembled monolayers on inorganic surfaces. Focus on structural, optical, ferro/pyro-electrical, and thermal/critical properties. Applications include IR sensing, organic electro-optic transducers and modulators, and liquid-crystal displays.
  • X-ray reflectance/diffraction characterization of multi-layered and interfacial structures.
  • Electro-optic and dielectric characterization of thin film and bulk properties.

Selected Research Achievements

  • Growth of functional pyro-electric liquid-crystals in ultra-thin film form for organic IR sensors.
  • Spin-on techniques for self-assembling optically active polymers for use in novel waveguiding architectures.
  • Solvent-based deposition of Au/polymer multilayers for optoelectronic applications.

Publications & Presentations

Book Chapters

R. E. Geer
Nanomechanics of Nanomaterials
Encyclopeadia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
, ed. H. S. Nalwa, 
(American Scientific Publishers, NY, 2004)

S. Sankaran and R. E. Geer
Morphological Investigations of Low-k Polymer/Diffusion Barrier Interfaces for IC Metallization
Metallization of Polymers II, ed. Edward Sacher 
(Kluwer Academic Press/Plenum Publishers, NY), 2002

Refereed Articles

L. Muthuswami and R. E. Geer
Nanomechanical defect imaging in pre-metal dielectrics for integrated circuit fabrication
Appl. Phys. Lett., 84, 5082-4 (2004)

Alain E. Kaloyeros, Eric T. Eisenbraun, John Welch, and Robert E. Geer
Molecular Interconnects. Exploiting Nanotechnology For Terahertz Interconnects
Semiconductor International, 26, 56 (2003)

Huimin Xie, Biao Li, Robert Geer, Bai Xu, James Castracane
Focused Ion Beam Moiré Method
Optics and Lasers in Engineering, 40, 163 (2003)

Higashiya, Seiichiro; Ngo, Silvana C.; Bousman, Kenneth S.; Jin, Xiaolin; Welch, John T.; Cunningham, Richard P.; Eisenbraun, Eric T.; Geer, Robert E.; Kaloyeros, Alain E.
Efficient biological construction of repetitive polypeptides for interconnect applications by block copolymerization
Polymer Preprints (American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry) (2003), 44(1), 679-680

Biao Li, Huimin Xie, Bai Xu, Robert Geer, James Castracane
Investigation of strain in microstructures by a novel Moiré method
Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems 11, 829, (2002)

G. S. Shekhawat, O.V. Kolosov, G.A.D. Briggs, and R. E. Geer
Nanometer-scale mechanical imaging of aluminum damascene interconnect structures in a low-dielectric-constant polymer
Journal of Applied Physics, 91, 4549-4554 (2002)

R. E. Geer, D. Wu, and D.A. Wollman
High-resolution energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic analysis of ultrathin ion diffusion barriers using microcalorimetry
Journal of Applied Physics, 91, 1099-1104 (2002)

Heidi Gundlach, Robert Talevi, Zailong Bian, Guillermo Nuesca, Sujatha Sankaran, Kaushik Kumar, Alain E. Kaloyeros, Robert E. Geer, Joyce Liu, John Hummel, Edward O. Shaffer and Steven J. Martin
Integration of CVD Al Interconnects in Benzocyclobutene Low Dielectric Constant Polymer: A Feasibility Study
Journal of Vaccuum Science and Technology B18, 2463-2471 (2000)

G. S. Shekhawat, O.V. Kolosov, G.A.D. Briggs, E. O. Shaffer, S. Martin, and R. E. Geer
Nanoscale Elastic Imaging of Aluminum/Low-k Dielectric Interconnect Structures
Accepted for Publication in the Proceedings of the Material Research Society, Symposium D, April 2000

Robert Talevi, Heidi Gundlach, Zailong Bian, Andreas Knorr, Martin van Gestel, Sumant Padiyar, Alain E. Kaloyeros, and Robert E. Geer
Material and Process Studies in the Integration of Plasma-Promoted Chemical Vapor Deposition (PPCVD) of Aluminum with Benzocyclobutene Low Dielectric Constant Polymer
Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology, B18, 252-257 (2000)

E. O. Shaffer, M. E. Mills, D. Hawn, M. Van Gestel, A. Knorr, H. Gundlach, K. Kumar, A. E. Kaloyeros, and R. E. Geer
Adhesion energy measurements of multilayer low-k dielectric materials for ULSI applications
(Refereed Proceedings) Material Research Symposium Proceedings, 511, 133-138 (1998)

R.E. Geer, J.Y. Yang and C. W. Frank
Binary Self-assembled Monolayers for Surface Control of Liquid-crystal Orientation: An X-ray Study
(Refereed Proceedings) Material Research Symposium Proceedings, 501, 173-178 (1998)

