Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar




Dr. Vanessa Smet


Georgia Institute of Technology


Monday, May 13, 2019 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Peter Hesketh


While current electronic systems have been primarily enabled through transistor scaling and monolithic integration with active devices at the forefront of innovation, emerging applications such as AI, autonomous driving, aerospace and bio-implants are shifting the focus towards packaging as the next key driver of performance and miniaturization enhancements. Until recently, packaging was just an afterthought after years spent on the front end, but slowdown of Moores Law slowdown has forced the electronics industry to radically rethink their integration strategy, from monolithic to polylithic, with a synergistic approach to chip-package co-design. However, packaging has been slow to change and is now under pressure to catch up to the devices capability. To enable this disruptive transition and give a new breath to the Electronics Revolution, my vision is a holistic approach to assembly and electronic packaging relying on experimental investigation and bottom-up design of nanomaterials and their processing to application-specific performance and manufacturing criteria. Through establishing the relationships between structure, processing, and physical properties, my research aims at understanding their impact on the performance and durability of materials at meso- or macro-scale, with a focus on cross-scale evolution of the initial nanostructure under different external stimuli. A crucial aspect of my work is its multidisciplinary perspective, bringing together key insights from materials, mechanics, manufacturing and electrical engineering to be incorporated into material and process design at a very early stage. This talk presents examples of applications of this vision with: (1) The design of nanoporous metals, their synthesis, experimental investigation of their sintering kinetics and their nanostructure evolution towards their use in the electrical interconnection of semiconductor devices. In particular, nanoporous copper is explored to improve manufacturability of direct Cu-to-Cu bonding in fine-pitch chip-to-substrate applications. (2) The synthesis and characterization of Cu-graphene composites with tailorable coefficients of thermal expansion for thermal management in wide-bandgap power module packages. (3) The investigation and evaluation of the cross-scale effects of initial nanostructures and their evolution through processing on performance and reliability at the macro-scale. Such approaches also apply towards additive manufacturing and other classes of nanostructured materials. My research is pivotal in improving the fundamental understanding of emerging nanostructured materials to enable the use of AI- and machine learning-based protocols and accelerate the robust and optimized design of customized nanomaterials.


Dr. Vanessa Smet received her B.S. (2004) and M.S. (2007) in Applied Physics from the Ecole Normale Superieure and Paris XI University and her Ph.D. (2010) in Electronics from Montpellier University in France. She has taught undergraduate courses for 3 years at Montpelier University as part of the Agregation in Applied Physics, a French national recruitment exam for teachers in college-level education. She was a Post-Doctoral Researcher with the Heterogeneous Integration group at Tyndall National Institute (Ireland) in 2010-2012. Since 2012, she has been affiliated with the 3D Systems Packaging Research Center (PRC) at Georgia Tech where she has been responsible for driving research efforts in two primary areas: 1) interconnections and assembly technologies, and 2) power electronics packaging. Her current research interests include bottom-up design and characterization of nanoporous metals as sinterable interconnections in electronic systems, synthesis and characterization of Cu-graphene composites and their thermal applications in wide-bandgap power modules, as well as cross-scale failure mechanisms, particularly in safety-sensitive applications.


Refreshments will be served.