The AVS Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 6:15 p.m. in Grand Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention Center to be followed immediately by an Awards Reception. This year, AVS honors the following awardees:


The Medard W. Welch Award was established in 1969 to commemorate the pioneering efforts of M.W. Welch in founding and supporting AVS. It is presented to recognize and encourage outstanding research in the fields of interest to AVS. The award consists of a cash award, a struck gold medal, a certificate, and an honorary lectureship at a regular session of the Inter-national Symposium.

Dr. Chris G. Van de Walle, University of California, Santa Barbara, “for seminal contributions to the theory of heterojunctions and its application to semiconductor technology, and for elucidating the role of hydrogen in electronic materials”

Chris Van de Walle obtained the degree of Engineer from the University of Gent, Belgium, in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1986. From 1986 to 1988 he was a postdoc at the IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. In 1988 he became a Senior Member of Research Staff at Philips Laboratories in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and in 1991 he joined the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), becoming a Principal Scientist. Since 2004 he has been a Professor in the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and head of the Computational Materials Group.

Van de Walle’s research on heterojunctions started during his Ph.D. under the guidance of Richard Martin, Walter Harrison, and William Spicer. Working with Martin at PARC he
carried out seminal calculations for Si/Ge interfaces, which have been widely used in the development of that materials system for high-speed electronics. He also developed a theory for heterojunction band offsets that continues to be employed for device modeling. During his postdoc under Sokrates Pantelides, Van de Walle started his first investigations of hydrogen in semiconductors. The excellent training offered by both Martin and Pantelides provided the foundation for Van de Walle’s application of first-principles calculations to a variety of technologically relevant materials topics throughout his career. He is also indebted to Eugene Haller, Matthias Scheffler, and Klaus Ploog for their mentorship and support.

At Philips, Van de Walle initiated research on wide-band-gap semiconductors, at first focusing on ZnSe. After joining PARC, he recognized the importance of GaN, performing comprehensive studies that debunked the myth that point  defects were responsible for n-type conductivity,
instead focusing attention on impurities as sources of unintentional doping. He also continued his research on hydrogen, elucidating the physics of hydrogenated amorphous silicon in collaboration with Robert Street, and performing in-depth studies of hydrogen in silicon with Noble Johnson and Conyers Herring. He had a series of excellent postdocs; the first of these, Jörg Neugebauer (now a Director at the Max Planck Institute in Düsseldorf), has continued to be a highly valued collaborator.

Van de Walle’s work expanded to address the interactions of hydrogen with many other semiconductors, for instance uncovering unexpected behavior as a shallow donor in ZnO. This culminated in the development (with Neugebauer) of the universal alignment model, which explains and predicts the electrical behavior of hydrogen in different materials by linking the electronic properties of hydrogen to the seemingly unrelated issue of band offsets. On an absolute energy scale, the electronic level of interstitial hydrogen was found to be constant across a wide range of semiconductors, insulators, and even aqueous solutions—the latter finding providing a link to electrochemistry.

At UCSB, Van de Walle has carried these research themes into new areas such as hydrogen storage materials and complex oxides. He strives to select research topics which combine high technological impact with a potential for elucidating new physics or materials science, and will continue to instill this research philosophy in his students and postdocs.


The Albert Nerken Award was established in 1984 by Veeco Instruments, Inc. in recognition of its founder, Albert Nerken, a founding member of AVS. Albert Nerken’s work was in the field of high vacuum and leak detection and he made contributions to the commercial development of the instrumentation. The Albert Nerken Award is presented to recognize outstanding contributions to the solution of technological problems in areas of interest to AVS. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate and an honorary lectureship at a regular session of the International Symposium

Dr. Howard A. Padmore, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “for sustained contributions to the design, development and application of novel synchrotron x-ray instrumentation used to study a range of scientific problems from biology to materials and solid state science”

Howard Padmore, received a BSc (1977) and a PhD (1983) in Physics from the University of Leicester, UK. His doctoral research work was on measurement and interpretation of the x-ray emission spectra of the heavy rare earth metals and this led to his lifelong interest in x-ray science. Following postdoctoral research working on photoemission from low dimensional systems with the group of Colin Norris, he joined the staff at the UK synchrotron radiation facility at Daresbury in the UK at the time the new SRS was being commissioned. In 1993 he left the UK to take up a position at the Advanced Light Source  (ALS) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the first 3rd generation x-ray facility optimized for the production of soft x-rays, where he leads the Experimental Systems Group.

