Wednesday 30 December 2015

VPHA & New Year 2016

At the turn of the new year, it is always good to look back on the past year. Significant progress in VPHA occurred in VPHA in 2015 regarding many aspects:

  • Better organization to allow the VPHA to proceed "by itself". VPHA-reading-overview-fileVPHA-reading-workflow and info@ address enable the VPHA participants to find reading that is useful for the progress of the whole VPHA.
  • VPHA organizational presentations were delivered at ALD Russia and Baltic ALD. The goal was to invite more people to get interested in VPHA and join it, which succeeded. Still more people are welcome to join, as we are far away from the "target" of 100 active volunteers: at the moment there are 40. 
  • Creation of the ALD History Blog, for more visibility and better spreading of information. 
  • Last but not least: publication of the ML essay by Malygin, Drozd, Malkov and Smirnov in December 2015 (Item #8 in the VPHA Publication Plan).  In my view, this might very well be the single most important outcome of the whole VPHA. I am very grateful for the authors that they took the time to write the essay; only these authors could write such a detailed account of how ALD evolved under the name Molecular Layering in Soviet Union and Russia since the 1960s. Also I am grateful for VPHA colleagues who helped in January 2015 to define questions that we would like the ML essay to answer.    

Monday 28 December 2015

VPHA ALD history review 1st co-author email

The message below was sent 18 December to 13 prospective co-authors of the scientific VPHA ALD History Review. Those potentially interested in co-authoring the review article but who did not receive the initial email, please contact me at no later than by the end of January 2016. Alternatively, you let us know of your interest through emailing info@

The ML essay indicated "to be published soon" has in the meantime been published (link).

Begin forwarded message:

Saturday 19 December 2015

Friday 18 December 2015

Molecular Layering essay by Malygin et al. published

It is my great pleasure to inform that the essay by Malygin et al. has finally been published. This is Item #8 in the VPHA Publication Plan.


Abstract: This essay is dedicated to the history of creation and development of the molecular layering technique (ML) which, in the modern community of non-Russian scientists, is commonly referred to as atomic layer deposition (ALD). Basic research in the field of chemical transformations of solid surfaces using the ML method in the light of the “framework” hypothesis proposed by V. B. Aleskovskii in 1952 is discussed. A number of questions raised by international scientists including those involved in the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA, 2013), and scientists from conferences in Helsinki (Finland, May 2014.), Kyoto (Japan, June 2014), and personal communications amongst peers are addressed. For the first time in English, this article provides information about V. B. Aleskovskii and S. I. Kol'tsov who are closely associated with development of the ML technique in the Soviet Union. This paper also informs the scientific community about research groups currently engaged in ML research in Russia and introduces the scientific school of “Chemistry of highly organized substances”, founded and supervised by V. B. Aleskovskii. 

Thursday 17 December 2015

New open file: VPHA-ALD-terminology

Following suggestions received after the previous VPHA email update (17.12.), a new open file has been set up for VPHA co-editing, called VPHA-ALD-terminology. We will collect here ALD-specific terminology that people would like to discuss.

VPHA status update email 2015-12-17

The VPHA email update was sent to 39 co-authors and 31 prospective co-authors: 
Dear current and prospective VPHA co-authors,

It is time for this year’s the last update regarding the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA). Please find below updates on six topics:
1.    ML essay
2.    Wikipedia update
3.    Recent ALD History Blog posts
4.    VPHA in numbers
5.    Personal invitations to join the ALD history reading
6.    History of ALD terminology 

Significant progress has taken place in VPHA this year. When many small individual contributions are summed up together, the result can be very significant. Thank you for everyone’s contributions, may it be big or small!

Friday 11 December 2015

VPHA's ALD History Review begins with formulation of questions (DL Jan 10)

In VPHA, we have started to prepare for the general scientific review on the history of ALD, Item #10 in the VPHA Publication Plan. The first step towards the review is that we will collect questions to which the review should answer, and other suggestions regarding the review. All current and potential future VPHA co-authors are welcome to participate in this questions-forming activity.

Thursday 10 December 2015

VPHA ALD 2016 preparation begins: more co-authors welcome

In VPHA, we are starting to prepare for the final scientific presentation: a presentation at the ALD 2016 conference in Ireland. This is Item #9 in the VPHA Publication Plan.

