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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Brendan Sheehan -

  • Specialty Products and Services

Brendan received a B.Sc. degree in Experimental Physics and a Ph.D. for the development of astronomical instrumentation (Galway Ultr-fast Imager or GUFI) from NUI Galway in 2004 and 2009, respectively. After his Ph.D. degree, he continued in the field of astronomy as an Instrument Scientist carrying a number of field trips to Spain, Italy and LaPalma, Canary Islands with a travelling Optical Polarimeter (Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter or GASP). 

In 2011, he joined Tyndall National Institute in Cork working in the area of semiconductor research where initially he took the lead in the automation of electrical test equipment and data processing. Following on from this work he was part of a research team investigating the electrical properties of high-k dielectrics, 2D materials, dichalcogenides materials – both thin-films and nanowires for non-volatile memory applications. Brendan currently works within the electron microscopy analysis facility (EMAF) where the group provides services to industry and research for semiconductor device and material characterisation. Services include High Resolution Imaging of micro and nano devices, analysis of material surfaces and interfaces, investigating contamination, structural and material defects in material systems, AFM techniques. 

Daily duties

- Examining material interfaces, defects, impurities, morphology – roughness, feature heights
- Sample preparation (FIB) for analysis: Si, Ge, Oxides, Nanostructures, Metals: Ti, Au, Al, Fe, Pt 
- Coordinating with customers and providing relevant paperwork - Quotations, PO's, Invoices. 
- Working with clients on a group or individual bases to meet project requirements
- Interacting with research groups and providing technical expertise – explanation of TEM data
- Provide training in the use of laboratory instruments and procedures (ISO 9001)
- Use of FEI instruments and EDX analysis software (AZtec – Oxford Instruments)


Analysis methods include

- Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
- Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
- Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX)

- Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Instrument experience

- JEOL JEM-2100 Plus Transmission Electron Microscope
- FEI Helios nanolab 600 Dualbeam FIB/SEM
- FEI Quanta 3D 200i Dualbeam FIB/SEM
- FEI Single beam with EDX SEM

- AFM, Bruker Dimension Icon

Research - ASCENT Project 

Brendan worked as a researcher for Tyndall in the Joint Research Activity between IMEC, CEA-LETI and Tyndall. Check out the following link for further details



While working at Tyndall Brendan has also taken part in teaching and outreach activites - developed a teaching module for transition year students. This was aimed at providing a hand-on experience using industry tools for electrical characterisation. Topics relevant to the Leaving Certificate Physics course are examined – diode, transistor and solar energy.