Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Vincent M. Donnelly
William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston


"For sustained, pioneering research elucidating fundamental physical and chemical mechanisms of plasma etching of microelectronic materials, enabled by the invention of novel plasma and plasma-surface diagnostics, including advanced optical spectroscopy and the 'spinning wall' method."


Vincent M. Donnelly is a John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston. Prior to 2002, he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in Chemistry from LaSalle University, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, and was a NRC postdoc at the Naval Research Lab. He is best known for his experimental studies of low temperature plasmas that are widely used to manufacture semiconductor integrated circuits. In particular, his fundamental studies of plasma dynamics, chemistry, and plasma-surface interactions, enabled by pioneering spectroscopic diagnostic methods such as the spinning wall, laser desorption-plasma-induced emission, and advanced actinometry, have provided detailed insights into reaction mechanisms in plasma etching, including pulsed plasmas that are used in atomic layer etching. He recently discovered vacuum ultraviolet photocatalytic chain reaction-initiated etching of silicon in halogen-containing plasmas, and sulfur-catalyzed etching of silicon in a sulfur hexafluoride plasma. He is a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society and a recipient of the AVS Plasma Science and Technology Division Plasma Prize. In 2011, he received the AVS John Thornton Memorial Award and Lecture. In 2019, he received the Nishizawa Award at the 41st Dry Process Symposium in Hiroshima, Japan.