Featured Engineer

Interview with Anshul A. Vyas

Anshul A. Vyas

Interview with Anshul A. Vyas - Electrical Engineer at TENT Laboratory

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I am a native of Mumbai, India. I did my undergraduate from University of Mumbai in Electrical Engineering and was particularly interested semiconductor devices and process technology. The research infrastructure and industry-academic partnerships are not as organized and abundant as in USA, in particularly Silicon Valley, which made me move here in Silicon Valley at Santa Clara University. It has good R&D capabilities and strong relations with local and overseas high-tech companies.

Why did you choose Electrical Engineering and when did you start?

I’ve been interested in electrical engineering since middle school days. The journey which started from rudimentary experiments of studying electrical conduction through salt water in middle school led to choosing EE as a major in college and now doing the most sophisticated experiments in Nanotechnology.

Can you tell us about your work at TENT Laboratory?

TENT stands for Thermal and Electrical Nanoscale Transport. I am working on the Electrical side of things. I am trying to develop carbon nanotube based devices which can be used as on-chip interconnects when Silicon runs out of steam in near future.

One of your research interests is carbon nanotube devices for post silicon electron devices. Can you please tell us more about it?

As silicon feature size keeps shrinking following Moore’s law, all the dimensions of devices on a chip are scaled down. The wiring on the chip, known as vias or interconnects which are made of metal, experience surge in current density. If the current density surpasses the current carrying capacity of the metal, the wiring breaks down causing the failure of chip. My research is focused to replace the metal wiring or interconnects with carbon nanotubes which is a one dimensional nanoscale carbon material. It has current carrying capacity almost x100 than metals. Therefore, it can withstand higher currents and is much more reliable. However, it has some inherent problems like structural control (known as chirality) and high contact resistance. I am trying to find an engineering solution to study and overcome these.

You have plenty of publications. Which one is your favorite among them and why?

My favorite publication is my first Journal paper in Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. It was really hard work by our entire team which led to these outstanding results. These are the best reported in literature so far and there is another group in South Africa who was able to reproduce and thus confirming our findings.

You received plenty of awards and recognitions. What are your secrets to achieve those awards and recognitions?

The first half of the secret is dedicated hard work coupled with passion for Semiconductor Technology. In research there are always ups and downs but accepting the challenges thrown at you every day and working on them tirelessly while keeping yourself emotionally detached from the outcome is the second half of the secret.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently continuing the experiments on carbon nanotube based devices to be able to find out how I can tune the parameters to achieve maximum performance from my devices.

What are your favorite hardware tools that you use?

My favorite hardware tools are chemical vapor deposition reactor and an electron microscope.

What are your favorite software tools that you use?

My favorite software tools are Matlab and JMP

What books do you like to read aside from engineering books?

I like books by Paulo Coelho, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and Jaya by Devdutt Pattnaik

Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

I like to do Mimicri. Its hard to believe that I can mimic someone after only a few mins of interaction with him but I can’t mimic celebrities by watching them on television. I need to meet somebody before I can mimic them.

Few years from now, what direction do you see yourself?

I see myself as an innovative Technologist/Scientist working on the most advanced R&D in Semiconductor Technology.

Is there anything you’d like to say to young people to encourage them to pursue Engineering?

To me, working as an Engineer is a magician. He/she makes impossible to possible in almost all cases. I’d like to say to young people to be infinitely curious about the world around them and observe the sophisticated engineering which has led to development of everything from phones to cars to air planes. Very simply put, Engineering is knowing the limitations imposed by mother nature and getting around them to build the advanced and sophisticated solutions to problems on a local, regional, national, or global scale. I also want to stress role of parents in letting their kids explore their creativity. My father works in finance industry and my mother is an economist but regardless of their background and interests, they’ve always let me to do things I was curious and passionate about, which I think is the biggest contributor to where I am today.

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