Robert Wallace

Erik Jonsson Distinguished Chair
Professor - Materials Science & Engineering
Tags: Physics Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Computer Engineering

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Physics
University of Pittsburgh - 1988
M.S. - Physics
University of Pittsburgh - 1984
B.S. - Physics, Applied Mathematics
University of Pittsburgh - 1982

Research Areas

Research Interests

Surface, Interface, materials and integration issues for advanced devices including:

  • Gate dielectrics
  • Gate electrodes
  • Contacts
  • Nanoelectronics


S. Chuang, C. Battaglia, A. Azcatl, S. McDonnell, J.S. Kang, X. Yin, M. Tosun, R. Kapadia, H. Fang, R. M. Wallace, and A. Javey, “MoS2 P-type Transistors and Diodes Enabled by High Workfunction MoOx Contacts,” NanoLetters, 14, 1337 (2014). 2014 - Publication
A. Azcatl, S. McDonnell, Santosh KC, X. Peng, H. Dong, X. Qin, R. Addou, G. I. Mordi, N. Lu, J. Kim, M. J. Kim, K. Cho, and R. M. Wallace, “MoS2 Functionalization for Ultra-thin Atomic Layer Deposited Dielectrics,” Applied Physics Letters, 104, 111601 (2014). 2014 - Publication
C. Gong, L. Colombo, R. M. Wallace, and K. Cho, “The Unusual Mechanism of Partial Fermi Level Pinning at Metal-MoS2 Interfaces,” NanoLetters, 14, 1714 (2014). 2014 - Publication
H. Dong, W. Cabrera, X. Qin, B. Brennan, D. Zhernokletov, C. L. Hinkle, J. Kim, Y. J. Chabal, R. M. Wallace, “Si interfacial passivation layer chemistry for high-k/InP interfaces,” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 6, 7340 (2014). 2014 - Publication
S. McDonnell, A. Azcatl, R. Addou, C. Gong, C. Battaglia, S. Chuang, K. Cho, A. Javey, and R. M.  Wallace, “Hole Contacts on Transition Metal Dichalcogenides: Interface Chemistry and Band Alignment,” ACS Nano, 8, 6265 (2014). 2014 - Publication
S. McDonnell, B. Brennan, E. Bursa, R. M. Wallace, K. Winkler, P. Baumann, “GaSb Oxide Thermal Stability studied by Dynamic-XPS,” Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 32, 041201 (2014). 2014 - Publication
R.V. Galatage, D. M. Zhernokletov, H. Dong, B. Brennan, C. L. Hinkle, R. M. Wallace, and E. M.  Vogel, “Accumulation capacitance frequency dispersion of III-V metal-insulator-semiconductor devices due  to disorder induced gap states,” Journal of Applied Physics,116, 014504 (2014).  2014 - Publication
X. Qin, A. Lucero, A. Azcatl, J. Kim, and R. M. Wallace, “In situ X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Capacitance Voltage Characterization of Plasma  Treatments for Al2O3/AlGaN/GaN Stacks,” Applied Physics Letters, 105, 011602 (2014). 2014 - Publication
J. B. Ballard, J. H. G. Owen, W. Owen, J. R. Alexander, E. Fuchs, J. N. Randall, J. R. Von Ehr, S.  McDonnell, D. D. Dick, R. M. Wallace, Y. J. Chabal, M. R. Bischof, D. L. Jaeger, R. F. Reidy, J. Fu, P. Namboodiri, K. Li, and R. M. Silver,  “Pattern transfer of hydrogen depassivation lithography patterns into silicon with atomically traceable placement and size control,” Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 32, 041804 (2014)  2014 - Publication
L. Cheng, X. Qin, A. T. Lucero, A. Azcatl, J. Huang, R. M. Wallace, K. Cho, and J. Kim, “Atomic Layer Deposition of a High-k Dielectric on MoS2 Using Trimethylaluminum and Ozone," ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 6 (15), 11834 (2014). 2014 - Publication


Distinguisged Chair
University of Texas at Dallas [2011–Present]
Distinguished Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [2010–2011]
University of Texas at Dallas [2006–Present]
University of Texas at Dallas [2004–2010]
University of Texas at Dalla [2003–Present]
University of North Texas [1999–2003]
University of North Texas [1999–2003]
Texas Instruments, Inc. [1997–1999]
Sr. Member Technical Staff
Texas Instruments, Inc. [1996–1997]
Member, Technical Staff
Texas Instruments, Inc. [1990–1996]

