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VS5 Highlights

On 15th & 16th October 2014 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, the 5th Vacuum Symposium UK Conference hosted a variety of technical meetings of general and specialist interest that attracted 171 delegates. The Conference is established as an annual event alongside Vacuum Expo and provides a forum for scientists, academics, technicians and industrial users who share ‘vacuum’ as a common interest.

This year there were four technical meetings, three of which were free to  attend made possible by the support of twenty sponsors from industry and academia.

Surface Modification and Analysis

The Surface Modification and Analysis meeting was jointly organised by five IOP Groups. Invited Speakers from National Research Laboratories and Universities in the UK, Germany and Austria presented latest information on many aspects of the meeting topic. Contributions on surface modification covered atomic layer deposition with plasma-assistance to form dielectric layers in high electron mobility transistors, power electronic devices and solar cells, coatings inside vacuum tubes to provide pumping and low electron-emission surfaces and manipulation of atoms such as hydrogen on a surface to control the action of a functional molecule. Developments in analytical methods included measurement techniques to determine mechanical properties of a multilayer or multi-component system, measurement of biomolecular interface properties of importance in the performance of nanoparticle drug delivery products, improved interpretation methods for interpretation of scanning tunnelling data, modified tips and frequency modulation in atomic force microscopy to bring resolution to the pico-meter scale and an in-air particle-induced x-ray emission analysis technique.

Technical Plasma Workshop
The Technological Plasma Workshop (TPW) is principally a UK-based international forum in science and technology of plasmas and gas discharges. A diverse series of presentations were given in fields ranging from impedance matching for capacitive and inductively coupled plasmas for materials processing, through the use of cold plasmas for biomedical sterilization and food treatment and environmental applications such as the use of plasmas in catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide and the removal of formaldehyde. Space applications were covered with a presentation on scaled experiments and simulations of the magnetosphere. An oral presentation was given on the use of chemical vapour deposition of diamond on a molybdenum–tungsten layer for the coating of steel. The conference programme consisted of 10 oral presentations and 30 poster
presentations with forty five people from a mixture of UK institutes attending.
Poster Sessions

Poster Sessions were held in the exhibition hall (Vacuum Expo) over both days of the event and included posters covering many of the topics featured in the technical meetings. Poster Prize winners were Dr Holly Hedgeland, London Centre for Nanotechnology, UCL (pictured below collecting the prize from John Colligon), and Nessa Fereshteh Saniee, Department of Physics, University of Warwick.

PosterPrize1

Functional Thin Films

The Functional Thin Films meeting provided a comprehensive mix of presentations on the production, characterisation and commercial applications of functional coatings. Speakers travelled from as far as Germany and Italy, giving talks on advanced functional coatings using HIPIMS and the ionized jet deposition process as a new class of thin film deposition equipment. The invited speakers came from reputable institutions from different corners of the UK covering opics on optimisation techniques for rapid processing of thin films, perovskite solar cells via scalable methods and advances in thermochromic vanadium ioxide thin films for building integration applications. A variety of other interesting research areas were covered from in-line processing of solar cells using metal organic chemical vapour deposition, abnormal photovoltaic effects in ferroelectric materials, smart thin films for micro actuation and lab-on-chip applications, laser printing of organic light-emitting diode pixels by LIFT and the latest available technology for spectrophotometry characterisation of thin films.

Contamination Control
The Contamination Control, Cleaning and Surface Preparation for Vacuum Applications proved very popular with delegates, enlightening us that this topic is often more important than the selection of the vacuum equipment itself! The meeting covered the legislation related to cleaning fluids, the control of particulates during assembly, and measurement of the results using an RGA. The procedures and improvements in contamination control in the semiconductor industry, through to particle accelerators, was most informative. In addition, there was a real case study of how best practice employed by Nikon led to significant product improvement.
Training
Demand for basic and advanced training in vacuum science and technology within the UK continues to be high. The small course fee did not deter attendance, in fact it encouraged people to turn up and gain knowledge from the experienced Trainers, Austin Chambers & Ron Reid. The majority of attendees were vacuum users from UK industrywhere applications of vacuum continue to increase. The training course on ‘Clean Vacuum & UHV’ now in its second year proved very popular and has helped many to grasp a better understanding of this increasingly important area. Training was sponsored by the British Vacuum Council.
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11 & 12 October 2017, Ricoh Arena, Coventry
225 Days to go

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