- Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware
Robert Opila graduated from the University of Chicago in 1982 and began work at Bell Laboratories. His research has emphasized interfacial phenomena, including electrical conduction in metallic composites, metal/polymer adhesion, and the source of electron traps at oxide/semiconductor interfaces. As electronic and photonic devices become smaller, interfaces between materials will play an even more important role. In general, the aim of the research has been to relate chemical and morphological structure at the interface to physical properties of the system. As probes of these buried interfaces, traditional surface science techniques, like electron or x-ray spectroscopies, have been extended to probe buried interfaces. His current interests include electrical conduction and charge injection in a new class of organic conductors and the mechanism of charge conduction in transparent conductive oxides, crucial in developing modern photonic devices.