18 September 2018

“Curiosity and forward looking” describe innovative researcher Tuomo Suntola

Published in People, Research and Development
Acknowledgements

Finnish physicist, Dr. Tuomo Suntola won the highly appreciated Millennium Technology Prize in spring 2018.

Finnish physicist, Dr. Tuomo Suntola, who made an impressive over ten year career at Neste and has won the highly appreciated Millennium Technology Prize this spring, is described as an innovative researcher with a genuine curiosity and passion for his work.

Dr. Subntola worked from 1987 to 1998 as a Managing Director of Microchemistry Ltd, subsidiary of Neste and later Fortum. Lars Peter Lindfors, Neste’s Senior Vice President of Technology had the pleasure of working as a researcher at Neste in the beginning of 1990’s in a cooperation with Suntola and other talented researchers of Microchemistry. The subject of cooperation, as part of the Lindfors dissertation, was the production of catalysts with ALD technology, Suntola’s award winning innovation.

"Tuomo Suntola is a real scientist character. In addition to extensive theoretical knowledge, he is curious, forward looking and encourages others to innovative research", says Lindfors and continues: "Research is long-term work with uncompromising. It has been realized in Tuomo Suntola's decades-long work, which results we can now benefit.”

"After a long career, it's great to see that the work done was not in vain. I was particularly pleased when receiving the Millennium Technology Prize in March now that the significance of the ALD technology has been proven in many applications important to people", says Suntola.

Atomic Layer Deposition - potential for environmental benefits

Tuomo Suntola’s prize-winning innovation, Atomic Layer Deposition, ALD is a nanoscale technology in use all over the world. It is used to manufacture ultra-thin material layers for microprocessors and digital memory devices. The impressive technology allows building of complex, three-dimensional structures one atomic layer at a time.

The exciting winning innovation is seen to have potential in many technology sectors. Research has for example shown there is promise in the potential of utilizing ALD thin films for medical purposes. In addition, environmental benefits could be achieved if ALD technology is used to improve the efficiency of such innovations as solar panels, LED lights and lithium batteries for electric cars.

Millennium Technology Prize

The international Millennium Technology Prize was awarded in Helsinki on 22 May 2018. The Millennium Technology Prize is a Finnish one-million-euro award presented every second year in honour of a pioneering technological innovation that improves people’s quality of life and promotes sustainable development. The winning innovations must have extensive positive social impacts, be commercially viable and promote the welfare of humanity. The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded by Technology Academy Finland.