Awardee Interviews | Biography: Steven George

Steven George

Steven George
Steven George, University of Colorado, “for seminal contributions to understanding, development and applications of atomic layer deposition.” 

Steven George is a Professor of Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University (1977) and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1983). After postdoctoral research at Caltech and Exxon Research & Development, Dr. George joined the Dept. of Chemistry at Stanford University as an Assistant Professor (1984). He then moved to the Dept. of Chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder as an Associate Professor (1992) and subsequently as a Full Professor (1995). Dr. George received a joint appointment as Professor in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering (2001) and then moved his joint appointment to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering (2013).
Dr. George and his research group have authored more than 400 publications in the areas of thin film growth and etching, surface science and physical chemistry. These publications have been cited more than 20,000 times with an h-index of 73. He has served as research advisor for 52 Ph.D. students and 28 postdoctoral research associates. He is also an inventor on 19 issued U.S. patents and 11 pending U.S. patents. Dr. George is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1997) and the AVS (2000). He has been active in the AVS as Trustee (2007–2009), Board of Directors (2010–2012) and President (2014).  He also serves as an AVS Short Course Instructor for the one-day short course on atomic layer deposition (ALD).
Dr. George is best known for his research on the understanding, development and applications of ALD. His contributions have helped define the ALD field for more than 20 years. His initial studies of Al2O3ALD were foundational and Al2O3ALD is now the model ALD system. He also developed many ALD systems, such as W ALD, that are used by ALD scientists today. Dr. George’s studies of ALD at low temperatures opened up new applications of ALD such as ALD on polymers. He pioneered the molecular layer deposition (MLD) of hybrid organic-inorganic polymers. He also demonstrated that ALD films on polymers led to extremely effective gas diffusion barriers and ALD coatings on Li ion battery electrodes enhanced their capacity stability. His work on ALD on particles led to the creation of ALD NanoSolutions, a company co-founded by Dr. George in 2001 that is working to commercialize ALD technology. This work on ALD on particles also resulted in an R&D 100 Award for Particle-ALD™ (2004).
Dr. George has been a leader in the ALD community. He chaired the first AVS International Conference on ALD (ALD2001) and has been a key member of the ALD conference leadership. He received the ALD Innovation Awardfrom the AVS International Conference on ALD for original work and leadership in ALD (2013). His ALD research remains on the cutting edge with the recent development of electron-enhanced ALD for ALD at room temperature. Dr. George is also working on spatial ALD and MLD for scale-up applications. In addition, he has recently developed thermal atomic layer etching (ALE) which is the “reverse of ALD.” Thermal ALE uses sequential, self-limiting surface reactions to remove films with atomic layer control. Dr. George is active in the ALE community and was the co-chair of the last International ALE Workshop (ALE2017).