Awardee Interviews | Biography: Arutiun Ehiasarian

Arutiun Ehiasarian

Arutiun EhiasarianArutiun Ehiasarian is a Reader at Sheffield Hallam University, UK and is heading the HIPIMS Technology Centre and Director of the Joint Sheffield Hallam University-Fraunhofer IST HIPIMS Research Centre in UK both established in 2010. Arutiun joined the university’s Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research in 1998 where he obtained a PhD in Plasma Science and Surface Engineering after a BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics from the University of Salford, UK (1996–1998) and by undergraduate studies at the University of Sofia ‘St Kliment Ohridski’ (1995–1996), Bulgaria. His research has concentrated on the fundamental studies, development and industrialization of plasma PVD technologies as a tool to improved properties and performance of coatings in a variety of applications. He has developed technologies for substrate pretreatment prior to coating deposition to enhance adhesion by promoting local epitaxial growth on polycrystalline engineering substrates. Efforts in coating science and technology lead to development of fully dense nitrides which were exploited in nanoscale multilayer coatings, nanocomposite coatings, self-organised carbon coatings and single layer films for applications in high temperature oxidation, corrosion protection, low friction and wear, biocompatible and superhard materials. Arutiun also developed low-pressure plasma nitriding and hybrid processes of plasma nitriding/coating deposition. He has experience with cathodic vacuum arc discharges, dc and pulsed magnetron discharges, and radio-frequency coil enhanced magnetron sputtering. Arutiun is one of the pioneers of the high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) technology, which is now the fastest growing in a new breed of PVD with international academic and industrial uptake. Starting in 2000 his work revealed the mechanisms that generate highly ionized metal and gas plasmas in HIPIMS and the plasma-surface interactions that produce highly adherent fully dense nitride coatings. This was instrumental in the further upscaling of the technology, first demonstrated at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004. The first commercialization of hardware followed soon after that to open HIPIMS to all academics and industrialists around the world. Currently Arutiun’s efforts are concentrated on the deeper understanding of the HIPIMS plasma discharge, and the mechanistics of film growth under ionized conditions. The effects of metal ions and intensive gas dissociation of nitrogen and hydrocarbon gases on film structure, texture and growth and in turn on film properties are being established. Recent industrial successes of HIPIMS associated with Sheffield-Hallam University have been in the implementation for hard coatings for components in aerospace and automotive engines and cutting tools, the introduction to market of a new cluster tool for wafer packaging of through-silicon vias with ratio 30:1, development of solar absorber layers and cryogenic materials. Arutiun’s work on plasma diagnostics, coating deposition and pretreatment with HIPIMS has received four awards including: Hüttinger Industrial Accolade Award of recognition 2008 - for the successful development of the first industrially viable HIPIMS Magnetron Power Supply, introduced to market by Advanced Converters - the legal predecessor of Huettinger Electronic Sp. z.o.o in 2003, R F Bunshah Award acknowledging a best paper presented at the International Conference on Metallurgical Thin Films and Coatings (ICMCTF) 2002, San Diego, USA, TecVac Prize for best presentation at Materials Congress 2002, London, UK. He is an author of more than 50 publications, one book chapter, 20 invited lectures, and five patents in the field of PVD and HIPIMS. Arutiun is actively involved in the scientific community chairing the first of its kind International Conference on HIPIMS organized by Sheffield Hallam University and INPLAS. He is organizing and chairing new sessions on HIPIMS at the International Conference on Metallurgical Thin Films and Coatings (ICMCTF) organized by AVS, USA, Annual Technical Conference of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC), USA, HIPIMS Days organized by NCPVD at Sheffield Hallam University and chairing a sessions at the Plasma Surface Engineering (PSE) Conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. He has recently been elected the UK representative on the Surface Engineering panel of IUVST.