R. E. Geer, S. J. Singer, J. V. Selinger, B. R. Ratna, and R. Shashidhar
Electric-Field Induced Layer Buckling In Chiral Smectic-A Liquid Crystals
Physical Review E. 57, 3059-3062, 1998

S. Sprunt, R.E. Geer, G. P. Crawford, J. Naciri, B. R. Ratna, R. Shashidhar
Large second-order optical nonlinearity in a molecular crystal formed from a chiral smectic liquid crystal
Journal of Applied Physics, 83, no.5, p. 2392-2398, 1998

N. A. Kotov, T. Haraszti, L. Turi, G. Zavala, R. E. Geer, I. Dekany, and J. H. Fendler
Mechanism of and defect formation in the self-assembly of polymeric polycation-montmorillonite ultrathin films
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 119, 6821-6832 (1997)

J. Schmitt, G. Decher, W. J. Dressick, S. L. Brandow, R. E. Geer, R. Shashidhar, and Jeffrey M. Calvert
Metal Nanoparticle/Polymer Superlattice Films: Fabrication And Control Of Layer Structure
Advanced Materials 9, 61-65 (1997)

R. E. Geer, J. Naciri, B. R. Ratna and R. Shashidhar
Optimization of Pyroelectricity in Liquid-Crystalline Terpolymers
Applied Physics Letters 69, 1405-1407 (1996)

J. R. Lindle, S. R. Flom, F. J. Bartoli, A. T. Harter, R. E. Geer, B. R. Ratna, and R. Shashidhar
Spatially resolved characterization of the electroclinic effect in chiral smectic-A liquid crystals
(Refereed Proceedings) Material Research Symposium Proceedings 425, 191-196, (1996)

D. C. Turner, B. M. Peek, T. Wertz, D.A. Archibald, R. E. Geer and B. P. Gaber
Enzymatic Modification of a Chemisorbed Lipid Monolayer
Langmuir 12, 4411-4416 (1996)

R. E. Geer, A. F. Thibodeaux, R. S. Duran and R. Shashidhar
Interfacial Structure and Correlations in Finite-Sized Liquid-Crystalline Polymer Films
Europhysics Letters 32, 419-424 (1995)

R. E. Geer, S. B. Qadri, A. F. Thibodeaux, R. S. Duran and R. S. Shashidhar
Off-Specular X-ray Scattering in Langmuir-Blodgett Multilayers of a Liquid-Crystalline Polymer
Physical Review E, 52, 671-680 (1995)

R. E. Geer,and R. Shashidhar
Crossover from Static to Thermal Undulations in Finite-Sized Liquid-Crystalline Polymer Films
Physical Review E, Rapid Communications, 51, 8-11 (1995)

G. P. Crawford, R. E. Geer, J. Naciri, R. Shashidhar and B. R. Ratna
Influence of the Electric Field on the Quasibookshelf Stripe Deformation in an Electroclinic Liquid-Crystal
Applied Physics Letters, 65, 2937-2939 (1994)

R. E. Geer, S. B. Qadri, R. Shashidhar, A. F. Thibodeaux, and R. S. Duran
X-ray Investigations of Langmuir-Blodgett Multilayer Films of Side-Chain Liquid-Crystal Polymers
Liquid Crystal 16, 869-875 (1994)

R. E. Geer, D. A. Stenger, M. S. Chen, J. M. Calvert, R. Shashidhar, Y. H. Jeong, and P. S. Pershan
X-ray and Ellipsometric Studies of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Fluorinated Chlorosilanes
Langmuir 10, 1171-1176 (1994)

R. E. Geer, S. B. Qadri and R. Shashidhar
X-ray Specular Reflection Studies on Multilayer Films of a Ferroelectric Liquid-Crystalline Polymer
Ferroelectrics 149, 147-158 (1993)

R. E. Geer, R. Shashidhar, A. F. Thibodeaux, and R. S. Duran
X-ray Diffuse Scattering Study of Static Undulations in Multilayer Films of a Liquid-Crystalline Polymer
Physical Review Letters 71, 1391-1394 (1993)

R. E. Geer, T. Stoebe and C. C. Huang
Effect of Free Surfaces on the Smectic-A-Hexatic-B-Crystal-E Transitions in Thin, Free-Standing Films of the Liquid-Crystal Compound 75OBC
Physical Review E 48, 408-427 (1993)

C. C. Huang, I. M. Jiang, A. J. Jin, T. Stoebe, R. E. Geer and C. Dasgupta
Heat Capacity Anomalies from 4-Layer Liquid-Crystal Films: Experimental Results and Simulation Results
Physical Review E 47, 2938-2941 (1993)

