Awardee Interviews |Christopher R. Brundle - 2005 Albert Nerken Award - Interview

Christopher R. Brundle

2005 Albert Nerken Award

HOLLOWAY:  Good afternoon. I'm Paul Holloway a member of the AVS History Committee. As a part of the Society's Historical Archives Series, today I'm talking with Dick Brundle, who is this year's Al Nerken Award Winner. It's November 1, 2005, and we're at 52nd AVS Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts. So, Dick, congratulations on your award.

BRUNDLE:  Thank you.

HOLLOWAY:  And, I'm glad that you agreed to be interviewed for us today. Let me give as an indication of the citation for the Albert Nerken Award that was issued with your award, and that's "For pioneering and early development in the field of electron spectroscopy and sustained applications to surface science and a wide range of industrial materials characterization issues." So, that's quite a broad umbrella.

BRUNDLE: It's quite a mouthful.

HOLLOWAY:  [Laugh] So, tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in that area and how you got into the integrated circuit business.

BRUNDLE:  Okay. How far back do you want me to start from?

HOLLOWAY:  Your undergraduate education, (Brundle: Okay.) for example.

BRUNDLE:  I was an undergraduate at Manchester University in the early '60s.

HOLLOWAY:  Which department?

BRUNDLE:  Chemistry. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) The English high school system was a little peculiar then in that you didn't actually have your exam results when you applied to go to university. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) There were two sets of exam results, O-levels and then A-levels, which are a year apart. So I only had O-level results, and I had screwed up the chemistry exam in O-level so I didn't have a very good chemistry grade. [Laugh]. I had firsts in physics, math, and applied maths, but I knew that actually my chemistry was much stronger (Holloway:  Right.) and I was more interested in that. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) So, the reason I ended up at Manchester was that, because of these results other universities I applied to turned me down. They wouldn't have me. Imperial College wouldn't have me. Birmingham wouldn't have me. A bunch of places. And, Manchester never even replied. So in the summer when I got my A-level results I still hadn't got a place to go anywhere, (Holloway:  Yes.) and I happened to be on vacation near Manchester, because my grandparents lived near there. So, I called them up and said, "You haven't replied.  Now, I have my A-level results." And they said, "Well, what do you have?" And I said, "Well, I have a one in physics, one in chemistry, one in math, and a state scholarship," which was an extra. You can't do any better than that. (Holloway:  Yeah. Yeah.)  And they said, "Well, why don't you come over tomorrow?" [Laugh] So, I came over. They interviewed me, and offered me a place. So, that's how I ended up at Manchester. (Holloway:  Right.) And, I think it was a good place for me because they put a lot of effort into lecturing and tutorials, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) whereas other places I had applied to, for instance Imperial College, was well known for kind of the Oxford approach. You know, the lecturer comes in, mumbles a few things, writes on the blackboard and says, "Go read these books." (Holloway:  Yeah.) I don't think that would have [Laugh] have suited me at that time. So, I did pretty well at Manchester. I didn't get a first, I got what they call a 2-1 at that time, which qualified you to get a grant to go to do research. (Holloway:  Right.) And, I hadn't actually thought about doing research until I nearly finished, because I was thinking, you know, concentrating mostly on passing my exams, getting a good level degree. (Holloway:  Right.) But, I did go on interviews for jobs, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) and they asked me things like, "Well, you know, what do you think of this company? Where do you see yourself in three years time?" (Holloway:  Yeah.) I hadn't a clue because I hadn't really thought about it. [Laugh] I was concentrating on passing exams. So, nobody had made me a serious offer anywhere I wanted to go. (Holloway:  Right.) So now I've got my undergraduate degree. I thought, "Well, maybe I'd like to do research?" I kind of liked spectroscopy but I only knew about infrared and NMR, you know, the kind of things they taught on undergraduate level. And, I applied to Imperial College, in London, University for NMR, because there was a fairly famous guy doing NMR there. (Holloway:  Yeah.) Why did I apply to London? Because my girlfriend lived in London, [Laugh] and that was a good place naturally to be.

HOLLOWAY:  [Laugh] Yeah.

BRUNDLE: Now, in England, at that time and I think still now, you didn't stay at the same university (Holloway:  Right.) very much. You moved from where you did your undergraduate degree to do your post, to do your graduate work. But, by the time I got there this guy had moved, because they had just created the University of Sussex and actually it was created largely out of Battersea Tech, at the time, and he'd move there. And, they said, "Well, you can go to what was Battersea Tech – it's now Surrey University – or you can stay here at Imperial College and work with someone else who does NMR." I said, "Okay. I'll stay." And, that somebody else was Dr. David Turner, who was kind of an inventor in NMR, and this is actually in an organic chemistry department. But he's physical chemistry primarily, and I was doing a PhD in physical chemistry. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) So when I met him it turned out that was just a sideline for him, really, NMR. He was fiddling around with two things, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, the measuring of appearance potentials; and this new thing called ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy. (Holloway:  I see.) Which he was, I guess, reckoned to be co-inventor of. At a similar time somebody in Russia was doing the same. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And so, it's a brand new area. (Holloway:  Right.) I started actually doing time-of-flight mass spectrometry not photoelectron spectrometry. Took over a big piece of kluge apparatus, you know, and learned how time-of-flight worked and improved it somewhat. 

