presented by the Rocky Mountain AVS
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Register for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the AVS at the National website.   Information on Short courses can be found below, or at the National Short Course catalog (click on name).    Register for the upcoming Denver short courses at the National short course registration link by clicking below.

RM AVS Short Course Registration

Please help the Rocky Mountain Chapter contain the costs of our Symposium by staying in rooms from our block at the Westminster Double Tree Hotel!

  A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees of the 2019 Rocky Mountain AVS Symposium and short course program.   For 2019, the Rocky Mountain Chapter is required to pay to the DoubleTree hotel a penalty for non-used rooms in the RMAVS block.  Failure to meet our requirements could noticeably increase the cost of putting on our event.

Rooms from the room block are a very good deal.  The Rocky Mountain Chapter room rate is $122, much reduced over the comparable room/rate available from the hotel’s website of $175.

To get this excellent rate, please use/mention the group code AVS and group name: American Vacuum Society- Rocky Mountain Chapter when reserving either on the hotel’s website or by calling the hotel at 303-427-4000.  A direct link to the group reservation page is:  http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/D/DENNSDT-AVS-20190910/index.jhtml 

An added bonus of this special rate is that it is available the whole week, and into the weekend after the RMC event if you want to stay and enjoy Colorado!

Thank you for supporting the Rocky Mountain Chapter by staying in rooms from our block!

An Overview of Applied Vacuum Technology

Tim Gessert Managing Member, Gessert Consulting, LLC

Neil Peacock Consultant, Pine Place Consulting

Wednesday September 11 and Thursday September 12, 2019

Course Objectives

  • Be introduced to the fundamental concepts of vacuum technology.
  • Learn about common vacuum system hardware and instrumentation, including pumps, gauges, flanges, valves, and feedthroughs.
  • Understand applications and processes involving vacuum technology.
  • Benefit from a “just right” two-day course (when you don’t have the time or the need to attend a four- or five-day introductory course).

Course Description

The course begins with a definition of vacuum and a description of the physical conditions existing in a vacuum environment. Following this introduction will be a discussion of gases at low pressures and the interactions between gases and solids. The phenomena of gas flow though vacuum systems will then be examined. The primary components of vacuum systems, with an emphasis on pumps and gauges, will be described.

Requirements for materials compatible with the vacuum environment will be discussed. Various sealing techniques will be described, including coverage of all demountable flange systems in common use today. Common vacuum system configurations and operational procedures will be outlined. The course will finish with a description of vacuum leak detection methods and the far-reaching applications of vacuum technology today.

Ample time for questions and discussion will be scheduled. A comprehensive list of references will be provided for those wishing to learn more detailed information about specific areas. The emphasis of the course will be to provide practical information for individuals with minimal training in vacuum technology.

Who Should Attend?

Managers, technicians, engineers, and scientists who desire an introduction to the concepts, hardware, and instrumentation used in applied vacuum technology today. Those interested in a short review of vacuum basics will also find this course valuable.

Partial Pressure Analysis with Residual Gas Analyzers

Gerardo Brucker Chief Scientist/CTO,Granville-Phillips Division of MKS Instruments. Friday, September 13, 2019


Course Objectives

  • Provide the basic knowledge required to operate residual gas analyzers (RGAs) in vacuum applications ranging from UHV to atmospheric pressures. 
  • Basic operation principles of mass spectrometers for residual gas analysis.
  • How to specify the best RGA system configuration for your application.
  • How to configure RGA software and process control I/O to perform gas analysis and track real-time changes in gas composition. 
  • Routine maintenance, tuning and calibration procedures.
  • Quantitative compositional analysis and process control (actionable information) options.
  • Spectral Interpretation: Quickly and effectively interpret typical RGA spectra. Monitor the quality of your vacuum process. Fingerprint your gas chamber. Chamber matching opportunities.
  • How to differentiate between background and process gases 
  • Typical chemical interactions between RGAs and sampled gases.


Course Description

This course provides the basic training required to interpret Residual Gas Analyzer (RGA) data and produce actionable information for process control applications. The operation of an RGA is described, with specific attention dedicated to the multiple tuning parameters available to RGA operators. Routine calibration, tuning and maintenance procedures are discussed. Typical RGA spectra are shown and analyzed and the interferences from background gases are highlighted. Quantitative calculations of gas concentrations are described. Relevant literature references, gas libraries, tables and graphs are presented. A portion of time is always reserved to address the specific needs of the group.

