Attraction of the leading scientists to Russian institutions of higher learning, research organizations of the governmental academies of sciences, and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation

International Laboratory of Functional Glass-Based Materials named after academician P. D. Sarkisov

About the laboratry

This laboratory was established as part of a scientific research project supported with a monetary grant awarded by the Government of the Russian Federation under a grant competition designed to provide governmental support to scientific research projects implemented under the supervision of the world's leading scientists at Russian institutions of higher learning, research institutions of the governmental academies of sciences and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation (Resolution of the RF Government No.220 of April 9, 2010).

Link to official website

Grant Agreement No.: 11.G34.31.0027

Host institution of higher learning:

Federal state budget educational institution of higher professional education "Russian University of Chemical Technologies named after D. I. Mendeleyev"

Scientific research area:
Material sciences

Project goal:
To organize a world-class multi-profile laboratory capable of addressing a broad spectrum of research-intensive and applied problems in the field of glass-based functional materials.

Key project objectives:
1. To create a flexible multipurpose experimental complex to conduct fundamental research and develop innovative technologies and new functional glass-based materials for various applications.
2. To organize a broad and stable network of bilateral and multilateral international collaborations in science and education with European, American, and Japanese partners, including but not limited to the University of Milan, Bordeaux University, Lion University, University of Dortmund, Institute of Biomaterials in Erlangen-Nurnberg, Institute Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, Institute for New Functionality in Glasses at Lehigh University, Nagaoka University of Technology, etc.
3. To engage, on a competitive basis, young scientists, undergraduate and graduate students in the new laboratory's research and education activities. To develop a laboratory practicum based on the newly established experimental complex.

Anticipated project outputs:
1. The project will help develop optical and nanostructured glasses with predetermined spectral and luminescent parameters for various applications, including active environments for fibre-optic and miniature lasers, amplifiers, modulators, shutters, etc., hybrid crystal/glass materials with complex architecture, glass microspheres for nuclear medicine, biomaterials, high-temperature radiolucent glass ceramics.
2. The project will help develop innovative technologies and commercialize them via a newly established small enterprise:
2.1. Commercialization of optical and nanostructured glasses in miniature production conditions.
2.2. Organization of production of thin high-durability films made of radiation-resistant glasses for spacecraft solar battery arrays.
2.3. Establishment of an experimental production complex for development and production of globally competitive spheroid materials that will help to start deploying a new generation of localized cancer treatment methods in Russia.

Leading scientist

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Leading scientist's full name: Paleari, Alberto Maria Felice

Link to leading scientist's profile

Academic degree and title:
PhD in physics, professor

Job title:
Professor at the faculty of material sciences at the University of Milan.

Field of scientific interests:
1. Oxide glasses. Research of heir structure and spectral-luminescent properties.
2. Doped quartz glasses.
3. Controlled formation of nanoparticles in oxide glasses; initiation of new functional properties in them that are not characteristic of homogeneous glass. Development of glasses with a high square and cubic optical nonlinearity.
4. UV light-emitting diodes based on nanostructured glasses.
5. Use of lasers to form regular crystalline complex architecture structures in bulk and on the surface of glass.
6. Materials based on zirconium dioxide.

Scientific recognition:
– Permanent leader of the projects implemented by authoritative international organizations ("Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory" (DESY), Hamburg, Institute Laue-Langevin, Grenoble, etc.);
- Coordinator of the interuniversity scientific research network "Insulators" of the State Committee of Italy;
- Manager of large-scale state scientific research projects of the Government of Italy and projects funded by private foundations and companies (Cariplo Foundation, Pirelli, etc.).
- Invited presenter at large international conferences ("Optics and Photonics", San Diego, USA), "Defects in silicon dioxide and associated dielectrics: science and technology", Erice (Italy), "Light sensitivity in optical waveguides and glasses", St. Petersburg, etc.).



"New functional glass-based materials for science-intensive applications" project: interim results
On activities of the International Laboratory of Functional Glass-Based Materials named after academician P. D. Sarkisov in 2013

During the first year following the renewal of grant agreement No.11.G34.31.0027 executed by and between the host institution of higher learning and the RF Ministry of education and science, the International Laboratory of Functional Glass-Based Materials named after academician P. D. Sarkisov obtained the following results under the "New functional glass-based materials for science-intensive applications" project.