HOLLOWAY:  So, he was trying to measure the first appearance potential (Brundle: Exactly.)

BRUNDLE: Well, first and more. You know, that was a standard way then to try and get at electronic structure.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, the electronic structure. Yeah.

BRUNDLE: Right? Of gases, molecules. (Holloway:  Yeah. Right.) And, measuring the first appearance potential was easy. Now, beyond that you're looking for slight breaks in curves in ion yields or new fragments coming off and trying to interpret what that means. But, it was pretty clear to me after a year that this machine didn't have the sensitivity or the resolution to do very much. And, he offered to switch me to the photoelectron side, where he had just built a 127-degree analyzer, (Holloway:  Yeah.) which was the first, really the first high resolution analyzer. People had been using retarding grids up to that point. That coupled with the helium lamp you know, was really the breakthrough in that technique. 

HOLLOWAY:  Now, was this developed simultaneously with XPS in Sweden?

BRUNDLE:  XPS and what?

HOLLOWAY:  In Sweden?

BRUNDLE:  Oh, in Sweden? No. It was independent.

HOLLOWAY:  But that time frame was . . .

BRUNDLE:  The time frame was the same. We didn't know about Siegbahn (Holloway:  I see.) for maybe another year. (Holloway:  Yeah.) What we were doing was brand new, a new instrument with high resolution using the helium1 lamp, which was another big development. People used discharge lamps with windows and monochromators up to that point.  You couldn't get above eleven eV. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) Using a twenty-one eV photon source you opened up a much wider range of ionization potentials.

HOLLOWAY:  So, you did you use both helium I and helium II?

BRUNDLE:  Well, helium I at first. And, it was easy to publish papers because nobody had done any of it. (Holloway:  Right.) So, I was in a very, very good position, right. I didn't know that, of course, at the time, because I was just a student. I know now that that's not a normal position for a student. [Laughter] But, we start turning out papers. My first paper was 1967, I think, with Turner, and then he moved to Oxford. He got a position at Oxford and we got all the equipment, moved to Oxford, and reassembled it. And, we were also building some additional instruments. And, now we had several and a much larger group (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) going. And, kind of divided up the small molecules between us, churned through them. And, this is all with helium II. And then . . .

HOLLOWAY:  This is all gas phase?

BRUNDLE:  All gas phase. And then Turner had this contract with somebody to write a book. And, he came to us, the students, and said, "Well can you put all this together? You put your stuff in and I'll make you co-authors." So, we did that and that was the first photoelectron textbook. It was really a collection of spectra and interpretation, Baker, Baker, Brundle, and Turner. (Holloway:  Yeah.) The two Bakers, not related, were graduate students who were contemporaries of mine.

HOLLOWAY: Is that right?

BRUNDLE:   Yeah. And, then, so after three years I got my PhD, which is typical in England. You don't usually run longer than three years because you had a grant for three years, (Holloway:  Yeah.) from the state, so it's all sponsored by the state.

HOLLOWAY:  So, you're motivated?

BRUNDLE:  You're motivated to finish, yes. [Laughter] And, usually they don't give you anymore after that. (Holloway:  Yeah.) But you also don't take classes as a (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) graduate there. It's all research. (Holloway:  Right.) And actually, I liked that much better. I actually found a PhD far easier than undergraduate [Laugh] work, because you can, you can just learn what you're interested in, basically. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And then somebody – well, a guy called Mel Robbin, who was an UV spectroscopist at Bell Labs at the time (Holloway:  Uh huh.) had done a lot of work on trying to understand electronic structure using UV spectroscopy, which is also complicated to interpret. And he realized that this was a very straight-forward way of measuring ionization potential, by using photo electron spectroscopy, and getting at molecular electronic structure. So, he wrote to Turner and said, "Was there anybody in his students who was graduating, who would be interested in coming to Bell Labs, as a postdoc?" And, Turner asked me, and this was actually the time of the Vietnam War, you know, so. (Holloway:  Yeah.)


BRUNDLE:  I think I had been demonstrating in front of the American Embassy and stuff. [Laugh] More or less at the same time I said, "Yes. I'd like to go to Bell Labs."

HOLLOWAY:  [Laugh] Well, you're closer to an embassy at least. [Laughter]

BRUNDLE:  So, I went in, I think it was '68, the beginning of '68. And, Mel Robbins, a really a nice guy, pretty much gave me free reign of his lab, but said, "Build an instrument." And, I hadn’t actually built one before. Turner had designed them and made them . (Holloway:  Right.) But, since I knew I was going I had looked at them pretty closely and asked a lot of questions and, you know, taken, basically taken all the design characteristics with me, and got, just got to work building it. And then, I had it all done in about a month, and it worked.

HOLLOWAY: Was that the first one in the United States?

