Dr. Robert O’Connor joined the academic staff at Dublin City University in the School of Physical Sciences in 2012. Prior to this he worked at Intel Ireland as a process engineer, IMEC, Belgium on electrical characterization of high-k dielectric materials. He has been awarded several research grants including an SFI TIDA award that funded research on the development of novel materials for solar water splitting to yield hydrogen fuel. This grant has led to follow on funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland and he is currently leading a 4-year project in this area.
Robert’s current research interests lie in interface chemistry and thin film characterisation, with a particular focus on semiconductor manufacturing processes and energy harvesting technologies. His group primarily uses x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in conjunction with thin film deposition techniques in order to characterise surface reactions between a wide range of metals, oxides, semiconductor, and organic materials. The group also makes regular trips to European and US based synchrotron facilities. He works across a range of projects including photo-electrochemical water splitting and area-selective deposition. He is also the designated tool owner for a new state-of-the-art integrated atomic layer deposition – x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy tool which DCU has recently acquired.
He works within the AMBER centre on a SPOKE project which is focused on the development of block-copolymers for area selective deposition, and with researchers at IMEC, Belgium on the characterisation of self-assembled monolayers also with a focus on their potential in the area selective deposition field.
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