Season’s Greetings from the Aalto Catalysis group

[distributed also via email by RLP]

Dear past, present and potential future colleagues and collaborators; dear friends:


Another year is over, and it is good to take a moment to look back.


In 2021 – my fifth year as a professor at Aalto University – a lot of experimental progress took place in all three projects of the Catalysis group (HDN catalysis project funded by Neste & COOLCAT and ALDI projects funded by the Academy of Finland). While this progress is not yet seen in our publications (2021 list at the end of the email), some of our activities can be seen in an introductory video we made of the COOLCAT project – turned out quite nice!


There are some particular advances related to teaching, research, events and theses I would like to recap from 2021.


As for teaching in 2021:

  • Scientific Article Exercise (SAE) was carried out for the first time with all first-year M.Sc. students of School of Chemical Engineering. SAE is a new module which I have been developing, with the goal that students better understand the fundamental differences between scientific articles and e.g. webpages.
  • A new type of co-creation group work was experimented with in the CHEM-E1130 Catalysis course (theme: methanol economy). This received overall positive feedback from students and will be a clear “keeper” (next theme: hydrogen economy).
  • A new concept was tried related to individual research projects for students (10 ECTS). Attention was given e.g. to report writing and feedback in several steps. The overall concept seemed to work and this seems as a “keeper”, too.


As for research in 2021:

  • After years of aiming for it, the first open data set related to our research has been published:
  • The Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology (finally!) has a chapter on atomic layer deposition (ALD),, which I had the honor to co-author with researchers from TU Delft. Notably, many new illustrations were created, separately published with a Creative Commons license for easy reuse. Images in Wikimedia Commons (category: atomic layer deposition), and one in
  • I gave an introductory “ALD 101” tutorial on the fundamentals of ALD at the international AVS ALD conference. Tutorial available e.g. in Youtube.


As for event organization:


As for theses in 2021, two doctoral theses were successfully defended (Irene Coronado and Eveliina Mäkelä) and four Master’s thesis were finalized (list here).


In 2021, was also granted tenure at Aalto University: I will be happy and honoured to continue contributing to Aalto’s success in the coming years.


With this letter, and the Aalto card, I wish everyone a happy Christmas time and all the best for the year 2022. 


Riikka Puurunen

Riikka Puurunen, Associate professor, Catalysis Science and Technology

Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Visiting address: Kemistintie 1, 02150 Espoo, Finland, room: E412

Mail address: P.O. Box 16100, FI-00076 AALTO, Finland
Tel: +358 50 337 8161 [] LinkedIn, @rlpuu, @AaltoCatalysis, ORCID:0000-0001-8722-4864,, blog catprofopen,,,


2021 Oili M. E. Ylivaara, A. Langner, X. Liu, D. Schneider, K. Arstila, J. Julin, S. Sintonen, S. Ali, T. Sajavaara, H. Lipsanen, R. L. Puurunen, Mechanical and system properties of titanium dioxide from titanium tetrachloride and water on silicon by atomic layer deposition. Thin Solid Films 732 (2021) 138758
2021 E. Haimi, O. M. E. Ylivaara, J. Yim, R. L. Puurunen, Thickness profile measurement of atomic layer deposited film by x-ray microanalysis on lateral high-aspect-ratio structure Applied Surface Science Advances (2021) 100102
2021 K. Arts, H. Thepass, N. Verheijen, R. L. Puurunen, W.M.M. Kessels, H. Knoops, Impact of ions on film conformality and crystallinity during plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of TiO2. Chemistry of Materials 33 (2021) 5002–5009
2021 K. Arts, J.H. Deijkers, R.L. Puurunen, W.M.M. (Erwin) Kessels, H.C.M. Knoops, Oxygen recombination probability data for plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of SiO2 and TiO2. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 125 (2021) 8244–8252.
2021 J. R .van Ommen, A. Goulas, R. L. Puurunen, Atomic layer deposition Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 2021



Posted by Riikka Puurunen

About Riikka Puurunen

Associate professor, Catalysis Science and Technology, at Aalto since February 2017
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