2019 IEEE-ISAF, Lausanne in July 2019

December 22, 2019

The 2019 IEEE International Symposium on the Applications of Ferroelectrics (ISAF) was held at the Swiss Tech Convention Center near the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, from July 14th to 19th, 2019 within the joint Conference, “F22 2019”, that united  ISAF with several other international and European symposia  :

-International Conference on Electroceramics (ICE);

-European Meeting on Ferroelectricity (EMF);

-International Workshop on PiezoMEMS (IWPM);

-Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Workshop (PFM).

The full name of the Conference was thus “2019 ISAF-ICE-EMF-IWPM-PFM Joint Conference”. It was chaired by Prof. Paul Muralt (General Chair) and Prof. Dragan Damjanovic (General Program Chair), both from EPFL. For the joint Conferences, Prof. Geoff Brennecka (Colorado School of Mines, USA) was ISAF Chair, Prof. Harry L. Tuller (MIT, USA) was ICE Chair, Prof. Brady Gibbons (Oregon State University, USA) was IWPM Chair and Prof. Neus Domingo (Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Spain) was PFM Chair.

The F22 2019 brought together many diverse fields with focus on electroceramics and ferroelectrics, and hosted many of the world’s most prominent researchers from academia, national laboratories, and industries.

Figure 1: Conference logo

In total, 859 participants from 39 different countries were registered to F22 2019 and presented their work during the numerous technical sessions. The Conference has seen a strong participation from Germany and USA (100 attendees each), followed by Japan (78), Switzerland (65), China (63) and South Korea (62). Many countries with populations below 10 million have strong groups in ferroelectricity. The ratio of ferroelectricians/million people is highest in Luxembourg (20), and above 5 in Switzerland and Slovenia, based on F22 2019 participants.

Technical Program of F22 2019:

Talks were arranged in up to ten parallel sessions, for a total of 140 different oral sessions. Moreover, three poster sessions were presented (on July 15th, 16th and 18th). A total of 410 talks (including 133 invited talks) and 273 posters were presented at the F22 2019 IFAAP Conference. 390 contributions (oral + posters, including 47 invited) were assigned to ISAF alone.

Every morning the sessions were opened by Plenary lectures delivered by prominent scientists, who provided the audience with cutting-edge research and insightful views into the present and future trends in research in ferroelectric and electroceramic materials and the related characterization techniques. One Plenary Speaker was related to the PFM Workshop and IWPM each. Two Plenary Speakers each were associated with EMF and ICE conferences, whereas four were related to the ISAF.

EMF Plenary Speakers:

  • Jean-Marc Triscone (University of Geneva, Switzerland) reported on the Structural and electronic coupling at oxide interfaces, in particular metal-to-insulator transitions oxide heterostructures.
  • Javier Junquera (University of Cantabria, Spain) had a talk on Topological phases in ferroelectric materials, presenting the latest developments in new topological states accessible through novel deposition techniques and described by the latest theoretical developments.

ICE Plenary Speakers:

  • Geoffrey Beach (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) reported on the Magneto-Ionic control of magnetism, and its potential for advanced electronic and energy devices.
  • Will Chueh (Stanford University, USA) had a talk on Point defects in lithium layered oxides for energy storage, and how these influence energy storage and electrocatalysis properties.

ISAF Plenary Speakers:

  • Yun Liu (Australian National University, Australia) had a talk titled Study of ferroelectrics: past, current and future, in which she explained how advanced microscopic characterization techniques and crystallography can be beneficial to study the average and local structure, and relate it with defects and properties, in ferroelectric materials.
  • Uwe Schroeder (NaMLab, Germany) had a talk on Ferroelectric Hafnium Oxide and its applications in non-volatile memories, negative capacitance elements, and neuromorphic networks, presenting the latest developments on this very important, CMOS-compatible ferroelectric material.
  • Kenji Uchino (Pennsylvania State University, USA) as IEEE Distinguished Lecturer presented a talk on Fractal aspects and critical length scales in ferroelectrics, focussing on particle size dependences, fractal properties of ferroelectric domains, and relaxor ferroelectrics.
  • Satoshi Wada (University of Yamanashi, Japan) talked on Using engineered interfaces and strain-gradient regions to design properties in electroceramics, in particular presenting domain and interface engineering concepts to improve and/or tune the properties of ferroelectrics.

IWPM Plenary Speaker:

  • Peter Mardilovich (XAAR plc, UK) reported on Piezo-MEMS based inkjet arrays – accelerating the journey from sketch to market, focussing on the optimization and advanced characterization of such devices.

