AVS Historical Persons | William D. Westwood - 2007

William D. Westwood - 2007

Oral History Interview Notes

William D. Westwood
HOLLOWAY: My name is Paul Holloway. I am a member of the AVS History Committee. In preparation for an Oral History Interview at the 54th Annual Symposium of the AVS in Seattle, Bill Westwood, a person of historical interest to the AVS, drafted answers to questions I provided for a typical interview. Bill suggested that the notes be used in lieu of an actual interview. After reading the notes, I asked Bill to answer some additional questions which he did. I inserted the questions to help the reader understand the notes.

QUESTION: Bill, where and when did you graduate and what was your first job?

assem.JPGWESTWOOD: I graduated from Aberdeen University in 1959 with Honors B Sc, in Natural Philosophy (physics!). I did a PhD there, in the same department, on spectroscopy of CoF2, which we grew by the Bridgeman technique. I moved to Ottawa in 1962 to join a pretty new lab-Northern Electric R&D, which was set up because US Bell Telephone and Western Electric signed a consent decree that they would not sell information to foreign companies (Northern Electric) for less than to US competitors (e.g. GTE) . I was there for 3 years, and started sputtering work with Derek Lewis to make ferrite films for the "core memories" for switching system for the Worlds Fair in Montreal (1967). They were great films except for magnetic properties! The magnetic memory was actually made from ceramic sheets with 8x8 array of holes.

I then spent three years at Flinders University in Adelaide, using optical spectroscopy on plasmas, including investigating sputtering processes. In 1969, I returned to the Northern Electric Lab in Ottawa, which soon was renamed Bell-Northern Research, or BNR.

QUESTION: When did you attend your first AVS Meeting?

WESTWOOD: My first meeting was in 1970, in Washington. It was the 17th Symposium and also the International Vacuum Congress. I was supposed to go to the symposium in Seattle in 1969 but the plane did not take off due to fog!

QUESTION: When did you present your first paper at an AVS Meeting?

WESTWOOD: In 1970, in Washington, on our tantalum thin film work, I was expecting tough questions from the people from Bell Labs (Bob Berry, Bob Marcus) who had pioneered this field, because our conclusions differed from theirs. As I talked, they were whispering to each other but it turned out they were not concerned about the work but were trying to decide what my accent was!

QUESTION: What was your first AVS "job"?

WESTWOOD: Proceedings Editor for the 21st Symposium in 1974 at the Disneyland Hotel. I was co-opted by Paul Redhead, who was the JVST Editor, probably because we had met in Ottawa. He was at NRC in the east end of Ottawa and BNR was in the west end, but we had met at seminars and so on. Then, all the papers had to be completed (both refereed & revised) by the end of conference. I was even intercepting people as they got on the bus to leave! Some were quite annoyed! The copy-editing also had to be completed there! One day, the AIP copy-editor, Anke Junge, worked with a huge hangover in the semi-basement editorial room!

QUESTION: When were you first elected to a position in the AVS?

WESTWOOD: In 1975, I was elected a Director for 1976-77 term and I was re-elected for a consecutive term in 1978-79

QUESTION: What was the first AVS Meeting that you organized?

WESTWOOD: In 1977, a Conference on Scientific Uses of the Space Shuttle was held at NASA Ames in California. Hans Mark (Peter Mark’s brother) was in charge there. Len Beavis was to be the Program Chair but he was then President-elect and asked me to take over. There were several interesting talks but the only proposed experiment which actually flew on the shuttle was the wake shield, proposed by Ron Outlaw, and the version which eventually flew was considerably inferior to Ron’s proposal. The main problem, of course, is that the shuttle flies in a rather poor vacuum compared to that inside a UHV system! But, at Ames, we got to talk to U-2 pilots, etc. Years later, I was to be in Florida when a shuttle was to launch & Hans Mark was under-secretary of the Air Force. I contacted his office and got a "ticket" to a shuttle launch, which was very impressive because it was a dawn launch.

QUESTION: What other jobs have you taken on for the AVS?

