Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Travel notes: 63rd AVS symposium, Nashville

The AVS 63rd International Symposium and Exhibition was organized November 6-11, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA (symposium website: https://www.avs.org/symposium). I had the pleasure to attend the conference to present a scientific talk on the analysis of ALD/CVD process characteristics using VTT’s recently developed conformality test structures.

My name badge at AVS 63rd Symposium. "Press" stands for ALD History Blog.

This was my first time at an AVS Symposium. Earlier, I have published in the ALD History Blog travel notes from meetings such as ALD Russia 2015 Moscow, Baltic ALD 2015 Tartu, St. Petersburg visit November 2015, HERALD Helsinki meeting May 2016, ALD 2016 Dublin, and Baltic ALD 2016 St. Petersburg. The travel reports are written in the style of photojournalism, from the viewpoint of the on-going Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA). As many of the VPHA volunteers are potential attendants of future AVS symposia, I wanted to write travel notes also from this event, although I did not expect much progress related to the ALD history activities. As it turned out, the event was also interesting from the point of view of the VPHA.


The AVS symposium is a sizeable, well organized event. General introduction copied from the Symposium Introduction reads: “The AVS International Symposium and Exhibition addresses cutting-edge issues associated with materials, processing, and interfaces in the research and manufacturing communities. The weeklong Symposium fosters a multidisciplinary environment that cuts across traditional boundaries between disciplines, featuring papers from AVS technical divisions, technology groups, and focus topics on emerging technologies. The equipment exhibition is one of the largest in the world and provides an opportunity to view the latest products and services offered by 200+ participating companies. More than 2,000 scientists and engineers gather from around the world to attend.” A “Why attend an AVS symposium” leaflet summarizes the event and the AVS membership compactly. AVS has a clear Code of Conduct and Photo/Recording Policy for the event. Also bloggers were requested to register with a Press Pass --- this was my first time as a "press representative".   

According to the AVS symposium website, there were over 1400 technical presentations. There was one plenary talk for the whole audience, several tens of invited talks (each 40 min); contributed talks lasted each 20 min. The scientific sessions were organized by twelve divisions of AVS. An overview of the sessions can be found at https://www.avs.org/Symposium/Technical-Program/Divisions-Groups. The broad scope of the symposium is generally considered a strength: in addition to following talks in the field directly related to one’s own work, many scientists hop to other sessions and get introduced (perhaps most often through following the invited talks) to the latest in research related to e.g. energy storage, catalysis, or implantable medical devices.

One of the divisions of AVS is the Thin Film (TF) division. Thin Film division hosted 14 core oral sessions at the 63th AVS symposium. (The TF division also acts behind the international conference on ALD---next one in the series: ALD 2017 in Denver, Colorado.) Five of the TF sessions contained the term "ALD" in the title: TF-MoM ALD Precursors and Surface Reactions; TF+EM-MoA ALD for Energy Conversion and Storage; TF-TuM Advanced CVD and ALD Processing, ALD Manufacturing and Spatial-ALD; TF+MI+NS-WeM ALD and Nanostructures; TF-FrM CVD, ALD and Film Characterization.

My own talk was a contributed talk in the session AS+SS-ThM Depth Profiling, Buried Interfaces, and 3D Analyses (thus NOT in an ALD session). Title of the talk: Analysis of ALD/CVD conformality using lateral high aspect ratio (LHAR) test structures: experimental characteristics and proposed classifications. I estimated that roughly forty persons were listening to the talk.

Direct ALD-history-related activities were not planned for the AVS symposium. Still, from the viewpoint of the progress of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA), the event was advantageous. Meeting in person with the editor-in-chief of JVSTA, Prof. Eray Aydil, confirmed the interest and support of the journal for VPHA’s activities. In the meantime, VPHA's first joint scientific journal manuscript with 62 authors has been formally accepted for publication (see the Cover Letter of the original submission here and the resubmission here). Also, I was allowed to present myself and the VPHA project at the AVS history committee. I sensed there significant appreciation of VPHA’s history activities. VPHA has already resulted in several scientific conference presentations (see the vph-ald.com webpage for details), an exhibition (“FinALD40”, material in the aldcoe.fi and vph-ald.com websites), two essays (on Atomic Layer Expitaxy and Molecular Layering), and the journal article currently in press in JVSTA (scheduled for the special ALD issue 2017).