BRUNDLE:  It was the first high resolution one, yeah. There was one in Canada, Frost and McDowell, who were publishing at the time, but not in the U.S. at that time. But the interesting thing, when I started using it, you know, running gases to calibrate it in the new lab, I kept seeing an extra peak at about five eV. And I thought, "What is that?" And, after a while I realized that it was He being ionized by helium II  radiation(Holloway:  Uhm-hmm. I see.) And, the only person who had done really any helium II work before was Bill Price from University College in London. He was still using grid systems, so he didn't have high resolution data, but he had got a little bit of helium II data, but in tiny, tiny intensities, (Holloway:  Yeah.)

BRUNDLE: Somehow the He I lamp I had built was putting out a significant amount of helium II at 40.8ev, (Holloway:  Yeah.) and once I realized that I was able to capitalize on that and do a lot of work with helium II, and that was really the first, you know, extensive work with helium II. So we could go up now to ionization potentials of forty eV instead of twenty-one eV. And, I did fool around in the lab and work out why, what are the characteristics that made it put out helium II. We basically had to drop the pressure as low as we could, and – but if you went too far, the damn lamp went out and it had to be started all over again. So, but just before it went out the intensity of helium II increased strongly relative to helium II.

HOLLOWAY: What sort of a energy analyzers were you using?

BRUNDLE:  This was 127- degree (Holloway: Sector?) sector. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) Basically, when was that? It was 1914 when the paper first describing such an analyzer was published by Rojansky and Hughes. And Turner’s was basically a copy of that, but done with much more precision, and David Turner realized that you had to equalize, basically, the work functions (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) on it, so it was coated inside with soot. Basically, that's how we did that.

HOLLOWAY:  To suppress the back-scattered electrons?

BRUNDLE:  Yeah, you passed gas through benzene and lit it. It was basically a benzene sooty flame. I mean, it was kind of an art (Holloway:  Yeah.) [Laugh] to take the copper and cover it, which was partly oxidized so it had variable potentials. I realize this now. I didn't know that at the time. (Holloway:  Right.) We just knew that if you'd made a nice uniform layer of carbon on it you would get much better results. We also cut each analyzer plate in two and put another electrode in halfway around, which was a kind of a correcting electrode which allowed you to improve with the resolution quite a bit. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm. Uhm-hmm.) So, it was not difficult to get resolutions down between fifteen and twenty millielectron volts. It's hard to go beyond that, but that was not difficult.

HOLLOWAY: So, did you spend your time exclusively with gases then at Bell Labs?

BRUNDLE: Yes, but I did – but I met Homer Hagstrom there, who was doing ion neutralization (Holloway:  Right.) spectroscopy, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) and he had a great influence on me. First of all he was a very nice guy.


BRUNDLE: He always wanted to talk to people in different fields. I didn't, I didn't know what a Fermi level was. I hadn't done any solid state stuff, but I was interested in what he was doing. I could see it was related to what I was doing. So, we had lots of discussions. He also had ultra high vacuum then. He had home made back to back mercury pumps (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) with liquid nitrogen traps. Basically, his gauges couldn’t measure what it was, it was too low. [Laugh] (Holloway:  Right.) And so I got interested in solids that way, and surfaces. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) While I was there also Dean Eastman at IBM research started doing metals with UPS with a helium lamp. (Holloway:  Okay.) And, he was interested in band structure at that point. He wasn't interested in surfaces or (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) things being absorbed on them. He was a solid state guy. He was trying to get a band structure the same way that – what's the guy's name at Stanford?

HOLLOWAY: Bill Spicer?

BRUNDLE: Bill Spicer was doing. The same thing, but Bill Spicer was only using low energy photons.

HOLLOWAY: From the synchrotron?

BRUNDLE: No, long before the synchrotron. Discharge lamps.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, okay. Discharge lamps?

BRUNDLE: Yeah. And monochromators, but low, you know, like five to nine eV. (Holloway:  Yeah.) Eastman, by going up to twenty ev with HeI was able to get much better results for solids, the same way we were for gases. So, I went up to see him, Dean Eastman. I was doing gas phase exactly the same way that he was doing solids. (Holloway:  Right.) Hagstrom was interested in adsorption on solids with his ion scattering, but it was an incredibly complicated technique. So, I was thinking, "Well, maybe we can use photo emission doing what Hagstrom was doing?" All right? And that, I didn't do any of that at Bell Labs but I wrote a proposal, because I applied for a university position back in England, saying, "I'm in this area and I think we can use this for adsorption at surfaces." You know, it was a catalysis-oriented group, department. And, they were interested in that, and I wrote a proposal for a grant for an instrument to be built to do surface UPS for absorption, and XPS, because by that time we'd learned all about Siegbahn and his stuff (Holloway:  Right.).


BRUNDLE: So, it's UPS, XPS, and by then I also knew about Auger and LEED. So, it was to build a machine that had all those in for absorption of gases on surfaces and catalysts. 

HOLLOWAY: So, did you work with LEED and Auger guys there at Bell Labs too?

