Winners of the Albert Nerken Award


The Albert Nerken Award was established in 1984 by VEECO Instruments, Inc. in recognition of its founder, Albert Nerken, for his role as a founding member of the AVS, his early work in the field of high vacuum and leak detection, and his contributions to the commercial development of that instrumentation.  The recipient must be a recognized worker in his field with an outstanding record of sustained (5 years or more) contributions to the solution of technological problems through the use of vacuum and surface science principles.  The award is annual; and it consists of a cash award, currently $5000 and a certificate. 


1985           John L. Vossen
“For his insightful contributions into the control of thin film deposition/etching processes and his application of these technologies to product development.”

1986           Donald J. Santeler
“For his significant and long-standing contributions to vacuum technology, most notably in the areas of leak detection and pumping.”

1987           Marsbed Hablanian
“For his many past and present contributions to the science and applications of vacuum technology.”

1988           Stanley L. Milora
“For his outstanding achievements in developing and applying unique and creative fueling systems for fusion devices.”

1989           Martin P. Seah and Charles D. Wagner
“For their contributions to quantification and practical application of surface electron spectroscopies.”

1990           J. Peter Hobson
“For contributions to the production and measurement of ultrahigh vacuum.”

1991           Harold R. Kaufman
“For the invention of the electron-bombardment broad-beam ion source, and extending its use in thin film applications.”

1992           Paolo della Porta
“For his contributions over several decades to the invention and worldwide distribution of a series of getters with extensive applications, ranging from radio tubes to the largest accelerators on earth.”

1993           John F. O’Hanlon
“For outstanding contributions to vacuum technology and the education of its practitioners and for significant contributions to a range of semiconductor, display and micro-contamination problems.”

1994           Hajime Ishimaru
“For his unique contribution to the development and characterization of aluminum alloys for use in ultra-high vacuum environments.”


1995          Donald M. Mattox

“For his invention of the ion-plating process and its continued development”


1996           William R. Wheeler

"For a lifetime of seminal vacuum hardware and instrumentation innovations, particularly the enabling invention of the Conflat flange"


1997           John C. Helmer

"For his many significant contributions to research on molecular beams, Masers, cross-field discharges and plasmas, gas flow in molecular and transition regimes, ion-gettering and hybrid turbo-molecular pumps, and ultrahigh vacuum and surface science instrumentation"


1998           Peter J. Clarke

"For his invention, development and commercialization of the conical magnetron sputtering source, known as the S-gun, along with the continued development of commercial-scale sputter deposition and technology."


1999           Paul H. Holloway

"For seminal contributions to the science and technology of surface reactions, particularly low temperature and beam stimulated oxidation, and of ohmic contacts to compounds"


2000           John T. Grant

"For pioneering research and development of the technique of Auger Electron Spectroscopy to study surface composition and chemistry"


2001           Cedric Powell

“ For the development of improved data, particularly electron inelastic mean free paths, for applications in quantitative Auger electron spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy”


2002            J. Harra

 “For the development of sublimation pumps and the solution of technological problems in the design of novel systems for coating semiconductor wafers”


2003           Peter Barna

 “For his seminal contributions in the use of in-situ electron microscopy for the characterization and understanding of microstructural evolution and texture development during thin film growth.”