The RUSNANOPRIZE 2014 Awards

15 October 2014

The Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO Management Company LLC, Anatoly Chubais, and Yoshikazu Yoshida, Managing Executive Officer of Shimadzu Corporation awarded this year’s annual RUSNANOPRIZE. The RUSNANOPRIZE in 2014 was awarded for achievements in the field of Optics and Nanoelectronics to Professor Renato Zenobi of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), the CEO of the company NT-MDT, Viktor Bykov (Russia), and the Head of Product and Applications Development at NT-MDT, Pavel Dorozhkin (Russia) for the development and marketing of equipment, probes and for optical, physical and chemical characterization on the nanometer scale.

The range of affordable scientific equipment developed by the Russian company NT-MDT enables the combination, with a high degree of accuracy, of two research techniques—scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and Raman-scattering spectroscopy (RS)—for the study of one and the same sample. Using this combination Professor Zenobi has created a new technology, Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS), which enables the construction of Raman spectroscopy signal maps with spatial resolution of 15 nm for a wide range of nanoscale objects.

Raman spectroscopy is a key method for obtaining information on the chemical composition and other properties of substances. Like all optical techniques, Raman spectroscopy, is restricted by the diffraction limit: the minimum size of a spot, onto which visible light can be focused, is about 200 nanometers. The TERS effect is obtained from the interaction of light with nanoscale antennae. In the proximity of the antennae, molecules of the substance begin to radiate more brightly by 2–3 orders of magnitude compared with all the other molecules in the spot of light.

Use of the tip of a scanning probe microscope as a nanoscale antenna not only achieves the TERS effect, but also enables the effect to be harnessed as a manageable research tool: the probe can be positioned with high accuracy on any point of the sample, so that a signal can be obtained from that precise point. The company NT-MDT and a team of scientists led by Viktor Bykov were the first to install the TERS effect on a mass-produced commercial microscope, the NTEGRA Spectra.

Professor Zenobi was a pioneer in the study of the TERS effect. The NT-MDT microscope was perfected and modified in his laboratory to obtain spatial resolution of 15 nanometers in mapping of a signal on organic samples.

“The winning team is a unique, complementary, international grouping of top-caliber specialists, scientists and engineers. We were highly impressed by the broad and much-needed direction of their research and development work, and the resulting creation of optical techniques and devices for the nanometric study of the optical, physical and chemical properties of the objects of modern optics and electronics. Company sales are in excess of $30 million per year and more than 4,000 devices, with total value of more than $300 million are used in major research and industrial centers in Europe, Asia and America. The devices manufactured by NT-MDT have features which are unique in the world,” said the Prize Committee member and Director of the Institute of Laser Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Sergey Bagaev.

This year’s Nanotechnology Russian Youth Prize was awarded by the Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Academician, Michael Alfimov. The 2014 winner was a junior researcher at the Technology Institute for Superhard and New Carbon Materials, Konstantin Kravchuk, for the development of a nano-hardness scanning device, the NanoScan-4D. The device is used to study the properties of materials at the nano-level, measurement of geometric dimensions, local values ​​of the elasticity modulus and hardness of homogeneous and nanostructured materials, determining the mechanical characteristics of the elements of microelectromechanical (MEMS) and radio-electronic devices, and the study of thin functional coatings and heterogeneous materials.

Additional information

Reference

The Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs (FIEP) was established in 2010 in accordance with federal law № 211-FZ On Reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. Its purpose is to develop innovative infrastructure for nanotechnology, including realizing educational programs and infrastructure projects earlier begun by RUSNANO.

The chairman of the Supervisory Council, the fund’s highest governing body, is Dmitry Livanov, minister of education and science of the Russian Federation. As stipulated in the charter of the fund, the council determines the priority areas of the fund’s endeavors, sets its strategies, and establishes its budget. Anatoly Chubais, RUSNANO CEO, is chairman of the Management Committee. The fund’s CEO is Andrey Svinarenko.

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The RUSNANOPRIZE was established in 2009 by Russian Nanotechnologies Corporation, which is one of the world’s largest investment companies in the innovation industry. The prize is awarded to both Russian and foreign nationals. Four of the eight winners in the five-year history of the award have been foreign designers.

The RUSNANOPRIZE aims to promote:

  • integration of the needs of business with the interests of the scientific community;
  • broader public awareness of developments and practical applications in the field of nanotechnology;
  • the encouragement of experimental and applied research and development in nanotechnology and their use in industry;
  • international cooperation in this field;
  • public recognition of the role of the individual scientists, developers and teams that carry out scientific research.

For more information, please visit rusnanoprize.ru

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The Russian Nanotechnology Youth Prize is a Russian national competition for young designers, innovators and business people under the age of 35 years, who have brought nanotechnology developments into industrial production and achieved first commercial results. The prize is awarded for the development of a new nanotechnology product or technology, which had been brought into production and achieved annual sales of at least 3 million rubles.