R. Geer, T. Stoebe, C. C. Huang, and J. W. Goodby
Effect of crystal-E order on the interior smectic-A-hexatic-B transition
Physical Review A, 46, 6162-6165

T. Stoebe, R. E. Geer, C. C. Huang, and J. W. Goodby
Layer-by-Layer Surface Ordering near a Continuous Transition in Free-Standing Liquid-Crystal Films
Physical Review Letters 69, 2090-2093 (1992)

R. E. Geer, T. Stoebe, C. C. Huang, M. Cheng, J. T. Ho, and S. W. Hui
Liquid-Hexatic Transitions in Single Molecular Layers of Liquid-Crystal Films
Nature 355, 152-154 (1992)

R. E. Geer, T. Stoebe, and C. C. Huang
Thickness Dependence of the Interior Smectic-A-Hexatic-B Transition Temperatures in Liquid-Crystal Films
Physical Review B 45, 13055-13056 (1992)

C. C. Huang, R. E. Geer and T. Stoebe
Heat Capacity Investigations of Extremely Thin Liquid-Crystal Free-Standing Films
Molecular Crystal Liquid Crystal 212, 9-20 (1992)

R. E. Geer, T. Stoebe, C. C. Huang, R. Pindak, G. Srajer, J. W. Goodby, M. Cheng, J. T. Ho, and S. W. Hui
Hexatic and Crystal Phase Transitions in Thin Free-Standing Liquid-Crystal Films
Physical Review Letters 66, 1322-1325 (1991)

R. E. Geer, T. Stoebe, T. Pitchford and C. C. Huang
An AC Calorimeter for Measuring Heat Capacity of Free-Standing Liquid-Crystal Films
Review of Scientific Instruments 62, 415-421 (1991)

M. Cheng, J. T. Ho, S. W. Hui, J. W. Goodby, R. Pindak, R. E. Geer and C. C. Huang
Orientational Epitaxy of a Crystal-E Overlayer on a Hexatic-B Substrate
Physical Review A Rapid Communications 44, 7891-7893 (1991)

R. E. Geer, T. Stoebe, C. C. Huang, R. Pindak and J. W. Goodby
Thermal Property Evolution Towards Effectively Two-Dimensional Substrate-Free Systems
(Refereed Proceedings) Material Research Symposium Proceedings 177, 299-381 (1990)

R. E. Geer, C. C. Huang, R. Pindak and J. W. Goodby
Heat-Capacity Anomaly from Four-Layer Liquid-Crystal Films
Physical Review Letters 63, 540-543 (1989)

R. E. Geer, H. Y. Liu, E. K. Hobbie, G. Nounesis, C. C. Huang and J. W. Goodby
Critical Slowing Down near the Smectic-A-Hexatic-B Transition
Journal de Physique France 50, 3167-3172 (1989)

G. Nounesis, R. E. Geer, H. Y. Liu, C. C. Huang and J. W. Goodby
Effect of Hexatic-B Temperature Range on the Nature of the Smectic-A-Hexatic-B Phase Transition
Physical Review A Rapid Communications 40, 5468-5471 (1989)

C.C. Huang, G. Nounesis, R.E. Geer, J. W. Goodby, and D. Guillon
Calorimetric study of the smectic-A-hexatic-B phase transition of a liquid-crystal binary phase compound
Physical Review A, 39, 3741-3733 (1989)

Conference Proceedings

Muthuswami, L.; Zheng, Y.; Geer, R.E.
Nondestructive nanomechanical imaging: Cross-sectional ultrasonic force microscopy of integrated circuit test structures
Proceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 5045, 54 (2003)

Huimin Xie; Biao Li; Geer, R.; Bai Xu; Castracane, J.; Fulong Dai
Micro-deformation measurement using focused ion beam moire method
Proceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 5058, 407 (2003)

R. E. Geer and G. S. Shekhawat
Nanomechanical Imaging of Nanomaterials and Nanoscale Structures
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Composites Engineering, 299 (2002)

L. Muthuswami, E. S. Moyer, Z. Li, and R. E. Geer
Cross-Sectional Elastic Imaging and Defect Detection in Low-k Spin-On Dielectrics
Proceedings of the International Interconnect Technology Conference, 239 (2002)

G. S. Shekhawat, H. Xie, Y. Zheng, and R. E. Geer
Near-Field Acoustic Imaging: A Novel Method for Nondestructive Mechanical Imaging of IC Interconnect Structures
Mater. Res. Soc. Proceedings 716, 519 (2002)