WESTWOOD: In 1978, Len Beavis was President and he asked me to chair a committee on membership services. Max Lagally and John Sullivan were members as well as Hatice Cullingford, who built vacuum systems out of concrete at Los Alamos! Some of the recommendations were later adopted by the Board.

QUESTION: You were Program Chair of the 1981 AVS Symposium in Anaheim. What would you like to tell us about this event?

WESTWOOD: Ted Madey was President in 1981 and he asked me, in 1980, to be the Program Chair. Frank Shepherd, who worked with me at Bell-Northern Research, was the assistant. Frank and I attended the Abstract selection meeting the previous year in Detroit; John Thornton was the Program Chair. We watched John and Joy Thornton, arrange the 1980 program by moving yellow sticky labels from session to session and then had a long discussion on the drive home from Detroit in a thunderstorm. Frank decided it should be possible to arrange this on a computer and he located, within Bell Northern Research, a relational data base computer program (GERM) which could be used. So, the whole operation was "computerized". As abstracts were received, each one was typed into a word processor (remember these!) by a very efficient secretary, Marylou Myles, who had flying fingers. Acknowledgement letters were automatically generated. The abstracts submitted for each division program were identified and "abstract books" mailed out to the division program members. The Program Committee then met at the Disneyland Hotel to construct the program. Ted Madey, who was President that year, also attended. I think the rejection rate was about 20%. We had agreed that nobody could give more than one paper. I remember calling someone at Princeton asking them to decide right then which one of two papers they wanted to have in the program! Joint sessions between divisions were held for the first time; SSD and TFD shared a session on "The Effect of Ion Beams on Surfaces" and VTD and the new Fusion Technology Division (which later became the Plasma Science Div) held a joint session on "Large Vacuum Vessels". Frank was then able to assemble the program electronically and send it to the printing house in Ottawa, and also to print letters to the authors advising them of their place in the program, all within two days. Despite much preparatory work, the printer made a mistake and the Preliminary Program book had to be reprinted, at the printer’s expense. The programs then had to be mailed from Ogdensburg, N.Y. in envelopes imprinted with the postal permit number. To meet the mailing schedule, I drove a van from Ottawa to Ogdensburg while Frank and my daughter were in the back applying mailing labels to the envelopes. On reaching Ogdensburg, we were informed that the envelopes had to be sorted by zip code before they could be accepted. The post office supplied the space to do this; since it was Friday afternoon, there was not much other activity. The mailing deadline was met, just in time! 

This was the last symposium totally run by the volunteers; the new Meetings Manager, Marion Churchill, was hired just before the event. Joe Davis chaired the Local Arrangements Committee, which had eleven members in total, and made all the arrangements with the hotel, including signing the contract for the space. The Program Committee had twenty-eight members; each of the eight divisions was limited to three members. The Symposium ran from Tuesday through Friday with five or six parallel sessions, including poster sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

QUESTION: Do you have memories of unusual events at that Symposiun in 1981?

WESTWOOD: An international incident almost arose when authors from the Peoples Republic of China objected to the inclusion of a paper from Taiwan in the program because Taiwan was not identified as being part of China. They threatened to withdraw all nine of their papers, which would have been a serious blow to the growth of the international participation. However, I sent them copies of a letter I obtained from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs stating that this was the correct usage. So, they fortunately did not withdraw. In fact, at the end of the Symposium, two of them sought me out to give me a small gift!

Each morning, there was a moderators’ breakfast meeting of all the session chairs for the day to brief them on activities and to remind them of their duties, such as keeping the session on schedule and ensuring that the audience could hear the questions. Judging by the performance of some moderators at later symposia, these breakfasts were a good idea! 

There were a couple of other firsts. Gini Whetten organized the Companions Program for the first time and continued to do so for twenty years. Larry Kazmerski organized the first AVS run; he initially proposed a 10 kilometer run but halved the distance so that it could be held within the Disneyland property. Many participants & Presidents over the years were probably very thankful for this!

