Sweden has a long tradition in the development of vacuum science, including the turbo molecular pumps developed by Prof. Manne Siegbahn for X-ray spectrometers in Uppsala starting in the 1920's and for accelerators in Stockholm the 1940's. When IUVSTA was founded there was no formal Swedish vacuum society. There were, however, several research groups that had a need for new developments in the vacuum field. There was a demand for cleaner vacuum systems and lower pressure for surface science using ESCA spectrometers.
It is therefore not surprising that Sweden was one of the ten founding members of IUVSTA. Prof. Gösta Brogren from Chalmers University, Gothenburg, was present at the founding meeting and he was the Swedish councillor for the triennium 1962-65. It was, however, not until 1973 that the Swedish Vacuum Society was formally founded. An Interim Committee had been formed on January 21, 1972. The chairman of that committee was Prof. Stig Hagström and the secretary was Hans Ottosson, both of the University of Linköping. Contacts were made with Scandinavian colleagues, in an attempt to form a Scandinavian Vacuum Society. However these attempts were not successful. One of the activities of the Interim Committee was to start publishing a news bulletin, "Vakuum Nytt", the first issue of which was published on February 10, 1972. This publication is still actively used as an information medium in the Swedish Vacuum Society, with No. 69 being published in December 2000. The Interim Committee called a Charter Meeting on June 14, 1973, and on this date the Swedish Vacuum Society was formed. The first Board of Directors (BoD) was: Gunnar Schön (President), Roland Jacobsson (Vice president and secretary), Lars Yström (Treasurer) and Alex Albrecht.
Contact with IUVSTA had been established previously on January 25, 1973 at an Executive Council Meeting in London and a formal application for membership was submitted to the 22nd Executive Council Meeting in Madrid on September 27, 1973. Membership was granted by the IUVSTA General Meeting on March 26, 1974 in Kyoto, Japan.
Among the members of the Swedish Vacuum Society who have served IUVSTA extensively are Hans Ottosson, STD Secretary from 1974 to 1983, Sven-Erik Karlsson, STD Secretary 1983-89, Jan-Eric Sundgren who chaired the Thin Film Division 1992-95, and Lars Westerberg who was chair of the Publications Committee 1995-2001 and editor of the IUVSTA Web home page 1996-2000 and editor of the News Bulletin 1997-2001. Other Swedish delegates who have served in various capacities are Sören Berg, Anders Flodström and Lars Hultman. The Swedish Vacuum Society has contributed to IUVSTA conference activities in Sweden by organizing an International Symposium on Vacuum and Thin Films Technology in Uppsala, August 31 - September 3, 1976, and the Sixth International Conference on Thin Films (ICTF- 6) in Stockholm, August 13 - 17, 1984. On both these occasions, the Swedish Vacuum Society also hosted the Executive Council Meetings of IUVSTA.
In the early 1990's our vacuum society was bidding to host the European Vacuum Conference (EVC) and in June 1994 EVC-4, chaired by L. Westerberg, was held in Uppsala for 3 days and continued on a passenger ferry back and fourth from Stockholm to Helsinki with all 350 participants. The meeting was held together with the Swedish Vacuum Meeting (SVM-1) which focused on thin films, surface science and vacuum science. This combination was a clear success and the meeting has since been held every third year, in Linköping 1997, chaired by L. Hultman, and in Göteborg 2000, chaired by L. Walldén. The acronym SVM is still the same, but the name has changed to the Swedish Vacuum and Materials science meeting. We celebrated the 25 year anniversary of SVS at the meeting in 1997 in Linköping. Several of the pioneers came to this meeting. In 1997 SVS hosted an IUVSTA workshop on "Outgassing of materials", co-chaired by B. Hjörvarsson and L. Westerberg. High level vacuum courses were organized in cooperation with IUVSTA and/or AVS in 1994, 1997 and 2000. We have participated in a meeting of European vacuum society presidents organized by the French Vacuum Society and we have organized a similar meeting in 1997. These meetings have been very useful when planning for new activities.
The current membership of the Swedish Vacuum Society is approximately 300, plus 20 supporting company members. One member of the BoD is appointed by the supporting companies. In the beginning of the 1990's the terms for presidents were changed to two one- year terms as president-elect and president. A position as past president was also created. The editor of the news bulletin and the vacuum course director are coopted to the BoD if they are not already members in another capacity.
Today, the main issues of the Swedish Vacuum Society are as follows.
At the annual meeting in Göteborg in 2000 the SVS statutes were changed as follows: When presenting the society it is recommended that the name of the society is further clarified in the following way: The Swedish Vacuum Society - A Society for Vacuum Technology and Materials Science.