The exhibition part of the symposium was impressive, too. According to the introduction, 200+ companies participated at the exhibition. Of companies directly related to ALD, I noticed the booths of Kurt J. Lesker, Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology, Picosun, and Ultratech/Cambridge Nanotech. In addition to the scientific talks and exhibition, the AVS 63rd symposium had a career centre, science is arts contest, and caricature artists (my own caricature here).

This was my first time at the AVS symposium---hopefully not the last one. I liked the multidisciplinary nature of the scientific part, and I appreciate the expected and unexpected personal meetings with people from varied backgrounds. As a newcomer, I was warmly welcomed to the event---there was even an introductory lunch for all new AVS members (by participating at the symposium, one becomes member). Thank you to the AVS staff for the professional organization of the conference!   

Below, you find some of my photos taken during the conference, or on the way to/from it. Some of them have earlier been published in Twitter (@rlpuu).

Espoo, Finland, November 22, 2016
Riikka Puurunen



" programme & abstracts are available through scheduler. Here's my contribution, Thu Nov. 10. " Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Oct 20, 2016. 


"Goodbye to Finland, time to head to Nashville to talk of thin film conformality testing. Thu, Abstract #882" Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 4, 2016. 


"I'll take the top-right flight to New York and from there to Nashville , with many and talks & even dedicated sessions." Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 4, 2016.


" helps Nashville attendees get in the music city mood :). - When I passed it, the studio was empty." Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 6, 2016.


A lot of glass! Home arena of the Nashville predators ice hockey team. Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 6, 2016.


What pillars! Entrance to Music City Hall. Photo Riikka puurunen, Nov 9, 2016.


" Sure. And it did get improved in the process - similarly to good song lyrics :) (Nashville ) " Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 6, 2016. 





Registered - for the first time ever also as "press". (Bonus: my name is written correctly, again!) Photo: Riikka Puurunen.


The program book was excellent. Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 6, 2016. 


The international conference on atomic layer deposition (next: Denver July 2016) is one of the AVS co-sponsored/endorsed topical conferences. From the AVS 63rd programme, photo by Riikka Puurunen.


The AVS 63rd symposium program book contained excellent descriptions of the exhibitors along with useful lists. This one lists the exhibitors of ALD systems. (Picosun was at the exhibition, too, although for some reason they were not listed here.) Photo by Riikka Puurunen. 


Symposium has started! Many small meeting rooms in use. Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 7, 2016.


""Potatoes, potatoes." Potatoes for lunch, US style, at . " Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 7, 2016.


"Prof Maarit Karppinen from gives an invited talk at on -MLD hybrid materials for emerging energy applications" Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 7, 2016.

Decorations in the Music City style for get-together dinner on Monday Nov 7, 2016. Photo by Riikka Puurunen.
  
Country music at the get-together event. Photo by Riikka Puurunen, Nov 7, 2016. 


Passing Broadway on the way back. Photo by Riikka Puurunen, Nov 7, 2016.



Model and his caricature: Prof. Slava Krylov, from Tel Aviv University. Photo: Riikka Puurunen, Nov 8, 2016.
Next caricature: of me! (To see the result, scroll further in the photos.) Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 8, 2016. 


Stand of Ultratech/CNT with Eric and Bob. Photo: Riikka Puurunen, Nov 8, 2016.


Open positions and job seekers met at the career centre. This is a very useful initiative by AVS.  Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 8, 2016.

Art Zone contest at the exhibition. Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 8, 2016.
"I've voted on Nov 8, too... Science is arts, at Nashville." Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter.

AVS History Committee had a small slideshow at the exhibition. Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 9, 2016.

I presented the VPHA ALD history activities at the AVS History Committee meeting. It is likely that there will be some follow-up.  Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 9, 2016.

"Chairs of part at : Chuck Dezelah and John Conley . Looking forward to a great conference in Denver! " Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 10, 2016. 

"... and then a picture from Nashville with the newly nominated Social Media Chair included. Happy tweeting at ! " Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 10, 2016. 


"New in Twitter? My advice for new users. . " Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 11, 2016. 

"Challenge for traveling home from : how to get this home undamaged? Three flights to go. Artist: Wayne Tillett-thank you!" Riikka Puurunen @rlpuu in Twitter, Nov 11, 2016. 

Returning home to Finland. In the meantime, snow has fallen. Photo Riikka Puurunen, Nov 12, 2016.

  

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

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