Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

John Wiley and John Perepezko

Photos of a computer motherboard and solder iron

The collaboration of John Wiley, an electrical and computer engineering professor, and John Perepezko, a materials science professor,  helped usher in the era of modern computing. Their chance encounter on the UW-Madison campus would spark an idea that fundamentally changed how integrated circuits are manufactured. They developed a thin-film metal barrier that prevented copper from leaching into silicon, thus improving circuit operation and processing speeds. Their work officially entered the market in 1993.