Beneath the AVS Surface Member News & Updates
November 2022
Membership Highlights
2022 AVS National Election Results
David P. Adams
Sandia National Laboratories

David P. Adams is currently a Senior Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a member of the Laboratories’ Material, Chemical and Physical Sciences Center, he leads several teams involved with the research of thin film deposition processes, process-structure-property relationships and microfabrication. LEARN MORE
David Surman
Kratos Analytical, Inc.

David Surman has been a long-standing member of the AVS. In 2009, Dave accepted the position as the Chair of the Exhibitor & Manufacturers Committee. In 2011, he was elected to the AVS Board of Directors where he served a two-year term from 2012-2013. During his term on the AVS Board of Directors, he served as Chair of the Membership Committee, a position he held until 2019. LEARN MORE
Gregory J. Exarhos
Pacific Northwest National Labs

Gregory J. Exarhos, a Laboratory Fellow emeritus within the Physical Sciences Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University and received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Brown University. An assistant Professor at Harvard University, his group investigated cation motion in amorphous phases, phase transformation dynamics in amorphous materials, and electron-beam surface modification. LEARN MORE
Director (2023-2024)
Ashleigh E. Baber
James Madison University

Ashleigh E. Baber is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She received a Ph.D. from Tufts University in 2011 working with low and variable temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. She then completed a postdoctoral position in the Catalysis Chemistry group at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 2011-2014. LEARN MORE
Director (2023-2024)
Erica A. Douglas
Sandia National Laboratories

Erica A. Douglas is R&D Manager for the Materials Characterization and Performance Department at Sandia National Laboratories. Erica received her B.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Upon graduation, Erica joined Sandia as a process engineer for Sandia’s silicon semiconductor fabrication facility. LEARN MORE
Director (2023)
Robert K. Grubbs

Robert K. Grubbs has presently accepted the position of Scientific Director of Thin Films at IMEC in Leuven Belgium. Prior to this newly acquired opportunity, he worked at Micron Technology for eight years in process engineering developing critical films for high density phase change memories and on interfacial engineering for high performance CMOS. Before working at Micron, Robert spent ten years at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) where he designed and implemented the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) facilities at SNL. LEARN MORE
Director (2023-2024)
R. Mohan Sankaran
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

R. Mohan Sankaran is currently a Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2004. LEARN MORE
Publications Highlights
What Makes Mussels Stick
Authors: Laura L.E. Mears, Julia Appenroth, Hui Yuan, Alper T. Celebi, Pierluigi Bilotto, Alexander Michael Imre, Bruno Zappone, Rongxin Su, and Markus Valtiner
The mechanisms behind underwater adhesion, while not entirely understood, can have important implications for biomimetic adhesives and anti-fouling of ships.

Most adhesives are designed to be applied on dry surfaces, but in some circumstances, moisture is unavoidable. For example, surgery often requires tissue glues that must adhere to wet surfaces without being rejected by the body. Other applications seek to prevent sticking, such as anti-fouling coatings to mitigate the growth of organisms on ship hulls. In both cases, the presence of water makes the concept of adhesion far more complex.

Understanding underwater adhesion can benefit both sides, helping to develop tissue glues and increasing ship performance and durability. In Biointerphases, researchers from the Vienna University of Technology, the Centre for Electrochemistry and Surface Technology, Tianjin University, and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Nanotecnologia described how mussels can inform studies and applications of underwater adhesion.

Mussels attach to surfaces by first extending a small “foot” that acts like a suction cup, then adjusting the local pH to make conditions ideal for particular proteins that it secretes. These proteins bind to the surface while the mussel adds other anchoring points known as byssus threads.

“Our best understanding currently is that mussels have adapted to use a mixture of specially formulated proteins and an adaptation of their environment to adhere to many different types of surfaces,” said author Laura Mears, of the Vienna University of Technology. “This is not yet fully understood and is something our perspective attempts to draw attention to.”

The team used a combination of force measurement techniques and interfacial electrochemistry to study mussel adhesion. The former measures how strongly a surface adheres to another. The latter examines the behavior of proteins under different conditions and determines what molecules are present.

“Interfacial electrochemistry is a set of processes that happen at interfaces when different species or molecules are present and there is a charge exchange by either electrons or other charged ions,” said Mears. “We can drive the electrical potential of a metal surface with a molecule of interest on it, or in the solution nearby, and then measure the amount of current that flows at the interface. That can help us follow what process is taking place.”

These experimental methods can be supplemented with simulations that explore conditions that are otherwise difficult to access, such as the shear force experienced by a mussel within a current flow. Such simulations can reveal how mussels react to changing conditions and provide insights for applications operating in similar environments.

