Controlling Contamination in Vacuum Systems


8:30am-4:30pm, Monday, May 6th, 2024, Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel, Albuquerque, NM

Course Objectives

  • Understand the three phases of vacuum chamber contamination: gases, films, and particulates.
  • Learn the origins of vacuum chamber contaminants and methods for controlling or eliminating them.

Course Description:

Various forms of contamination in a vacuum system affect the environment in
which vacuum processes are conducted. Understanding and controlling these
contaminants are important steps in producing the desired chamber conditions or

This course addresses three phases of in-chamber contamination: gases, films, and
particulates. The origin of these contaminants and methods of eliminating them are
discussed. The emphasis is on defining the level of control required and identifying
the appropriate procedures necessary to establish that control. There will also be
discussion on the environment that must be achieved in the chamber and how it is
related to the vacuum system operating and maintenance procedures and the
environment outside the chamber.

This course is presented in a semi-workshop, interactive format.

Who Should Attend?

Those responsible for the production of contaminant-free products and for the design, operation, and maintenance of vacuum systems producing these products. The course will also interest suppliers of components and products that either control or produce contamination in a vacuum environment.

Instructor:  Timothy Gessert, EPIR

Timothy Gessert is the 2022 President of the American Vacuum Society (AVS).
He is also Principal Scientist and Managing Member of Gessert Consulting, LLC
(Conifer, Colorado, USA), and a former/retired Principal Scientist at the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Tim received degrees in physics from University of
Wisconsin – River Falls (B.Sc, 1982), Colorado School of Mines (M.Sc, 1984), and
University of Wales – College of Cardiff (Ph.D, 1996).  His 35+ years of research
includes synthesis and characterization for photovoltaic and other thin films
including GaAs, InP, Si, CuInGaSe2, CdTe, and transparent conducting oxides
(TCOs).  Interests also include mentoring graduate students from institutions such
as Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, University of Toledo,
Vanderbilt University, and University of Illinois at Chicago.  Tim has collaboratively published over 230 papers, 6 book chapters, and has over 30 awarded or pending
U.S. patents.  He is active in developing and teaching short courses for various
institutions and societies as related Vacuum Technology, Contamination Control,
Transparent Conducting Oxides, and Thin-Film Photovoltaics.  Tim has been a long-
term member of the American Vacuum Society (AVS), Society of Vacuum Coaters
(SVC), the Materials Research Society (MRS), the IEEE, and the Institute of Physics
(IOP).  He has served on numerous Conference Committees and Editorial Boards,
and is an Associate Editor of the scientific journal Thin Solid Films.

Course Materials

Course notes

Cost: $790
Full time university student: $100

 Full Short Course List

Register to attend short courses HERE.