What is your name?
Vincent S. Smentkowski (Vin, Vince)
What is your title?
Surface Chemist/Surface Analyst
What is your expertise?
Surface analysis using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF- SIMS) and the application of Multivariate Statistical Analysis (MVSA) methods to analyze complex data sets.
How long have you been at GE?
Where did you receive your education?
I obtained a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, where I worked in the Surface Science Laboratory of Professor John T. Yates, Jr.
What are you working on now?
The majority of my time is spent performing surface analysis using an analytical instrument named ToF-SIMS. ToF-SIMS allows us to simultaneously detect all elements, and molecular fragments, with very high sensitivity (typically in the ppm regime). An entire mass spectrum is saved at every volume element, resulting in very complex data sets. We are using state of the art MVSA software, which was developed by external collaborators, in order to analyze ToF-SIMS data sets.
This year, I spent a lot of time analyzing solar samples (verifying the composition of the layers and identifying unexpected contaminants), monitoring the amount of dopants (present at ppm or lower concentrations) in next generation MEMS samples, determining the composition and three dimensional distribution of trace species in thin films being used in many GE programs, packaged materials, as well as numerous samples provided by a variety of the GE businesses.
I am also evaluating new microstructural characterization instruments including the 3D atom probe instrument and the helium ion microscope. I also design and build custom instrumentation to support internal research and development programs when needed.
Any awards, medals, patents, or special recognitions?
2009 GE Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award
2009/2010 President of Hudson Mohawk Chapter of the American Vacuum Society (Founding president)
2010 Chair Elect of the Applied Surface Science Division of the American Vacuum Society, 1997 R&D100 Award
2006, 2008, and 2010 Chair of the Surface Analysis symposia at the Microscopy and Microanalysis meeting
64 externally published manuscripts (including invited papers), 54 GE Global Research reports, 6 U.S. Patents, numerous invited talks at international symposia
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Most of the work we perform at GE Global Research involves teams. I helped assemble a number of exceptional teams (comprising both researchers at GE Global Research as well as external to Global Research), that develop novel data analysis methods/protocol which enhance the amount of information that can be extracted from a single measurement on a sample thereby giving GE a competitive advantage. I am proud of the teams, the way we interact, the high impact external publications we have written based on the methods, as well as the impact the new methods have for the data we routinely collect at GE.
What is your computer wallpaper?
My office/laptop computer has a photo of my oldest daughter (9 years old) taken during an ice skating competition. The image displayed on the ToF-SIMS instrument was taken during a 2003 vacation in St. Maarten.
Where did you grow up?
Seacaucus, NY. However, I moved to four states in four years while growing up.
What do you think is the most impressive (recent or historical) technology breakthrough?
High speed electronics and wireless signals. They are enabling many tasks that we all take for granted.
What invention of the future will change the world/way we live?
What is your hobby?
Custom woodworking, and home repairs. Both of my daughters figure skate, hence I also spend a lot of time at the Clifton Park Ice Arena. In the summer, we spend a lot of time outside and swimming. We also enjoy site seeing/vacationing.
First car purchased?
What is your favorite Web site?
depends on task I am using the web for…
What type of music do you listen to while you are working?
I don’t listen to music while working at GRC, however at home I favor Rock n Roll
What is your favorite book?