Currently, the HelsinkiALD group comprises around 30 people, including three professors.

We belong to the Mas­ter's Pro­gramme in Materials Research and the Doc­toral Pro­gramme in Ma­ter­i­als Research and Nanos­ciences. We take great pride in our team spirit. Take a look at our values to understand how we work.

Professor Mikko Ritala

Mikko Ritala (born 1968) received his M.Sc. degree in 1991 from University of Turku, and Ph.D. degree in 1994 from University of Helsinki, both in inorganic chemistry. During 1995 - 2003 he worked at University of Helsinki, first as a postdoctoral researcher and then as an academy research fellow, both posts granted by Academy of Finland. In 2003 he was nominated as a professor of inorganic materials chemistry at University of Helsinki.

His main research activity is in Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) of thin films for microelectronics and other applications. Real time reaction mechanism studies form an important part of this research. Another research area is preparation of nanostructured materials by for example templating with ALD and electrodeposition, and electrospinning and electroblowing of nanofibres. Mikko Ritala has published about 500 papers (h-index 77) and holds several patents. In 2007 he was nominated as ISI Highly Cited Author in the field of materials science. In 2010 he received the Alfred Kordelin Foundation recognition award. He is a receiver of the ALD innovator award 2020 for original work and leadership in ALD. In 2020 he also got the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation Award in Chemistry.

Professor Matti Putkonen

Matti Putkonen (born 1973) has been active in the ALD field since 1997, receiving his PhD in 2002 from Helsinki University of Technology. Since then he has been involved in ALD activities at the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University), Beneq Oy and at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. Over the years he has been active in promoting ALD for several industrial areas, including microelectronics, optics, packaging materials, biotechnology, catalysis, energy technologies (solar and fuel cells) and many others. In 2019 he was appointed as an associate professor in the field of Atomic Layer Deposition and Etching at University of Helsinki, and promoted to full professor in 2022. His main interest is the development of novel ALD, MLD and ALEt precursors and processes, focusing on materials chemistry requirements from small-scale R&D experiments to industrial processes. He has approximately 100 refereed publications (h-index 40) and >15 patents in the field of ALD.

Professor emeritus Markku Leskelä

Markku Leskelä (born 1950) received both his M.Sc. (1974) and PhD (1980) degrees from Helsinki University of Technology. During 1979-1981 and 1982-1986 he worked at University of Oulu as associate professor, during 1981-1982 at Helsinki University of Technology as acting professor, in 1986-1990 at University of Turku as professor and in 1990-2018 at University of Helsinki as professor of inorganic chemistry. He made visits abroad in 1983 (University of Utrecht), 1987-1988 (University of Florida) and in 1999 (University of Paris VI). During 2004-2009 he worked as Academy professor.

His research interests cover development of chemistry for Atomic Layer Deposition of thin films, metal compound mediated activation of small molecules and luminescent materials. He has worked as vice-director (2002-2007) and director (2012-2017) in two centers of excellence funded by Academy of Finland. He has published more than 700 papers (h-index 75) and holds several patents. He was nominated in 2004 as ISI Highly Cited Author in materials science. He has received several honors and awards: Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation Award in Chemistry (2002), SVR I (2005), A.I Virtanen award (2011), American Vacuum Society ALD award (2012), Honorary award of Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters (2014), Honorary member (2014) and honorary chairman (2019) of Finnish Chemical Society, Honorary doctor (University of Tartu 2016). He is a member of four academies of sciences. He has had several positions of trust in universities (ia board of University of Helsinki 2010-2017), scientific societies, academies and foundations.  He is the president of the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences 2019-2022.    

Senior university lecturer Marianna Kemell

Marianna Kemell (born 1973) received her M.Sc. degree in physical chemistry in 1997 from University of Oulu and her PhD in inorganic chemistry in 2003 from University of Helsinki. She received the title of docent in inorganic chemistry in 2008, was appointed as a university lecturer of inorganic chemistry in 2009 and as a senior university lecturer in 2022. Her research interests include inorganic nanomaterials and thin films with applications in solar cells, photocatalysis and optics. The most important preparation methods are electrochemical techniques (electrodeposition and anodization) and atomic layer deposition. An important part of her expertise is characterization by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis. Marianna Kemell has authored and co-authored about 170 papers (h-index 46) in international peer-reviewed journals.