His main contributions to synchrotron radiation research are in the development of new methodologies and techniques that enhance or allow new types of methods to be applied to a broad range of materials science. His early work at Daresbury showed that the development of new x-ray optical design methods could lead to systems with vastly improved performance in terms of through-put and resolution, enabling new generations of complex experiments. Several of these designs have become standards used at many facilities around the world. This line of research continues up to today, where his focus is now on grating optical systems that offer ultra-high resolution soft x-ray spectroscopy by combining high line density blazed gratings with multilayer reflection in such a way that efficient diffraction can be achieved in high spectral order. His other contributions to x-ray optics have been mainly in the area of mirror micro-focusing of hard x-rays for Laue x-ray micro-diffraction, and in the development of brightness-preserving optical systems for protein crystallography. He has also worked in the area of x-ray microscopy and made contributions to the design and implementation of high resolution photo-emission electron microscopes, including new aberration corrected microscopes. These systems have been applied to a wide range of thin film problems, but have been particularly successful in the study of magnetic systems using linear and circularly polarized x-ray spectroscopy. His work has also involved the development of new techniques for ultra-fast experiments, mainly in the area of ultrafast detection, using streak cameras. These methods have achieved psec resolution combined with x-ray spectroscopy, and have been applied to a range of problems from phonon dynamics in semiconductors to magnetization dynamics. His other work in the area of detectors ranges from multi-channel detectors for photoemission to pixelated counting detectors and CCDs for x-ray detection. He is now involved in the development of photocathodes for the next generation of synchrotron radiation sources, based on the Free Electron Laser (FEL). Photocathodes are one of the most critical elements of FELs, and his work has concentrated on two areas, the production of highly efficient visible light sensitive cathodes based on alkali antimonides, and on the development of ultrafast metal cathodes. This latter work has led to a completely new class of cathodes based on plasmonic light trapping in metal surfaces.

Dr Padmore leads the Experimental Systems Group at the ALS in LBNL. The group is responsible for the operation of 11 synchrotron x-ray beamlines, as well as a wide range of instrumentation found at the facility. Many of the group members have made large contributions to the wide range of advanced instrumentation found at the facility and described above.

Dr Padmore has been an Editorial Board Member of Measurement Science and Technology and of the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Committees of many synchrotron radiation facilities around the world, including the UK (Diamond), US (SSRL, CAMD), Taiwan (SRRC), Korea (PLS), and Italy (Elettra). He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society. He has published more than 200 journal papers with over 4400 citations, and has an h-index of 35.


The John A. Thornton Memorial Award and Lecture was established in 1989 as a memorial to Dr. John A. Thornton for his devotion to science, his singular contributions to the generation and study of thin films, his effectiveness as an educator, and his unfailing humility, which won him the uncommon esteem and affections of his colleagues. It is presented to recognize outstanding research or technological innovation in the areas of interest to AVS, with emphasis on the fields of thin films, plasma processing, and related topics. The award is conferred biennially. It consists of a cash award, a plaque, and an honorary lectureship at a regular session of the International Symposium.