Larry Kazmerski was also the Program Chair for the next year, 1982, and Pete Sheldon was the assistant. Frank and I handed over to them 3 big binders with all the procedures we had used for the program and instructions on what to do. Of course, they did their own thing, anyway! Funnily enough, Kaz is now a real computer whiz but they didn’t use a computer system for the 1982 program. In fact, an equivalent use of the computer for the program organization was not used again for more than a decade. The problem was that the GERM program we used was restricted to use within Bell Northern & Northern Telecom, so we could not pass it on to Larry. It was quite a few years later before such software became available commercially.

One thing I remember about that symposium was the treatment we got from the Disneyland Hotel. I’ve never felt so powerful! Joe Davis and I were issued lapel badges (Mickey Mouse ears) which identified us as "special" to the hotel staff. We only had to ask for something and it was there! It even worked in the Disneyland restaurants-we never had to wait for a table! The other impressive thing to me was their efficiency. During the week, the audience at the Fusion Technology sessions was quite small and we decided to make the meeting room smaller, by having the walls moved. The next day, there was another function being held in the space we vacated! 

QUESTION: Did you run for President of the AVS?

WESTWOOD: In 1981, I lost to John Arthur by one vote. John was President in 1983. Jack Singleton was the Clerk at the time and thus responsible for the ballot. He told me later that he was getting ready to toss a coin if the vote was a tie! I was nominated a couple of more times but lost both times. I think Bill Rogers and I share that "honour" of 3 election defeats! Of course, Bill is now President of IUVSTA, the International Union of Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications

QUESTION: When did you run the first AVS meeting on sputtering?

WESTWOOD: In 1984. I was the Program Chair for an AVS Workshop on Sputtering, which was held in San Diego on the weekend before the ICMC conference, which was run by the Vacuum Metallurgy Division (now Surface Engineering). Sputtering was a hot topic then and we had this idea to bring together as many of the sputtering community as possible for presentations and a lot of discussion. John Thornton and I agreed that it made sense to hold it just before the ICMC so that people could attend both. However, we had to get the VMD to agree. John and I presented the case to them in 1983 but they were very reluctant because they worried that it would compete with ICMC in some way; people would not attend both, for example. However, John had a very good standing with VMD and they finally agreed. Attendance was actually by invitation and we limited it to 200. I remember John Vossen saying we were crazy to think that many people would give up their weekend to attend! But they did and we had a very lively and successful meeting. Jerry Cuomo and I organized a second workshop at the 1986 AVS Symposium and it was also quite successful. 

QUESTION: You were Secretary of the AVS for a number of years. Tell us about this position.

WESTWOOD: I was elected Clerk, or Secretary as it is usually called, incorrectly in 1985! Jack Singleton had been Clerk for many years but could not continue as he was elected President for 1986 and so was President-Elect in 1985. From 1985 till 1996, I sat through 49 Board meetings, mostly in hotel meeting rooms. The job is to make sure the rules are followed and the discussions summarized, so that the decisions taken and the reasoning behind the decision can be understood later, either in the same year or some years later when the topic recurs. So, it is really to provide a memory for the Board, whose members constantly change. In fact, many of the issues at the Board meetings seem to recur every 5 years or so. For example, discussion of moving the AIP office first arose in 1986. Paul-you were involved as President in 1987. But it died away & re-appeared in the early 90s; the AVS office moved to Wall St in 1994.

When I took over as Clerk, draft minutes of Board meetings were generated by Nancy Hammond, the Executive Secretary, on her word processor (a Pitney-Bowes machine), and the printed copy mailed to me. I edited the hard copy and mailed it back to Nancy and she would correct it on the word processor, print it and mail copies to the Board members. By the time Nancy’s draft got to me, my recollection of the meeting was not perfect! So, I started to record the meeting on audio tape and I wrote the draft minutes in longhand, my secretary entered them in her word processor (an AEI unit which was incompatible with the Pitney-Bowes unit), printed them and mailed both the hard copy and the word processor output to Nancy. Marcia Schlissel, in the AVS office (which was in the AIP HQ building in New York), then converted this electronic version to Nancy’s word processor, because there was, of course, no standardization of word processors! 