University lecturer Martin Nieger

Martin Nieger (born 1959) received his M.Sc in 1986 from the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen (on chemistry, biology, philosophy and educational theory) and his PhD in inorganic chemistry and crystallography in 1989 from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn. During 1989 – 2006 he worked at the University of Bonn, first as a researcher, then as an assistant lecturer and a senior researcher. End of 2006 he moved to the University of Helsinki and worked until 2011 as senior researcher. In 2012 he was appointed as an university lecturer at the University of Helsinki. In 1995 he received the title Docent for Chemistry (specially Crystallography) at the University of Eastern Finland and in 2011 Docent in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Helsinki. His research is mainly made in a large network of European universities, where he is responsible for the crystallographic part of the research. It is presented in over 850 publications in international peer-reviewed journals (H-index 57). His research areas cover single X-Ray structure determinations of a broad range. He is a main contributor to the Crystal Structure Database (currently according to the Cambridge Crystalographic Data Centre (CCDC)-Statistics for 2023 (1st. Jan. 2023): No. 11 (of 1070 authors cited in more 500 CSD entries) with 3243 crystal structures).


University lecturer Miia Mäntymäki

Miia Mäntymäki received her M.Sc. in inorganic chemistry in 2010 and her PhD in 2017, both in the HelsinkiALD group at the University of Helsinki. After graduating, she worked as a process engineer at the ALD company Picosun Oy, and as a university teacher at Aalto University. In Picosun, she mainly worked on customer projects, depositing thin films using ALD in a cleanroom environment. At Aalto, her teaching focused on freshman-level chemistry courses in the Aalto Bachelor's Programme in Science and Technology (major Chemical Engineering). In 2020, she was appointed as a university lecturer at the University of Helsinki, with a focus on basic chemistry education. In addition to her teaching duties, she aims to continue to work with thin films and ALD in her current position. Miia Mäntymäki has authored and co-authored 14 papers (h-index 10) in international peer-reviewed journals.

Laboratory engineer Mikko Heikkilä

Mikko Heikkilä has been in the house since 1996, did his M.Sc. ages ago, and started as a laboratory engineer a decade ago. He was heavily involved in the department renovation planning during 2013-2016 and started as the department’s senior safety advisor in 2015. His main efforts go to keeping the laboratories running for the HelsinkiALD, CATLAB and Camargo groups. Mikko's main equipment responsibilities are x-ray diffractometers, and he also teaches that equipment use and XRD/XRR in general. Mikko used to work on photoelectrocatalysis, but whatever own research he manages to do is now mostly related to combined high temperature XRD and XRR of ALD films. Of that specific subject he has some peer reviewed publications of his own, but additionally dozens of co-authored papers mostly related on (HT)XRD, XRR or photocatalysis (h-index starts with 2). Mikko is very enthusiastic about music and will let you know about it.

University researcher Marko Vehkamäki

Marko Vehkamäki received his M.Sc in 1999 and PhD in 2008, both while working at the ALD group in University of Helsinki. He has worked with both academic basic research and industry-driven projects. The directly industry-funded work has mainly involved application driven ALD process development, especially related to materials in microelectronics. He has long-time expertise in materials for capacitors, including material thermal annealing and the preparation of electrical contacts for demo devices.

A large part of his work has been in materials characterization, including XRD, SEM-EDS, FIB, TEM and electrical measurements. Since 2010 he has been the main user of the department FIB-SEM system, which he has used for characterization and nanofabrication. He will also working with the newly acquired UHV analysis cluster installed during 2021. Marko has been involved in more than 60 peer-reviewed papers (H-index 23), and has 3 patents.

Researcher Timo Hatanpää

Timo Hatanpää received his M.Sc. ages ago and did his Ph.D. in 2019, both in the HelsinkiALD group. He has been working on ALD precursors since his M.Sc. studies, when the ALD precursor synthesis lab was started at HelsinkiALD, and has been involved in numerous projects as innovator, precursor developer and synthetic chemist. In addition to ALD chemistry, Timo's special interests include other branches of synthetic chemistry, such as organometallic chemistry, coordination chemistry, crystallography and thermal analysis. He has more than 70 papers (h-index 25) and >14 patents in the field of ALD.