Passionate Collaborator Drives Team to Solve Fundamental ALD Challenges Using Novel Area Selective Deposition


This month we celebrate the efforts of Dr. Cathleen Crudden’s research team at Queens University at Kingston. The team's focus is on studying and characterizing next-generation carbon-based small molecule inhibitors (SMIs) and their application in area-selective deposition. 

Top left: Eden Goodwin; Center: Ishwar Singh; Top right: Dr. Cathleen Crudden

Dr. Crudden is passionate in providing opportunities to bring out the best in people. “Chemists need to work better together, and we need to challenge big problems,” states Crudden. Participating in SRC research has allowed Dr. Crudden ample room to collaborate with other distinguished scientists and students. Her GRC Nanomanufacturing Materials and Processes project, “Area Selective ALD using Next-generation Surfactants,” is a collaborative effort that involves participants from Queens University as well as the University of Western Ontario and Carleton University in Canada. Dr. Crudden is also committed to “the need to improve recruitment and retention of under-represented groups in Chemistry." Whether this means providing uniform learning experiences equitably for all team members, adapting work schedules to accommodate the needs of students with young families, or leading discussions around mental health issues at conferences, Crudden’s approach has played a pivotal role in developing a diverse workforce for the future of the semiconductor industry. The team comprises 11 students pursuing undergrad, master’s, and doctoral degrees along with several postdocs. Notably, 20% of the team identifies as LGBTQ+ and 50% as BIPOC. Crudden’s commitment to fostering a supportive, successful lab are demonstrated by Doctoral student Eden Goodwin’s win at TECHON 2023, where she received the prestigious Top 10 Presenter award after presenting her work. In addition, a recent grad, Ishwar Singh, was hired into a full-time Research Scientist position at SRC member company IBM. 

Participating in SRC research has allowed Dr. Crudden the ability to not only collaborate with other distinguished researchers and students, but also experts across industry. Scientists and engineers from SRC member companies, including ASM, IBM, Intel, Samsung, TEL, and TSMC, offer PIs like Crudden real-world feedback on the discoveries being made in the lab. This is particularly significant as current mainstream top-down device fabrication techniques are prone to processing errors due to shrinking device dimensions. Alongside collaborating professors Dr. Paul Ragogna (Western Ontario) and Dr. Sean Barry (Carleton), Dr. Crudden's team has successfully demonstrated the selective deposition of N heterocyclic carbenes on industry-relevant substrates. This breakthrough is anticipated to assist chip makers in scaling the bottom-up approach for device fabrication. The project has resulted in three publications and one patent. SRC members place a high value on the research results emerging from Dr. Crudden’s laboratory; members can get a preview of the team’s latest work at

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