AVS 61st International Symposium and Exhibition Focuses on Materials, Surfaces and Interfaces

After more than two years of planning, it is hard to believe that the AVS 61st International Symposium and Exhibition which took place Nov. 9 – 14, 2014 in Baltimore Maryland is over! The prevailing themes at this year’s symposium were materials, surfaces, and interfaces that advance device technologies and aim at practical use.

AVS is a professional society that brings together academics, and representatives of government and industry who specialize in a variety of disciplines: chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, engineering, business, and sales. AVS members share common interests in the basic science, technology development, and commercialization of materials, interfaces, and processing area.

Professor Tobin Marks from Northwestern University gave the Plenary Lecture titled “New Materials Strategies for Hybrid Electronic Circuitry.” Professor Marks’ lecture focused on the challenging design, characterization, and realization of new materials for creating unconventional electronics – and hence touched almost every AVS Division/Group – which is why I, in my role as AVS-61 program chair, selected him as this year’s plenary speaker.

Vincent Smentkowski (left), AVS-61 Program Chair with Professor Tobin Marks, Northwestern University (plenary speaker)

We hosted some new Focus Topics (many were presented at the request of industrial AVS members and also had a local flavor):

  • Conservation Studies of Heritage Materials
  • Fundamentals & Biological, Energy, and Environmental Applications of Quartz Crystal Microbalance
  • Novel Trends in Synchrotron and FEL-Based Analysis
  • Materials Characterization in the Semiconductor Industry
  • Selective Deposition as an Enabler of Self Alignment
  • Surface Modification of Materials by Plasmas for Medical Purposes

The full book of AVS-61 Abstracts can be found at: http://www2.avs.org/symposium2014/ProgramBooks/ProgramBook_Complete.pdf

Highlights of the AVS-61 sessions included:
Biointerfaces and Devices sessions were devoted to protein adsorption and the blood/biomaterial interface, biosensors, nonlinear optical spectroscopy and microscopy, and characterization of biointerfaces under vacuum or ambient conditions.  Other areas included biomateriomics, analytical challenges in the pharmaceutical industry, and surface modification of materials by plasmas for medical purposes.

The Biomaterial Interfaces Division program kicked off its Biomaterials Plenary session on Sunday night with the theme “Analytical Challenges in the Pharmaceutical Industry.” The goal was to explore the challenges and opportunities in locating and quantifying drugs and metabolites in animal tissues during the drug development process and in materials in the pharmaceutical formulation process. This conversation underlies an essential component of turning drugs into medicines and enabling novel delivery devices. The speakers at the plenary session covered the most recent developments in the application of surface analysis to study these complex systems and their multifaceted analytical challenges. The plenary speakers brought unique perspectives from the cutting edge of academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

Electronic, Magnetic, and Photonic Devices sessions included transparent electronics, complex oxides, high-k oxides, nitrides, advanced interconnects, plasmonic semiconductors, and manufacturing devices on paper and textiles. Sessions were devoted to processing science by atomic layer etching, atomic layer deposition, and plasma, along with selective deposition and self-aligned patterning, and materials characterization in the semiconductor industry.

AVS poster session

Nanoscale Devices. Researchers from around the globe presented their work on topics ranging from fabricating atomically precise devices to exploiting nanomaterials for applications in photonics, plasmonics, catalysis, and imaging. Sessions devoted to heat, mass transport, and mechanics were also offered

For many new materials, the time from discovery to deployment (time to market) is often greater than 20 years. The Accelerating Materials Discovery for Global Competitiveness Focus Topic addressed this issue.

Energy Frontiers sessions focused on the capture, conversion, and storage of energy in all of its forms, with an emphasis on the processes governing energy flow at surfaces and interfaces.

Surface and Interface Theory and Characterization sessions included atomistic modeling of surface phenomena, atom probe tomography, spectroscopic ellipsometry, helium ion microscopy, in-situ spectroscopy and microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, fundamentals of Quartz Crystal Microbalance, synchrotron analysis, conservation studies of heritage materials, and tribology.

Researchers working in the areas of thin films, plasma science and technology, advanced surface engineering, and actinides and rare earths realize that AVS is THE annual symposium where the newest research is presented.  Over the past few years, the AVS Annual Symposium & Exhibition has become a home to learn about the newest and greatest research being performed by the graphene community; at AVS-61, we broadened our traditional graphene Focus Topic into 2D Materials.  Each of these sessions was very well attended.

Symposium statistics

More than 2,330 people registered to attend the 61st International Symposium and Exhibition!

About 300 presenters were invited to participate in the AVS-61 Presentations on Demand (PoD) program, and about 65 accepted. The AVS-61 PoDs will be posted to the AVS technical library web page (https://www.avs.org/Technical-Library/Technical-Library ) by the end of 2014; the Technical Library page can be accessed by any AVS member.

It was a pleasure to serve as the program chair for AVS-61 and give back to a community that played a critical role in my professional development. I very much enjoyed working with my program Vice-Chair Anthony Muscat, the AVS staff, and the program chairs of the 10 AVS divisions, two Groups and 16 Focus Topics to construct the final technical program consisting of about 185 technical sessions, 280 invited speakers, 798 contributed talks, 197 poster presentations, and 82 late breaking presentations. The exhibit had 246 booths and was open Tuesday – Thursday.


  1. Millie

    SÅ sjukt! Jag kan bara inte låta bli att undra hur det går till rent praktiskt när de här kvinnorna kommer in i bil20n&#8d3e; sitter de och väntar, iförda morgonrock, i timmar i sträck medan männen försöker få upp den (fisken, alltså), så att det bara är att posera när det rätta ögonblicket infinner sig? Eller har de full utrustning på sig och är med på själva fisket också?

  2. Lauraine Denault

    Well done Vince, looks like a very successful and productive meeting.

  3. Lisa Porter

    It’s great to see GE taking a leadership role in this symposium that covers cutting-edge research on a wide variety of materials technologies!