Plasma Science Gets an Ion-credible Boost With Lam’s Support of the Allis Prize
Apr 23, 2024

Driving the news: The American Physical Society (APS) recognizes advancements in plasma science with the Will Allis Prize for the Study of Ionized Gases. Recent gifts from Micron, Intel, and Lam Research have helped APS expand the Allis Prize from a biannual award to an annual one, offering each recipient $10,000.

  • Allis, an American theoretical physicist, “made seminal contributions to the science of ionized gases,” establishing “basic concepts that describe how these systems behave,” says Rick Gottscho, a chemist and EVP, strategic advisor at Lam. 
  • The Allis Prize was established in 1989 (with Rick’s help) to recognize outstanding contributions in plasma science.  

Why it matters: Plasma, a highly energetic state of matter, has numerous industrial applications, such as in computer chip fabrication, water purification, film surface adhesion, and spacecraft thrusters. The growth of the semiconductor industry in the 1970s further propelled interest in industrial applications. 

  • Semiconductors rely on ionized gases at various stages of their manufacturing process, including photon production for lithography to the etching of fine-scale circuit patterns on thin films. 

Bottom line: Lam plays a significant role in plasma science by collaborating with researchers, supporting the Allis Prize, and employing physics, chemistry, and engineering students and experts. 

Read more about ionized gases and the role of the Allis Prize in the semiconductor industry on the American Physical Society website.