Professor Greg Ferguson and his group are excited about results published/submitted in three papers from their labs in 2017. The first describes an advance in the surface chemistry of Si/SiO2:
Ferguson, G.S. and Lee, M. “Stepwise Synthesis of a Well-Defined Silicon (Oxide)/Polyimide Interface” Langmuir 2017, 33, 1639-1645.
The second confirms their discovery of a phenomenon called “cathodic silence”:
Ferguson, G.S. and Giron, R.P. “Confirmation of Cathodic Silence in an Anodic Oxide Gold” J. Electrochem. Soc. 2017, 164, H635-H638.
The paper on silicon surface chemistry presents a new synthetic approach with the unique feature of producing no byproducts, thereby avoiding a potential source of contamination on the semiconductor surface. It shares this characteristic with additive manufacturing, which has recently become popular with the advent of affordable 3D-printing.
The second paper describes the use of electrochemical quartz-crystal microgravimetry (EQCM) to demonstrate that a standard electrochemical technique (linear-sweep voltammetry) does not provide a reliable measure of the amount of oxide present during in the open-circuit decomposition of a gold-oxide film on a gold electrode. Analytical methods underlie all of experimental chemistry, so learning the limits of their reliability addresses a fundamental need in the field. In addition, the group has recently submitted one other paper for publication, a computational study of hydrogen bonding.