Dr. Massimo (Max) V. Fischetti
Professor of materials science and engineering
Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Nanoelectronics
Fischetti uses his expertise in physics to characterize how electrons behave in different materials at increasing smaller sizes, and how small technology can become and still be a viable option for electronic devices.
He spent more than 20 years at IBM's acclaimed T.J. Watson Research Center in New York, where he studied electronic transport in silicon.
It was at IBM that he and a colleague developed DAMOCLES, a computer program that was the first to accurately simulate how electrons move in small semiconductors. It allowed them to look at strained silicon, which is engineered so that electrons move faster.
"Design engineers use DAMOCLES to look at code and gain an overall picture of what goes on in nanoelectronics to know which knobs he or she has to turn to get it to do what the engineer wants," he said.
For this, he received the 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Cledo Brunetti Award.
He has made several other significant theoretical contributions to physics and engineering, such as the novel finding that the higher the dielectric constant of the insulator used in tiny transistors, the slower electrons would move.
Fischetti, a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), is now characterizing the motion of electrons in silicon nanowires and newly discovered materials, such as graphene. Graphene is graphite engineered into a sheet of carbon atoms.
"It is amazing to study how electrons move in this ultrathin one-atom sheet," he said.
Fischetti taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before joining UT Dallas in 2011.
He earned his laurea degree from the University of Milan, and doctoral degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, both in physics.
In his spare time, enjoys riding his motorcycle. He hopes to ride to the four corners of the United States.
Texas Instruments created the chair in July 2007. Fischetti was appointed in September 2010 to the position, which supports the research and scholarly activities to achieve the objectives of the Southwest Academy of Nanoelectronics.
An expert in how electrons move in solids, Fischetti is renowned in the field for the development of DAMOCLES, a computer program that was the first to accurately simulate how electrons move in small semiconductors using what is known as the Monte Carlo transport model. The program is used to design transistors for chips in computers, smartphones and advanced video games.
"I appreciate the collegial environment at UT Dallas. I consistently have opportunities to collaborate with experimentalists who are at the forefront of the field. Together, we will discover the best ways to use new materials to transform society."