Who Should Attend?

Scientists, engineers and technicians who use or plan to use residual gas analyzers in research applications or in support of high vacuum industrial processes.

Leak Detection and Vacuum System Gas Sources

Neil Peacock Consultant, Pine Place Consulting ,  Wednesday  September 11, 2019


Course Objectives

In this course you will learn about:

  • Real vs virtual leaks
  • Leak rate specifications
  • Different leak detection methods
  • How a mass spectrometer leak detector works
  • Care and feeding of a mass spectrometer leak detector
  • Basic ways to use a mass spectrometer leak detector
  • What to do when a leak is found
  • Possible steps when a system passes leak test but has sub-par performance
  • Sources of gas that can affect vacuum system performance
  • Ways to mitigate gas sources

Course Description

Need to work with a vacuum system, keeping it operating and leak free with more than tribal knowledge?  Do you think vacuum systems are intimidating?  Want to tame and understand vacuum systems?  Then this is the course for you.   Attendees will first gain insight, in vacuum system basics, operating and successfully using a vacuum system.  Then, about half the course time will be used to improve or gain familiarity and skills about leak detection, using a helium mass spectrometer leak detector. This will be a basic introduction from a user’s point of view, without large amounts of math or theory and useful to vacuum system operators, technicians, engineers or managers.
We have tentatively arranged to have an operating leak detector available during the course.  If this is successful, there will be demonstrations  and student  ‘hands-on’ time too.

Who Should Attend?

This course is for anyone wanting more familiarity about leak detection, with an emphasis on using a helium mass spectrometer leak detector.  This will be a basic introduction from a user’s point of view, without large amounts of math or theory.  It will be useful to technicians, engineers specifying leak rates, managers or anyone interested in leak detection.  In addition, other possible gas sources, besides the ingress of gas through a leak that can impact vacuum system performance will be discussed.   

 Vacuum System Design

Tim Gessert Gessert Consulting, LLC.  Friday, September 13, 2019

 Course Objectives

  • Learn how to select materials and fabricate vessels and components.
  • Learn how to maintain a proper in-chamber environment.
  • Understand the calculations and steps for vacuum pumping system design.
  • Learn about the design and fabrication of vacuum systems.

Course Description

This course deals with the principal aspects of system design, including materials selection, fabrication techniques, pump selection, sizing pumps and vacuum piping to a chamber, determining pumpdown time, leak rate specification, and surface preparation procedures. Methods for determining ultimate pressures are also discussed.

The course demonstrates that establishing the vacuum environment is the primary criterion for designing, constructing, and operating a vacuum system. A wide range of vacuum environments is discussed, from rough to ultrahigh vacuum, with emphasis on achieving a well-defined degree of vacuum.

The course compares calculated results from both hand calculations and commercially available computer software (not included with course material).

Who Should Attend?

Those familiar with the fundamentals of vacuum technology who are responsible for vacuum system design or fabrication and control of the in-chamber environment.


Atomic Layer Deposition & Atomic Layer Etching

Steven George, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado at Boulder. Friday, Sept. 13, 2019

 Course Objectives

  • Learn the fundamentals of ALD & ALE based on sequential surface reactions.
  • Learn about the surface chemistry and reactors for ALE & ALE.
  • Understand why ALD can deposit conformal films in high aspect ratio structures.
  • Learn how plasma ALE can obtain atomic layer precise anisotropic etching.
  • Learn how thermal ALE can obtain atomic layer precise isotropic etching.
  • Learn how ALD & ALE can be utilized for thin film nanoengineering.
  • Understand the many current and potential applications of ALD & ALE.

Course Description

This course develops an understanding of atomic layer deposition (ALD) and atomic layer etching (ALE).  ALD and ALE are critical for atomic layer processing that is increasingly important for nanoscale fabrication.  Although ALD and ALE have been used separately in the past, they can now be integrated into process flows often in the same reactor. 

The first half of this course will cover the basics of ALD.  ALD will be introduced in terms of sequential, self-limiting surface reactions.  The course will review reactors for ALD, ALD chemistry, ALD in high aspect ratio structures and area-selective ALD.  Semiconductor applications for ALD will be covered including ALD for high k gate dielectrics.  Other applications will be discussed including ALD on polymers, ALD on particles and ALD for advanced nanopatterning.

