Saturday 29 July 2023

VPHA website likely to retire in Aug 2024

Note on the future retiring of the VPHA website. 

The has been paid for, for one more year (I do this personally). Countdown should start for this website; nothing is forever. 

I expect the #VPHA #ALDep website to be up until about August 15, 2024, and then move to history - nicely after #ALDALE2024.

VPHA started about ten years ago, with a visible launch at ALD 2013 conference. In VPHA, the main mission has been accomplished, and it is a good time to wrap up the project and the site. Scientific peer-reviewed publications created:

CVD 2014 ALE essay
CVD 2015 ML essay
JVSTA 2017 review

More communications should come on the topic of retiring the site later, before site goes down. My goal as the long-lasting VPHA coordinator is, of course, to save the valuable materials created. More on the "how" and "where" parts, as said, later. 

In this post, I already want to express my thankfulness for all who contributed to VPHA - to my recollection this is over 70 people from over 20 countries. Thank you: We can say that we made history. I am also grateful for Tuomo Suntola, on whose support I have always been able to count. 

Related Twitter thread (or, is it X now...): 

In Espoo, Finland, 29.7.2023
Riikka Puurunen

********************* Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Wednesday 30 November 2022

Speech by jubilee doctor Tuomo Suntola at Ceremonial Confernmet of Aalto University, 2022

Speech given at the Ceremonial Confernmet of Aalto University 17.6.2022 by the jubilee doctor Tuomo Suntola, republished in ALD History Blog, with permission by Dr. Tuomo Suntola. 

Promootio, Aalto yliopisto 17.6.2022 Tuomo Suntola

Arvoisa rehtori, provosti ja dekaani, hyvät professorit, kunniatohtorit, riemutohtorikollegat ja vasta promovoidut tohtorit, hyvät naiset ja herrat ladies and gentlemen ...

I feel privileged and honored to come back to the home of my academic studies to Aalto University and this Dipoli building which, originally, was built to serve as the student house.

In 1963, as a first-year student, I had the obligation and honor to participate the building work the modest task I remember was to help in removing building wastes from a space which now is the income lobby under this hall.

In the 70s, for 50 years ago, there was a kind of second industrialization boom in Finland. Previous decades had produced heavy industry like pulp and paper, metal, and shipbuilding now there was an active demand for high technology which meant a major challenge to technologists.

I was captured to the high-tech boom in an early stage of my doctor’s career. I had just completed a successful development project in VTT Semiconductor Laboratory here in Otaniemi, when I was invited to start a new research activity in a medical instrumentation company to create something unique to the products.

My proposal was to develop a thin film flat panel display based on electroluminescence, with the warning that nobody, by far, has been able to make such devices. The board of directors answered to my proposal with silence until the chairman stated: “I am still confused, but at a higher level – let’s go ahead”. The flat panel display came true in ten years but the novel thin film technology behind the success turned out to be far more valuable. It took another ten years to develop the technology to semiconductor manufacturing, and the next ten years to get it accepted by the industry then the technology carried itself to an exponential growth which still continues.

We may be used to think that technical development is driven in weeks or months at least when seeing that new models of mobile phones appear every week and a new electric car every month. The roots of fast development extend deep and wide the more fundamental issues we are working with, the wider is the scope of new opportunities, but the more diverged and complex are the problems to be solved. For a scientist and technologist, a real skill and challenge is to see the essential and simplicity behind the complexity. I have always admired artists drawing cartoons or caricatures with a few lines they are able express and bring up the essential.

World has really changed during the last fifty years not least thanks to the huge development of electronics and telecommunication. If somebody had been able to tell me at the time of my doctoral thesis where we are today, I had regarded that as science fiction and something absolutely impossible.

I sincerely hope that every one of you, now celebrating your doctor’s degree, can after 50 years enjoy and feel having been part of development that we consider science fiction and impossible today. For that, I wish you inspiration, bright thinking, and of course a drop of good luck! 


Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Thursday 3 March 2022

No war! Нет войне!

Mothers, shout.

Don’t sing lullabies, but shout.

Shout right out 

all over the world as one.

Women, shout.

Stop the traffic, industries,
making weapons, dreams.

In the middle of market squares and roads


Shout in beds, on labour beds,

fields, schools, offices, and 


Shout with your hands held up high: – No!

No, no, no.

No war! 


Матери кричите.

За колыбельные кричите.

Кричите без сомнения
везде на Земле в унисоне.

Sunday 21 November 2021

New Podcasts section in ALD OpenLearning site (Nov 20, 2021)

[post is a duplicate from the Catalysis Professor's Open blog by the same author:]

Yesterday (Nov 20, 2021), a new section was published in the OpenLearning site on atomic layer deposition  (ALD). The site is available at the OpenLearning platform of Aalto University, direct link (can be found by searching for "ALD" or "atomic layer deposition").

The Podcasts section contains each podcast (that the author of this blog and the author/curator of the ALD OpenLearning site currently is aware of) as a separate "page" (as in defined the Moodle platform). Currently, the following podcasts have their own page: ALD Stories by Beneq, Nanovation, STG podcasts, Suomalaisten Kemistien Seura (a Finnish society), People Behind the Science and ALD Pulse.

In each page, named according to the specific podcast, direct links have been included to ALD-related episodes, which were available at the time of opening the Podcasts section (Nov 20, 2021). Most podcasts are in English. One podcasts in Finnish has also been linked to, and in the future more links to podcasts in other languages than English can also be included. The episodes in English contain interviews of many ALD scientists, including such internationally known names like Dr. Tuomo Suntola (the Finnish inventor of ALD), Prof. Seán Barry, Prof. Stacey Bent, Prof. Erwin Kessels, Prof. Mikko Ritala, Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, Prof. Ruud van Ommen and Prof. Charles Winter (list in alphabetical order, except for Suntola). The author of this blog (Prof. Riikka Puurunen) also had the honor of being interviewed for the ALD Stories podcast by Beneq (related to the history of ALD).

If some podcast or episode is missing from the list, I will be happy to add it. Please let me know of missing items -- email to (replace with my info) should work well. Also, if someone would *not* like to have their podcast/episode included in this collection, it can be removed -- please in such case contact me as well.

Espoo, Finland, November 21, 2021

Riikka Puurunen

Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Thursday 11 November 2021

2021 November Networking - ALD at Aalto University: registration now open

Continuing the successful events in 2019 and 2020,  "2021 November Networking -- ALD at Aalto University" event will be organized on Friday November 26, 2021.Place: in person at Kemistintie 1, Espoo (Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering) and, partly, remotely in a Zoom webinar.

Guest speakers at the event:
  • Prof. Ruud van Ommen, Delft University of Technology: “An ALD chapter in Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology: both for beginners and experts”
  • Prof. Anatolii Malygin,St. Petersburg State Institute of Technology: “Molecular layering method - from the 20th to the 21st century”
  • Prof. Sean Barry, Carleton University: “Surface reactions: how do they work?”  
The talks can be followed remotely via Zoom; details  to be provided to registered participants.

Registration for in-person and remote online participation is now open at the event webpage: Deadline for remote online registration is Wed 24.11.2021. Welcome!

Best regards,
Espoo, November 11, 2021
Riikka Puurunen, event chairperson

Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Res. pect, and Trust

Sunday 7 November 2021

ALD Russia 2021: VPHA presentation

On October 27-30, 2021, the ALD Russia 2021 workshop was organized (, chairperson: Prof. Anatolii Malygin). 

This was the third time that an event in this series was organized. The blog author (Puurunen) had the honor of attending the first event in Moscow 2015. From there, travel notes were published in the BALD Engineering blog here, and in and updated form (e.g. photos added) in the in-the-meantime-created ALD History Blog here.  

