Dr. Tuomo Suntola is a co-owner and Board Member of the Finnish atomic layer deposition technology company Picosun Ltd. He is also Chairman of the Finnish Society for Natural Philosophy, Chairman of the Physics Foundations Society, and author of the books The Short History of Science, The Dynamic Universe, and Theoretical Basis of the Dynamic Universe. Most of Tuomo’s career has been spent working on a technology called atomic layer deposition (ALD). This technology is based on a saturated reaction that occurs on the surface of a material that allows the production of highly ordered material layers one atomic layer at a time. These layers are essential for the modern integrated circuits that are found in all of our electronic devices, but they are also used for various other applications including solar cells, lithium ion batteries, luxury watches, coins, and telescope mirrors. In addition to ALD technology, Tuomo is passionate about studying fundamental physics as well as the philosophy and history of science. When not thinking about technology, science, or the philosophy of science, Tuomo enjoys spending time with his family and friends, taking care of his home and garden, and having a refreshing swim in a the swimming hole near his home. He was awarded his M.S. and PhD in electrical engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology where he studied semiconductor physics. Afterwards, Tuomo worked as a Scientist at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland for a few years before accepting a position as Chief Scientist at Instrumentarium Ltd. He subsequently served as Director of Display Division and Chief Scientist at the consumer electronics manufacturing company Lohja Ltd, Managing Director of a subsidiary of the national oil company Neste Ltd. called Microchemistry Ltd, a Research Fellow in the national energy company Fortum Corporation. After retiring from Fortum, Tuomo has continued in his roles at Picosun. Over the course of his career, Tuomo has received many awards and honors, including the 2004 European SEMI Award for pioneering atomic layer deposition techniques. He was also honored in 2018 with the Millennium Technology Prize, which is regarded as Finland’s Nobel Prize, for developing this atomic layer deposition technology. He is an elected Member of the Finnish Academy of Technology, was a Member of a World Energy Council working group from 2003-2004, and was named a Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland. In our interview, Tuomo shared more about his life and science.
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