The authors discussed the fundamental interactions involved in underwater adhesion and emphasized that the methodologies required are still under development with many open questions remaining. They hope other groups will couple methodologies, such as electrochemistry and force measurements, and think further about the interplay of cohesion and adhesion.
Applying Proper Constraints for XPS Peak Fitting

Authors: George H. Major, Vincent Fernandez, Neal Fairley, Emily F. Smith, and Matthew R. Linford

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A 40, No. 6, Nov/Dec 2022
A model that reflects the physics and chemistry of the experiment is more meaningful than one that simply provides a closer fit to the data.

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a powerful tool for analyzing materials and surface interactions. Use of this technique has increased dramatically over the past few decades, as it can reveal the elemental makeup of a target material and its chemical and electronic structure. XPS data usually consists of sharp signal peaks standing out from broader background noise, and a crucial step in analyzing that data is fitting theoretical functions to the peaks.

If the elemental makeup of the target material is known and well understood, fitting a peak function to the data is not difficult. In the more common case where the peak shape is unknown, the typical approach involves minimizing a figure of merit, such as residual standard deviation. However, because the fit needs to describe an actual material, any fitted function must be constrained by known physical and chemical properties.

In the AVS Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A, researchers from Brigham Young University, Nantes Université, Casa Software, and the University of Nottingham highlight cases where failing to apply appropriate constraints leads to poor data analysis, even when achieving a better fit.

Although an unconstrained peak function may fit the data more closely, a model that does not correspond to the physics and chemistry of the experiment may give misleading results. In the worst case, such an error could invalidate an entire study. The authors encourage XPS researchers to constrain their models, even at the expense of the fit.

“Putting appropriate constraints on peaks at a basic level is an important step in XPS peak fitting,” said author George Major. “This has a massive impact on the quality because the fitting is how you get meaningful, quantitative data out of XPS. If done incorrectly, that could mean the whole paper is incorrect as well!”

The authors are attempting to address what they view as a common problem in studies featuring XPS. Previous studies have found that around 80 percent of XPS data is poorly fitted to a degree that it may impact the paper’s conclusions. Most of these errors are related to constraining peaks.

They discuss a wide range of constraints and how to apply them to improve model fits. For instance, different background models, such as a Shirley background or a linear background, are applicable to different experimental environments and care must be taken to choose the most appropriate one. Similar consideration must be applied to peak models as well.
“Consider the material you’re analyzing — what type of information do you want to get out of it? What type of information do you already know?” said Major. “The big thing to keep in mind always is the question ‘are my peak fitting choices making physical and chemical sense?’ If the answer is ‘I’m not sure,’ then diving into a few guides on the topic may elucidate your decision.”

This paper is a part of the Special Topic Collection: Reproducibility Challenges and Solutions II with a Focus on Surface and Interface Analysis. Learn more about this collection and how to submit here.
Application of Deep-learning Techniques for Automatic Metrology on Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy Images

Authors: J. Baderot, M. Grould, D. Misra, N. Clément, A. Hallal, S. Martinez, and J. Foucher

Publication: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B 40, 054003 (2022)
Simulation of a Laser-driven-three-level System by a Noisy Quantum Computer

Authors: Takanori Nishi, Erik Lötstedt, and Kaoru Yamanouchi

Publication: AVS Quantum Sci. 4, 043801 (2022)
By adopting the variational quantum simulator method on noisy quantum computers, we simulate the temporal evolution of the population transfer in a laser-driven three-level system, representing N+2 suddenly exposed to an intense laser field. We have conducted experiments using an IBM Quantum computer. In order to mitigate the error caused by the execution of the Hadamard test circuits, the Clifford data regression method is adopted. The characteristic features in the temporal evolution of the population transfer, leading to the population inversion and the air lasing, have been well reproduced.
Higher Energy X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy - references for inelastic background analysis
In the latest issue of Surface Science Spectra (SSS), two articles by authors C. Zborowski, T. Conard, A. Vanleenhove, I. Hoflijk, and I. Vaesen were featured which analyze several pure bulk materials using laboratory-based higher energy X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HEX). The spectra are surveys measured using monochromatic Cr Kα radiation at 5414.8 eV after removal of surface contamination or oxidation. These are valuable contributions to our database of HEX reference spectra and are useful references for inelastic background analysis.
Check out the most recent Special Topic Collection on Higher Energy X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy for other spectra and their accompanying data. You can find more information about article templates and how to submit to the current collection here.
Event Reports
AVS 68th International Symposium and Exhibition
Dates: November 6-11, 2022
Location: David L. Lawrence Convention Center., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