This time, the event was organized in a light hybrid way, enabling the giving and following of presentations via Zoom. This approach enabled some international guests to participate despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Among such visitors, was the author of this blog. Interestingly, many presentations have their slides shared on the website, see

As one of the Zoom-based talks, there was a presentation related to the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA):
  • R. L. Puurunen, Yu. Koshtyal, J. Sundqvist, J. R. van Ommen, O. Yurkevich, Virtual Project on the History of ALD in perspective: past, present, and final steps (slides, video, abstract).
In the presentation, the message was shared that the core activity of VPHA, reading and writing short comments on early ALD works to share, will be activated again. Preliminarily planned timing is to start in November 2021. Everyone with interest in ALD and its history is welcome to join - contact info @ if you wish to join as a new contributor. More info to come!  

Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Friday 2 July 2021

"ALD 101" tutorial by Puurunen at ALD 2021 available at Aalto ALD OpenLearning

At the 21st International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD 2021),, organized as a virtual meeting, Prof. Riikka Puurunen gave an invited tutorial:  Fundamentals of atomic layer deposition: an introduction (“ALD101”). Among other things, this tutorial presented the two independent development routes of ALD and discussed the field's progress in understanding the history of ALD. The opening of the last phase of VPHA at the ALD Russia 2021 conference to come, mentioned.

The pre-recorded tutorial is available at the ALD OpenLearning site under Lecture recordings,, as well at other locations, both as slides and as recorded lecture: 

Monday 2 November 2020

VPHA status update 2.11.2020 - November Networking ... , ALD OpenLearning, Erratum, ALD Stories...

 The email below was sent to 79 VPHA contributors and 70 prospective contributors.

 From: Puurunen Riikka <> 

Sent: maanantai 2. marraskuuta 2020 16.27
To: Puurunen Riikka <>
Subject: VPHA status update 2.11.2020 - November Networking, ALD OpenLearning, Erratum, ALD Stories...

 Dear VPHA contributors and prospective contributors,

 A year has passed since the previous update on the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA), copy here.

 While there has been no actively coordinated activities in VPHA within the past year, still, there has been progress taking place related to understanding and spreading info of the history of ALD and the two independent inventions. Below, you find links to blog posts that tell more of an Aalto OpenLearning platform on ALD; discuss the future of the website; analyse an erratum written on an article that deals with the history of ALD; and share of a podcast in the Beneq ALD stories podcast, episode on the history of ALD, where I had the honor of being interviewed.  

Friday 23 October 2020

Registration open for 2020 November Networking – ALD at Aalto University, Part 1: Public Webinar

Continuing the tradition (?) started in 2019, a networking event will be organized around atomic layer deposition (ALD): 2020 November Networking – ALD at Aalto University. The event will take place on November 25 and 26, 2020.

Due to COVID-19, in 2020, the event will be fully online in Zoom. The program will be in two parts:

  • Part 1: Public webinar is open for anyone to attend and has high-level invited speakers: Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, Dr. Tuomo Suntola and Dr. Angel Yanguas-Gil. Additionally, there will be tutorials by Prof. Riikka Puurunen and Prof. Matti Putkonen. (See the webpage & program for details.)
  • Part 2: Local networking is aimed for local (Finland-based) participants. The core of  Part 2 will be an online poster session where submissions from doctoral students, postdocs and other researchers are welcome. Additionally, there will be brief introductions to research groups, companies and projects, and a presentation by Prof. Timo Sajavaara on the characterization of ALD films. For the poster session we hope to create an online experience that resembles a regular conference’s poster session -- let’s see how it works out.

The registration link and all related info, including a preliminary program, are found in the event website: Registration was opened on 21.10.2020 and will close for participation with presentation on 11.11.2020 and for participation without presentation 22.11.2020.