The second half of this course on ALE will cover the basics of plasma-assisted ALE and thermal ALE.  The course will explain the process strategies for plasma-assisted ALE and thermal ALE.  Important ALE approaches for many materials including Si, SiO2, Al2O3, TiN and W will be described that are useful for advanced semiconductor processing.  Other applications for ALE will be covered including area-selective ALE and ALE for surface cleaning and smoothening.

Who Should Attend?

Engineers, scientists and technicians who want an introduction to ALD & ALE or need to broaden or update their knowledge of these important fields.


Reactive Sputter and Deposition

Joe Greene, Professor of Materials Science and Head of Electronics Materials Division, University of Illinois, Thursday September 12,  2019

 Course Objectives

  • Understand reactive processes for doping films.
  • Learn about deposition methods and applications.
  • Know the methods for sputtering insulators: AC, RF, Pulsed DC, ion beams, etc.
  • Understand process monitoring and control methods as well as process modeling

Course Description

This course is intended for those who have taken the basic Sputter Deposition course or who have an equivalent background in sputtering. Familiarity with different sputtering methods (magnetrons, RF, etc.) and the parameters (pressure, energy, etc.) that affect film properties (stress, structure, etc.) is required. The course provides an understanding of the fundamental parameters and effects that are important in particular applications and helps attendees recognize from experimental results those that determine the film properties, whatever the film and the desired properties may be.

Because applications of reactive sputtering have expanded significantly in the last decade for optical coating and optical waveguides, decorative coatings, hard coatings, magnetic films, etc., and because industrial-scale manufacturing has focused on the materials and methods of deposition, this course will cover these topics in detail. This course will also focus on:

  • Gettering effects and hysteresis of pressure, target voltage, deposition rate; the effect of pumping speed.
  • Target processes in sputtering compounds; ejected species.
  • Partially reacted target methods for high rates; avoiding arcing and defects; activation of reactions.

Who Should Attend?

Scientists, technicians, and others who have taken the basic Sputter Deposition course or who have an equivalent background in sputtering and are looking for more information on reactive sputtering processes. Familiarity with different sputtering methods and the parameters that affect film properties is required.



Sputter Deposition

Joe Greene, Professor of Materials Science and Head of Electronics Materials Division, University of Illinois, Wednesday September 11,  2019

 Course Objectives

  • Understand target effects and sputtered atoms.
  • Learn about magnetron, diode, triode, and ion beam systems.
  • Learn about DC and RF systems for targets and substrates.
  • Understand reactive sputtering.
  • Understand film properties and learn system parameters.

Course Description

Films are deposited by sputtering for their useful properties in microelectronics, surface protection, optics, etc., by a variety of sputtering techniques. The film properties depend on the parameters of the sputtering system, such as pressure and substrate bias.

This course provides an understanding of the cause and effect of changes in sputtering parameters on the energetics of the sputtering and deposition processes and their relationship to film properties. The energy and distribution of species ejected from the target are discussed. The effect of the sputtering system on material transport to the substrate and subsequent film deposition is also discussed for films of metals, alloys, and compounds. The parameters of different sputtering systems (diode, triode, magnetron, and ion guns) with DC and RF power supplies are discussed with respect to film properties.

Who Should Attend?

Scientists, technicians, and others involved in the deposition of thin films by sputtering who want to understand the effects of operating parameters on the properties of metal, alloy, and dielectric films.



Are you going to the National meeting in October and thinking about a short course?  View the short course offered, or register below.

National 2019 Short courses

Register for National Short Courses  
For more information about registration for the courses at the National AVS-66 in Columbus, OH contact Heather Korff, heather@avs.org (530)-896-0477. 

Courses by Request

AVS is pleased to announce “Courses By Request.” Through an online form, you tell us which course(s) you need, the time frame in which you need them offered, how many people (other than yourself) are interested in the same course(s), and your traveling restrictions. As requests are received, the Committee will work to identify additional interested participants, and schedule the course(s) at a facility and date that will meet everyone’s needs. To request an AVS Short Course just complete the “Courses By Request” online form,  http://www.avs.org/Education-Outreach/Short-Courses/Short-Courses-by-Request    If you have any questions about AVS Short Courses send us a note at courses@avs.org or  call us between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Pacific time at 530-896-0477.


Have a request for RMCAVS short courses?

For more information or to suggest/request a short course, please contact:


Neil Peacock

neiltpeacock@gmail.com -or-

Tim Gessert