Friday, 14 June 2019

Email communication to EuroCVD-BalticALD poster coauthors

Email communication related to the poster at to 76 co-authors.

From: Puurunen Riikka < ...>
Sent: perjantai 14. kesäkuuta 2019 19.33
To: info ...
Subject: VPHA EuroCVD-BalticALD poster DRAFT for commenting / DL 17.6., please

Dear EuroCVD-BalticALD co-authors,

A draft of the VPHA poster to the EuroCVD-BalticALD conference ( is finally ready for viewing and commenting to all - please find a pdf attached. (My apologies that the poster draft comes so late – just on time, still, I believe.) Abstract related to this poster can be viewed in:

Available: VPHA abstract for EuroCVD-BalticALD 2019

The abstract of the VPHA poster for the EuroCVD-BalticALD conference in Luxembourg ( has just been made available via the VPHA website. Title: "Overview of doctoral theses on Atomic Layer Deposition collected in the Virtual Project on the History of ALD". You can access the abstract here:

Monday, 27 May 2019

New Zenodo community: Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA)

In a recent VPHA status update, sharing VPHA abstracts and other materials via was proposed. This suggestion received wide support.

To enable the sharing of the abstracts and later other works, a "community" has been created in The name of the community - not surprisingly - is "Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA)", link:

Sunday, 28 April 2019

VPHA status update 28.4.2019 - poster abstracts accepted + Zenodo sharing?

The email below was sent to 78 VPHA contributors and 69 prospective contributors.  

From: Puurunen Riikka < >
Sent: sunnuntai 28. huhtikuuta 2019 10.44
Subject: VPHA status update April 2019 - poster abstracts accepted + Zenodo sharing?

Dear VPHA contributors and prospective contributions,

Since the previous general VPHA status update on January 17, we submitted two abstracts for posters at coming conferences - 1st abstract to EuroCVD-BalticALD in June in Luxembourg and 2nd abstract to ALD 2019 in Bellevue, Washington in July. It is my pleasure to inform you with this email that both abstracts have been accepted for presentation.

We will start to prepare the posters likely in May - expect more communication on this later. The purpose is to continue building on the ALD doctoral thesis list so that it will be as complete as possible (up to the end of 2018) when the posters are made, and at the same time it will allow conference participants to view it and notice missing items and help us make it still more complete for the review article which is being planned.

Related to the two abstracts and as well longer-plan archiving of VPHA, we propose to share the abstracts publicly already.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Millennium Technology Prize to Tuomo Suntola - photos Millennium Talks May 23, 2018

In the an earlier post, photos were shared from the Millennium Technology Prize Gala on May 22, 2018, where Tuomo Suntola received the prize for atomic layer deposition technology.  This post continues from where the previous post (Feb 10) left, and shares photos from the open lecture that Suntola gave on May 23, 2018, at Aalto University.

What is atomic layer deposition (ALD)? The 2018 Millennium Technology Prize winner Tuomo Suntola explains the contents of the lecture to come. (Photo: Riikka Puurunen, 23.5.2018)

Saturday, 16 February 2019

VPHA brief communication / ALD 2019 poster abstract SUBMITTED

The message below was sent to 78 VPHA contributors.

From: Puurunen Riikka < >
Sent: 16. helmikuuta 2019 6:26
To: info at
Subject: VPHA brief communication - ALD 2019 poster abstract SUBMITTED 15.2.2019

Dear VPHA contributors,

For your information, an abstract has been submitted yesterday to the ALD 2019 conference (Twitter: #ALDALE2019) in Bellevue, Washington, USA entitled “Overview of doctoral theses on Atomic Layer Deposition worldwide - outcome of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD”.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

VPHA brief communication / Poster abstract to ALD 2019 for commenting / changes DL 13.2., please

The email below was sent to 78 VPHA contributors.