The situation gradually improved, as technology evolved. In 1988, the draft minutes were transmitted between the AVS office and me electronically and, by 1993, I was generating the minutes directly and mailing a floppy disk to New York for printing and distribution to the Board. From today’s vantage, where files are sent back and forth almost instantaneously, this may seem a very small advance but it did not seem so at the time!

One thing I really enjoyed about Board meetings was the camaraderie. Even though there were a lot of "frank" discussions during the meetings, there were no hard feelings and we could all share a meal or an outing afterwards.

Nancy retired from AVS in 1989 and Marcia resigned in 1990 to pursue a singing career. Nancy was a real gem and a feisty lady! I remember having dinner with her in San Diego; I ordered Manhattan cheesecake but what came was a Sarah Lee version. Nancy was really offended and tore a strip of the head waiter! 

The last Board meeting each year was usually held in New York in December, and it seemed I always had to be back in Ottawa next morning for some important meeting at work, but the weather and airlines did not often cooperate! There were no direct flights from New York to Ottawa then; I usually had to go through Syracuse, which is subject to heavy snowstorms off Lake Ontario! Once I got home at 3am after taking a bus from Montreal! Actually, the first step in these trips was to get a taxi to the airport in New York, which was not easy because AIP was near the UN building and taxis were in short supply. I tried to stay close to Caroline Aita when she was on the Board in 1987-88. Although she is small, she was quite aggressive in acquiring a taxi; of course, she grew up in New York!

Of course, there were compensations. The second to last Board meeting was usually held at the Symposium, but the other two Board meetings each year might be held in attractive locations for someone living in Ottawa; California or Florida in February, for example! I managed to fit in some golf during the trips to these meetings. I remember playing Pebble Beach with Roger Young when it cost only $25 instead of the $400 it costs now! Quite a few Board meetings were held in February at the Florida Chapter meetings in Tampa & Clearwater Beach!

Another good arrangement for golf was teaching Short Courses at the Northern California Chapter meeting in San Jose in February or March! My wife and I used to take a trip down to Carmel for a few days; I could play Spyglass for $15! Closer to San Jose was Pasatiempo, just off highway 17 before Santa Cruz. There you could play all day for $15 in those days. No longer, though! John Coburn told me about that course, for which I have been grateful ever since, as have several of my golfing friends!

QUESTION: Tell us about teaching short courses?

WESTWOOD: I don’t recall exactly when I started teaching Short Courses- probably in the late 1970s? But I do remember where. I taught a one-day course on diode sputtering at an Upstate New York Chapter meeting in Corning. I think I was a substitute for Don Mattox. Corning was a 5 hour drive from Ottawa (or a whole day by air via Montreal and New York in those days), so I drove down the day before and set off to drive home after the course. But I didn’t realize how exhausting teaching for a whole day was; I had to stop for the night in Syracuse!

After that, I did quite a bit of teaching over the years. You remember how the Courses increased in number and frequency. In the early 1980’s, there were actually three one-day courses on sputtering. I taught diode sputtering, John Thornton taught magnetron sputtering and Jim Harper did ion beam sputtering. One day, the three of us were sitting in the bar and decided that this was crazy, since we all had to teach basic sputtering. So, we combined into a 2 day Sputter Deposition course, which is still being taught today, with revisions of course! At first, we each taught a part of the 2 day course, but this was first reduced to 2 instructors and finally to one, even before John died in November 1987. Jim decided not to teach, Frank Bresnock took over from Jim for a while but then I was on my own. And the demand for the courses went up!

I remember teaching at Le Baron in San Jose when they squeezed as many students into the courses as the hotel space would hold. John Coburn and I were teaching up on the top floor with only a moveable divider between the two classes, which each had 50 students crammed in. I reckon the students got two courses for the price of one, because both John and I speak fairly loudly! A great thing about teaching there was the hospitality. Virginia Brunner ran the show and she had a great relationship with the management and staff of LeBaron! At the end of each day’s teaching, there was a little party in the registration office-all the instructors, Bill and Virginia, Marge and Howard Patton and others. Then we would go out to dinner, except on the evening when the Chapter had its table-top exhibit, which was crammed with people and lots of food!

