Department of

Chemical Engineering

Designing molecular technology for the 21st century with biology and chemistry


Associate Professor Antonios Armaou | Research

Multiscale Control

Dr. Armaou's research focuses on the development of general controller design methodologies for spatially distributed chemical processes where the control objective requires a finer accuracy than the available continuum-level process models can capture. The lack of practically implementable (from a control perspective) models in the finer scale is addressed by combining coarse-graining methods with model reduction techniques to derive multiscale process models that are able to estimate the dynamic behavior of all the process variables and at the same time are computationally tractable.

The derived models are subsequently used to design output-feedback robust controllers. The need for the robust controller designs arises from the expected presence of uncertainty in the developed model description and the lack (in principle) of real-time measurements.

Ongoing research in the group of Dr. Armaou also focuses on analyzing specific industrially important microelectronics fabrication processes formulating the associated control problems and subsequently applying the developed nonlinear model-based controller methodologies. For example, consider again metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy, used to deposit composite thin-film heterostructures on wafer surfaces for the production of optoelectronic devices.

We are focusing on designing practically implementable nonlinear controllers that enforce radial uniformity of the deposition rate across the wafer surface, as well as enforcing composition uniformity, minimizing impurity incorporation in the film. The need for efficient control of the film structure at the molecular level also becomes necessary during the change of deposition material for the growth of the heterostructures, where the abrupt change of material at the atomic interface is critical for the resulting device performance. Current research of our group is focusing on photovoltaic systems and particulate processes.

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