The photos in this blog post were made by DIWAS Photography, Seattle Event Photographer
Two weeks ago the 19th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition, featuring also the 6th International Atomic Layer Etching Workshop, took place in Bellevue, WA. As always, it was a very intense conference with an extremely full program packed in 3.5 days. It therefore takes some time to digest. But very importantly, it was another wonderful ALD conference with a very exciting program and many highlights. I want to thank the Della Miller and the other AVS staff as well as the conference chairs: Sumit Agarwal (Colorado School of Mines) and Dennis Hausmann (Lam Research) as the chairs of the ALD conference and Craig Huffman (Micron) and Gottlieb Oehrlein (University of Maryland) as the chairs of the ALE workshop.
Obviously, for me personally, a main highlight was the plenary session on Monday morning when I received the ALD Innovator Award. As I wrote in my earlier blog with a preview of my plenary presentation, I highly appreciate this recognition of the work that my team and I did over the years. I want to give special thanks to Sumit and Dennis for the very nice words during the award ceremony. Below you can see some photos.
After receiving the award, I gave my presentation. I was happy to hear and experience that it was well-received. As said, one can find a short preview in another blog post and I’m planning to elaborate on each of the topics addressed later in separate blog posts in the upcoming time. Of course, AVS will also distribute the slides with the audio recorded in a few weeks from now. But in case you don’t want to wait, you can download the slides here:
Presentation slides for downloading:
Atomic Scale Processing: from Understanding to Innovation
by Erwin Kessels
ALD 2019 conference chairs Sumit Agarwal and Dennis Hausmann handing out the ALD Innovator award for my “pioneering work on unraveling atomistic-level mechanisms during plasma-assisted ALD and leadership in ALD”
One of my messages was that the ALD community is strong, healthy and growing. I underlined this fact by the figure below showing the number of publications, patent applications and ALD conference participants over the years. Obviously, it was also apparent from the conference itself with a large, well-filled meeting hall. This year the number of participants was 955! This number is slightly down from last year when we reached an amazing record but this was partly due to the many one-day registrations in the middle of the vibrant tech-hub Seoul.
The slide below, shown during the closing session, shows also the regional breakdown of the participants. Clearly, and very logically, most participants came from the U.S. The attendance from Asia was down compared to last year. This demonstrates that the conference always draws more participants from the region where the conference is held and to my opinion it very much justifies that the conference venue alternates between Asia, North-America and Europe. The other slide shows the breakdown of the presentations (oral and poster) in topics. Especially presentations about ALE (37% year-to-year growth) and area-selective deposition (ASD, 50% year-to-year growth) show significant growth. These topics are very current at the moment and receive also a lot industrial attention.
Chart shown in my plenary presentation showing the evolution of the number of publications in the field of ALD, the number of patent applications, and the number of ALD conference participants. (Sources: publications by Harm Knoops/Erwin Kessels using Scopus; patent applications by Jonas Sundqvist – BALD Engineering; ALD conference participants by Della Miller – AVS)
Slides shown during the closing session showing the regional breakdown of the participants as well as the breakdown of topics of the presentations.
Regarding highlights of the conference: there are many! And due the parallel sessions I had to miss many presentations that were very much praised in the end. I did very much enjoy the other plenary presentations: Jeff Elam (Argonne National Lab) who showed – as always – some very cool studies to elucidate mechanisms of ALD and Eric Joseph (IBM) who gave a very insightful presentation about atomic scale processing to enable Artificial Intelligence. I learned quite a bit from that! Regarding speakers from industry I very much appreciated the latest insights in anisotropic ALE (including the dose-dependence of sputtering thresholds) as presented by Samantha Tan from Lam Research, the developments in plasma-based spatial ALD of silicon nitride (also with respect to conformality) by Eric Dickey from Lotus Applied Technology, and the trip through memory lane and future developments of the high-k metal gate stacks by Dana Triyoso from TEL (including her experience when employed by Freescale and Global Foundries). Unfortunately I missed the presentations by Simon Elliott from Schrödinger who spoke in a very packed room and the presentation by Angélique Raley from TEL which was extremely well received. One presentation that I found very outstanding is the one given by Rajesh Krishnamurthy from TechInsights (also known as Chipworks before the merger). By providing a historical perspective, he highlighted the importance of ALD and ALE processes in advanced logic and memory devices. I was amazed by the fact that there are even many more applications of ALD and ALE in logic, DRAM and 3D-NAND than I ever expected. And I was not the only one who was caught by surprise.
Below you’ll find some photos made during the conference. Those not present can feel the vibe of the event. Finally, at the end of this post, I will come back to the plans for next year.
The chairs of the ALD conference and ALE workshop together with the plenary speakers. From left to right: Eric Joseph, Craig Huffman, Erwin Kessels, Dennis Hausmann, Jeff Elam, Sumit Agarwal and Gottlieb Oehrlein
Impressions of the plenary presentations which took place on Monday morning, the first day of the conference.
Some other impressions of the ALD conference and ALE workshop
During the conference, also the venue, dates, and chairs of next year’s conference were announced. As you see below, the 20th International Conference on ALD and the 7th International ALE workshop will take place in the beautiful city of Ghent in Belgium from June 28 to July 1. The website is also already up: ald2020.avs.org. Both the ALD conference and the ALE workshop will have three co-chairs next year: Christophe Detavernier and Jolien Dendooven (both Ghent University) and Paul Poodt (TNO/Holst Centre) for the ALD conference and Erwin Kessels (TU/e), Harm Knoops (Oxford Instruments) and Jean-Francois de Marneffe (imec) for the ALE workshop. So the scientific part of the organization will be in Belgian and Dutch hands next year.
Please block these dates in your calendar. And o yes, the abstract deadline is February 3, 2020!