Dr. Ivan Petrov, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “for seminal contributions in determining the role of low-energy ion/surface interactions for controlling microstructure evolution during low-temperature growth of transition-metal nitride layers”

Ivan Petrov is a Principal Research Scientist at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, an Adjunct Professor of Materials Science, and 1998–2010 Director of the Center for Microanalysis of Materials at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds appointments as Professor of Physics at Linköping University, Sweden since 2010 and as Visiting Professor of Surface Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, U.K. (2000–2012). Ivan earned his Ph.D. in Physics from the Institute of Electronics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and received the Doctor Honoris Causa Degree in Physics from Linköping University, Sweden. His research interests include nanostructural and nanochemical analyses, thin film physics, and surface science. He was a co-principal investigator in the DOE Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope (TEAM) project which achieved 50 pm resolution. He has published 250+ refereed papers cited over 5000 times. His review article on microstructural evolution of thin films is among the top 5 most cited in JVSTA. Ivan is an Associate Editor of Surface Science Spectra and Editor of the international journal Surface and Coatings Technology; he is also Chair of the AVS Publication Committee Chair.

Ivan is a Fellow of AVS and received the 2009 Bunshah Award and Honorary Lecture from the Advanced Surface Engineering Division (ASED. He also received the 1996 DOE award for Sustained Outstanding Research for “development of new metastable nitride-based ceramic alloys, superlattices, and multilayers with enhanced properties” and the 2009 R&D100 award as a co-inventor of the TEAM electron microscopy stage.

Ivan’s early work includes now-classic papers on the modeling of magnetron plasmas and investigations of reactive magnetron sputtering. He pointed out the importance of the ion/metal flux ratio Ji/JMe in concert with the ion energy Ei incident at the growing film In addition, he carried out detailed Langmiur probe investigations of magnetron plasmas in the 1980s to quantitatively characterize sputtering plasmas in terms of atomistic parameters including fluxes and energy distributions of both ionized and neutral particles.

Ivan conducted the first systematic study of the effects of ion/metal flux ratio Ji/JMe and ion energy Ei on microstructure evolution in hard coatings, employing a combination of surface analysis techniques, high-resolution XTEM (HR-XTEM), and electron and x-ray diffraction, together with J.E. Greene, (U of I), J.E. Sundgren, and L. Hultman, (Linköping University, Sweden). He demonstrated that ion bombardment regimes in which Ei is maintained constant at values less than lattice-atom displacement energies, with high Ji/JMe values (up to > 50), provide the ability to controllably manipulate film nanostructure during low-temperature growth of polycrystalline transition metal (TM) nitride films. He also used high Ji/JMe flux ratios with low-energy ions to carry out low-temperature epitaxy of a wide range of TM nitride compounds, alloys, and metastable phases in order to determine their fundamental physical properties. Examples include the first epitaxial CrN(001), ScN(001), TaN(001), CeN(001), YN(001), HfN(001), VN(001), ZrN(001) compounds, and their alloys, as well as epitaxial metastable cubic Ti1-xAlxN(001), Ti1-xWxN (001), Sc1-xTixN(001), and Hf1-xAlxN(001). His determinations of the properties of this class of materials are referred to as reference standards in the field.

Ivan also pioneered the growth and interfacial reactions of polycrystalline metal/nitride bilayers and multilayers presently used in industrial hard coating manufacturing. Together with D. Münz, and later P. Hovsepian, at Sheffield Hallam Univeristy (UK), based on detailed analyses of interface formation by analytical HR-TEM, he developed the technology of interface engineering by metal-ion etching in arc, and later HIPIMS, discharges to achieve local epitaxial growth of transition metal nitride layers on individual grains of steel and tungsten carbide substrates, thus dramatically enhancing coating adhesion.

Ivan, with V. Kouznetsov and U. Helmersson at Linköping University (Sweden), was a pioneer of the most important development in physical vapor deposition in the past 15 years: high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS). He carried out the first detailed characterization and modeling of HIPIMS discharges. His plasma probe measurements demonstrated that HIPIMS discharges are very efficient sources of metal ions. The results are published in seminal papers that launched HIPIMS as a burgeoning field of research and, today, industrial applications.

