Tuesday 28 February 2017

Copies of communications to earlier ALD history review authors

Copies below of recent emails to authors of the JVSTA 2013 ALD history review informing of the progress of the Virtual Project on the History of ALD.

-------- Alkuperäinen viesti --------
Aihe: RE: Article on the history of ALD: recommended reading list of early publications
Lähettäjä: Puurunen Riikka
Vastaanottaja: <10 authors>
Kopio: info@ vph-ald.com

Dear authors of JVSTA 31 (2013) 050818, http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.4816548,

I have written a blog post to describe the ALD history activities preceding the Virtual Project on the History of ALD. Maybe you can find it interesting. Your JVSTA 2013 review is briefly mentioned, under section “2013, the AVS ALD history article and VPHA”.

Saturday 25 February 2017

On the "earlier ALD history activities" mentioned in the JVSTA focused ALD history review

As stated in the focused ALD history review recently published in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) "in essence, continues the earlier ALD history activities of one of the current authors, whose results were published in a review article in 2005."

In this post, I wish to tell more of the background of the earlier ALD history activities mentioned: how they started and what they were. The earlier history activities are related to my own doctoral thesis (2002) and the postdoctoral time after that.

Screen capture,  R. L. Puurunen's doctoral thesis at the Aalto University library server, access through http://lib.tkk.fi/Diss/2002/isbn9512261421/.

Microchemistry, Neste and Helsinki University of Technology - doctoral thesis

I made my Master's thesis in 1998 at Microchemistry, Espoo, Finland (nowadays part of ASM International), and continued for doctorate in 1999-2002 partly Neste and partly Helsinki University of Technology (HUT). Generalizing, the subject of my research was the surface modification of porous particles by atomic layer deposition for catalyst applications.

Sunday 12 February 2017

ALD history and prof. emeritus Markus Pessa (updated)

TEK-lehti wrote on Jan 30, 2017 an excellent article about the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at Tampere University of Technology (TUT), mentioning the very special Finnish researcher and inventor, prof. emeritus Markus Pessa who is also the founder and former leader of ORC. Pessa has also influenced the understanding of the history of atomic layer deposition (ALD) within the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA). The TEK-lehti article inspired me to write in the ALD History Blog also of Pessa's influence.

Many ALD researchers will recognise M. Pessa from early ALD publications. The first scientific article published in Finland on ALD in 1980 (Ahonen et al.) is co-authored by Pessa, and so is the review article in Journal of Applied Physics in 1986, which has been chosen to define the end year of VPHA. Both articles were featured and described in the recommended reading list of early ALD publications in the VPHA JVSTA focused review, http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.4971389 (open access).

Pessa has been further related to two puzzling questions which I have encountered during VPHA.  I believe that both questions have received decent answers.

  1. When I started to work at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in 2004, I soon learned from a colleague who had worked at TUT that there is (/was?) an old ALD reactor displayed labelled as "the world's first ALE reactor". When I first heard this, I admit that I was very surprised. How could this be true? ALE was invented in Espoo by Suntola, after all.    
  2. I have - of course - been curious of when the Finnish and Soviet ALD scientists first met. When during the past few years I presented the question to several long-term scientists in Finland who were active already in 1990, I got always basically the same answer: the first meeting was at the ALE-1 conference in 1990 in Helsinki, where these researchers "just appeared". How come they "just appeared" there?!? How did they find their way to the conference?  
Copy of the cover of book of programme and abstracts, ALE-1 conference, Espoo/Helsinki, Finland, June 13-15, 1990. 

Saturday 11 February 2017

CU Boulder Today, ALD NanoSolutions, VPHA

CU Boulder Today published on Feb 7, 2017 a nice article describing the history of the company ALD NanoSolutions, a spin-off from the University of Colorado Boulder. ALD NanoSolutions is specialized in atomic layer deposition (ALD) for the coating of particles. Link to article: http://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/02/07/spinoff-company-all-cu-boulder-family.