I think I had the most famous students in any of the AVS courses. I was teaching at the Thunderbird Motel in Minneapolis (it was near the airport). When I walked into the classroom, Fred Wehner was in the front row and John Arthur was in the back. Fred was called "the father of sputtering" and won the AVS Welch Award in 1971. John won the Gaede-Langmuir Award in 1988! I asked Fred what he was doing in the Sputter Deposition class and he said he expected to learn something! He told me after that he actually did! Probably about the deposition and applications of films. Several times during the two days, questions were raised on topics which Fred had investigated and I invited him to answer but he always declined. Fred and I always had a good relationship.

QUESTION: You organized a session on thin film technology for the 40th anniversary of the AVS didn’t you?

WESTWOOD: For the 40th Symposium in 1993, which you will remember because it was in Orlando and you organized the History Exhibit, the Thin Film Division asked me to organize a session on the development of thin film technology. Fred Wehner had retired to Germany by then and had to be persuaded to come to the session but he told me he was unable to talk but I should speak for him and he sent me a lot of photos. So, I made up a talk using this stuff and gave it in his stead. However, when I finished and asked Fred if he wanted to say anything, he got up on stage and gave another talk about what he thought we should all be working on!

QUESTION: Did you worry about traveling to meetings and short courses?

WESTWOOD: There were two things I always worried about when I traveled to give a course-losing the slides and losing my voice, or being sick. There were over 200 slides for the 2 day course, so I always used 35mm slides because I could carry them on the plane. The equivalent set of transparencies for an overhead projector would have been too bulky, although most instructors did use them. Initially, they were made by cut and paste drawings but as soon as possible, I converted to PowerPoint. Howard Patton and I used to talk about how great it would be if we didn’t have to carry slides or transparencies. Then, we saw an early LCD projector at the Burlington Marriot when we were teaching at the New England Chapter meeting and realized that it might be possible some day. A few years later, I was just carrying my laptop to connect to the projector and now it is possible to just carry a memory stick or a CD!

So, I never lost my slides but I do remember losing the ability to show them. At a Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting in Denver, the power line to the Arvida Center was shorted by a squirrel gnawing the insulation, at least that was the story! However, Howard Patton saved the day; he was there but not teaching that day and organized a move to a building across the street!

However, I did lose my voice once, in Albuquerque. I was recovering from a cold but, after the first day, I could not speak. They gave me a microphone for the second day- I held it like a crooner and whispered into it all day. It sounded strange but it worked! 

QUESTION: Did you experiment with the way to present short courses?

WESTWOOD: Another rare teaching experience was video-taping the Sputter Deposition course in 1985. The Education Committee was pioneering the use of video taped courses in the society. These were based upon the short courses being offered at the time and were taped at Lawrence Livermore National Labs, where Bill Brunner taped the first course in 1982. Howard Patton arranged for me to tape the 2-day sputtering course there, just after teaching it in San Jose. Of course, he had to make special arrangements with security because I was Canadian! You probably remember these issues from your days at Sandia. It would probably be impossible now!

It was quite a production! The diagrams had to be prepared on a 17x11 inch sheet with a space in the top right corner. During the taping, I sat on a stool behind a bench on which these were placed for the overhead camera, and pointed to parts of the diagram. I talked to another video camera, while keeping one eye on the clock, because each tape lasted only 50 minutes! The two camera images were merged so that the head & shoulders shot was inserted in the empty space in the top corner of the diagram sheet. On one "take", the recording technician made an error at the beginning of one segment and the re-shooting of the 14 second segment took more than an hour! There were eight 50 minute sections which were taped over several days. I had to wear the same clothes each day for continuity! Unfortunately, after all that effort, the demand for these video tapes was very low. People want to be able to interact directly with the instructor. 

QUESTION: You were responsible for the AVS meeting being held in Canada one year weren’t you?