BRUNDLE: No. I worked with primarily the theoreticians, (Holloway:  I see.) because – and the rare gas chemistry guys, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) because there were people turning out all sorts of weird molecules like XeF2, XeF4, XeF6, krypton difluoride, diborane. So, I had easy access to a lot of strange chemicals where electronic structure was of interest. Then there's this group doing quantum chemistry as well. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) That was one of the prime places. So, they could do calculations on the electronic structure. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) So, these guys made it, these guys calculated and I did the photoelectron spectroscopy and by and large wrote the papers, put them together. By the way, I mentioned Mel Robbin at the beginning, he left for Japan. He decided he was going to go to Japan for a year.

BRUNDLE: From Bell Labs.

HOLLOWAY:  From Bell Labs?

BRUNDLE:  On a sabbatical.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, yeah.

BRUNDLE: He learned Japanese. He said, "Oh," this is like in December, he said, "By the way, I'm going to be away all next year. You can have the whole lab. There's about this many thousands dollars money, probably, that you'll have. Just get on and do what you want." [Laughter] So.

HOLLOWAY: That would never happen today would it?

BRUNDLE: No. It was a wonderful time at Bell Labs then. So, the people who influenced me then were Homer Hagstrom, Dean Eastman, and Neville Smith, who had actually just joined Bell. And, he hadn’t actually set anything up but he was going to do photo measurement of solids there. Jack Rowe was there. (Holloway:  Yeah.) I had interaction with him. (Holloway:  Yeah.) So, this is all solid state surface guys I didn't know anything about. And then on the chemistry side, the people who were making compounds and the theoreticians. So, by the time I left we'd done, you know, run so many spectra -- they weren't all published by the time I left -- but I was told later that I hold the record for the largest number of papers published by a postdoc there for work that was done there(Holloway: Is that right?) as a postdoc at Bell Labs. (Holloway:  Yeah.) Yeah. (Holloway: Wow.) And, just before I left to go back to England they said, "Oh, by the way, if you'd like to stay permanently we'll offer you a permanent job." [Laugh] And, I'd been always told there was no chance. Postdocs did not get permanent jobs at Bell Labs. You could stay for a second year and that was it, so I'd never even asked. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And now I had a job lined up back in England.

HOLLOWAY: So, that was at Bradford University?

BRUNDLE: Right. So, I said, "No." If they'd indicated that earlier, (Holloway:  Yeah.) you know, I would have probably stayed at Bell Labs that time. So, yeah, I went to Bradford in 1970, I guess. (Holloway:  Right.) And, working in a department which was largely interested in surfaces from the point of view of catalysis. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) I have to be careful what I say now, [Laugh] because . . .

HOLLOWAY:  This may be recorded? [Laugh]

BRUNDLE:  I was supposed to be collaborating with the head of the department, and then I find out that collaboration basically meant, "I'm the boss and you do the work, and I take the credit." [Laughter] And, after two or three years of that I got completely fed up with that and I refused to work with him anymore. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And, we arranged just to split time on the equipment that I'd got by this grant, though it was in his name because he was head of the department. [Laugh] (Holloway:  Right. Right.) So, after five years I'd got a call out of the blue from one Eric Kay, who I'd never heard of, who was in California, (Holloway:  Yeah.) at IBM Research, on that side of the country. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, I'm sitting at home in a cottage on the Yorkshire Moors, the phone rings, and Eric chews my ear – you know what Eric's like – for about half an hour. [Laugh] (Holloway:  Yeah.) and I’m thinking "What does this guy really want?" [Laughter] What he wanted me to do was come out to California for an interview for a job out there, because they wanted somebody to work in that area, primarily on metals, magnetic metals, adsorption, reactions of metal surfaces. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And of course, they had a big theoretical group too. (Holloway:  Right.) So, it was an opportunity to interact. I didn't really intend to go but I thought, "I've never been to California," so I go out for the interview, (Holloway:  Sure.) [Laugh] and it was actually the same year that I was invited, through Jack Rowe I think it was, to be a speaker in 1974 at an AVS meeting in New York.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, is that right?

BRUNDLE: Yeah. (Holloway:  Yeah.) To give a paper, basically, on the early applications of electron spectroscopy to surfaces. And, the main point of what I gave there was to do with, "Well, what's the mean-free path lengths?" And, there isn't really any difference between Auger and XPS, (Holloway:  Right.) because they have similar electron energies you're looking at so they're going to have similar mean-free path lengths. (Holloway:  Right.) And, I pulled together what data was available at the time and showed that.  Up to that point there had been kind of an argument between the different areas. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) Because Siegbahn didn't really want XPS to be a surface technique. He wanted it to be a general analytical technique. (Holloway:  Right.) But, the Auger guys had always done it from the point of view of surfaces. (Holloway:  Right.) So, anyway that was at the same time. So, I visited California and I kind of fell in love with it. Eric interviewed me and the guy who was going to be my boss, Paul Bagus, who was a theoretical, theoretician, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) But he was leaving for Europe. So, I saw him for about an hour. [Laughter] And he said, "Why don't you rent a car and just drive around for the weekend and see if you like it?" (Holloway:  Yeah.) So, I did. Went to the coast. The first thing I hit was a nude beach. I hadn't seen one of those before. [Laughter] And . . .

