"In 1971, Tuomo Suntola earned his PhD in semiconductor physics from the Helsinki University of Technology. After completing his PhD, Suntola made his first industrial development while working at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a thin film humidity sensor “Humicap” for Vaisala Oy, a Finnish company specialized in meteorological instruments.
In 1974 Suntola started the development of thin film electroluminescent displays in the Finnish company Instrumentarium Oy. He introduced theatomic layer epitaxy (ALE) technology, nowadays known as atomic layer deposition (ALD), as the solution for the manufacturing of the EL-devices which required thin films with very high dielectric strength. The technology was brought into industrial production of EL devices in mid 1980s by Lohja Corporation in Finland. Atomic Layer Deposition later became one of the key manufacturing techniques in the semiconductor device fabrication.
In 1987 Suntola started Microchemistry Ltd as a subsidiary of the national oil company Neste Oy to apply the ALD technology to new application areas like thin film photovoltaic devices, heterogeneous catalysts, and most importantly, to semiconductor devices. In 1998, Microchemistry Ltd., and the ALD technology, was sold to Dutch ASM International, a major supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment; Microchemistry Ltd. became ASM Microchemistry Oy as ASM’s Finnish daughter company. In 1997, preceding the acquisition of Microchemistry Ltd, Suntola started as Research Fellow in the national energy company Fortum Corporation created via the fusion of Neste Corporation and the national Electric Utility Company. Suntola’s activity in Fortum was focused to renewable energies and advanced energy technologies. He retired from Fortum in 2004, but continues as a Board Member in Picosun Oy, a Finnish manufacturer of ALD reactors. Suntola received the European SEMI Award in 2004“Honoring the Pioneer in Atomic Layer Deposition Techniques … that paved the way for the development of nanoscale semiconductor devices”.
Dr. Suntola has many important patents on ALD technology and thin film devices. Throughout his industrial career, Dr. Suntola has kept close contact with the academic society. In 1970s, he gave lectures on Semiconductor Physics at Tampere University of Technology. Since his student times he has been interested in the philosophy of science and the foundations of physics. After a fundamental breakthrough in 1995 he has been working for a holistic view of the physical reality referred to as the Dynamic Universe. In his book The Short History of Science Suntola traces the development of the scientific picture of reality from antique to present day.
Dr. Suntola is one of the founders of the Physics Foundations Society dedicated to the search for a deepened understanding of physical reality. Since 2015 he has also served as the chairman of the Finnish Society for Natural Philosophy."
Previous post about creating the page, Jan 20, 2016: http://aldhistory.blogspot.fi/2016/01/wikiald-update-english-page-and-photo-suntola.html.
Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) - in atmosphere of Openness, Respect, and Trust
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