Sunday 31 July 2016

ALD 2016: Travel notes

Updated 28.8.2016

The 16th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition ALD2016 (, including the 3rd International Workshop on Atomic Layer Etching, was organized in Dublin, Ireland, July 24-27, 2016. I had a pleasure to participate at the conference as a speaker, poster presenter, and as an International Programme Committee member. This blog post shares my travel notes from conference, thereby continuing my series on travel notes first written for the ALD Russia 2015 workshop and thereafter for Baltic ALD 2015, my St Petersburg visit Nov 2015, and HERALD Helsinki seminar May 2016.

ALD 2016 conference chairs Simon Elliott and Jonas Sundqvist. Photo from Twitter, @jv3sund

Since the first American Vacuum Society Topical Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition  in Monterey CA 2001, the international ALD conference series organized every odd year in USA by the AVS and every even year outside USA in collaboration with AVS, has evolved into a major event that provides the best possible snapshot of ALD at the forefront of science at academia and industry alike. There were more than 800 registered participants at the meeting, of which about 50% were industrial; and about 400 presentations, of which about 10% were industrial. The conference lasted for three days and comprised maximum four parallel sessions and two days of poster sessions. All presentations were recorded and will be made available on a DVD after the conference (past DVDs can be bought from AVS by contacting heather@

Saturday 30 July 2016

ALD thesis list contains 297 entries - which ones are missing?

During the last months, we have in VPHA been collecting a list of ALD theses made worldwide. At ALD 2016, I discussed with many professors and researchers, who agreed to check the theses list what comes to their own labs/universities. To make it easy to spot the missing ones, the number of PhD-equivalent theses per country is collected in the table below, and the thesis list (including also "professor's theses") is shown below, ordered per country.

In March 2016 (post here), there were 274 PhD-equivalent theses listed; now, there are 297. How many would we be missing still? I believe that there are theses missing still at least from USA (the George group, @GeorgeGroupCU), Belgium (IMEC/KU Leuven) and Japan, and probably from other countries/universities, too. The full thesis info can be seen in the VPHA-ALD-thesis-list. When you spot missing info, you can write the additions directly in the file VPHA-thesis-to-be-added.

Advice for new Twitter users

The last weeks have seen increasing activity related to Atomic Layer Deposition in Twitter with the ALD 2016 Ireland conference. Welcome all new ALD tweeters! Anticipating that there will be more individuals and laboratories joining in the near future, here are some tips for beginners from me---I have been an active Twitter for >2 years and have benefited from Twitter in many ways.

(1) When you first sign up for Twitter, you will to choose your unique username - the one starting with @. You can find advice on the internet on how to choose a good one, for example here. ALD scientists have many types of names, for example: @sean_t_barry, @simon_d_elliott, @MikkoRitala, @BMCtheALCHEMIST@hacp81, @jv3sund, @rlpuu. My advice: choose a username @... that it as short as possible, yet easily recognizable. When someone tweets you, each character of your username will consume of the 140 character limit of a tweet.

New page in ALD History Blog: ALD Glossary

July 30, 2016, a new page has been created in ALD History Blog: ALD glossary: abbreviations and Twitter. While I have been thinking of setting up this page for a long time, the rapidly increasing use of Twitter in the ALD community and the recognition of the "best tweet" at ALD 2016 made the need immediate. The glossary lists (link) are not final but just a start; comments and suggestions for improvements are welcome.

For the Twitter hashtag list, I tried to trace back and describe there the first use of the hashtags. Sometimes, this was easy as the hashtag is uniquely used for ALD (#ALDep, #BalticALD, #FinALD40, ...); sometimes, this is more difficult as the hashtag is in multiple use in Twitter (e.g., #ALD2015, #ALD16, #ALD2016, #VPHA). In Twitter, no-one "owns" a hashtag and anyone can start using whatever they like, also one that is already in use. Twitter is by its nature chaotic; good hashtags are keywords which help to navigate through the chaos.

Friday 29 July 2016

ALD history at ALD 2016 Ireland

Prof Greg Parsons introducing Prof Anatoly Malygin to give a plenary talk at ALD 2016. Photo by Riikka Puurunen.
The ALD 2016 conference was a major step forward in advancing the understanding of the worldwide history of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). Progress took place at least in three ways:
  1. Prof. Anatoly Malygin (St. Petersburg State Technological Institute (Technical University)) delivered an invited talk. ALD 2016 was the first time ever that a person representing the branch of ALD of "old Russian works" has presented a talk at the international ALD conferences. Great thanks Prof. Malygin delivering the talk as well as for the conference chairs Dr. Simon Elliott and Dr. Jonas Sundqvist for inviting him.

Friday 22 July 2016

Early ALD publications with one VPHA comment

Continuing on the post of yesterday, listing early ALD publications with so far no comments in VPHA's ALD-history-evolving-file, here is the list of publications (up to 1986) with just one comment. Many publications in Russian, some in German, English, Bulgarian and Finnish. 

Of course, a question is: have we listed all publications up to 1986? We can never be completely sure; the list is as complete as the co-authors make it. Participants of ALD 2016 and other experts: you are most welcome to join the ALD history reading to help us perfect and complete the work! To join, please contact us at the conference or email info@ 

Evolution of the VPHA reading up to July 22, 2016 (total completion status 67%). April-June 2016 saw rapid increase in # comments given due to active coordination. 

Thursday 21 July 2016

Early ALD publications with zero comments - VPHA welcomes more volunteers

The ALD History Project VPHA has progressed well during the first half of 2016, see e.g. the poster to be presented at ALD 2016 Ireland next week. The work is not competed yet, however: e.g., we have 16 early ALD publications which have no "VPHA comments" yet and the overall reading progress status is 67%.  

The table below shows all 16 publications listed in ALD-history-evolving-file with zero comments. The list includes publications in Bulgarian, English, German, Japanese, and Russian. The list clearly contains some historically important paper, for example:

  • publication by Pakkanen and Lindblad (in English), likely to be the very first density functional theory approach for ALD chemistry; and 
  • publication by Jun-ichi Nishizawa (in Japanese), likely to be the very first ALD/ALE paper from Japan. 

We will organize one more reading-distribution round in VPHA, to get the early ALD publications (up to 1986) read and commented. Target is that all publications should be commented by three people; one comment per publication is the absolute minimum. After the completion of the reading, we plan to re-open the voting to refine the recommended reading list, the first version of which is published in the ALD 2016 poster (voting will be re-opened open maximum for some weeks). More volunteers are still welcome to join the ALD history reading&voting, to help us complete the work. If you'd like to volunteer, please contact us e.g. through emailing info@ 

At ALD 2016 Ireland, there will be many VPHA volunteers around. The final VPHA poster co-author and affiliation list can be found at the end of this post. The co-author lists includes e.g. the conference chairs, several invited speakers, and some leading professors.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

VPHA ALD 2016 poster ready & next steps

The message below was sent on July 19 to all VPHA co-authors (70) and listed prospective co-authors (31). VPHA's poster at ALD 2016 poster can be found here. VPHA will have still one reading & commenting round and welcomes more participants.  
From: Puurunen Riikka
Sent: 19. heinäkuuta 2016 10:23
Subject: VPHA ALD 2016 poster ready & next steps

Dear VPHA co-authors and prospective co-authors,

VPHA poster to the ALD 2016 conference is now finalized. You can find a copy of it in the website: The main content and novelty of the poster is the recommended reading list of early ALD publications, which came out from the VPHA voting made in May-June.