Project implementation agreement number: 2013/0010/1DP/

Project implementer: Riga Technical University in cooperation with the Institute of Solid State Physics, UL

Project contact person from ISSP UL: main contact person Jānis Kleperis and researcher Mārtiņš Vanags

Operational fund, program and activity: European Social Fund, program “Human Resources and Employment”, activity “Involvement of human resources to science”.

Project implementation period: 16.09.2013. - 31.08.2015. (24 months).

Total funding of the project: 349 974.00 LVL, including ESF funding 323 619.00 LVL (92,47 %), State’s budget funding 25 304.00 LVL (7,23 %), Riga Technical University funding 1051,00LVL (0.30%).

Project summary
Overall objective of the project:

As part of the project, a new group of scientists will be established at the Institute of Technical Physics of RTU in cooperation with Institute of Silicate Materials of RTU and Institute of Solid State Physics UL to develop new technologies and sensors for environmental sustainability applications. The group will consist of 3 young Latvian scientists, 3 doctoral students, 1 foreign young scientist, 1 repatriated Latvian scientist and 3 experienced Latvian scientists.

Cooperation will take place within the framework of two national research centers. The project is aimed at extending the opportunities of young people involved in scientific activities, which requires young people to understand the objectives set up by them and seek the opportunities to achieve them. As part of the project, it is planned to involve young, promising scientists in the priority scientific fields set out by the country: „Energy and Environment” and „Innovative materials and Technologies”. This means strengthening and expanding these areas in the future.

Scientific objective of the project:

I) Develop laser technology for processing CdTe and CdZnTe crystals, which will reduce the manufacturing costs of radiation detectors and improve their technical characteristics: spectral resolution and dynamic range. The technology is based on the use of laser radiation whose quantum energy is less than the width of semiconductor band gap. In this case, it is possible to realize the interaction of radiation with structural defects in the crystal volume of CdTe and CdZnTe, which is fundamentally different from the technologies used today.

II) Develop new so-called hybrid polymer composite (HPC) materials, based on previous experience, containing a mixture of different types of carbon nanostructure fillers. HPC materials are expected to have significantly enhanced volatile organic compound (VOC) selective detection capabilities. VOCs are among the most dangerous pollutants in the environment. The development of such materials would allow the production of miniature, portable, easy-to-use various VOC detection equipment, which is currently in short supply, in the near future.

III) Carry out a feasibility study for developing new sensors/detectors designed to detect benzene in the environment using photonic elements and devices

IV) Develop immobilized and unimmobilized nanostructured transitory metal oxide catalytic materials capable of neutralizing unwanted chemical compounds polluting the environment and harmful to the environment and humans, without using precious metals.

Main expected results:

1. Establishment of a new scientific group;
2. Creation of new jobs in the scientific group;
3. Preparation of scientific articles, including, original scientific articles for journals included in the SCOPUS database;
4. Preparation of original scientific articles for publication in journals with citation index reaches at least 50% from Thomson&ReutersJournalCitationReport industry average citation index;
5. Participation in international scientific conferences with reports on the project results;
6. Development of e new laser technology for CdTe and CdZnTe crystal processing.

The following activities will be carried out during the project:
1. Establishment of a new scientific group providing additional involvement of human resources in science.

2. Research:
2.1. Development of laser technology for CdTe and CdZnTe crystal processing;
2.2. Development of innovative hybrid polymer composite (HPC) materials for use in VOC sensors;
2.3. Use of photonic devices in VOC detection;
2.4. Development of nanostructured transitory metal oxide catalytic materials;
2.5. Preparation of publications and other publicity and spreading of information events.

Place of project implementation – Riga Technical University

Project cooperation partner – the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia

Scientific Supervisor – Māris Knite

© Riga Technical University, September 15, 2013