Episode 22 - The “Magic” of Materials Engineering

Rossin Connection Podcast


Rossin Connection Podcast: Nicholas StrandwitzWhen it comes to atomic layer deposition, says Nick Strandwitz, “it’s kind of exactly what it sounds like. You're laying down a single atom or two atoms at a time onto a surface. So that surface could be a piece of glass or a piece of silicon for a solar cell or something like that.”

The process gives users a lot of control, which is crucial when you’re depositing films at a thickness measured in micrometers. For reference, one micrometer is one millionth of a meter.

“So the human hair is some tens of micrometers across,” he says. “So we’re talking thinner than that. Much thinner than that.”

In this episode, Strandwitz, who is an associate professor in the department of materials science and engineering, talks about growing up as a tinkerer of sorts, how all of us rely on the precision of atomic layer deposition, and how materials engineers are in a unique position to make a global impact.