Dr. Grill is an expert in materials science and engineering with special expertise in plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of materials. He has applied his skills to investigate the deposition of diamond-like carbon (DLC) as a protective coating for magnetic recording media and developed applications of DLC for thin films disks and heads. Starting in 1996 his research targeted interconnect dielectrics for VLSI chips and is the primary inventor of the low-k SiCOH and porous ultralow-k pSiCOH dielectrics that have replaced the silicon dioxide as interconnect insulators for improved chip performance. Under his leadership and due to his expertise, the materials developed at IBM Research have been improved to manufacturable quality and have been implemented in IBM's microprocessors at from the 90 nm technology node and beyond.
Dr. Grill has authored or co-authored more than 350 scientific and technical papers and several book chapters and is the inventor or co-inventor of 180 US issued patents. He has published the book "Cold Plasma in Materials Fabrication: From Fundamentals to Applications" and co-edited 3 books. Dr. Grill has received three IBM Research Outstanding Accomplishment Awards and two IBM Corporate Awards and was elected IBM Felow. He has received the 2015 AVS John A. Thornton Memorial Award and Lecture and the 2019 IEEE Cledo Brunetti award.