Tegal Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of plasma etch and deposition systems used in the production of integrated circuits, MEMS, and nanotechnology devices, announced today a gift of $350,000 to establish the Peter J. Clarke Professorship for the Director of the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The gift is being made by Sputtered Films, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Tegal Corporation. Professor Evelyn Hu, Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Materials in the College of Engineering at UCSB, holds the first appointment for the endowed chair, which is pending final approval by the UC Regents.
"Tegal is establishing this endowed chair in order to honor the many contributions Peter Clarke, founder of Sputtered Films, Inc., and longtime Santa Barbara resident, made to UCSB during his lifetime," said Thomas Mika, Chairman, President and CEO of Tegal Corporation. "The opportunity arose, in connection with our settlement of litigation surrounding some of Peter's most important inventions, to acknowledge his key role in developing leading edge technology in use today throughout the micro and nano fabrication industries. This contribution, made on behalf of the Board of Directors and shareholders of Tegal, recognizes Peter Clarke's pivotal role in advancing technology, his love of collaborative multidisciplinary scientific research, his deep bond with the campus, and his long and fruitful collaboration with Dr. Hu. We are proud to be able to associate the name and legacy of Peter Clarke with the work of Dr. Hu, the Directorship of CNSI, and the University of California, Santa Barbara."
Peter Joseph Clarke's contributions to the scientific community began with his important research on Penning discharge physics when he was at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, N.Y., in parallel with his graduate studies at Union College. Peter continued his work on discharge physics and applications while at Veeco Instruments and later, independently, while conducting instrument research for Brookhaven National Laboratories. He started his own company, Sputtered Films, Inc. in 1967, to capitalize on research work he performed at night and on weekends in the basement laboratory of his family home. It was there, in the basement laboratory, that he invented the S-Gun, the world's first commercially successful magnetron sputtering device for thin film PVD.
The S-Gun provided the basis for progressively more sophisticated sputtering systems, including the commercially successful Research Turbosystem, the C-2-C Coater, the Shamrock, and the Endeavor PVD cluster tool. Magnetron sputtering is now widely used to fabricate advanced semiconductor, MEMS, High Brightness LED, magnetic data storage, and nanotechnology devices in laboratory and commercial facilities around the world.
Peter Clarke held numerous patents and authored various useful scientific articles relating to reactive sputtering. His contributions to the scientific community were singled-out when he became the 1998 recipient of both the Albert Nerken Award, by the American Vacuum Society, and the Nathaniel Sugerman Award, by the Society for Vacuum Coaters. He was also honored by his employees at Sputtered Films, Inc., who established scholarships in his name for outstanding students in the fields of Math, Science, Physics, and English, at Santa Barbara City College.
Mr. Clarke's wife, Carole Clarke, a UCSB alumna, remembers that "Pete had great enthusiasm for his work. His ability to focus on the problem at hand, and to forge ahead diligently to reach a solution was one of his greatest strengths. His efforts resulted in progress; in his company and in his field. He would be very pleased and honored, as I am pleased and honored, to know that such enthusiasm and diligence will soon be undertaken in his memory by UCSB Graduate Students under the direction of Dr. Evelyn Hu. He considered Dr. Hu a friend as well as a colleague for many years. I speak for all the Clarke family, myself, our children and their spouses, and our grandchildren, in giving our sincere thanks to UCSB, Dr. Hu, and Thomas Mika of Tegal for their cooperative effort in creating the Peter J. Clarke Professor and Director of the California Nanosystems Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We wish great success for all of you."
Professor Hu recalls, "Peter Clarke was an inventor 'of the old school': an intuitive thinker, a very 'hands-on' worker, in love with technology, innovations in science and always eager to test out new ideas. When I first came to UCSB, twenty years ago, we had a few pieces of equipment that barely constituted building blocks for fabrication. Among those few building blocks was equipment that Peter made available to us through deep discounts, and often through outright donations. Peter had absolute confidence in our expertise and understanding of critical trends in device research and the accompanying nanofabrication that made that research possible. He always sought out opportunities to work with us, and to bounce ideas off us. His investment in our programs went beyond any ordinary 'financial' investment; Peter's interest in our programs, and his interest in working with us, are key factors in our successful growth and development."