Some quotes from the CU Boulder Today article:
  • In 1997, Professor Alan Weimer of chemical and biological engineering heard a campus talk by Professor Steven George of chemistry about a novel process of coating surfaces with the thinnest of materials possible, known as atomic layer deposition (ALD).
  • Within a few years Weimer and George had filed a number of patents on the technology, gaining exclusive rights to a wide range of intellectual property.
  • “This company has executed with focus and pragmatism since we formed it, and now we are moving into high gear commercially,” says Weimer. “And we have what I call a lot of high-end ethics within the company, which is very important to all of us. That is one reason we are all still together after all these years.”
My first recollection of ALD NanoSolutions is from early 2000s, from the time I was a doctoral student at Helsinki University of Technology - nowadays Aalto University - in the Industrial Chemistry group of Prof. Outi Krause during 1999 to 2002. My research concerned particle ALD for catalyst applications. I started in 1998 as a diploma worker at Microchemistry Ltd. (nowadays part of ASM) in a research line which had been started many years earlier in Finland by Tuomo Suntola at Microchemistry Ltd. and the Finnish oil company Neste Oy (for more info, see the "Suntola story" in CVD 2014, details below). At HUT, we were of course curious of this new company: who is behind it, what is the technology, how will it commercialize ALD? 

Photo of Riikka after visiting ALD NanoSolutions March 18, 2014. (I cannot recall who took the photograph upon my request.  I will be to happy to add the name of the photographer here if the person who remembers to have taken the photo, will contact me.) 

Fast forward more than a decade. In 2014, I had a chance to travel to Boulder and visit Prof. Steven George and his group. At this moment, I worked as a Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Thursday 9 February 2017

About the unique article codes used in VPHA {AuthorYearOptionalindex}

A note about the unique VPHA publication codes, which are given in curly brackets for each article listed in the ALD-history-evolving-file and also in VPHA-reading-overview-file
  • The unique codes are in the form {AuthorYearOptionalindex}, for example {Koltsov1969b}.    
  • The codes are used for quick identification purposes of different articles. They must remain unique and cannot therefore be issued without central coordination. In practice in VPHA, the codes have been managed so far by Yury & Riikka (rather unnoticeably in the background). Questions --> email info@ vph-ald.com (remove the space). 
  • In addition to functioning as unique identification in VPHA, the codes enable the writing of large documents with LaTeX  with automatic generation of reference lists with BibTeX
  • As background info: in VPHA, we build upon the list of unique codes used for generating the literature lists of the two ALD review articles published in Journal of Applied Physics (Applied Physics reviews) in 2005 and 2013 (and Puurunen’s thesis before those). If/when we will write another review article from VPHA (Item 10 partly completed in the VPHA Publication Plan), the codes (and a bibtex file in which they are stored) will again serve for generating the literature list and references. 
  • The VPHA participants are requested to avoid using the curly brackets in their comments in the ALD-history-evolving-file for other purposes than these unique publication codes.

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

Sunday 5 February 2017

New affiliation, a personal note

Through this personal note in ALD History Blog, I would like to inform the VPHA participants as well as other people of a career change which I am currently going through.

February 1st, I started as associate professor (tenure track), Catalysis Science and Technology at Aalto University. My just-created description in the Aalto people pages describes the current status and the near-future plans (as of Feb 5, 2017):  
Associate professor (tenure track), Catalysis Science and Technology. Strong background and continued interest in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD); aiming to build research e.g. with microreactors and in situ/operando measurements. "Work-hobby:" history of ALD; interested in open science approaches. Feb-Jul 2017 working 60% at Aalto University and 40% at VTT Technical Reseach Centre of Finland; from Aug 2017 on, full time at Aalto University. Open for new (and old!) collaborations. 
For the next half year, I will work part time (60%, typically Wed-Fri) at Aalto University and part time (40%, typically Mon-Tue) at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The remaining work at VTT concentrates on the lateral high-aspect-ratio test structures (LHAR/PillarHall) in a "TUTL" project financed by Tekes.

As an Aalto University professor, I will continue to coordinate the Virtual Project on the History of ALD (VPHA) as before.

Espoo, February 5, 2017
Riikka Puurunen

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