The first abstract draft has been sent to all VPHA co-authors - 39 at the moment -  to view and comment, and also to prospective co-authors (> 20). The figure below shows the current distribution per country of VPHA co-authors. At the moment, 347 publications are listed for reading in VPHA, and 367 comments on these have been written. In total, about 1000 comments should be written, so there is obviously still quite some work to do. More volunteers are welcome, and needed, to bring the work to a good end.

Distribution of the VPHA co-authors (total of 39) per country (total of 11), as of December 10, 2015.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Wikipedia ALD update: Google docs and Twitter

The general activities of VPHA towards #11 in Publication Plan, updating Wikipedia, are taking the first steps. Related to this:

  • A collaborative open Google docs file has been created: WikiALD-update-WIP. Everyone can view and comment on the file, and selected people have editing rights.  
  • A new Twitter hashtag has been created to keep track of the discussisons: #WikiALD.

Wikipedia, Suntola, forefront of science and Dynamic Universe

In a previous post, ALD in Wikipedia - status and surprises, I described the results of exploring ALD-related pages in Wikipedia. Today, I want to continue around the same Wikipedia topic, by sharing the story of how I got to know Dr. Tuomo Suntola, the Finnish inventor of ALD. This I do to shed light on the surprising content of his Wikipedia page, namely the fact that ALD is not mentioned there at all.

Monday 7 December 2015

VPHA status update email 2015-12-07

This status update email below was sent on 7.12.2015 to all VPHA co-authors (39) and registered prospective co-authors (26). 

Would you would like to join the VPHA as a volunteer and as a prospective co-author receive these emails, please send an email to info@


Dear VPHA co-authors and prospective co-authors,

VPHA has again proceeded in the past weeks. In this VPHA status email, please find below info regarding:

  1. VPHA abstract to Ireland ALD 2016 conference (#9 in the Publication Plan)
  2. General scientific review on the history of ALD (#10 in the Publication Plan)
  3. List of ALD conferences
  4. List of ALD reviews
  5. ALD in Wikipedia
  6. Recent posts in the ALD History Blog
  7. VPHA in numbers & invitations to more ALD scientists to join

Saturday 5 December 2015

ALD in Wikipedia - status and surprises

Updating Wikipedia regarding the history of ALD is one of the goals that we have set in the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA). Today, I had a quick look at the status of ALD-related information in Wikipedia --- and got surprised.

Here are the main pages related to ALD - these are quite as expected.
I did not find any pages related to Aleskovskii and Koltsov, who independently developed ALD in USSR under the name Molecular Layering, and also no dedicated page of Molecular Layering. 

Many surprises came, when I looked into the contents of the three pages.

ALD in Twitter

Twitter is one of the main sources directing people to this ALD History Blog. I have recommended Twitter personally to many. With this post, would like to tell still to more people, how Twitter can be beneficial, also related to ALD.

Very basic features of Twitter:
  • Twitter calls itself sometimes a "microblog service". 
  • There is a general limitation of 140 characters for each post. 
  • Twitter used "hashtags" (#) as keywords to organise content. 
  • Users are identified with the "@" symbol. 

Thursday 3 December 2015

Another page under construction: List of ALD reviews

A list of scientific reviews (including books) on ALD is now under construction as a separate page in the ALD History Blog:

This initial list, started December 3, 2015, contains the list of reviews collected for my (Puurunen's)  review articles in J. Appl. Phys. 2005 and 2013, with some items added for years 2012 on.

There are surely many missing. When you notice missing items that should be added, you can leave a note in the Comment field below with the info to be added, or send me the missing info by email,

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

New page in the ALD History Blog: List of posts

For easy navigation, a new page has been added to the ALD History Blog: list of posts.

You can find it in the Pages list (top right of the page), as well as through this link:

The goal is to update this page after each full month. Now the list shows the posts of October and November 2015.

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

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Page under construction: List of ALD conferences

I have started to build a page inside the ALD History Blog, to list the past and future ALD conferences and workshops. You can find the page under construction already here:

There are many missing items still. If you would like to help me with filling the info, you can contact me (1) by leaving a comment in the comment field after this post or after the page itself, or (2) emailing to my work address, Please include a descriptive title in your email, e.g., "ALD Blog: addition to the ALD conference list" or alike, not to be overlooked. To be included in the list, the conference should have a strong emphasis on ALD (>50%).