WESTWOOD: In 1990, the Symposium was held in Toronto; the first & only time it has been held outside the US. The site was selected in 1985. Marion Churchill did the site inspection and I spent a cold day, I think it was probably in February, with her in Toronto as she was taken around the convention centre and the hotels by the convention bureau. That evening we flew to Ottawa because Marion wanted to check out the Ottawa Congress Centre. The convention people arranged a room for her in the Westin Hotel overlooking the Rideau Canal and with a view of the Parliament buildings. Of course, it was dark when she checked in, so her first real view was in the morning. There had been a small snowfall overnight but the sun was shining, so everything was very bright and fresh and there were people skating on the canal, which is the longest skating rink in the world. She was so enchanted that she was determined that the Symposium should be in Ottawa rather than Toronto. Although she visited all kinds of places that day, including the government conference centre, which was in the old railway station, it was obvious that there was not nearly enough space and she eventually gave up. However, she did buy a fur coat! Of course, it would have been convenient to hold it in Ottawa because there were a lot of AVS members there, at our lab and at NRC. Frank Shepherd, who was in our lab in Ottawa, was the Local Arrangements Chair for Toronto. There were some issues to deal with customs and so on, but the Canadian government gave us special treatment although, unfortunately, several companies did not follow the rules and ran into problems. 

Another issue which arose with this meeting was due to a misunderstanding. Some US government labs considered that travel to Canada was foreign travel, which would have seriously affected attendance. However, it was soon verified that the Department of Energy did not consider Canada as foreign travel.

QUESTION: What have you done to help preserve the history of the AVS?

WESTWOOD: When I ended my term as Clerk in 1996, I already had another job waiting. I had actually brought it on myself! As Clerk, I was concerned about archiving AVS records, such as minutes, and photos. It seemed to me that the best person to put these in some order was Jack Singleton, firstly because he had been the Clerk and secondly because he is meticulous. So, the Board agreed that the person who had been the most recent Clerk should be the archivist. Jack did a super job of sorting and documenting paper records and photos. So, since I was now the most recent Clerk, I became responsible for the archives, and still am, since Joe Greene has been Clerk since 1997. Most of the work is actually done by Yvonne in the office but I have gone there several times to sort through old papers and list them in our data base, which is now just Excel files, one for documents, one for photos of people and events and one for photos of the vacuum equipment which AVS has in storage. The AVS archives are actually stored in the AIP facility in College Park, Maryland.. 

QUESTION: Your work for the AVS has been recognized by some honors and more jobs hasn’t it?

WESTWOOD: The Trustees were kind enough to make me an Honorary Member in 1997, at the same time as you, Paul. I think they were very generous but I certainly appreciated the honour.

Then, .I was elected as a Trustee for 2000. Jim Harper was Chair that year, Dawn Bonnell was the 2001 chair, and then I was Chair of the Trustees in 2002. The 6 Trustees have quite a tough job, deciding who should receive the society’s awards each year. 
The first 2 years as Trustee, I received from Angela in the AVS office a big stack of nominations to read through and then I had to carry them to the Trustees meeting, which was in the Hilton at the Chicago airport. In 2002, I arranged with Angela to scan all the documents and put the electronic files on a CD which was then sent to the 6 Trustees. It saved some shipping costs and made travel easier! 

An important part of the Trustees’ consideration is the student awards but it bothered me that the selection took up a large chunk of the meeting although the final decision of the top awards is not made till the contending graduate students make presentations to the Trustees during the symposium. So, it is only necessary at the Chicago meeting to identify these top students; it used to be 3 but is now 5 or 6. I already knew a simple method to do this, which was passed on to me by Pete Hobson when I took over from him as Administrator of the IUVSTA Welch Scholarship. So, we used Pete’s method in 2002 and had the students selected in less than an hour. I hope it is still being used.
However, the action I was most satisfied with was the arrangement of the student awards to recognize Dorothy Hoffman’s contribution to AVS, both as a very active member and as a major benefactor. When she died, she bequeathed the annual income from a $1M sum to be used to support students. This was being used to support student travel to the symposium but Jack Singleton and I thought there should be more prominence given to her legacy. Now we have her name attached to major student awards, so that Dorothy can be remembered at least once a year at the Awards ceremony.

QUESTION: What are your recent activities for the AVS?