HOLLOWAY:  That sold you right there, right?

BRUNDLE:  Took a helicopter flight around Alcatraz. I had a good time. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, they offered me a job and when I came back, to England, I said to my wife, "Well, you know, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to go there for a few years." And so, we arranged, I arranged to leave, basically, on sabbatical from Bradford. They would keep my job open. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) So, as far as IBM was concerned I was taking a permanent job. (Holloway:  Right.) But, I was hedging here, you know, I've got this job back [Laugh] at Bradford.

HOLLOWAY: And a card in your pocket?

BRUNDLE:  Yeah. Well, the other thing is I wouldn't come until I had a green card. (Holloway:  Ah.) And, they messed around with that for a while, and they didn't get it in time. So, actually they had to pay me for six months, this is IBM, to do contract work at Bradford University [Laugh] while they were waiting for the Green Card. I didn't want to risk going without that. (Holloway:  Right.) But, I ended up there in 1975 and also now was quite heavily involved in the AVS through that meeting earlier. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, basically recreated stuff I had at Bradford, plus extra things, and started working on adsorption on metals and alloys, and a little bit on semiconductors, but not from the point of catalysis anymore.

HOLLOWAY: Now, this was mainly XPS now, or . . . 

BRUNDLE: It was mainly, it was actually mainly XPS. It did have the other things as well, (Holloway:  Right.) but it turned out to be mainly XPS. Also, I started doing SIMS as well, the system which had SIMS capability.

HOLLOWAY: This was the old quadrupole?

BRUNDLE: Well, with first a little quadrupole and then a very big quadrupole, which was VG. VG built the machine (Holloway:  Right.) at Bradford for me, with, you know, grant money that I got, and when I came to the States they did it again, (Holloway:  Right.) some variations, added SIMS. We also added liquid nitrogen sample cooling capability, and actually by brute force later on liquid helium capability. So, I was able to go down to 20°K [sp. twenty degrees Kelvin]. So, now you've got great opportunity, you know, you can put molecules on the surface and slowly warm them up, and watch them react, and I did the adsorption stuff and did desorption mass spec as well.

HOLLOWAY: So, once you went to Bradford, once you went to Bradford then essentially a hundred percent of your work was solid state surface science?

BRUNDLE: Yes. Yes. (Holloway:  Yeah.) Well, actually I tried to build a little gas phase, a 127-degree analyzer for the teaching lab, but I couldn't ever get it to work, [Laugh] and I don't really know why. I think, actually I think it's probably the difference in quality of the workshops at Bell Labs, [Laugh] versus Bradford. You know, I never had any resolution, never had any intensity. (Holloway:  Yeah.) But, since I wasn’t really interested in that anymore I didn't pursue it.


BRUNDLE: Yeah. Nearly all XPS, some UPS valence band with the solids as well, but mostly XPS.

HOLLOWAY: So, you applied this to a number of different materials there at IBM San Jose?

BRUNDLE: Yeah, kind of two areas; single crystal stuff like iron, nickel, a few other things, you know, (100), (101). (Holloway:  Right.) Because, the field had moved to a point where if you didn't work on single crystals it wasn't respectable (Holloway:  Right.) anymore. (Holloway:  Yes.) Plus alloys, because of the magnetic side, you know, people there were very interested in magnetic properties (Holloway:  Sure.) because of  magnetic recording. (Holloway:  Right.) And strange materials. You know, I don't really know why they were interested in it, but again it was really magnetism, rare earths, you know, transition metals, those kinds of things, plus a little bit of silicon, silicon work, and also some gallium arsenide work, because generally just because whoever asked to, you know, "Are you interested in doing this as a collaborative issue?" often were theoreticians. (Holloway:  Right.) Yeah.

HOLLOWAY:  Yeah. So, how long were you there at IBM, San Jose?

BRUNDLE: I was there seventeen years, but – I went in '75, and pretty much concentrated on my own research with a series of postdocs, a lot of them from Germany, and a lot of them now well known professors (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) back there. I've had very good support through the IBM postdoc system. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) I also had a sabbatical year during that time. Actually, it wasn't a year it was only eight months, at the University of Hawaii with Chuck Fadley.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, is that right?


HOLLOWAY: What year was this?

BRUNDLE: This was 1984.




BRUNDLE: So, I'd been there nine years and was entitled to a sabbatical year. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) I had to make a good case as to why I wanted to go to Hawaii. [Laugh] You know, Chuck was one of the foremost XPS guys and he was doing angle-resolved XPS, and he was the first one really to be seriously doing that. (Holloway:  Right.) And, he was doing it primarily for structural information, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) adsorption on single-crystal surfaces. So, I went there and spend a very enjoyable time with him and his students doing that for eight months. I came back to IBM and some of his students came too, but I had kind of moved into the management side after that. So, I wasn't really doing my own research very much after that time. I had a lab and I had postdocs, but I had less and less time to spend on it. And, eventually I gave my lab up all together to Dave Fowler in my group, because he was building a huge medium energy ion scattering machine, and that was the only space we had available for it. So, I said, "Bye, bye old VG system. [Laugh] Thanks a lot." So, I ended up responsible really for all the materials analysis capabilities in the IBM Almaden lab, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm

HOLLOWAY: So, that included SEM and microprobe?