From: Puurunen Riikka < ...>
Sent: 12. helmikuuta 2019 13:38
To: info at
Subject: VPHA brief communication / Poster abstract to ALD 2019 for commenting / changes DL 13.2., please

Dear VPHA contributors,

As planned (though a bit later than planned), we are preparing an abstract again, for a poster at the ALD 2019 conference:

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Millennium Technology Prize 2018 to Tuomo Suntola - more photos from May 22

On May 22, 2018, Tuomo Suntola was awarded the prestigious Millennium Technology Prize (MTP) for his Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) invention, awarded every two years for a life-changing innovation. Before Suntola, the MTP in 2016 was awarded to Frances Arnold. Without ALD - an invisible technology as such - Moore's law could not have continued, and we would not have the computing power (computers, smartphones) of today. The BALD Engineering and Atomic Limits blogs are good sources for recent views on the impact and development of ALD. For more on the Millennium Technology Prize, please view the Technology Academy Finland (TAF) website; next call for nominations will open in April 2019.

Dr. Tuomo Suntola (left) received the Millennium Technology Prize as the inventor of Atomic Layer Deposition technology. In the middle of the photo, Sauli Niinistö, president of Finland (middle), who handed the prize. At the right, Marja Makarow (professor, chair of Technology Academy Finland). The prize ceremony was organized on May 22, 2018 in Helsinki (Kaapelitehdas).  Photo by Riikka Puurunen, shared in Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

As the drafter of the nomination letter, I was honoured to be invited to the gala event & prize ceremony on May 22, 2018. For me, the prize and the event was literally a dream come true. The event was historical throughout. I wished that more colleagues from the ALD community could have shared the event and the joy and pride.

To record this historical event and to share its details with others, as a hobbyist photographer I took many photos and several short videos at the event. Some I have shared in the ALD History Blog post right after the event, in a video collection on Youtube, and in photos released to Creative Commons.

Now I have gone through my collections again and here I am sharing more photos. I link to the already published Youtube and Wikimedia Commons contents, where appropriate. The photos uploaded in Wikimedia Commons have a Creative Commons (CC) licence that allows everyone to freely use and distribute the photos - the only requirement is that you credit the source and if you make modifications, you share the new versions similarly openly (CC BY-SA 4.0). If you would like to reuse some of the photos shared in the blog but which are not in Wikimedia Commons, please contact me directly - you can find my contact info through the Aalto University website.

Espoo, February 10, 2018
Riikka Puurunen

Monday, 4 February 2019

On how I came up with the "periodic table of ALD processes"

IUPAC, "1869 is considered as the year of discovery of the Periodic System by Dmitri Mendeleev. 2019 will be the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements and has therefore been proclaimed the "International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT2019)" by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO."

In atomic layer deposition, for which Tuomo Suntola in 2018 received the Millennium Technology Prize, the periodic table is a central tool. This was recently highlighted in the Atomic Limits blog, who created a colourful update of the periodic table of ALD processes which I originally created for a review article in 2005 and which was updated for another review article in 2013. In this post, I tell a bit more on how that "periodic table of ALD" was born and updated. But first: a joint picture with Dmitry Mendeleev in St. Petersburg State University, taken - while visiting Prof. Victor Drozd in November 2015 - to honor this great chemist from St. Petersburg.

Then-Dr. Riikka Puurunen (now Prof.) and statue of Prof. Dmitry Mendeleev in the hall of St. Petersburg State University. Photo taken upon request by Prof. Victor Drozd. November 11, 2015. Originally published in

To the story.

Friday, 1 February 2019

VPHA brief communication / Baltic ALD poster abstract SUBMITTED

The message below was sent to 78 VPHA contributors.

From: Puurunen Riikka <...>
Sent: 1. helmikuuta 2019 16:06
To: info @
Subject: VPHA brief communication / Baltic ALD poster abstract SUBMITTED

Dear VPHA contibutors,

For your information, an abstract has been submitted yesterday to the EuroCVD-Baltic ALD conference in Luxembourg, The final submitted abstract is attached for your reference. Minor changes made since the previous version:

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

VPHA brief communication / Baltic ALD poster abstract, final check

The message below was sent to 78 VPHA contributors.

From: Puurunen Riikka <...> 
Sent: 29. tammikuuta 2019 20:33
To: info@ ...
Cc: Puurunen Riikka <...>
Subject: VPHA brief communication / Baltic ALD poster abstract, final check

Dear VPHA contributors,

The poster abstract to the Baltic ALD conference has been updated for affiliations and acknowledgements. Please find attached the abstract for final check.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

VPHA brief communication / new (postponed) DL 25.1. for poster action item

Brief VPHA communication sent to 76 contributors copied below.  

