Frank Streller


Phone: 215-898-4591
Office: 112 Towne



Ph.D., Materials Science & Engineering (expected Fall 2015), University of Pennsylvania

M.Sc., Materials Science & Engineering (2014), University of Pennsylvania

M.Sc. (Dipl.-Ing.), Materials Science (2011), Dresden University of Technology (Thesis at the University of Pennsylvania)

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Research Interests

Developing materials that retain their properties despite being subjected to harsh conditions is a key challenge throughout materials science. The lack of understanding in this domain has technological impact, including for nanoelectromechanical (NEM) contact switches, which have been identified by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors as a possible “beyond CMOS” technology. Despite exhibiting a significantly decreased power consumption compared to currently used solid-state switches, NEM contact switches face a barrier to commercialization due to reliability issues, which are related to contact interface related failure mechanisms.

My research is motivated by the need for novel NEM switch contact materials that are highly conductive, mechanically robust, minimally adhesive, chemically inert, and amenable to CMOS fabrication processes. The aim of my work is the development and characterization of potential next-generation NEM contact materials that may facilitate the commercialization of NEM contact switch technology. Characterization methods I am using include angle-resolved and environmental X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR-XPS, E-XPS) , ultra-high vacuum atomic force microscopy (UHV AFM), nano-indentation and scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM).



  • “Tunable, Source-Controlled Formation of Platinum Silicides and Nanogaps from Thin Precursor Films”.                F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, F. Mangolini, G. Feng, and R. W. Carpick. Advanced Materials Interfaces,           Vol. 1, Issue 3, doi: 10.1002/admi.201300120 (2014).                                                
  • “Superhydrophobic aluminium-based surfaces: Wetting and wear properties of different CVD-generated coating types”. M. Thieme, F. Streller, F. Simon, R. Frenzel, A. J. White. Applied Surface Science, 283, 1041-1050 (2013).                                                                                                                                                
  • “Angle-Resolved Environmental X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy: A New Laboratory Setup for Photoemission   Studies at Pressures up to 0.4 Torr”. F. Mangolini, J. Åhlund, G. E. Wabiszewski, V. P. Adiga, P. Egberts, F. Streller, K. Backlund, P.G. Karlsson, B. Wannberg, and R. W. Carpick. Review of Scientific Instruments, 83,   093112 (2012).                                                                                                                  

Conference Presentations

  • F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, R. W. Carpick. “Development and Assessment of Next-Generation Nanoelectromechanical Switch Contact Materials“, 2014 IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE-NANO 2014), Toronto, Canada, August 18-21, 2014.
  • R. W. Carpick, G. E. Wabiszewski, F. Streller. “Needs and Opportunities for Nanotribology in MEMS and NEMS“, Hilton Head 2014 Workshop: A Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Workshop, Hilton Head Island, SC, June 8-12, 2014.
  • R. W. Carpick, F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, F. Mangolini, G. Feng, and G. Piazza. “Materials Challenges in NEMS Logic: Failure Mechanisms and Novel Materials Solutions“, Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 21-25, 2014.
  • F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, G. Piazza, and R. W. Carpick. “Platinum Silicide as a Next-Generation Contact Material for NEMS Switches”, Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 1-5, 2013.

Conference Posters

  • F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, G. Piazza, and R. W. Carpick. “Development and Characterization of Platinum Silicide as a Contact Material for Nanoelectromechanical Switches”,  244th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, August 19-23, 2012.
  • F. Streller, G. E. Wabiszewski, G. Piazza, and R. W. Carpick. “Development and Characterization of Platinum Silicide as a Tuneable Contact Material for NEMS Switches”,  Materials Research Society Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 9-13, 2012.


  • Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Scholarship (2014)
  • University of Pennsylvania “President Gutmann Leadership Award” (2013)
  • University of Pennsylvania “Research Student Travel Grant” (2013)
  • ERASMUS Fellowship of the European Union (2008/09)