In recent years, through a series of ~20 papers, Ivan used in-situ temperature-dependent STM and LEEM measurements during deposition and post-annealing in order to provide atomic-scale insights into the surface dynamics controlling the morphological evolution and texture of hard coatings to determine, for the first time, absolute orientation-dependent step energies, step stiffnesses, and the activation barriers for island coarsening on TiN(001) and TiN(111) surfaces. Ivan and collaborators also used high-temperature in situ STM, combined with ab-initio DFT calculations, to demonstrate that SiNx layers grow epitaxially, giving rise to strong interfacial bonding, on both TiN(001) and TiN(111) surfaces. These results provide key insights into the development of design rules for developing new superhard nanocomposite materials.


The Peter Mark Memorial Award was established in 1979 in memory of Dr. Peter Mark who served as Editor of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology from 1975 to 1979. The award is presented to a young scientist or engineer (35 years of age or under) for outstanding theoretical or experimental work, at least part of which must have been published in an AVS Journal. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate, and an honorary lectureship at a regular session of the International Symposium.

Dr. Daniel Gunlycke, Naval Research Laboratory, “for significant contributions to the understanding of the electronic properties of low-dimensional graphene nanostructures”

Daniel Gunlycke is a Research Physicist in the Chemistry Division at the Naval Research Laboratory. Daniel received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Gothenburg and his M.Sc. degree from Chalmers University of Technology, both Physics degrees. He conducted his thesis research at Imperial College, London under the supervision of Prof. Vlatko Vedral exploring quantum entanglement in Ising chains. He then went on to complete a D.Phil. in Materials Science at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Prof. Andrew Briggs and Emeritus Prof. David Pettifor. His dissertation work describes how quantum information could be processed in carbon nanotubes. Daniel was then awarded an NRC Research Associateship allowing him to work on electronic and transport properties of graphene nanoribbons with Dr. Carter White at the Naval Research Laboratory. Later, Daniel became a member of the permanent staff and has since been running and participating in many research programs with an emphasis on graphene and other two-dimensional crystals.

Dr. Gunlycke is arguably most known for his recognition of the importance of edge effects on the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons. Graphene gained a lot of attention around 2005, in part because of its potential to replace silicon and other semiconductors in nanoscale electronic devices. Hence, laboratories worldwide started to cut graphene into narrow ribbons using e-beam lithography, hoping to obtain carbon nanotube-like properties with suitable confinement-induced band gaps. In a couple of seminal papers, Daniel and colleagues showed that the conductance in ribbons narrow enough to generate an acceptable band gap is severely degraded by edge roughness, which causes strong Anderson localization that ultimately turns the nanoribbons into insulators. The findings, since confirmed by many other groups, have changed the direction of the field and led leading experimental groups to search for alternative methods of making nanoribbons with smooth edges, including chemical derivation, bottom-up synthesis, Joule heating, cutting graphene with nanoparticles, and unzipping of carbon nanotubes.

More recently, Dr. Gunlycke has explored the properties of an extended line defect observed and controllably fabricated in graphene. This line defect holds a lot of promise because it is well defined at the atomic level and could therefore be made reproducibly. Furthermore, Daniel has shown that the symmetry of this line defect leads to several properties that could be useful for future applications. He has established that it is semitransparent, can exhibit ferromagnetically aligned local magnetic moments, and behaves as a valley filter, which is a crucial component if we are to develop valley-based electronics. He has also found that two parallel, decorated line defects exhibit a transport gap that could be exploited in graphene resonant tunneling transistors.


The George T. Hanyo Award was established in 1996 by the Kurt J. Lesker Company in the memory of George T. Hanyo, a highly skilled, long-time employee of the company. The award is presented to recognize outstanding performance in technical support of research or development in areas of interest to AVS. It recognizes valuable contributions made by persons outside normal professional circles. Typical nominees should have received mention in the “Acknowledgments” sections of the published papers but, with the possible exception of papers describing new apparatus or procedures, would rarely have been authors or co-authors. The award consists of a cash award and a certificate setting forth the reasons for the award.

Mr. Steven R. Blankenship, NIST, “for outstanding contributions to the scanning tunneling microscopy user facilities and other laboratories at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology at the National Institute of Standards and Technology”

Steve Blankenship is an Instrumentation Specialist in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Mary Washington in 1995, and a M.S. degree in Physics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999. Steve began his training in surface physics under the guidance of Dr. John A. Carlisle at Virginia Commonwealth University with thesis research focused on the electronic structure of the clean and silver covered Si(5 5 12) surfaces.