PFM Plenary Speaker:

  • Sergei Kalinin (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA) had a talk on Materials on the edge between ferroelectricity and electrochemistry, in which he reported on the latest developments in this field of science that can be accessed using advanced scanning probe microscopy techniques.

Figure 2: One of the F2cπ2 2019 Plenary Talks (Javier Junquera).

There were also two special sessions at F22 2019, one in the honor of Prof. Vladimir Fridkin, and one (joint session of ISAF, EMF, and ICE) on the emerging topic of HfO2 based ferroelectrics.

Figure 3: An impression of the Poster Session.

The conference was preceded on Sunday, July 14th by an intense tutorial session in which students could learn the fundamentals and applications of ferroelectrics from world-leading experts. Below is a list of tutorial lecturers and the titles of their presentations:

– Beatriz Noheda (University of Groningen, The Netherlands): “Hafnia, the ferroelectric of the future”.

-Jiri Hlinka (Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic): “Domains, domain walls, domain engineering, polar regions”.

-Tor Grande (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway): “Defects in oxides”.

-Derek Sinclair (University of Sheffield, UK): “The application of impedance spectroscopy to characterise electro-materials and devices”.

-Andrew Bell (University of Leeds, UK): “Processing of ferroelectric ceramics: from theory to practice”.

-Long-Qing Chen (Pennsylvania State University, USA): “Introduction to phase-field method of ferroic domain structures”.

-Pim Groen (TU Delft, The Netherlands): “Flexible electronics and electroceramics: an oxymoron?”.

-Mickael Lallart (University of Lyon, France): “Small-scale energy harvesting for self-powered devices – general considerations and circuit aspects.

-Jon Ihlefeld and Chris Brown (University of Virginia, USA): “Piezoelectric thin film synthesis and characterization”.

-Matteo Rinaldo (Northeastern University, USA): “Piezoelectric MEMS and NEMS”.

-Seungbum Hong (KAIST, South Korea): “Visualization of polarization and electrical charges using Atomic Force Microscopy”.

-Roger Proksch (Oxford Instruments, USA): „Quantifying nanoscale electromechanical response with the AFM”.

The F22 2019 Conference also initiated a new activity, which will be continued in the next ISAF conference, thereby starting a tradition: The Student Speed Pitch Contest. It took place in the evening (18:00 – 20:00) of July 16th, and consisted in a series of 1-minute presentations given by a total of 36 student participants, in which they presented their research, the concept behind it, and its applications, with an eye on marketing. Three students were selected by a Jury composed almost half/half by members of the Industry and the Academia. The prizes were announced during the Banquet on July 18th.

Figure 4: An impression of the Student Speed Pitch Contest

Social and “not-strictly technical” Program of F22 2019

The Social Program of the F22 2019 Conference was also very dense and provided the attendees with numerous opportunities to network, strengthen existing collaborations or establish new research ties with worldwide partners.

First of all, on Sunday evening (July 14th), a Welcome Reception was held, in which all participants could have a first contact with the location and other attendees. The following day, private receptions were held for Members of the respective Societies.

The IEEE President’s reception was given on Tuesday, July 16th, by Prof. Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb, the President of IEEE-UFFC. During this occasion, Prof. Bassiri-Gharb recognized IEEE-UFFC Members who contributed to the organization of the F22 2019 Conference, and the speakers of Plenary and Tutorial lectures. It was also a very nice occasion to wish Happy Birthday to Prof. Paul Muralt, General Chair of F22 2019!

Figure 5: Prof. Paul Muralt gets his Birthday wishes during the President’s reception

The Women in Engineering – Unconscious Bias Workshop took place on July 18th, sponsored by UFFC-S Women in Engineering, and facilitated by Gillian Arnold (Director, Tectre). Unconscious bias is a view or attitude towards characteristics such as race, gender, age, etc, that exist outside one’s conscious awareness.  Everyone has unconscious bias and it can have a negative impact on innovation and research progress. Research has shown that diversity and inclusion increases productivity and creativity, results in faster problem solving, and leads to higher employee/student engagement. Therefore, it is imperative to remove implicit bias to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Unconscious bias training creates awareness for implicit biases, provides tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking, and aims to eliminate discriminatory behaviors. Aspects of this powerful concept were discussed during the Workshop. The main points of this activity were the following:

  • Defining unconscious bias.
  • Exploring the benefits of removing unconscious bias.
  • Understanding how biases are formed.
  • Auditing own unconscious biases.
  • Defining ways to implement change (if necessary) into one’s own organization.