BRUNDLE: Yes. Yes.

HOLLOWAY: And, SIMS and Auger and TEM?



BRUNDLE: Yeah. All those things.

HOLLOWAY: All those things.

BRUNDLE: Some things which, of course, I really didn't have a lot of knowledge or experience about. Up to then I hadn’t learnt about things like TEM for instance. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) Yeah. So, that took me through to '93. And, in '93 that's when the big crunch came at IBM and they decided they were going to cut way back on their physical science. (Holloway:  Right.) And, so I’d just spent a couple years building up this group to do physical analysis, really, of interfaces in thin film magnetic material. Not magnetic measurements themselves. There were other people doing that. But, to study the, you know, the diffusion at interfaces, the, maybe, you know, oxidation, segregation, whatever it was that affected the magnetism. (Holloway:  Right.) Having just built that up, basically now my job was to somehow bring it down again. [Laugh] (Holloway:  Yeah.) So, I quit. I said, "Well, you know, I think I want to leave too." (Holloway:  Yeah.) So, I took their last good buyout, [Laugh] in 1993 and left. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, not to go to anywhere else but to start as an independent consultant in surface and thin film analysis and characterization. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And, I was told that would be very difficult, by career counselors. And, actually it wasn't. It was quite easy because, you know, I had already a great many contacts.

HOLLOWAY: Yeah, that's right.

BRUNDLE: Yeah. So, I did that for five years, a whole variety of different areas; disk drive, semiconductor, and even people like, well the people that make carbon-black- Cabot. Cabot, so really chemical firms as well, the whole range. (Holloway:  Right.) But, I ended up working a lot of time for Applied Materials (Holloway:  Right.) who made semiconductor manufacturing equipment. And, then they were going down to the bottom of a cycle, usual cycles, and they decided, "We're going to get rid of all our consultants, but we want you to stay. So,– would you like a permanent job [Laugh] instead of just being a contractor?" [Laugh] (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, the head of that department was just moving somewhere else." So, I said, "Well, I wouldn't mind his job." He says, "Okay." So, I became director of the, what was basically their analytical, centralized analytical capability. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) Though at that time it was concentrating entirely on particles, (Holloway:  Right.) and defects on wafers, detecting them, characterizing them, so you start with light scattering to find them and then you have to re-find them in SEM and maybe Auger to work out what they are so you can get rid of them, (Holloway:  Right.) you know, to solve the problems of contamination and defects. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, while I was there I also expanded that into thin film characterization because it was obvious that that was going to be important and you couldn’t get by anymore with a four-point probe. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) You needed [Laugh] a little bit more information than that. [Laugh] So, I stayed there for five years, permanently, and then I left again three years ago. Took another buyout, but this time I wasn’t given a choice. [Laugh]

HOLLOWAY: So, that would have been 2002 you left there?



BRUNDLE: Yeah, that's right 2002.

HOLLOWAY: Yeah. Okay.

BRUNDLE: Or three. Beginning of – end of two, beginning of three, (Holloway:  Right.) I think it was. (Holloway:  Okay.) And went back to doing contract research work, contract characterization and analytical work, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) but only part-time. I’m semi-retired at this point. (Holloway:  Yeah.) I've been saying that for a long time and it's still true I guess. But, I still work for Applied, on contract, with the same group that I used to be director of. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And occasionally for other companies as needed. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And, actually the contact for that, a lot of it comes through the short courses that I give at AVS, (Holloway:  Right.) because I've done that for over twenty years. I'm not sure actually when I first started. I think maybe it was Northern California chapter rather than national initially, (Holloway:  Yeah.) but it was around '78 (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) I started a basic course on XPS. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) But now I do a variety of courses, materials characterization. It's kind of a general one, but the two that bring in more people who are likely to want my services,  are on particles and defects on wafers, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) and on ultra thin film characterization and metrology. So, it's aimed at the people who are going to have to come up with the metrology to, measure to high precision a few angstroms thickness on something or other. (Holloway:  Right.) [Laugh] And, the techniques that are being used for that are changing. What we used to think of as surface science techniques are becoming metrology and film techniques. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm. Yes.) So, that keeps me involved with people. And, that's about it.

HOLLOWAY: You've had quite a variety of experiences in the past, but in a lot of it you've worked with the Vacuum Society, the AVS. What sort of activities have you participated in there?