Saturday 17 October 2020

ALD Stories podcast: Episode 2 on the History of ALD

On October 16, 2020, ALD stories podcast Episode 2 was published, where Riikka Puurunen -- coordinator of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) -- was interviewed by representatives of Beneq Oy.

The Episode 2 was centered around the history of atomic layer deposition (ALD), but was also a "fireside chat" on many other topics. Mentioned were for example: conformality; catalysis; 40 Years of ALD in Finland – Photos, Stories (FinALD40 exhibition); Baltic ALD 2014 conference; story of Suntola’s atomic layer epitaxy; two almost parallel inventions of ALD; Beneq applab opening in St. Petersburg 2013; molecular layering; 1st international conference on atomic layer epitaxy 1990; international ALD conference series; November Networking – ALD at Aalto University; Millennium Technology Prize; Virtual Project on the History of ALD; ALD window; misconception of full monolayer growth per cycle for ideal ALD; conformality test concept & saturation profile & lumped sticking coefficient.

Persons mentioned, at least: Outi Krause, Suvi Haukka, Tuomo Suntola, Sven Lindfors, Arto Pakkala, Victor Drozd, Valentin Aleskovskii, Angel Yanguas-Gil, Jonas Sundqvist. Companies mentioned: Microchemistry, Neste, Beneq, Lohja, Picosun.

This podcast should be interesting for those interested in the history of ALD and the two independent inventions (atomic layer epitaxy and molecular layering). For example, it shares details related to the birth of the two ALD history essays in Chemical Vapor Deposition journal, which have not been presented earlier. 

The podcast is available in at least via:

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Analysis of "Erratum: “History of atomic layer deposition and its relationship with the American Vacuum Society” [J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 31, 050818 (2013)]"

A correction has been recently published related to a scientific review article on the history of atomic layer deposition (ALD). The correction is entitled "Erratum: “History of atomic layer deposition and its relationship with the American Vacuum Society” [J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 31, 050818 (2013)]" and it is authored by G. N. Parsons, J. W. Elam,  S. M. George, S. Haukka,  H. Jeon,  W. M. M. Kessels,  M. Leskelä, P. Poodt, M. Ritala, and S. M. Rossnagel. It is published in Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 38 (2020) 037001; the title indicates, the article corrects an article published earlier in the same journal, by the same authors: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 31 (2013) 050818;

This blog post analyses, what exactly has changed.

Paragraph corrected describing the early days of the molecular layering origin of ALD

The publication ( says that the first two and the last two sentences of the fourth paragraph of Section II, which describes molecular layering, are changed. 

The new, updated paragraph has not been recreated in full. To help the scientific ALD community, I have here attempted to recreate the corrected paragraph.

Saturday 25 April 2020

Farewell to Future of

Related to COST network "MP1402 - Hooking together European research in atomic layer deposition (HERALD)",|Name:overview, the website appears to no longer exist. When exactly did the website disappear, is not clear to the blog author, but it was not accessible on April 21, 2020 (see Twitter). The Internet archive contains some snapshots from the site, see e.g.

The website had lots of useful contents. At the time of writing this blog post, it was unclear to the author if the vanishing is of permanent nature. Websites come with a cost and need maintenance, and it is understandable that they are not forever. If the is permanently gone, it is not the first useful ALD-related site to disappear: an earlier blog post discussed the ending of ( The Final Achievement Report of the HERALD COST action remains accessible on the COST site,|Name:overview. Thank you once more to Dr. Simon Elliott for setting up and skilfully coordinating the HERALD COST network, and to all who participated. To this blog's author, the HERALD COST network was certainly useful.

Related to the website that collects together the materials of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA), the same principles appear as for any other website.

Friday 29 November 2019

Happy 45th anniversary, ALD in Finland - Aalto ALD OpenLearning platform opens

Exactly forty-five years ago, on November 29, 1974, the first patent on Atomic Layer Epitaxy (FIN 52359) was filed by Suntola and Antson.

