One of the challenges faced by scientific societies is to remain relevant over time despite the evolution of the field and the variation in the scientific landscape as a whole. This is particularly true for these societies that have sprung from small communities, as the meetings of such societies are the place where knowledge is passed on, exchanged, debated; and often where collaborations are built. The success and longevity of these societies is generally linked to both the scientific contributions, and the personal support of their key members, who deserve recognition.

The International Field Emission Society (IFES) is an example of such a society, and, as current or past members of the Society's steering committee, we reflect herein on the important contributions many of our members have made. The Society has been active since 1952, the year it hosted its first International Field Emission Symposium chaired by W.P. Dyke in McMinnville, Oregon. Symposia have been organized continuously since then, yearly or bi-yearly, and these events are the forum to discuss high-field science and atomic-scale characterization enabled by the application of field-ion microscopy (FIM) and atom probe tomography (APT). These techniques, that rely on the effect of a strong electric field on matter, were invented by Erwin W. Müller and his co-workers between 1951 and 1968 [1], in Germany and then at the Pennsylvania State University. Field-ion microscopy reveals the local arrangement of atoms in two- and three-dimensions as well as structural defects, and, in 1955, was the first technique to allow experimental observation of individual atoms [2] as shown in the field ion micrograph of pure W shown in Fig. 1.

Figure 1. Field ion micrograph of pure-W along the (110) direction imaged with helium at 25 K.
Figure 1. Field ion micrograph of pure-W along the (110) direction imaged with helium at 25 K.

Sixty years on, this seminal work by Erwin Müller has spurred important and wide-ranging research. This includes a range of inventions such as the field emission electron sources used in electron microscopes and the liquid metal ion sources used in focused-ion beam microscopes. FIM and APT have enabled many significant discoveries in surface and materials sciences, where direct observation of the microstructure and composition at the near-atomic scale is a crucial piece in understanding the structure-property relationships. Examples include: segregation to crystalline defects and grain boundaries [3] and [4], precipitation in complex, engineering alloys [5], growth mechanisms in semiconducting nanowires [6], and dating of geological materials from Hadean earth [7].

The International Field Emission Society grew from the pioneering research of the high-field nanoscience community, which was made possible by key figures in the community. In 2016, the IFES has decided to honor these key contributors by creating the award “Fellow of the International Field Emission Society” to recognize their exceptional contributions. At the 55th symposium of the IFES (recently renamed as “Atom Probe Tomography & Microscopy”), which will be held in Gyeongju, South Korea (June 12–17, 2016), the steering committee of the IFES will have the pleasure of awarding this inaugural round of IFES Fellows, elected in recognition of their eminence in the field of field emission, field ionization, and related phenomena. They have been nominated and elected by their peers for outstanding research that has pushed the frontiers of knowledge in the field. Many have also undertaken distinguished service to the IFES.

Those to be honored as IFES fellows in 2016 are: Hans-Olof Andrén (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) | Didier Blavette (Université de Normandie, France) | Alfred Cerezo (University of Oxford, UK) | Paul Cutler (Pennsylvania State University, USA) | Richard G. Forbes (University of Surrey, UK) | Georgiy N. Fursey (Saint Petersburg State University, Russian Federation) | Robert Gomer (The University of Chicago, USA) | Kazuhiro Hono (National Institute of Materials Science, Japan) | Gary A. Kellogg (Sandia National Laboratories, USA) | Thomas F. Kelly (Cameca Instruments Inc., USA) | Osamu Nishikawa (Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Japan) | Hans Jürgen Kreuzer (Dalhousie University, Canada) | Norbert Kruse (Washington State University, USA) | Allan J. Melmed (Johns Hopkins University, USA) | Michael K. Miller (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA) | Marwan Mousa (Mu’tah University, Jordan) | John A. Panitz (University of New Mexico, USA) | Simon P. Ringer (The University of Sydney, Australia) | Guido Schmitz (Universität Stuttgart, Germany) | David N. Seidman (Northwestern University, USA) | George D.W. Smith FRS (University of Oxford, UK) | Krystyna Stiller (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) | Lynwood W. Swanson (FEI, USA) | Tien T. Tsong (Academia Sinica, Taiwan).

Further Reading:

[1] E.W. Müller, Zeitschrift für Physik, 131 (1951), pp. 136–142

[2] E.W. Müller, Science, 149 (1965), pp. 591–601

[3] D. Blavette, et al.
Science, 286 (1999), pp. 2317–2319

[4] K. Thompson, et al.
Science, 317 (2007), pp. 1370–1374

[5] S.P. Ringer, K. Hono
Mater. Character., 44 (2000), pp. 101–131

[6] D.E. Perea, et al.
Nat. Nanotechnol., 4 (2009), pp. 315–319

[7] J.W. Valley, et al.
Nat. Geosci., 7 (2014), pp. 219–223

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2016.01.019