Brown University Professor of Engineering Eric Chason received the 2019 Functional Materials Division John Bardeen award at The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas in March. The John Bardeen award is presented yearly to a person who has made outstanding contributions in the field of electronic materials.
The award citation reads “for pioneering contributions to understanding how stresses develop in thin films, using theory and innovative measurement science to reveal processes happening at multiple length scales.” This recognizes Chason's long-term interest in the evolution of thin films and surfaces during processing. His work includes the development of a technique to monitor the stress in a thin film during its deposition. Measurements of the stress under different growth conditions guided the development of a model for how stress depends on the growth conditions and the film’s microstructure. Other work has focused on the development of whiskers from lead-free tin coatings which poses a serious reliability problem in electronics manufacturing. Chason’s lab performed systematic measurements to quantify how stress in the tin leads to whisker nucleation and growth, and developed models to describe it.
Chason earned his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 1985, and was a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque before coming to Brown in 1998. He has taught multiple undergraduate and graduate courses in the materials science program and currently serves as Director of Graduate Programs for the School of Engineering at Brown.
Established in 1994, the John Bardeen award celebrates Bardeen’s career of theoretical and experimental research, which set the foundation for the current state of understanding of electronic materials. Two areas in which Bardeen had great impact were the invention and development of the solid-state transistor and the theory that developed greater understanding of superconductivity. The TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition brings together more than 4,000 engineers, scientists, business leaders, and other professionals in the minerals, metals, and materials fields for a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary exchange of technical knowledge.