By Mohan Sankaran, AVS 68 Program Chair

The AVS 68th International Symposium and Exhibition was held November 6-11, 2022, in-person for the first time in three years. It was wonderful to see old friends and have the opportunity to make new ones again! The David L. Lawrence in Pittsburgh provided a scenic and comfortable forum for more than 1,500 attendees to network and share cutting-edge issues associated with vacuum science and technology related to materials, interfaces, and processing (View the AVS 68 Photo Gallery).
The theme for AVS 68 was “Imperfectly Perfect Materials.” On Monday night, plenary lecturer Evelyn Hu, the Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, delivered an exciting talk that spoke to the tantalizing opportunities of defects for quantum information applications. Following her talk, the Welcome Mixer allowed attendees to kick off the week with a meet-and-great event.
The Symposium featured presentations from AVS technical divisions and technical groups as well as an AVS Quantum Science Workshop. There were several special sessions and receptions during the week, most notably the National Award Lectures, the ASTM Workshop, as well as several Memorial sessions for Charles Fadley, David Shirley, and Patricia Thiel. Check out the list of Special Events.
The poster sessions on Tuesday and Thursday were a good opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and interact one-on-one with presenters displaying their latest research. There was also an undergraduate poster session described in the article below.
AVS recognizes and awards outstanding scientific research and technological innovation at the National and Divisional/Group levels to both professionals and students. At the Wednesday night Awards Ceremony and Reception, AVS honored the National level awardees. Congratulation to all (View the 2022 Awardees). At the end of the Awards Ceremony, Honorary Membership was bestowed to Joe Greene, who recently passed away in October 2022. His wife, Phyllis Greene, endearingly accepted on his behalf, stating that they "grew up in AVS ..." and encouraged others to get involved and make it their home Society.
Throughout the week, the AVS Member Center focused on career-related professional development and work-life-balance sessions and provided a networking lounge with coffee to AVS Platinum Members. In addition, The Career Center (located in the Exhibit Hall) offered the opportunity for job seekers to submit their résumés and meet with potential employers.
The equipment exhibition was an excellent opportunity to view the latest products and services offered by more than 150 participating companies, get a caricature, grab some coffee or lunch, and win some raffle prizes.
We are very appreciative of those of you that have continued to support and stay engaged with AVS over the last few years and were able to attend this year’s meeting. We hope this year’s in-person meeting can serve as a stepping stone to next year’s AVS 69 which will be November 5-10, 2023, in Portland, Oregon. Stay tuned for more program details early in the new year. Also note that the Call for Abstracts Deadline will be May 10, 2023.
Please enjoy snippets from the AVS 68 Photo Gallery below.
Undergraduate Participation During AVS 68
By Stefan Zollner, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Vice Chair

To build an interdisciplinary workforce pipeline in science and technology and to diversify its membership, the American Vacuum Society (AVS) encourages undergraduate students to attend the AVS International Symposium and Exhibition and regional AVS chapter meetings. At this year’s 68th Symposium held in Pittsburgh, PA, from November 6-11, 2022, twenty-five posters and five oral presentations by undergraduate students were accepted. Five of these were authored by students from minority-serving institutions. Undergraduate presenters received special recognition in the program and at their posters. They also had the opportunity to network and explore avenues for career opportunities and graduate schools. 

Undergraduate students, including underrepresented minorities and those from minority-serving institutions, are again invited to submit abstracts to AVS 69, which will be held in Portland, OR, from November 5-10, 2023. For those who plan to attend next year, check out the AVS Ambassador program and plan to attend professional development events (careers, diversity, education, welcome and awards receptions, etc.) and the exhibit.

To assist newcomers, the AVS offers an Ambassador program, where first-time attendees are paired with researchers that can clearly convey the “why AVS” story. Those who express interest prior to the symposium are connected before the meeting. They start to exchange ideas via email or phone and catch up early in the week of the symposium. First-time attendees are also encouraged to seek out individuals with the AVS Ambassador ribbon on their conference badge and reach out to them. 

All student posters were of very high quality and received much attention from the conference attendees. The organizers recognized five undergraduate students with awards for their outstanding posters:

  • Jasmine Dinari (Illinois)
  • Mia-Rose Kayaian (Cal State Fresno)
  • Sean Yuan (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Margaret Brown (Dayton)
  • Ryan Chapman (Wilkes)

Hannah Umoeka (University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Bioengineering) said that attending the AVS conference in Pittsburgh was an amazing experience for her as an undergraduate student. “I got to hear talks from industry professionals and experts in many different fields. I even got to run in a 5 km race with some of them! It was truly inspiring and I had a lot of fun. The AVS conference is one I would love to return to year after year.” Hannah also praised the AVS Ambassador program: “Being new to AVS and as an undergraduate student in a place full of professors and industry experts, the AVS Ambassador Program was a gift to me. Through it, I was able to connect with Dr. Caitlin Howell and her students who helped me to navigate the conference, reach out of my comfort zone, and feel at home.”