Five years ago, the same day, materials of the exhibition materials of the "40 Years of ALD in Finland - Photos, Stories" (#FinALD40) were released for public; they are still accessible via the ALDCoE website and the VPHA website.

Today, the Aalto ALD OpenLearning site is opened for public. You can access it via the general link and the direct link

Also today, at Aalto University an event is organized: November Networking - ALD at Aalto University event. We have 63 participants registered, webpage

Happy 45th anniversary, atomic layer deposition (ALD) in Finland!  

Thursday 7 November 2019

VPHA status update 7.11.2019: November Networking ... and request to recommend ALD reviews

The email below was sent to 79 VPHA contributors and 70 prospective contributors.

From: Puurunen Riikka <>
Sent: torstai 7. marraskuuta 2019 14.17
To: info @
Cc: Puurunen Riikka <>
Subject: VPHA status update 7.11.2019: November Networking ... and request to recommend ALD reviews

Dear VPHA contributors and prospective contributors,

With this email, I would like to update you recent progress around the interest area of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) since the previous VPHA status update on July 9.

1. “November Networking – ALD at Aalto University”. This is an event to be organized at Aalto University on November 29 afternoon, open for anyone to attend. In addition to local presentations and posters, there will be an international invited talk (Prof. Ruud van Ommen). If someone from the VPHA collaborators is interested to participate, you are most welcome to do so; poster presentation slots are still available (re-registration needed), and one can also come to network without any presentation. More info of the event and links below.

2. Request to recommend review articles on ALD. Along with November Networking – ALD at Aalto University (29.11.2019), the plan is to open an Aalto OpenLearning site related to Atomic Layer deposition, aimed to benefit the global ALD community. The site will start with small initially, mainly linking to existing contents, with the purpose to expand later in contents. The first original item to be created is a listing of recommended reviews on ALD.

To build a balanced, justified recommended reading list for ALD reviews, I welcome all VPHA contributors and prospective contributors (and others as well!) to write and share recommendations for their favourite ALD review(s) in recommended-ALD-reviews-evolving-file (it is a Google Docs file). More information in the blog post:, reposted from Catalysis Professor’s Open.

Friday 1 November 2019

Advance info on OpenLearning site on Atomic Layer Deposition + request to recommend ALD reviews

Advance info: On Nov 29, 2019, a new OpenLearning site is planned to open on atomic layer deposition (ALD) at the platform. The site is meant to benefit the global ALD community and operate mostly in English; occasionally, the site may link to ALD learning materials on other languages. The site will grow with time and initially mainly link to contents that are already openly existing. 
Among the materials to be created for the site is a (living) list of recommended reviews. According to the list created in the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA,*), link here (which continues lists published in 2005 in and in 2013 in, over 200 reviews on ALD have been published. Two hundred reviews is obviously too many for any individual to read. A shorter list would be meaningful, skill keeping the full list easily accessible. 
I welcome anyone globally, who sees the value of the initiative to field, to help build a list of recommended reviews. Please recommend reviews that you think would be useful to include, and provide a brief justification with your recommendation in your own words. Please recommend only reviews authored by others than yourself or your close relatives.** All recommendations are to be collected together in one place called recommended-ALD-reviews-evolving-file (it is a Google Docs file). This file will be a living document and have © Authors (all rights reserved); it thus NOT allowed to copy contents to third-party sites without explicit permission by the respective authors***. 
The open learning site on ALD and recommended review list are both new initiatives. Hopefully the new learning site and materials can complement (not replace!) existing teaching materials and efforts and thereby help newcomers to enter the field of research and development in ALD. 
Riikka Puurunen, Espoo, Finland November 1, 2019
* Although the website ends with .com, although there is nothing commercial there. Another ending (.org, .net, …) could have in hindsight been more desciptive of the contents.
** This follows the policy in use e.g. in Wikipedia of not proposing a wikipage for yourself – if it is important, someone else will propose it.
*** Of all authors for the whole document, or of the authors of the text in question for smaller parts.
Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Available: VPHA poster at AVS ALD 2019

