I am a physicist / materials scientist, currently a staff scientist at Argonne National Laboratory’s Applied Materials Division, and a Fellow at Northwestern Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering at Northwestern University.

My current research focuses on the following areas:

  • The physics and chemistry of growth, and the relationship between surface kinetics, structure, and properties of materials. Basically how stuff is made (and unmade), from fundamental physics to manufacturing. My research in this area leverages both simulations, machine learning, and in-situ characterization techniques to explore fundamental questions, accelerate discovery and its transition to manufacturing. I have focused primarily on atomic layer deposition, a thin film growth technique that is widely used in microelectronics and for energy applications.
  • Neuromorphic computing, or brain-inspired computing, both at the architecture/computational and the implementation/materials level. In particular I am interested in exploring novel architectures capable of learning in real time, processing data really fast, and computing under resource-constrained scenarios. In my research, I have used primarily the insect brain as a source of inspiration, exploring both novel algorithms and their implementation for AI at the edge and a new generation of detectors.
  • Electronic materials, and the way their properties can be leveraged to fabricate novel devices in microelectronics, power electronics, RF, and quantum computing applications. In particular, I am interested in how to enable sensing and computing under extreme environments, and the development of co-design approaches that bridge from materials to applications.

During my PhD and postdoctoral research I also developed some serious expertise in the following areas:

  • Plasma physics and plasma kinetics. My first love. Bringer of twisty magnetic lines and reactive noble gas atoms. Killer of surfaces and enabler of computer chips. I am currently part of project looking at plasma processing for decarbonization.
  • The interaction and scattering of electromagnetic fields and in particular light with matter, including spectroscopic ellipsometry and metamaterials.

I am a strong advocate of open source software. It features strongly in my work and I have developed and released as open source a number of tools for scientific and machine learning applications. Check my github profile.

Things that you can find on this site (see the content sidebar):

  • If you are serious, a summary of my publications, etc.
  • My research interests.
  • Why models and simulations matter.
  • Why insects make such a good model system for smart sensors and artificial intelligence.
  • My chemical biography, summarizing my personal relationship with different chemical elements.
  • Typographic curiosities, such as the shapes of the letter Q and how the different typefaces are related according to their wikipedia links.
  • Programming, coming back to my ZX spectrum plus, now trying to understand how high performance computing can be applied to advanced manufacturing.
  • Theoretical physics, dynamic systems, and stochastic processes.
  • Typography, geology.