WESTWOOD: Since 2002, my only activities have been on the History Committee. The archivist is an ex-officio member of the committee but I have been the chair since 2005, when I took over from Fred Dylla. Probably the major thing I undertook was to write the AVS History for the 50th anniversary in 2003. Paul Redhead and Jack Singleton had written histories for the 30th and 40th anniversaries but I thought we should have a much fuller history, including as much information about the society, including the Divisions and Chapters, as we could find. It was clear that the size of such a history would be much too expensive for a printed book, so we generated an electronic document, which is available on the AVS web site. We actually did print one copy of the document for the archive; it was a stack of pages about a foot high!

This year, 2007, the History Committee has organized a booth in the exhibit to display some old vacuum equipment, mainly gauges and valves, and to advertise some of our activities, one of which is your interview series. So far, we have about 30 interview transcripts on the AVS web site and I hope we will at least double that in 2008 There are some very interesting interviewees with a lot to tell, such as involvement in the Manhattan project during World War II. 

QUESTION: Who was your most memorable AVS person?

WESTWOOD: That’s a really tough question! There are so many outstanding characters in AVS! I’ve had the privilege of playing golf in a foursome with two founder members, Dick Denton and Collin Alexander. Dick took part in the 5k run when he was in his eighties and Collin is still golfing. Nancy Hammond’s office looked like chaos but she knew where everything was! Then, of course, there was Marcia Schlissel; the way she dressed was certainly memorable! However, maybe I should choose Joe Davis. He was Local Arrangements Chair for the AVS Symposium three times, and for many, many meetings of the Southern California Chapter and everything seemed to go so smoothly without any apparent effort on Joe’s part. He even arranged for a dinner at Club 33 in Disneyland. Everything ran smoothly when Joe was in charge! And you know how difficult that is! 

QUESTION: What was your most memorable AVS event?

WESTWOOD: For me, the most memorable event was the special Thin Film session we had at the 40th Symposium in Orlando in 1993. I had the honour to introduce the speakers: John Vossen, Dave Hoffman, Maurice Francombe and Fred Wehner and to listen to their talks! Jerry Cuomo was on the program but he was unable to attend. Surely, a collection of the most important players in the Thin Film Division. Of course, John Thornton was dead by then.

Another memorable event, but not actually an AVS one, was the fiasco of the International Vacuum Congress in Cannes in 1980, which was held in tents on a parking lot near the airport when the Mayor of Cannes accepted a better offer for the convention centre from a video conference! You couldn’t see the slides on the screen because of the light and you couldn’t hear the speaker when a plane went over! 

QUESTION: What is your most significant AVS accomplishment?

WESTWOOD: I think I am not qualified to judge this! Certainly the one that sticks in my mind was being Program Chair for the 1981 Symposium. 

QUESTION: Such a high level of service to the AVS required support from your employer, Bell Northern Research. Tell us about their support.

WESTWOOD: I never had any problem with the management at BNR approving of AVS involvement. In the early days, the fact that lots of people from Bell Labs participated made it OK since BNR was really trying to "muscle in" on the telecommunications equipment field. Later, the value of participating was recognized by the success of the research that we did, I think. In the late eighties and early nineties, we would have 6 or 7 people attend the Symposium. Mind you, it was still expected that you would carry out your normal company responsibilities, which involved working evenings and weekends. 

QUESTION: What technical areas in AVS were you most active in?

WESTWOOD: I was mainly involved with the Thin Film Division, especially in the 80’s when people would sit through a whole session, listening to the talks and the discussion after each talk. Those were exciting times. John Thornton and Dave Hoffman explaining the causes of stress, gas rarefaction and so on. And other stalwarts like Fred Wehner and John Vossen. There were some really good discussions both in the sessions and afterwards, over dinner. There were lots of new approaches, like dual magnetron reactive sputtering, and interesting results. In later years, my range was wider but we also had more people from BNR at the Symposium to cover them. 

QUESTION: Tell us about your work at Bell Northern Research. How did you become a sputter expert?

WESTWOOD: Maybe by being around so long? The odd thing is that sputtering was never the focus of our work at BNR; it just happened that it solved some of the problems in making the devices that were needed for telecommunication systems. Out of the more than 30 years I spent there, sputtering was the main thrust in only 3 or 4 years, in the late 60’s and early 70’s! So, you could say that sputtering was almost a sideline but we always had some kind of investigation going on, from which we got several surprises which led to more investigation, but always in the background.

