The American Vacuum Society (AVS) is excited to announce the AVS 2021 International Twitter Poster Competition, an online venue for students and early career professionals to share their research with a global audience. Join us to disseminate your latest findings, connect with your research community, and meet new colleagues!

Judging starts at 8:00 a.m. EDT
on June 2, 2021 
Check Your Timezone


Registration Types


AVS Student Member:  Undergraduate or Graduate Student


AVS Member: Postdoc or Other




We welcome participation from science and engineering students (undergraduate and graduate) through early career professionals (postdocs), working anywhere in the world, in any technical domain of relevance to the AVS. You do not need to be a member of the AVS to participate. If you are unfamiliar with the AVS and its members’ broad technical interests, we encourage you to look through the many chapters, divisions, and groups that comprise the society or the wide range of topical symposia to be held at the AVS 67th International Symposium and Exhibition in Charlotte, NC USA. If you still are not sure whether your work is relevant, either contact the organizers or simply register in the “open” category.

While this online format is distinct from traditional, in-person poster sessions, and will require changes to standard poster designs (see tips and tricks here), the professional benefits are numerous. The audience for a well-crafted poster can be significant, potentially exceeding that at traditional conferences by orders-of-magnitude. This event is a great opportunity to hone your online “presentation” skills. As the world continues to leverage online communication tools, this skill will be increasingly crucial. Awards for competition winners will include monetary prizes, complimentary memberships, and more (see below).

Twitter offers a platform for anyone, anywhere in the world, to engage with their colleagues with little more than a computer or smartphone and internet connection. As opposed to webinars, which are largely one-way learning experiences, Twitter enables back-and-forth communication among poster presenters, judges, and anyone interested in your findings.

Yes and no. All participants must present their posters from a personal Twitter account. At the same time, teaming is part of the fun! We encourage participants can create or join a team (e.g., AVS chapter, university, lab). If you are part of a team, be sure to select and use a team-specific hashtag when first tweeting your poster.

Yes! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be competitively selected in each technical category. Awards will also be given to the most creative and the most ‘liked’ posters. The largest team and team with the highest average poster ranking will be recognized as well. Awards will include monetary prizes ($250 max), complimentary AVS memberships, and recognition via: (i) Twitter and LinkedIn as well as (ii) news stories on the AVS web page and in our monthly electronic newsletter Beneath the AVS Surface.

1.  If you don’t already have a personal Twitter account, create one here. Only personal Twitter accounts are allowed.

2.  Encourage your colleagues to participate! The larger the number of participants, the larger the audience for your work.

3.  Create or join a team! Use this opportunity to engage with a local AVS chapter or show your school spirit by creating a team from your university. Select a suitable team hashtag.

4.  Pre-register for the poster competition here by May 31, 2021. Your twitter username and team hashtag (if any) are required upon registration.

5.  Create your poster using the formatting guidelines here. Be sure to check out the included tips and tricks as well as examples from last year’s competition to maximize your poster’s effectiveness in this online medium.

6.  By 8:00 a.m. EDT on June 2nd (check your timezone), tweet a high-resolution image of your poster to your personal Twitter account. Your tweet must include two hashtags: #AVSPosters2021 and one technical category. For example:

     “I’m delighted to present my poster titled A New Method for Fabricating Transistors at #AVSPosters2021. Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to chatting with you! #AVS_Devices

Options: If you are part of a team, be sure to include that hashtag as well. We also encourage participants to use additional hashtags that will drive relevant traffic to their poster. For example:

     “I’m delighted to present my poster titled A New Tool for In situ Imaging Area-Selective ALD/ALE Processes at #AVSPosters2021. Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to chatting with you! #AVS_ThinFilms #AVS_Hudson #ALDep #ALEtch

7.  Domain experts will judge the posters from 8:00 a.m. EDT on June 2-3. During this time frame, regularly check your Twitter mentions for questions from judges and anyone who is interested. The poster competition spans multiple days to accommodate presenters and judges in different time zones and allow for sufficient back-and-forth discussion.

8.  Invite your colleagues as well as family and friends to view your poster and provide feedback. Encourage them to “like” their favorite posters, including yours!

9.  Winners will be announced via Twitter and via email shortly after the end of the event. Participants can only win in one category.

Technical Categories

Technical Category/Hashtag




Techniques for surface chemical analysis and imaging, including in situ, synchrotron, ion beam, and ellipsometric, in a range of environments.



Fabrication, characterization and application of biomaterials, biointerfaces, biosensors, non-fouling materials, cells, tissues, and microbes.

Thin Films & Coatings


Fabrication, characterization, and modeling of thin films and coatings for science and applications. Includes topics such as ALD/ALE and atomically precise manufacturing.



Plasma science and technology, from fundamental understanding of plasma physics and chemistry to emerging and industrial applications of plasmas.



Materials, interfaces, and processing that advance any type of functional device, such as electronic, photonic, optoelectronic, MEMS/NEMS, energy conversion, and magnetic.

Quantum and Nano


Research that uses the building blocks of quantum mechanics to engineer nano or microscale systems in a way that impacts experimental research, instrumentation, and applications.

Creation, characterization, and application of nanoscale structures and assemblies, which exploit the unique properties of low dimensionality and size. Includes topics such as 2-D materials, nanocrystals, and nanowires.

Surface Science


Studies of gas-solid and liquid-solid interfaces, heterogeneous catalysis, and photochemistry.

Vacuum & Space Sciences


Achieving, maintaining, analyzing, and measuring vacuum and low pressure gas dynamics across many applications.

Characterization of kinetics and dynamics, abundances, and reactivities of molecules in astrophysical environments.



All other science and engineering that is of relevance to the AVS but is not represented in the above categories. The organizers may move posters to a more relevant category as necessary.

Questions? E-mail events@avs.org

Other AVS Events

AVS Webinar: Recent Developments and Applications of FIB Sources and Instrumentation
June 15, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
Presenter: Lucille A. Giannuzzi

AVS Webinar: Gallium Oxide Materials and Devices
for Next Generation Ultra-Wide Bandgap Electronics

September 2, 2021
1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. EDT
Instructor: Sriram Krishnamoorthy

AVS Southern California Chapter Short Course Program (IN PERSON)
September 27-29, 2021
Holiday Inn Buena Park
Buena Park, CA

AVS Courses by Request
If you are interested in seeing an AVS Short Course offered in 2021 please complete the AVS Courses by Request form.

AVS Onsite/Online Training
Do your employees need training now? Are budgets tight? Let AVS bring our short courses and qualified instructors to your organization during these tough economic times via Zoom. Please complete the AVS Onsite/Online Training request form to receive a proposal.

Career Transitioning: Academia to Industry - Know the Steps to Take and What to Expect
June 8, 2021
2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT

AVS Publications: "Meet The Editors" Event
August 24, 2021
3:00 p.m. EDT

Organizing Committee

  • Michael Filler, Chair AVS Divisions & Groups, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Vincent Smentkowski, Co-Chair AVS Chapters, General Electric - Research
  • Kateryna Artyushkova, Co-Chair AVS Chapters, Physical Electronics Inc.
  • Rachael Farber, The University of Chicago
  • Ann Lii-Rosales,  University of Colorado Boulder