The SVC History Committee has begun an "Oral History Project" where individuals with a background of interest to the vacuum coating community are interviewed by audio tape and in some cases are video taped also. The audio tapes are then transcribed, edited by the interviewee, and published on the SVC Web site. The purpose of these oral histories is to obtain facts, views, and opinions of persons involved in vacuum coating that would not normally be found in publications. Interviewees have agreed to have their views published and disseminated.
The History Committee solicits suggestions concerning other people who should be interviewed. Please contact a member of the History Committee with your suggestions.
Videos of Oral History Interview
Watch videos of oral history interviews with noted figures who have influenced the development of vacuum coating.
Index of Interviews Available
Collin was one of the pioneers in optical coating during WW-II. He worked both at Bausch and Lomb and with Distillation Products, a company that produced much of the early optical coating equipment. After the war he remained with B&L and retired from that company. After retirement he was for many years a consultant to the optical coating industry.
Philip Baumeister (1929 – 2003)
Professor Philip Baumeister passed away on October 22, 2003 in Sebastopol, CA. Philip developed key design and production techniques for optical thin film coatings. He was a pioneer in the use of computers to design optical coatings and was the first to apply numerical optimization methods. He taught for nearly 20 years at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics and was widely published.
Bob Cormia built one of the first radio frequency (RF) sputtering systems and performed the first RF sputter etching of microcircuits using the apparatus; he was responsible for the design, development, and commercial introduction of the first planar cathode; he invented the twin magnetron plasma polymerization device for deposition of the polymer on the RCA disc and the mid-frequency sputtering cathode; and helped form the Southwall Corporation where the first wide web planar magnetron machine was made. He has been an active member of SVC since 1980, holds five patents, and currently he is a Southwall Fellow.
Richard Denton (1914 – 2003)
Richard Denton was one of the pioneers in optical coating during WW-II. After the war he founded Denton Vacuum, which produced vacuum coating equipment as well as having other processes that affects the optical behavior of surfaces.
J.A. (George) Dobrowolski (1931-2013)
J.A. (George) Dobrowolski was a guest worker at the National Research Council of Canada. His main interests were optical filters, in general, and the development of theoretical methods for the design and construction of optical multilayer systems, in particular. He also was interested in the development of various new technological and consumer-oriented applications of optical coatings. He authored or co-authored about 150 publications, eight handbook articles, and 28 patents in the field of optical thin films. He received the 1987 Joseph Fraunhofer Award, the 1996 David Richardson Medal of the Optical Society of America, and the 1997 Medal of Achievement in Industrial and Applied Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists. Dobrowolski was the co-inventor of the optical thin film security devices used on all Canadian bank notes of $20 and higher denominations.
John B. Fenn, Jr.
John B. Fenn Jr. – Entered the world of sputter roll coating in 1977 at Sierracin Intrex, just as the technology was emerging. He has started up two companies since then based on this technology during his career. Dr. Fenn became an active member in SVC in 1986, participating in many positions in the Society since then.
Dr. Chikara Hayashi is Senior Advisor for ULVAC, Inc. Founded in 1952, he is one of the original members of ULVAC, Inc. He was the leader of "Hayashi Ultra Fine Particle Project" from 1981-1986 – a Japanese Research and Development Corporation – ERATO project. Major areas of his specialties include High and Ultra-High Vacuum Science and Technology, Vacuum Metallurgy, and Ultra-Fine Nano Particles. He holds a B.Sc. and D.Sc. in Physics from Tokyo University.
Dr. Harold R. Kaufman
Dr. Kaufman has worked primarily in the technically related fields of electric space propulsion and industrial broad-beam ion sources. Probably over half of the broad-beam ion sources now used in U.S. industry were originally designed by Dr. Kaufman. He has authored more than 150 scientific publications and holds more than 40 patents.
Chih-shun (Larry) Lu
Larry is a pioneer in the field of process control sensors for the vacuum coating industry. Larry founded Inficon in 1970 in Syracuse, New York and introduced a digital Quartz Crystal Monitor (QCM) for the coating industry. This device was quickly accepted by Hugh Smith at Airco Technology and QCMs being sold today have legacy to this early QCM. Other process control instruments include an electron emission monitor, the SENTINEL, various optical monitors including Plasma Emission Monitors for end point detection and atomic emission monitors for controlling multicomponent vapor fluxes. He went on to found the companies Xinix and Intelligent Sensor Technologies (IST) which were later acquired by Luxtron. He has taught courses for the AVS on Monitoring and Control Techniques for Thin Film Processes for many years, published numerous articles and edited a book on QCM technology.
H. Angus Macleod
Angus began his career in optical coating in England in the 1960s during which time he wrote the first edition of his book "Thin-Film Optical Filters," which is now in its third edition (2001). In 1979 he went to the Optical Science Center of the University of Arizona and was a Professor there until 1995. In 1995 he left the university academic life to start his company, The Thin Film Center, which provides education and consulting services worldwide. His contributions to optical coating design are widely recognized, and he has won many awards and honorary degrees.
Don began his career in vacuum coating and surface engineering in 1961 when he joined Sandia National Laboratories. He is the inventor of the "ion plating" process and received the Albert Nerken Award for "inventing and developing the ion plating process" in 1995. He was the President of the American Vacuum Society (1985) and since retiring from Sandia in 1989 has been active in the vacuum coating field through consulting, being the Technical Director of The Society of Vacuum Coaters. His book (1998) Handbook of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Processing has been well received. Recently he has been interested in the history of vacuum coating technologies and an article on that subject can be found on this Web Site.
Dale Morton has retired as the Process R&D Manager of the High Vacuum Equipment Division of Denton Vacuum, LLC. He also was Product Manager for the cold cathode ion source product line. He has 35 years of experience in design and process development for optical thin film applications with a strong emphasis on the characterization of the optical properties of thin film materials. He is a past director of the SVC (1994 to 2000) and is a former Optical Coating TAC Chair (1993 to 1995) and Program Chair (1997 to 1999) for the SVC Annual Technical Conference.
Alan (“Mike”) Plaisted
Alan "Mike" Plaisted was born and educated in Maine, graduating from the University of Maine at Orono, with a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering in 1951. He headed up the GTE New Ventures Group before starting the North America division of Ulvac, Japan. About 10 years later he developed Soleras into a full time manufacturing firm.