From: Puurunen Riikka <>
Sent: 22. tammikuuta 2019 11:07
To: info ...
Cc: Puurunen Riikka
Subject: VPHA brief communication / new (postponed) DL 25.1. for poster action item
Importance: High

Dear current VPHA contributors,

For your information: as we anticipated - see VPHA status update 17.1.2019 - the abstract submission deadline for the Baltic ALD conference has been postponed. The new extended deadline is Jan 31, 2019, see We are grateful for this extension.

Thank you to the several people who responded within the original DL (20.1.): sent information of new affiliation, proposed new theses to the list, commented that the abstract contents are ok, and confirmed authorship or will to be just acknowledged. Notes of updates to come are show in real time here <link removed>.

With the extended submission deadline, we can agree a new internal deadline related to updating info for the poster abstract. We can agree that author - and thesis! - information that comes in by Jan 25 can be accounted for in the abstract. Information sent in later than that can still be accounted for in the poster itself.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

VPHA status update 17.1.2019

From: Puurunen Riikka >>
Sent: 17. tammikuuta 2019 19:45
Subject: FW: VPHA status update 17.1.2019 / brief action item DL 20.1., please
Importance: High

Dear prospective VPHA contributors,

Best wishes for 2019!

The VPHA status update below was just submitted to all VPHA contributors <attachment and hyperlinks removed>.

As you can read, we are planning to activate VPHA in 2019 again. We will start with poster presentations related to the doctoral thesis list gathered.

New contributors are welcome to join the VPHA activities. You are most welcome to join, and you can ask your ALD-informed colleague to join, too.

Best regards,
Riikka Puurunen, voluntary VPHA coordinator
Riikka Puurunen, Associate professor, Catalysis Science and Technology
Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering
Visiting address: Kemistintie 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland <>
Mail address: P.O. Box 16100, FI-00076 AALTO, Finland
Tel: <>, email:
<>, LinkedIn, @rlpuu

Friday, 4 January 2019

VPHA ALD doctoral thesis list to be completed to the status of end of 2018

In VPHA, we have in the past years been building a list of doctoral theses related to atomic layer deposition (ALD). The list currently contains already over 350 entries - nice draft illustration of the contents of the unfinished list below - thanks Felix Mattelaer for this!

It would be great, of course, if we could have a complete list - the whole research field of ALD would greatly benefit. There are certainly many theses missing from the list still - likely at least from China, Japan, Korea, and likely many other countries, too. We have set it as a goal to finalize the list in VPHA to the status at the end of year 2018, the year Suntola and ALD received the Millennium Technology Prize.

To complete the list, we welcome everyone to check if the list is complete and propose additions.

New article on ALD for catalyst preparation in press, preprint available

First article related to catalyst preparation by atomic layer deposition (ALD) originating from my work as a professor at Aalto University has just been accepted for publication in Topics in Catalysis, special issue on the 18th Nordic Symposium on Catalysis. I have used ChemRXiv for sharing the preprint, so everyone can access the unformatted article already. Link:

Why to share information of an accepted article / preprint in ALD History Blog? It is because the Introduction of the article is historically valuable. Namely, it contains original references to both "molecular layering" related and "atomic layer epitaxy" related early ALD works on catalysis. As - to the knowledge of the undersigned - none of the existing reviews written on ALD for catalyst preparation adequately describes and cite the early works, the two passages in the Introduction including the cite references become valuable as a "microreview" on the area. Worth spreading word about.

Riikka Puurunen, Espoo, Finland, January 4, 2019

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

Monday, 31 December 2018

Molecular Layering in the 2018 Millennium Prize Nomination letter

In 2018, Dr. Tuomo Suntola received the Millennium Technology Prize (MTP) for his groundbreaking work on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). In addition to being a personal recognition to Suntola, the MTP 2018 was a great recognition to ALD as an enabler of many technologies and of the continuation of Moore’s law. The whole field has benefited.

