Personal profile


"My aim is to advance the field of atomic scale processing for energy and information technologies such as photovoltaics and nanoelectronics"

Research profile

Erwin Kessels is a full professor at the Department of Applied Physics of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). He is also the scientific director of the NanoLab@TU/e facilities which provides full-service and open-access clean room infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology. Erwin’s research interests cover the field of synthesis of ultrathin films and nanostructures using methods such as (plasma-enhanced) chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) for a wide variety of applications, mostly within the areas of nanoelectronics and photovoltaics.

Within the field of ALD, he has contributed most prominently by his work on plasma-assisted ALD, his research related to ALD for photovoltaics, and ALD for nanopatterning (including area-selective ALD). Currently, Erwin is focusing his research mostly on atomic scale processing, a field which is believed to grow in importance quickly in the next decade, for a wide variety of application domains.

Academic background

Erwin received his MSc (1996) and PhD (with honors) (2000) in Applied Physics from TU/e. His doctoral thesis work was partly carried out at the University of California Santa Barbara and as a postdoc he was affiliated to the Colorado State University and Philipps University in Marburg (Germany). In 2004/2005 he spent a six-months sabbatical at the University of California Berkeley. In 2007 the American Vacuum Society awarded him the Peter Mark Memorial Award. Erwin received an NWO Vici grant in 2010 to set up a large research program on ‘nanomanufacturing’ in order to bridge the gap between nanoscience/nanotechnology and industrial application. In 2008 he was chair of the International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition in 2008 (Bruges, Belgium) and in 2019 he received the ALD Innovator award at this yearly conference. Erwin will serve as a chair of the 7th workshop on atomic layer etching in 2020 (Ghent, Belgium). Since 2019 Erwin has also been appointed as Visiting International Professor and a DFG Mercator fellow at the Ruhr University Bochum. Erwin is active within the American Vacuum Society and has been President of the Netherlands Vacuum Society. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology. He has published over 300 papers, has given 100+ invited presentations, and holds 4 patents. He frequently (co-)organizes ALD-related workshops and is the founder of the ALD Academy (www.ALDacademy) and the blog


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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