Following graduation, Mr. Blankenship accepted a position in the Electron Physics Group (EPG) at NIST in Gaithersburg, where he began his career providing vacuum instrumentation and computer-aided design (CAD) support to a variety of research programs. On the establishment of the CNST in 2007, Steve’s role expanded to providing technical assistance to a wide range of physicists, materials scientists, electrical engineers, and chemists. Steve’s surface science background coupled with his engineering expertise has led to the design and construction of state-of-the-art experimental apparatus and instruments within the CNST. His main achievements center on contributions to the design and construction of scanning tunneling microscopy systems that operate at cryogenic temperatures and high magnetic fields. These include two systems operating at 4 K and one dilution refrigerator based-system operating at 10 mK. His contributions include UHV cryogenic inserts, complex vacuum systems, vibrational isolation components, e-beam evaporators, and many custom parts and components. Steve’s responsibilities include maintaining a variety of vacuum systems within the CNST, 3D CAD design of complex components for unique experimental systems, and interacting with machine shops and vendors to ensure one-of-a-kind parts and components are fabricated to specification. He also serves as the CNST research safety representative where he ensures the safe operation and design of experimental apparatus and infrastructure within the CNST laboratories. Steve’s knowledge and abilities allow him to assist CSNT staff with all phases of diverse experimental design, construction, system maintenance, and troubleshooting of complex problems. His contributions to the CNST research program are widely acknowledged in CNST publications.




There are five (5) top-level named Graduate Student Awards and four (4) Graduate Research Awards, described below. The recipients of these awards is determined after a general competition with all the graduate research applicants and a presentation to the Awards Committee at the International Symposium.

The finalists are:

  • Bonggeun Shong, Stanford University
  • Indira Seshadri, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Jason Kawasaki, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ming Wei, University of Central Florida
  • Tevis Jacobs, University of Pennsylvania
  • Timothy Lawton, Tufts University
  • Vincent Sauer, University of Alberta
  • Xiaofeng Feng, University of California, Berkeley
  • Zhu Liang, University of Illinois at Chicago


The Russell and Sigurd Varian Award was established in 1982 to commemorate the pioneering work of Russell and Sigurd Varian. It is presented to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. The award is supported by Varian, Inc. It consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.


The Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award was established in 1989, in the spirit of Nellie Yeoh Whetten, to recognize and encourage excellence by women in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. A fund to support the award was established by Timothy J. Whetten, friends and family of Nellie Yeoh Whetten, and AVS. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.


The Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Award was established in 2002 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. It is funded by a bequest from Dorothy M. Hoffman, who was president of AVS in 1974 and held other positions of responsibility in the Society. The award consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.


 The Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarships were established in 2002 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. They are funded by a bequest from Dorothy M. Hoffman. The scholarships consist of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.


The Graduate Research Awards were established in 1984 to recognize and encourage excellence in graduate studies in the sciences and technologies of interest to AVS. Each consists of a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursed travel support to attend the International Symposium.


The membership level designated “Fellow of the Society” was established in 1993 to recognize members who have made sustained and outstanding scientific and technical contributions in areas of interest to AVS. These contributions can be in research, engineering, technical advancement, academic education or managerial leadership. This is a prestigious membership level to which members are elected. AVS Fellows receive a certificate.

  • Morgan P. Alexander, The University of Nottingham
  • Jane P. Chang, UCLA
  • Mark H. Engelhard, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Tony F. Heinz, Columbia University
  • Melissa A. Hines, Cornell University
  • Aart W. Kleyn, FOM DIFFER, and University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Ganpati Ramanath, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Francis M. Ross, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
  • Jochen M. Schneider, RWTH Aachen University
  • Roger G. Tobin, Tufts University
  • Klaus Wandelt, University of Bonn, Germany, and University of Wroclaw, Poland

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