Jaden Love, an undergraduate physics major at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, said that she was “very proud to have had the opportunity to participate in the AVS conference. It gave me information about the kinds of things that are currently at the front of research and the practical ways in which the skills I am learning will benefit my future. I met many wonderful people who have inspired me to dig deeper into the world of science, research, and technology.”

The undergraduate student participation at AVS-68 was coordinated by Erin Iski (University of Tulsa), Ashleigh Baber (James Madison University), Liney Arnadottir (Oregon State University), and Dan Killelea (Loyola University) in collaboration with the AVS Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Financial support for undergraduate students was provided by the AVS (in the form of poster awards and reduced registration fees), by the New Mexico Consortium in Los Alamos, NM, and by Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. 
Hannah Umoeka (University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Bioengineering) discusses her undergraduate student poster with another AVS Symposium attendee at the Tuesday night poster session. 
From left to right: Liney Arnadottir (Oregon State University), Undergraduate awardee Margaret Brown (Dayton), and Erin Iski (University of Tulsa).
From left to right: Liney Arnadottir (Oregon State University), Undergraduate awardee Ryan Chapman (Wilkes), and Erin Iski (University of Tulsa).
From left to right: Undergraduate awardee Mia-Rose Kayaian (Cal State Fresno) and Erin Iski (University of Tulsa).
Event Announcements
48th Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces (PCSI-48)
January 15-19, 2023
Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina

The 48th Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces (PCSI-48) will be held at Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina in Redondo Beach, California, USA, from Sunday afternoon, January 15, through Thursday noon, January 19, 2023.

The annual PCSI conference is devoted to achieving a fundamental understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, structural, optical, magnetic, and electrical properties of surfaces and interfaces. These studies include novel growth processes and interfacial phenomena, new characterization tools, transport, and functionality of the structures for future devices. Generous amounts of discussion time will be included in the program in order to emphasize the workshop character and to stimulate the exchange of new ideas.

An AVS Quantum Science Workshop will be held immediately following PCSI-48. 

  • Denis Candido (University of Iowa)
  • Norbert Esser (TU Berlin and Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaten-ISAS-e.V., Germany)
  • Mark Friesen (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Shizuo Fujita (Kyoto University, Japan)
  • Alex Grutter (National Institute for Science and Technology)
  • Nancy Haegel (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
  • Peter Hommelhoff (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)
  • Takuji Hosoi (Kwansei Gakuin University)
  • Jia Leo Li (Brown University)
  • Wojciech Pacuski (Univ. of Warsaw)
  • Joan Redwing (The Pennsylvania State University)
  • Anthony Rice (NREL)
  • Cedric Robert (LPCNO, CNRS INSA Toulouse, France)
  • Jared Rovny (Princeton University)
  • Gordon Schmidt (Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Germany)
  • James Speck (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Rainer Timm (Lund University)
  • Qimin Yan (Temple University)
  • Yongsoo Yang (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea)
  • Igor Zutic (University at Buffalo-SUNY)
AVS Quantum Science Workshop at PCSI-48
January 19-20, 2023 (Following PCSI-48)
Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina

FREE for PCSI-48 Registrants ($250.00 for Workshop Only Registration)
With the emergence of a range of innovative technologies, we can now create quantum objects that are extremely well defined, well characterized, and well controlled. This AVS Quantum Science Workshop will cover topics which interface micro-fabrication and materials science with quantum science. It will have three sessions that cover Quantum Computing, Quantum Information, and Quantum Sensing. Topics will cover superconducting qubits, color centers, ion traps, and quantum metrology as well as advances in the technologies that enable quantum information processing. These include but are not limited to: single photon amplifiers, multiplexers and advances in cryogenic systems, vacuum technology, microwave to optical conversion schemes, etc. Challenges in achieving high performance entangled devices and making precision measurements using quantum systems will be addressed. Apart from the oral sessions, we will have a discussion panel, which will provide an opportunity for researchers to interact with their peers in the field.

  • Victor Acosta (UNM)
  • Joel Q. Grim (Naval Research Laborartory)
  • Nathan P. Guisinger (Argonne National Laboratory)
  • Jared Hertzberg (IBM Research)
  • Erika Janitz (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Luis A. Jauregui (University of California, Irvine)
  • Hannes Kraus (et Propulsion Laboratory)
  • An-Ping Li (Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
  • Tongcang Li (Purdue University)
  • David Pappas (Rigetti Computing)
  • Kristen Pudenz (Atom Computing)
  • Jennifer M. Schloss (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory)
  • Ron Walsworth (University of Maryland)
Upcoming AVS Sponsored Events
December 11-15, 2022
Waikoloa, Hawaii
January 15-19, 2023
Redondo Beach, California
May 21-26, 2023
San Diego, California