BRUNDLE: Well, at both the local level and the national level. (Holloway:  Right.) When I first came to California the California chapter, though it formally existed, was pretty much defunct. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) Some individuals wanted it to be restarted, but they were really the vacuum vendors, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.). At the same time, a friend of mine, Bob Maddox, who is chemical engineering from Stanford, (Holloway:  Right.) working on surface stuff, said, "Well, maybe we could start a California surface science chapter." I don't know if anybody's actually done that, but it's not forbidden. And, we inquired and AVS said we could. We could have a California Surface Science chapter. But, the vacuum people came to us and said, "You know, please don't do that, you know, we don't want to have a split organization." So, we agreed to go in with them, (Holloway:  Right.) and the combination of those two things kind of revitalized the chapter. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) And, I started giving courses there as people, more and more people – the chapter really grew strongly during that time, because there was a manufacturing base starting (Holloway:  Right.) in Silicon Valley. At the same time, I was in the surface science national division, as you were. That was the same time. I was asked to be on the committee, you know, the committee for the papers.

HOLLOWAY: Right. Program Committee?

BRUNDLE: Surface Science Division. Program Committee. And then I became chair of that division. (Holloway:  Right.) And so, that was my, the start of my involvement at the national level. Then the Applied Surface Science division was started and I got involved in that too. (Holloway:  Yeah.) And, later on Manufacturing Science and Technology. So, I've kind of moved around between these. And, at one point I was on the National board of directors for two years, quite some time ago, probably at least ten years ago, maybe fifteen.

HOLLOWAY: So, what's the benefit to the young people to participate in the society?

BRUNDLE: I think the biggest benefit is the wider range of disciplines, people, in the society, and therefore the wider range of topics that they can see, but are still related. It's not like these people are highly separated into discipline areas, which they do tend to be (Holloway:  Right.) in chemistry and physics communities. (Holloway:  Right.) So, certainly to me it was the same thing as meeting people like Homer Hagstrom at Bell, coming from a completely different point of view, or discipline. (Holloway:  Right.) And, of course, at that time, surface science early on really wasn't an established older hierarchy of professors, etcetera, because it was a new area. So, we really, we had a good, good opportunity without people sitting on top of us. And, of course we're all now sitting here sitting on top of these poor students. [Laughter] Hopefully we're not getting in the way too much.

HOLLOWAY: Hopefully.

BRUNDLE: But, so it's that cross disciplinary interaction. Plus it's a good place for vendors, and I've always been involved with people like VG, and PHI and Kratos, people who make the equipment (Holloway:  Right.) as well. And, it's   good, socially I as well. (Holloway:  Yeah.) You tend to make friends and keep them, (Holloway:  Yeah.) A long time.

HOLLOWAY: You've been active in the music business as well, right? [Laugh] Tell me a little bit about that.

BRUNDLE: Oh, if you really want to know. Yeah. [Laugh] Well, I'm not a musician, but I like music, and in California there is tons of it of all types, particularly in the Bay Area. And, after a while I got interested in bluegrass music, for which there was a very strong base there. And, there was an organization called the Santa Cruz Bluegrass Society, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) though they were very eclectic. They'd actually take pretty much any kind of music that involved fiddles, mandolins, banjo, guitars, bass. So, it was acoustic music of all varieties. And, so I used to go to their concerts and things that they were organizing, small festivals. And, they had a magazine, well they still do, called Bluegrass By The Bay, and it turned out to be somewhat of a dysfunctional society because it was run by musicians. [Laughter] And, they wanted an editor for this. And I said, "Well, you know, I was editor for the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy for twenty-five years. I know how to be an editor." So, I volunteered to do that. And then a friend of mine, who is also a graphic artist, and is a musician, he was very keen to kind of raise the level of this thing. We turned it basically from a newsletter into a proper magazine. And, through that I got to know a lot of people in music. But San Jose, which has nearly a million people, was pretty much a desert for acoustic music. [Laugh] Everybody's running around trying to make money, you know, Silicon Valley. (Holloway:  Yeah.) So, I would go to Santa Cruz, which is forty miles away, or Berkeley, which is sixty miles away, to hear the kind of music I wanted to hear. So, I ended up deciding to run concerts in our house, which a few people were starting to do. And, that lasted for three years, and thirty concerts, (Holloway:  Wow.) in three years, sometimes with as many as ninety people in our front room, and some pretty well known people, you know, internationally known people in their little niche areas. (Holloway:  Yeah.) After that my wife said, "No more." [Laughter] We had wrecked the house. So, I started doing it in a small cafĂ© and have been doing it ever since. We're coming to the end of our ninth year, the regular series, called Fiddling Cricket. You can find it on the web at "", all one word. I probably spend about thirty percent of my time doing that. (Holloway:  Yeah.) Started a small CD label as well to help some of the musicians, called Fiddling Cricket Music. I don't own copyright of any of these things, the musicians do. It's just a name, (Holloway:  Right.) to put on the CDs, and I help them produce the CDs.

HOLLOWAY: So, has anybody that you work with made it "big"?

BRUNDLE: No.– it depends what you mean by "big," (Holloway:  Yeah.) you know. In terms of what record companies – there's only four record companies in the world, really. Big to them means you've got to make a million dollars, (Holloway:  Yeah.) all right. So, there aren't many people that do that, and it's usually all for lowest denominator stuff [Laugh] anyway. But, in the small areas of folk music or acoustic music concerts, festivals, etc., yes a band called The Waybacks has been very successful. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) They toured Australia. I went with them. That was very nice.