Excursions were held in the afternoon of Wednesday, July 17th, and many different options were available to the attendees:

  • Visit to Chateau de Chillon by boat or by train, including a stroll in the city center of Montreux.
  • Visit to the chocolate factory in Broc, castle of Gruyère, and a cheese plant, including a rural-style dinner.
  • Visit to the Museum dedicated to Charles Chaplin in the town of Vevey.
  • Visit to Rocher de Naye, a mountain overlooking Lake Geneva, including a ride on a traditional mountain train.
  • Visit to the Vineyards of Lavaux, including wine degustation.

For the ones who preferred to remain in town, Lake Geneva offered lots of opportunities for a relaxing afternoon bathing and barbequing in a wonderful scenery.

Figure 6: Impressions of Lake Geneva on Excursion Day

The Conference Dinner was organized in the main hall of the Swiss Tech Convention Center, which was used for plenaries during the day. The main course was preceded by talks by Paul Muralt and Dragan Damjanovic, who presented some statistics about the conference and information about the 2020 ISAF Conference (to be held in Keystone, Colorado, USA). The dinner was accompanied by music, and this time the musical offer was reminiscent of the Alpine culture typical of Switzerland: a trio of alpine horns played both traditional and modern tunes, and also offered to interested ferroelectricians the opportunity to give it a try!

Figure 7: View of the Swiss Tech Convention Center Main Hall during the dinner.


Figure 8: The Alphorn Trio.

During the Banquet, Dr. Astri Haugen (DTU, Denmark) and Lukas Riemer (EPFL, Switzerland) presented the Student Paper Competition Award, whereas Prof. Dr. Jacob L. Jones (NCSU, USA) and Stuart Burns (UNSW, Australia) presented the Student Pitch Competition Awards. Concerning the latter, the “Industry’s Choice Award” went to Àlvar Torelló (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg) for his presentation “Electrocaloric heat exchangers for high efficient cooling”. Scarlet Kong (UNSW, Australia) got the “Academia’s Choice Award” for her presentation “Texture: Get your ducks in a row”. Finally, the “First Place Award” went to Nicolas Godard (LIST, Luxembourg) for “Inkjet printing of large-area piezoelectric thin films”.

During the Conference Banquet, also the IEEE UFFC Society Awards and Recognition for Ferroelectrics were presented by Geoff Brennecka (Awards Chair for Ferroelectrics).

-The IEEE UFFC Distinguished Lecturer 2019 is Prof. Clive Randall of Pennsylvania State University, USA. He can be invited by research groups worldwide until June 2020 to carry out lectures. More details can be found at www.ieee-uffc.org.

After a short introduction on how the Awardees for Ferroelectrics are selected, Geoff Brennecka announced the 2019 recipients:

-The Young Investigator Award went to Prof. Lane W. Martin (University of California, Berkeley, USA) for his pioneering work on emergent behavior in ferroic thin films.

-The Ferroelectrics Recognition Award, which is given to award honors members of the Society for outstanding achievements in their scientific work as well as in promoting the ferroelectrics community, was awarded to Prof. Roger Whatmore (Imperial College, London, UK) for his varied and enduring translations of fundamental materials phenomena into practical use.

-The IEEE Robert E. Newnham Ferroelectrics Award, named in honor of Prof. Robert E. Newnham (1929-2009) is given to investigators that have contributed significantly to the understanding of structure-property relations in dielectric, piezoelectric and ferroic materials. The 2019 award went to Prof. Zuo-Guang Ye (Simon Fraser University, Canada), for his seminal contributions to understanding and applying crystal chemical fundamentals in Pb-based piezo crystals.

Figure 9: The 2019 IEEE-UFFC Awardees. From left to right: Geoff Brennecka (Awards Chair for Ferroelectrics), Zuo-Guang Ye, Lane Martin, Roger Whatmore, Jacob L. Jones (VP of Ferroelectrics, IEEE-UFFC).

This report was authored by Dr. Marco Deluca (Materials Center Leoben Forschung GmbH, Austria). Prof. Dr. Paul Muralt (EPFL, Switzerland) contributed to this report. Picture credits: Figures 2, 3 – Conference Catalysts; Figure 4 – Lukas Riemer; Figure 5 – Alp Sehirlioglu; Figures 6-8 – Marco Deluca; Figure 9 – Geoff Brennecka.