The VPHA poster on the ALD doctoral thesis list was updated, as planned, for the AVS 19th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD 2019) featuring the 6th International Atomic Layer Etching Workshop (ALE 2019) Figure 1 of the poster below. The poster will be included in the AVS collections, and it is currently available via the website.
  • Link to poster: here 
  • Link to abstract: here
  • Link to supplementary information - with full author list: here
The doctoral thesis collection is still certainly missing entries. Suggestions for additions are welcome. Please preferably provide the information via the Google Sheets file, which all can edit: VPHA-thesis-to-be-added.

Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Email communication to ALD 2019 poster coauthors, 2

Email communication related to poster at ALD 2019, sent to 77 coauthors. 

From: Puurunen Riikka <...>
Sent: tiistai 16. heinäkuuta 2019 15.33
To: info@
Cc: Puurunen Riikka < ...>
Subject: VPHA ALD 2019 Poster updated version 16.7.2019

Dear ALD 2019 VPHA poster coauthors,

The VPHA poster to ALD 2019 (Twitter: #ALDALE2019) has been now updated with new figures, as planned, and also with several added theses (1x the Netherland, 5 x Italy). Other small changes made to the poster are listed below. Many thanks to the collaborators who were active in proving and updating thesis info, for making the updated figures, and giving small comments.

Monday 15 July 2019

Email communication to ALD 2019 poster coauthors

Email communication related to poster at ALD 2019, sent to 77 coauthors. 

From: Puurunen Riikka <>
Sent: maanantai 15. heinäkuuta 2019 16.10
To: info@
Cc: Puurunen Riikka 
Subject: VPHA Poster draft to ALD 2019: final superficial check DL 16.7.2019 (noon GMT+3)

Dear ALD 2019 VPHA poster coauthors,

Please find attached a draft version of the VPHA thesis list poster for the ALD 2019 conference, (Twitter: #ALDALE2019).

Tuesday 9 July 2019

VPHA status update 9.7.2019: conferences, ALD thesis list, Zenodo, ORCID

The email below was sent to 79 VPHA contributors and 69 prospective contributors.

From: Puurunen Riikka < ...>
Sent: tiistai 9. heinäkuuta 2019 12.10
To: info@
Cc: Puurunen Riikka <... >; jonas.sundqvist <...>
Subject: VPHA status update 9.7.2019: conferences, ALD thesis list, Zenodo, ORCID / poster thesis list DL 11.7.

Dear VPHA contributors and prospective contributors, 

With this email, we would like to update you with the progress in Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) since the previous general VPHA status update on April 28

Major steps forward have been the following:   
·       As many contributors supported the idea of Zenodo sharing, and noone opposed it,  Zenodo community for the Virtual Project on the History of ALD has been created: The community contains currently only one document, more to come. Before uploading more, we need to collect a list of ORCID identifiers of our contributors (more on that below). 
·       Poster on the doctoral thesis list on ALD has been created and presented at the EuroCVD-BalticALD 2019 conference ( Twitter notes: #CVDALD2019 #VPHA

You can find below more information on the next steps in VPHA:

Saturday 6 July 2019

Available: VPHA poster at EuroCVD-BalticALD 2019

Earlier post announced making available the abstract of VPHA-made poster at EuroCVD-BalticALD 2019 conference (, "Overview of doctoral theses on Atomic Layer Deposition collected in the Virtual Project on the History of ALD". Now - since some days - you can also access the poster itself via the VPHA website (later, hopefully, Zenodo, too): One of the two images from the poster below - otherwise the poster is covered with info of ~500 thesis worldwide, in a rather small font size.

Thanks to encounters at the conference, we have already received many additions to the thesis list.