Additional Information

Professional Activity
 Membership in Professional Organizations 

  •  American Chemical Society
  •  Materials Research Society 
  •  American Vacuum Society (Fellow)
  •  Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (Fellow)
  •  Electrochemical Society 
  •  ASTM Committee E-42 on Surface Analysis 
Special Awards and Distinctions
  • (2018 and 2019)  Identified by Clarivate Analytics as a “Highly Cited Researcher” for multiple highly cited papers ranking in the top 1% indicating substantial influence across several fields during the last decade. Of the global population of researchers, Highly Cited Researchers are 1 in 1000. See: 
  • (2014) Erik Jonsson School Distinguished Senior Research Contributions Award
  •  (2011) IBM Faculty Award
  •  (2009) Named Fellow of the IEEE “for contributions to high-k gate dielectric materials for integrated circuits” 
  •  (2007) Named Fellow of the AVS “for significant contributions to high-k dielectric materials research enabling the scaling of integrated circuit technology” 
  •  (2007) Best Paper Award, "Oxygen Species in HfO2 Films: An in Situ X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy Study" by C. Driemeier, R. M. Wallace, and I.J. R. Baumvol, High Dielectric Constant Materials and Gate Stack Symposium, 212th Electrochemical Society Meeting, Washington, D.C. 
  •  Co-author of paper entitled “High-k Gate Dielectrics: Current Status and Materials Properties Considerations” (in the Journal of Applied Physics 89 (2001) 5243. (>3100 citations as of December 2010). 
  •  (2006) Selected as a high impact Applied Physics Review paper for the 75th Anniversary of the American Institute for Physics:
  •  (2005) Recognized by the Semiconductor Research Corporation as the top ranked “influential research paper” for the semiconductor industry sponsored by the SRC based upon peer citations
  •  (2003) Semiconductor Research Corporation Inventor Recognition Award 
  •  (2002) Elected to Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers 
  •  (1998) ASTM E-42 Committee on Surface Analysis Service Award 
  •  (1996) Sr. Member, Technical Staff – Texas Instruments (limited to top 5% of technical staff) 
  •  (1988) Pittsburgh Crystal Growers Society Outstanding Researcher Award 
  •  (1982) University of Pittsburgh David Halliday Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research in Physics
Teaching Experience
 Courses Developed/Taught 
  •  Introduction to Nanoscience and Technology (NANO 3301) 
  •  Characterization and Nanotech Instrumentation (NANO 3302) 
  •  Introduction to Materials Science (MSEN 5100) 
  •  Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials (EE/MSEN 6324) 
  •  Fundamentals of Surface and Thin Film Analysis (MSEN 5360) 
  •  Quantum Mechanics for Materials Scientists (MSEN 6319) 
  •  Diffraction Science (MSEN 6362) 
  •  Silicon Surface Chemistry and Physics (at Texas Instruments)

News Articles

Researchers Drafting Plans for Tiny Assembly Lines
A University of Texas at Dallas team will play a key role in a new $15 million research project designed to enable manufacturing at an almost unimaginably small scale: one atom at a time. “This breakthrough technology will make it possible to manufacture devices with atomic precision by exploiting our established ability to remove individual hydrogen atoms from a silicon surface using a scanning tunneling microscope,” said Robert Wallace, a professor of materials science and engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas and a co-principal investigator in the project. Funded for $1.8 million over the next four-and-a-half years, the UT Dallas team also includes Yves Chabal, head of the Jonsson School’s new Materials Science and Engineering Department and holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics, and K.J. Cho, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and physics.
Prof. Robert Wallace, Insulator Technology Pioneer, Honored for Sustained Excellence
Virtually every new semiconductor chip that’s manufactured in coming years will feature insulator technology co-invented by Robert Wallace, professor of electrical engineering and physics at the University of Texas at Dallas. In recognition of his work, Wallace has been named a fellow of AVS – a professional society for researchers working on the science of materials, interfaces and processing. The group, formerly known as the American Vacuum Society, elected him during the organization’s annual meeting last week. Honorees have made at least 10 years of sustained and outstanding technical contributions to materials science and related fields.
Electronics Engineers Honor UT Dallas Colleague
UT Dallas Professor Robert Wallace has been named an IEEE Fellow, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. An authority on semiconductor materials and integration, Dr. Wallace is co-inventor of a widely used insulator technology that has played a significant part in enabling today’s semiconductor manufacturers to produce chips that are smaller and more energy-efficient than ever before. The technology, called “high-k dielectrics,” is now employed in the industry’s most advanced microprocessors. A professor of materials science and engineering and electrical engineering at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas, he is the 11th member of the school’s faculty to be named an IEEE fellow. It’s a designation that’s granted each year to a select group of IEEE members for accomplishments that “have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology,” according to IEEE.
Scientists Dramatically Increase Light from Atomic-Sized Materials
A recent article in the journal Science details how researchers from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science devised a simple process that dramatically increases light generation from certain atomic-sized materials.

The findings could have a broad impact in the advancement of LED displays, high efficiency solar cells, photo detectors, and nano-electronic circuits and devices.


 Applied Surface Science - Editor (2014-2018) 

 Journal of Materials Research: Materials in Electronics - Editorial Board (2002-2018)