In the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA), materials (publications, Wikipedia updates) have been created which supported the nomination. In summer 2017, it was a natural continuation of VPHA to write the MTP nomination letter for me in the name of my university.

ALD has been invented independently twice - under the name Atomic Layer Epitaxy by Tuomo Suntola in 1974, and under the name Molecular Layering by Valentin Aleskovskii and Stanislav Koltsov already in the 1960s (see, e.g., Wikipedia).

When writing the MTP nomination letter, in addition to describing Suntola’s groundbreaking work and the impact of ALD from all angles, I also - of course - I wanted to acknowledge the pioneering work of Aleskovskii and Koltsov, who both have already passed away.

Friday, 28 December 2018

People Behind the Science podcast with Dr. Tuomo Suntola

"Let's first think what to do, and then do it" (Suntola)

The podcast People Behind the Science by Dr. Marie McNeely,, has made a podcast interview with Dr. Tuomo Suntola as guest. It is Episode 461, Here, Suntola is discussing atomic layer deposition (ALD), history of science, how he built transistor radio as 12-13 year old, his book "The Short History of Science", his historical role models, working in industry vs academia, his fundamental works, Millennium Technology Prize, ... 

Definitely recommended listening. Accompanying reading related to ALD details could be my "Suntola essay",   

The episode was published already from August 6, 2018; however, it caught my attention only Dec 27, 2018. Thanks for Prof. Sean Barry for pointing this episode out in Twitter

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

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Story of the image: Reconstruction of the first Atomic Layer Epitaxy experiment

On December 6th, 2018, I have made a small donation to the world. I uploaded the image, which shows a reconstruction of the first Atomic Layer Epitaxy experiment (nowadays Atomic Layer Deposition) in Wikimedia Commons. (I also created a new gallery, Tuomo Suntola.)

The image is shared in Wikimedia Commons with the Creative Commons Attribute-Share Alike license (CC BY SA 4.0). This means that anyone in the world is free to use the image, also in commercial works, without the need to ask for further permission. The licence requires that one acknowledges the source (BY) and if edits are made, they are shared with a similar licence (SA). Ok ways in my view to acknowledge the source are: 

  1. Noting the authors & licence: Riikka Puurunen & Tuomo Suntola 2014 (CC BY-SA 4.0) 
  2. linking to the Wikimedia page

This image is quite special in my view and it was quite an effort to make it, so I am happy it is now shared for anyone's further use. (If someone is interested, I can tell another time, how it was made.) Had the image been used in the way it was first intended, it would not have been possible to share it in Wikimedia Commons. Luckily, things don't always go as planned. 

Here, I want to tell the story of this Suntola image, as an example to perhaps learn from.

Tuomo Suntola's main review on Atomic Layer Deposition (Epitaxy) now Open Access

Open Access for Dr. Tuomo Suntola's main review on atomic layer deposition has been kindly given by the Elsevier publisher (per request, for a year’s time?). As the review is from 1989, it is still entitled ”atomic layer epitaxy”. In the (evolving) list of publications on the history of ALD on the website of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA), this review is currently the oldest one listed.  

For the 1989 review, among other things, Suntola mapped the laboratories working with ALD known to him at that time. The list is in Table 1 and ordered according to the first publication. The list is very interesting to read through. I notice laboratories (in alphabetical order) from Austria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, UK, USA. From Finland, the list gives (in the order of first publication) Lohja Oy; Tampere University of Technology; Helsinki University of Technology, Laboratory of Physics; Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Chemistry; Joensuu University. 

I hope many people interested the field of ALD will have a look at the article - and perhaps even cite it in future publications. 

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

Thursday, 29 November 2018

2018 Millennium Technology Prize ceremony in Youtube - Suntola and ALD

On November 29, 1974, the original patent (FIN 52359) on atomic layer epitaxy, nowadays known as atomic layer deposition (ALD), was filed by Tuomo Suntola with his colleague Jorma Antson. In 2018, Suntola and ALD technology were honoured with Millennium Technology Prize.

November 29, 2018, will be a honourable day to share a collection of records of the 2018 Millennium Technology Prize event, available in Youtube. Two videos are professional productions by Technology Academy Finland, others are amateur captures by myself. Enjoy :)

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