Awardee Interviews | Biography: Stan Veprek

Stan Veprek

Stan VeprekStan Veprek began his work on the deposition of thin films by means of plasma CVD 40 years ago at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Science where he started his scientific career after an education as a high school teacher (in Ceske Budejovice) followed by the study of physics at the Charles University in Prague (graduated 1962). His first major result was the deposition of nc-Si by means of chemical transport in plasma. In 1968 he followed an invitation of Prof. H. Schafer to the University Munster (Germany), where he continued his work in plasma chemistry and published various papers on the effects of low pressure glow discharge plasmas on the chemistry of heterogeneous systems. In 1971 he moved to the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he received his Ph.D. in chemistry (1972) and habilitation in inorganic chemistry (1977). He became involved in the research of the plasma-wall interactions in nuclear fusion devices. In 1976 he proposed the protective coating of the inner wall with boron carbide, and in the following years developed "boronization" by means of plasma CVD, which found successful application in several large fusion devices around the world. His continuing interest in nc-Si resulted in, among others, classical papers on Raman scattering. Together with the Swiss national museum he developed a new plasma-chemical method for the restoration and conservation of archeological metallic artifacts.

In 1988 he was appointed the full Professor and head of the Institute for Chemistry of Inorganic Materials at the Technical University of Munich, where he continued his research on a- and nc-Si, organometallic CVD, heteroepitaxy of 2C-SiC and others. Here, also the design principle for superhard materials was born in 1995. In this field he continued his collaboration with Li Shizhi (Qingdao, China) and begun a collaboration with a Czech company SHM, which pioneered the industrialization of superhard coatings based on his design concept.

His latest work focused on the understanding of the formation of the superhard nanocomposites by spinodal phase segregation and of their mechanical properties (collaboration with Prof. A.S. Argon, MIT). After his retirement from teaching in 2004, he is still active in research projects and as visiting principal scientist at Sing apore Institute of Manufacturing Technology.

Stan has published over 300 papers and several book-chapters. He is co-editor of Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, and has co-organized various conferences and sessions at ISPC, MRS, ICMCTF and others, and served on several IUPAC and International Union of Vacuum Societies committees. He has been teaching Professor and visiting scientist at several Universities and Research Institutes in China, Czech Republic, USA, Great Britain, Singapore and Japan. He received the Silver Medal of the Societe d'Encouragement Pour la Recherche et 'Invention, Paris (1979), Silver Medal of the Masaryk University Brno (1991), Honorary Doctorate (Dr. h.c.) from the Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic (1999) and the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences (2004).