Awardee Interviews | Biography: Lars Hultman

Lars Hultman

Lars Hultman, Linköping University, Sweden, For outstanding research and technological innovation on gas- and metal-ion-assisted PVD for controlling ceramic coatings formation

Lars Hultman received his PhD 1988 and became Professor/Head of Division in Thin Film Physics at IFM, Linköping University in 1998. He has been CEO of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research since 2013, while retaining significant research activity at Linköping University.  
His research interests concern materials science and nanotechnology of functional thin films. Lars has contributed numerous breakthrough achievements focused on innovative experimental and structural modelling studies to understand, from an atomistic standpoint, fundamental relationships between plasma film deposition parameters and film structure. His most recent (2023) reports are on Goldene (2D atomic sheets of gold) and Guinier-Preston Zone formation for superhardening in TiWAlN films with unprecedented thermal stability.
He has authored close to 900 papers, including Science, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nature Reviews Primer, Progress in Materials Science, PNAS, and Scientific Reports for an h-index of 100 with 48000 independent citations. Corresponding innovations have resulted in some 20 patents on vapor deposition processes, wear-resistant cutting tools, low-friction coatings on components, diffusion barriers in microelectronics, and 10B4C film neutron detectors; a technology selected by the ESS Spallation Source. 
Lars has created a world-class research environment at Linköping University in materials and surface science, obtaining over €100 million in infrastructure funding. He founded the Industry-Academia Consortium for Functional Materials research (FunMat) where selected industrial companies pool resources to discover solutions to technological problems to promote discovery based science. “Application-inspired research” underpins his research philosophy. He is a recognized educator with over 50 graduate students and 20 postdocs, all now leaders in science and industry. He is also an ardent proponent for interdisciplinary research, industrial participation, and international exchange and undertook a sabbatical at University of Illinois, Urbana from 2004-2006. 
Lars is an elected member of both Royal Swedish Academies of Science (KVA) and Engineering Sciences (IVA), as well as Fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). Other recognitions include European ERC Advanced Grant, Wallenberg Scholar, Akzo Nobel Sweden Science Award, R.F. Bunshah Award and Honorary ICMCTF Lecture (2023). He is Board Member of the Sweden-Japan Foundation and Swedish VA - Public & Science