Stan Veprek received his diploma in physics from the Charles University in Prague in 1963, and immediately began his work on the deposition of thin films by means of plasma CVD at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Science. His first major result was the deposition of nanocrystalline Si and Ge by means of chemical transport in H-plasma (published in 1968). Nowadays, nc-Si is an important material for large-scale microelectronics, flat panel displays and thin films solar cells. Between 1968 and 1971 he was visiting scientist at the University Münster (Germany), where he continued his work in plasma chemistry. He received his Dr Phil. in chemistry (1972) and habilitation (1977) from the University of Zurich, where he became involved also in the research of the plasma-wall interactions in the TOKAMAK devices for controlled nuclear fusion. In 1976 he proposed and later developed the in-situ plasma CVD of boron carbide protective coatings (“boronization”), which found successful application in many large TOKAMAK devices around the world. His continuing interest in nc-Si resulted, among others, in the classical papers on Raman scattering and phonon confinement, later extended to in-depth studies of the photoluminescence from nc-Si. Together with the Swiss national museum he developed a new plasma-chemical method for the restoration and conservation of archeological metallic artifacts. In 1988 he was appointed full Professor and head of the Institute for Chemistry of Inorganic Materials at the Technical University of Munich, where he continued his research on a- and nc-Si and Ge, organometallic CVD, heteroepitaxy of 3C-SiC and others. Here, also the design principle for superhard nabocomposite materials was born in 1995, and developed in collaboration with many colleagues and students during the subsequent years. In 1996 he begun collaboration with a Czech company SHM, which pioneered the industrialization of superhard nanocomposites coatings based on that design concept. His latest work focuses on the understanding of the formation of the superhard nanocomposites by spinodal phase segregation and of their mechanical properties by means of combined ab intio DFT and thermodynamics studies, and by non-linear FEM in collaboration with many colleagues from different countries. He has been visiting scientist and professor in many countries.
Stan Veprek published 396 papers in international journals. After his formal retirement he is still active in the science and collaborates with colleagues abroad and with industrial companies. Only since 2005 he has given 89 invited, keynote and plenary lectures at international conferences and was teaching courses in various countries.
Stan Veprek received various awards: Silver Medal of the Societe d’Encouragement Pour la Recherche et l’Invention, Paris (1979), Silver Medal of the (1991) and Honorary Doctorate (Dr. h.c.) from the Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic (1999), the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences (2004), the AVS John Thornton Memorial Award of the American Vacuum Society (2005), Honorary Professor of the Qingdao University of Science and Technology (2009), the Award for Career Achievements by the organizers of the Int. Conf. for Diffusion in Solids and Liquids (July 2010), and the R.F. Bunshah Award and ICMCTF 2011 Lecture.