The prize comes as recognition of Mikko Ritala’s great merits in the research into inorganic material chemistry, especially thin films and nano-materials, as well as for his work within the chemical societies. Ritala was presented with the prize during the online event of the Chemistry Days on 28 April, 2021.
Professor Ritala belongs to the forefront of chemistry researchers in Finland with his 30 years of experience in studying thin films and nano-materials. He has especially focused on the chemistry of atomic layer deposition (ALD), and is one of the world’s leading scientists in this area. As a developer of new chemistry and ALD processes, he is among the principal researchers in the world. His publications number over 500 original publications, which have garnered so many citations that he is counted among the ‘Highly Cited Scientists’ on the Web of Science. Ritala’s team has made many basic discoveries in the field of atomic layer deposition, which have led to both scientific publications and dozens of patents.
Ritala is the head of the HelsinkiALD research group, as well as the ALD Center Finland research infrastructure, which has recently been selected to be a national infrastructure. Ritala has been awarded with prestigious national and international prizes before.
The Finnish Chemical Societies prize is awarded to representatives of universities and the industries in turn. When university representatives are rewarded, the nominees’ work within the chemical societies is also considered. Professor Ritala has been very prominent in this respect, too, after a long career on the boards of the Finnish Chemical Society and Finnish Chemists Society.
The Finnish Chemical Society prize is a bronze sculpture by Pirkko Nukari called Varpuspöllö (pygmy owl). Pirkko Nukari has contributed to many exhibitions; to name a recent one, she was invited by the President of the Republic to exhibit in Kultaranta in 2013.