The project team launched experimental production of optically homogeneous glasses, including glasses with enhanced crystallization capacity, required for large-scale applied research, nano- and micro-modification of the structure and commercialization of new types of materials based on glass.

The project researchers have developed a method of suppression of segregation of rare-earth activators and, as a result, improvement of the quantum luminescence output of glasses based on aluminum-boron systems, which makes them new and advanced laser materials. The same glasses co-activated by cerium and terbium ions show promise for production of high-resolution UV and X-ray image visualization screens. The project team has designed a multifunctional nano-glass-ceramics based on the Me2O-Ga2O3-SiO2-GeO2 (Me = Li, Na) system characterized by controlled luminescent properties thanks to addition of NiO. This material shows promise as a working environment for a wideband optical amplifier of the near IR zone, as well as a UV radiation sensor. For the first time, the scientists used a laser to form nanostructured waveguides with a wideband blue luminescence on glass surface.
The project has developed anorthite glass ceramics with a working temperature of up to 1,250оС and even more temperature-resistant composites on their basis for high-speed flying craft – they have been proposed for implementation at the Obninsk-based "Tekhnologia" scientific research and production enterprise.

The research in crystallization and sintering of calcium-phosphate glasses serves as the foundation for the development of technologies for a number of glass-ceramic and polymer-inorganic bioactive and osteo-inducive biomaterials with a desired level of porousness and resorbability in biological environments. They can be used to treat traumas in neurosurgery, facial surgery, and otorhinolaryngology.

The project team has developed and manufactured a special plasmatron that is used to synthesize spheroid glass-based materials. The production line developed by the laboratory to manufacture glass microspherers for nuclear medicine is able to meet Russia's demand for medications based on Yttrium-90 isotope for localized radiation therapy of oncological conditions.

The laboratory has organized routine fabrication of enhanced strength radiation-resistant glass film for temperature-controlled coatings and spacecraft solar panels to meet the needs of the "Roskosmos" enterprises.

The research results have been covered in articles published by high impact-factor journals, such as: "Nanoscale", "Nanotechnology", "Optics Letters", "Materials Letters", etc.


According to famous foreign scientists, the International Laboratory of Functional Glass-Based Materials that was created in Russia over the period of 2010 – 2012 is considered the country's best university-based laboratory specializing in glass synthesis in terms of its technological and research equipment. The principal purpose of the laboratory is to perform fundamental world-class quality research and develop innovative technologies in the field of glass and glass-ceramic materials for various applications in photonics, laser equipment, aviation and spacecraft, instrument engineering, medicine, etc. The laboratory is integrated into a broad international network of similar profile laboratories encompassing more than 30 countries. Renowned domestic and international scientists take part in the laboratory's research activities, including such famous researchers as Professor A. Pleari (University of Milan, Italy), Professor V. N. Sigayev, doctor of physical and mathematical sciences G. E. Malashkevich (Institute of Physics, Belarus), Director of the international institute "New Functionality in Glass" and professor of Lehigh University H. Jane (USA), Professor T. Komatsu (Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan), doctor of physical and mathematical sciences S. Yu. Serafimovich (Research Institute of Physics and Chemistry named after L. Ya. Karpov), Professor E. Farzhan and Professor V. Cardinal (Bordeaux University, France), candidate of technical sciences V. I. Savinkov (Ukraine), etc. The broad international relations enable the host university's undergraduate and graduate students to participate in conferences, internships, and qualifications improvement courses, including those offered by the international institute "New Functionality in Glass" (USA). About 70% of the laboratory staff is represented by young specialists, including host university's undergraduate and graduate students. The Chairman of the RF State Duma Committee for Education, Professor A. N. Degtyarev, spoke about the laboratory very highly having visited it in May 2012. The Academic Board of the Russian University of Chemical Technologies named after D. I. Mendeleyev decided to name the laboratory after an outstanding Russian scientist and the leader of Russia's most advanced scientific school specializing in glass synthesis, P. D. Sarkisov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences who died in April 2012.

Over the brief time the laboratory has been in existence, its researchers have developed a series of laser, magneto-optical, and electro-optical glasses with unique parameters. Formation of local structures with complex architecture on the surface of glass that initiate a single matrix with nonlinear-optical and luminescent parameters in micro- and nano-scales and formation of miniature electro-optical transformers and other integral elements capable of controlling optical streams therein, as well as nanostructured luminescent waveguides and miniature integrated waveguide lasers – these are the fields of research that are critically important for the development of the technology of integrated optical schemes and – in the future – for the development of highly productive optical computers that the new laboratory specializes in. The possibility to conduct this kind of research using optical quality glass give the laboratory a competitive edge as compared to most of the similar laboratories in other countries.