When I joined BNR in 1962 - it was actually called Northern Electric R&D then and was quite a small, new lab - I was involved in characterizing ceramic ferrites. One application was the actual cores for the "core memories" for telephone switching system for the 1967 Worlds Fair in Montreal. The magnetic memory used ceramic sheets with an 8x8 array of holes. I don’t recall exactly how it started but a chemist in the group, Derek Lewis, and I decided that thin films would be easier to make than ceramics and we decided that sputtering a ceramic target would be easy. So, we put together a glass bell-jar and a mechanical pump and sputtered a ceramic target; we had a DC supply, so we had the ceramic fired in a reducing atmosphere to make it conducting and right away we had very nice films, in terms of appearance and they gave good X-ray diffraction patterns. At that time, that was really the only characterization method that was available. I remember spending hours trying to measure thickness using interferometry and a Taylor Hobson surface roughness unit for metallurgical work. The only problem was that the magnetic properties of these nice films were awful! It’s interesting that, every decade or so, I see a paper on depositing ferrite films but they still have awful magnetic properties!

When I moved to Flinders University in Adelaide in 1966, I had a graduate student, Andrew Stirling, doing optical spectroscopy on hydrogen plasmas in shock tubes but there were a lot of delays in that program, so we started up a program to investigate sputtering plasmas spectroscopically, particularly using atomic absorption methods, which were, of course, invented in Australia by Alan Walsh.

In 1969, when I returned to BNR, Northern Electric (now Nortel) had set up a subsidiary, Microsystems International Limited or MIL, and one of their projects involved sputtering tantalum films to make the tuned circuits for the new touch-tone phones; it was a variation on a process developed at Bell Labs, except they had chosen to use oxygen as the dopant instead of nitrogen, which was the Bell Labs process. Well, this is a much more difficult process to control and they had serious production issues. So, I was asked to put together a research team to help out. We did that for about 3 years, quite successfully, and three of us authored a book on tantalum films.

After that, I was mainly involved in a totally different area for several years. We developed an optical scanner and thermal printer for a facsimile unit, and liquid crystal displays. We did some interesting work on thin film transistors, too. I also built up an analytical facility with Auger and so on. Sid Ingrey, you will remember, was heavily involved in that. However, we still had a sputtering system and did reactive sputtering of oxides to make transparent conductors for the displays and also variable refractive index films for optical waveguides. This was in the early days of fiber optics.

Initially, it was all diode sputtering. Then, one day I was visiting Fred Ura at Hewlett Packard-there was a contact made through AVS! He took me along to an evening meeting of the Northern California Thin Film Society, which he essentially ran. The talk was by Peter Clarke on his "sputter gun", one of the three versions of the magnetron which appeared about the same time. We bought one at once, installed it in an e-beam evaporator in place of the e-gun and used it to deposit contacts on MOS transistors. It did such a good job that we never got a chance to do any experiments with it! However, we later put a linear magnetron in a chamber to investigate its characteristics and we used it to deposit a range of films and to investigate different approaches to reactive sputtering. 

But, from 1984 until I retired, my main job was to develop processes for using III-V semiconductors for high speed ICs and the optical components, like lasers and detectors for optical transmission systems, OC-48 at 2.54Gb/s and then OC-192 at 10Gb/s. However, we also did some sputtering work, for contacts on these and also for surface acoustic wave devices. Of course, Grant Este and I published the work on dual magnetron systems for reactive sputtering, which has become quite an important method.. 

I should mention that the BCl3 plasma etch process for etching the Al metallization in ICs arose from sputtering work. BNR had a contract to develop dry processing. Sid Ingrey and I were using one of the early ion guns, I think it was the second one sold by Commonwealth Scientific, to ion mill the Al, not too successfully, when Sid came up with the BCl3 idea, while I was on vacation! So BNR held the patent for that, which was very valuable. I suggested that I should go on vacation more often!

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