HOLLOWAY: Yeah. That's nice.

BRUNDLE: And they sell 10,000 CDs each time they make one, which is actually a pretty high number for people who aren't with a well-known regular CD label. (Holloway:  Right. Yeah.) So, yeah, that's a lot of fun. I enjoy it. As I tell people there is a distribution curve, but by in large I think musicians are more interesting than scientists.

HOLLOWAY: [Laugh] That's why you're a musician now?

BRUNDLE:  Well, I hang out with them. [Laugh] So, that's a good balance. (Holloway:  Yeah.) Then occasionally it's really funny, because I meet people who are in both areas, and then we both get confused, because we know each other from one area, and then you find you're meeting the same person in another area.

HOLLOWAY: Different venue as completely out of character, right?

BRUNDLE: Yeah. For instance, Gary Rubloff, who is well known in the AVS and a Welch Award winner, much more prestigious than my award , and he's a banjo player. He goes to banjo clinics, (Holloway:  Yeah.). He's in awe of some of the people I've had come in and play in my house. [Laughter] So, there is a crossover, yeah.

HOLLOWAY: That's an interesting aspect, you know. Are there other aspects of your career or your life you'd like to share today?

BRUNDLE: Well, I'm, have always been fairly athletic, and I'll be trying to run tomorrow in a 5K run.

HOLLOWAY: I'm sure you'll beat me. [Laugh]

BRUNDLE: I used to run regularly but haven't for a number of years. But, because it's the anniversary I 'm going to run in it. I like windsurfing. I used to play tennis, and soccer, and things like that I don't do that anymore. But we, myself and my wife, we really do a lot of outdoor camping and things like that, and that actually fits in with the music because on the West Coast, at least in the summers, which are reliable, there's all sorts of music festivals where you can go to in the mountains, camp for a week or a few days. So, we move around and do a lot of that. (Holloway:  Yeah.) But, we've also done trips to New Zealand and Australia, and we'll probably be going to the Czech Republic next year.

HOLLOWAY: Is that right?

BRUNDLE: Because, I've picked up some Czech friends who are musicians, who come over to the states. So, we do that quite extensively together, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) you know, traveling, camping.


BRUNDLE: I have a daughter who's, who is living at home at the moment because she just finished her degree in biology at University of Hawaii. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) She's going off to work with a wolf pack in Indiana in the spring. Bet you didn't know there were wolf packs in Indiana? It's actually in an enclosed area.

HOLLOWAY: Oh, okay.

BRUNDLE: It's one they've been studying for a 30 years. (Holloway:  Yeah.) It's near Purdue actually, near Lafayette.


BRUNDLE: And, I have a son who is a punk rock guitarist still. He hasn't grown out of that. [Laugh] And, he lives in Seattle, and he's active in the anti-world trade lobby as well. [Laugh] So, and my wife also has a PhD. Her's is in psychology, and she was a psychologist working in private practice part-time and part-time for a hospital for a number of years. But, recently we moved to Santa Cruz, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) from Silicon Valley, and she doesn't do that now. Instead she's cultivating the garden and we're raising chickens. [Laugh]

HOLLOWAY: Raising chickens for eggs?

BRUNDLE: Yeah. For eggs. We live in a fairly, a semi-rural area now.

HOLLOWAY: Very good. Anything else?

BRUNDLE: No, not unless you have any specific questions? Well, I haven't actually said anything about what my parents did, background. My grandfather, on one side, was a miner, Stroke-on-Trent where I was born. He was down in the pits at the age of twelve. He worked from twelve to late fifties. Retired and had a stroke a few years later. He loved soccer and he used to sing, not very well. And, I realize now that the stuff he liked had American origins, though he didn’t know that, and that's where I get my interest from it. It was kind of English music hall stuff that I now recognize where it came from. It came from early American music. (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) So, the music, I think, comes from that side. On the other side, my father's father, was in the British Navy, originally, and then worked as a civilian in the Navy shipyards in Chatham. So, I have a nautical background on that side. Maybe that's why I like sailing and windsurfing. Don't really know. [Laugh] Nobody, nobody in our family ever went to university until I did. And, my mother and my father clearly could have gone, but they went into the Royal Air Force when they were eighteen, (Holloway:  Uhm-hmm.) at the start of the Second World War. That's where they met. My father was in the civil service all of his life, until he retired. He was something like fifth out of ten thousand applicants in the exams that they took. So, he was clearly – they were very capable of going to university they just never had the opportunity because of the intervention of the war.

HOLLOWAY: Good. Okay. Well, thank you very much for spending the time and doing the recording.

BRUNDLE: No. Thank you. It's an honor to have it done. You know, it's an honor for me to get this award. I got one when I was young. [Laugh] The first Peter Mark Award.

HOLLOWAY: Yeah. That's right.

BRUNDLE: And now, I think this is pretty much the end of my career. I'm going to wind down anyway. So, I'm very pleased about it.

HOLLOWAY: Good. Congratulations. Okay. Wonderful.

return to top