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Frank DelRio
Alumnus - Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph. D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder (2006)
M. S., Mechanical Engineering, Boise State University (2002)
B. S., Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University (1998)


frank.delrio (at)

Current Position:

Ceramics Division - NIST
Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8520
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Phone: (301) 975-8999
Fax: (301) 975-5334


Polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) thin films have been used for some time now as the gate electrodes of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuits. More recently, polysilicon has been used to create the device layers in solar cells, thin film transistors, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Over the years, a variety of techniques have been investigated for the formation of polysilicon. For example, low-pressure, chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) can be used to deposit polycrystalline films. Another method involves the deposition and subsequent solid-phase crystallization of amorphous silicon (a-Si). It is important to note, however, that these techniques require high process and annealing temperatures, typically above 600 °C. A reduction in the crystallization temperature would open the door for low-temperature, low-cost substrates such as glass and plastic, which is extremely important for the development and commercialization of the aforementioned products. The crystallization temperature can be significantly reduced when the a-Si layer is in intimate contact with a metal. This phenomenon, also known as metal-induced crystallization (MIC), has been reported for metals such as Au, Sb, Ni, Cu, Al, and Ag at temperatures as low as 150 °C.  The purpose of this work is to understand the mechanisms behind metal-induced crystallization of a-Si and characterize the resulting polysilicon thin films.

Selected Publications:
1. F.W. DelRio, M.L. Dunn, and M.P. de Boer.  Growth of silicon carbide nanoparticles using tetraethylorthosilicate for microelectromechanical systems.  Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters10(1), H27-H30 (2007).

2. F.W. DelRio, M.L. Dunn, B.L. Boyce, A.D. Corwin, and M.P. de Boer.  The effect of nanoparticles on rough surface adhesion.Journal of Applied Physics99,104304 (2006).

3. F.W. DelRio, M.P. de Boer, J.A. Knapp, E.D. Reedy, P.J. Clews, and M.L. Dunn.  The role of van der Waals forces in adhesion of micromachined surfaces.Nature Materials4,629-634 (2005).