L. Muthuswami, E.S. Moyer, Z. Li, E. Thompson, Kathleen Dunn, A. Victoria, G.S. Shekhawat and R.E. Geer
Cross-sectional elastic imaging and mechanical defect detection in low-k dielectrics in integrated circuit interconnect test structures
Mater. Res. Soc. Proceedings 716, 557 (2002)

Rana, N.; Bousman, K.; Shekhawat, G.S.; Sirinakis, G.; Heuchling, F.; Welch, J.; Eisenbraun, E.T.; Geer, R.E.; Kaloyeros, A.E.
Functional Nanostructured Materials through Multiscale Assembly and Novel Patterning Techniques
Mater. Res. Soc. Symposium Proceedings 728, 45 (2002)

Dunn, K.A.; Dovidenko, K.; Topol, A.W.; Shekhawat, G.S.; Geer, R.E.; Kaloyeros A.E.
MOCVD ZnS:Mn films: crystal structure & defect microstructure as a function of the growth parameters
Mater. Res. Soc. Proceedings 695, 41 (2002)

H. Geisler, M. Hoehn, M. Rambach, M. A. Meyer, E. Zschech, M. Mertig, A. Romanov, M. Bobeth, W. Pompe, R. E. Geer
Elastic mapping of sub-surface defects by ultrasonic force microscopy: limits of depth sensitivity
Proceedings of the XIIth International Conference on Microscopy of Semiconducting Materials (2001)

R. E. Geer, D. Wu, and D.A. Wollman, D.A.
High-resolution EDS analysis of ultra-thin TaSiN diffusion barriers for Cu metallization using microcalorimetry
Proceedings of the IEEE 2001 International Interconnect Technology Conference (Cat. No.01EX461) p. 192 (2001)

Z. Bian, E. O. Shaffer, and R. E. Geer
Development of TaSiN Diffusion Barriers for Cu/SiLK Metallization Schemes
Proceedings of the IEEE 2001 International Interconnect Technology Conference (IEEE Cat. 01EX461) p. 204 (2001)

William Harris, Laurie Le Tarte, Hassaram Bakhru, Walter Gibson, Di Wu, R. E. Geer, and D. A. Wollman
Energy dispersive x-ray analysis using a microcalorimeter detector
AIP Conference Proceedings: The International Conference on Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Technology, p. 449 (2001)

G. S. Shekhawat, G. A. D. Briggs, O. V. Kolosov, and R. E. Geer
Nanoscale elastic imaging and mechanical modulus measurements of aluminum/low-k dielectric interconnect structures
AIP Conference Proceedings: The International Conference on Characterization and Metrology for ULSI Technology, p. 412 (2001)

Padiyar, S.; Li Chen; Efstadhiadis, H.; Geer, R.E.
Remote vapor phase processing of organic semiconductors for optoelectronic applications
Proceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Organic Photonic Materials and Devices III, Vol. 4279, 117 (2001)

B. Xu, J. Castracane, R. E. Geer, Y. Yao, and B. Altemus
Process development and fabrication of application-specific microvalves
Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology VI, Ed. J. Karam, J. Yasaitis, 4174 (2000) p.299 (2000)

S. Sankaran, W. Harris, G. Nuesca, E.O. Shaffer, S.J. Martin, and R. E. Geer
Development of TiSiN Diffusion Barriers for Cu/SiLK Metallization Schemes
Proceedings of the International Interconnect Technology Conference, 40-42, 2000

G. S. Shekhawat, O.V. Kolosov, G.A.D. Briggs, E. O. Shaffer, S. J. Martin, and R. E. Geer
Nanoscale Elastic Imaging: A New Metrology Tool for Low-k Dielectric Integration
Proceedings of the International Interconnect Technology Conference, 96-98, 2000

H. Gundlach, A. Knorr, S. Nijsten, K. Kumar, Z. Bian, R. Talevi, E. O. Shaffer, A. E. Kaloyeros, and R. E. Geer
Integration Study of Benzocyclobutene with CVD-Based Aluminum Metallization
Proceedings of the International Interconnect Technology Conference, 277-279, 1998

R. Talevi, S. Nijsten, H. Gundlach, A. Knorr, K. Kumar, Z. Bian, T. Rosenmayer, A. E. Kaloyeros, and R. E. Geer
Chemical Vapor Deposition and Physical Vapor Deposition of Metal Barrier Binary Stacks on Polytetrafluoroethylene Low-k Dielectric
Proceedings of the International Interconnect Technology Conference, 214-216, 1998

R. E. Geer, K. A. Crandall, S. B. Taylor, J. Naciri, and R. Shashidhar
Development of liquid-crystalline materials for IR sensing
Proceedings of SPIE, 3105, 105-111, 1997

 

 

 

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