The laboratory is Russia's first and only developer and manufacturer of glasslike microspheres that are used to treat oncological conditions. The laboratory is able to meet our country's demand for this kind of radioactive medications that are widely used in the West (where the cost of an operation amounts to approximately $20,000). The laboratory has registered a patent and received permission to use radioactive micro-sources in the form of Yttrium-containing microspheres in medical applications in Russia.

The laboratory has developed radiolucent high-temperature ceramics and composites based thereupon that can be used to manufacture aero-shields of new-generation aircraft, including superfast ones. This solution is now being implemented at the Obninsk-based "Tekhnologia" scientific research and production enterprise.

The project team has developed a technology that makes it possible to draw high durability film out of radiation-resistant glass that can be used to manufacture temperature-controlling coatings of solar panels and spacecraft control systems. The film has been successfully tested on the ground and in flight. It is planned that the film will be manufactured industrially to meet the needs of the Research and Production Association named after S. A. Lavochkin and "Tais" LLC.

The technological equipment created at the laboratory is also used as the test benches providing the host university's students specializing in inorganic chemistry with a unique opportunity to participate in world-class scientific research activities and acquire practical skills in fabrication of special designation glasses (glasses for laser equipment, nanostructured nonlinear-optical glasses, glasses for nuclear medicine, etc.). At the same time, this technological equipment serve as an excellent jumping board for commercialization of a number of research areas developed at the laboratory.

The research activities implemented by various groups within the laboratory aim to acquire new fundamental knowledge of the glasslike state of matter and find solutions for practical problems that are of significance to Russia. The multifaceted nature of the research activities implemented at the laboratory that stems from the diversity of potential applications of glasslike materials helps commercialize its products and contributes to the laboratory's ability to become financially sustainable upon completion of the project. For example, the development of glass ceramics and composite materials based thereupon that are capable of withstanding the temperature of up to 1,250 degrees С and higher is required for the development of aircraft and spacecraft engineering in Russia. The organization of Russia's first experimental production facility that specializes in manufacturing glass microspheres for nuclear medicine is required for the development of the medical industry subsector specializing in local radiation therapy methods that are used to treat oncological health conditions. The development of glass radiation-resistant film with improved exploitation and durability parameters that is twice as strong as the materials currently used to protect solar panels in space calls for complete refurbishment of photoelectric transducer production. The optical glass production facility developed by the laboratory already makes it possible to develop new optical materials with improved parameters and produce them in small batches using miniature equipment and saving electric power. The technical parameters of this production facility are sufficient to meet the needs of domestic optical instrument engineering in new, non-standardized optical materials characterized by unusual combinations of properties that are not manufactured en masse. All these research and production areas will be commercialized in 2013-2015 via a small innovative enterprise that is being established under the laboratory. The laboratory's principal research results have already been or will shortly be patented in Russia, and in some cases – in Belarus and Italy as well (the laboratory has submitted 15 applications and received 11 patents). The laboratory is able to perform world-class scientific research which is supported by the articles published or accepted for publication by high-impact factor journals, such as: "Nanoscale" (5.91), "Nanotechnology" (3.98), "Materials Chemistry and Physics" (2.23), "Optics Letters" (3.05), "Journal of American Ceramics Society" (2.27), "Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids" (1.54), "Microscopy and Microanalysis", "Cambridge University Press Journal" (3.01), "Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics Letters" (1.35), "Physics of Solid Matter" (0.71), "Glass Physics and Chemistry", "Glass and Ceramics", etc., as well as the feedback received from foreign scientists. The laboratory has conducted a number of international scientific events with participation of foreign researchers, a great number of students and young researchers from the Russian University of Chemical Technologies named after D. I. Mendeleyev.

The laboratory has won a grant competition of the RF Ministry of education and science and will continue to work in 2013-2014 under the guidance of Professor A. Paleari implementing the project "New glass-based functional materials for research-intensive applications". The project entails: designing and implementing innovative technologies on the basis of the scientific results achieved in 2010-2012; developing new research areas; raining top-qualification young researchers and integrating tem into the international scientific community; developing new programs of study for undergraduate and graduate students of Russian universities and faculties specializing in material sciences.


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