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In April this year, a new international H2020 project entitled "Dirac Semimetals based Terahertz Components“ was launched, where the Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (FTMC) participates together with Finland, Italy and Belarus.
The project is dedicated to the research of modern materials, called Dirac semi-metals, and their application for the development of terahertz (THz) photonics components. Terahertz research and application in high-tech markets is one of the areas in which FTMC has earned its reputation as an indisputable leader worldwide.
Six partners participate in the international H2020 project: the largest Lithuanian state research institution FTMC (Center for Physical Sciences and Technology), the University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu), the University of Salerno (Italy) , the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Belarusian State University, and “Teravil” , a company created by the FTMC staff.
The project was initiated by prof. Yuri Svirko. He has built a team that can create new generation optical elements for the THz range - made of graphene, variable focal length lenses, polarizers, electric-field-controlled optical beam splitters and high speed modulators.
These days, FTMC hosted the first working meetings of the entire team participating in the H2020 program. During first meeting of all project partners, the so-called kickoff meeting, the Director of FTMC prof. Gintaras Valušis said that projects with foreign countries demonstrate high scientific and technological potential of FTMC:
“FTMC is increasingly recognized as a global partner for international projects in a wide range of high-tech sectors. The works of the researchers of the Department of Optoelectronics of FTMC in the field of THz Photonics are recognized and highly valued by the international scientific community. During implementation of the Project, FTMC will acquire new competencies and technological know-how, and will also contribute significantly to the development of prototypes of optical components. They will be then commercialized by “Teravil”, a company created by the FTMC employees. We are pleased to see the potential of new synergies in this project.” - says prof. Gintaras Valušis.
“We know the competence of Finnish scientists in the field of technology, the theoretical knowledge of the Italian partners and the competences of the nanoangle research of Belarusian State University. We should also note the experience of our THz photonics and the arsenal of measurement technologies. Therefore, within this project we can expect a major breakthrough in the development of small-scale THz imaging systems. These systems are very much needed for both medical and security purposes.”
According to prof. Dr. Yuri Svirko from the Department of Physics and Mathematics of the Institute of Photonics of the University of Eastern Finland, emphasized, that FTMC is an impressive space, one of the most suitable for such international projects.
"In a global context FTMC is at a very high level. Here, a lot of equipment, technology and human resources are concentrated in one place, namely, the development of science and technological application in the field of THz. The University of Eastern Finland specializes in the research and application of photonics and nanostructures, as well as other materials. The goal of the project is to create a new device that will work in the THz frequency range, participating in the project we can benefit from the experience of other European countries and share the achievements of Finnish scientists in nanotechnology, especially in photonics.”
Prof. Dr. Yuri Svirko highlighted the main goal of this cross-border project, namely,the exchange of scientific ideas and knowledge:
“Scientists from the participating countries, young researchers will visit partner research institutions. It is extremely important for us to expand our international contacts, use our experience in organizing a sustainable network that will allow us to link the expertise of the University of Eastern Finland with that of Lithuania and other EU countries as well as the expertise of neighboring countries, such as Belarus“.
Prof. Dr. Olivia Pulci from the Department of Physics of the University of Rome Tor Vergata , was pleased , that participation in this project will help to pursue both the academic university's and particular personal interests. For a decade, dr. O. Pulci has been interested in research of graphene as a revolutionary material and possibility of adapting the technology:
“I am very pleased that there is FTMC, that provides absolutely ideal conditions for researchers. Also, we will have a Lithuanian company capable of implementing our experimental activities. It is very important that the prototype company is a good link between scientists and the public, ensuring feedback.”
Prof. Dr. Patrizia Lamberti from the Department of Information, Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics at the University of Salerno, Italy, who works in this project as a scientist and is also responsible for ensuring gender equality during the implementation of this project. She says, that international projects are encouraging both scientists and technology creators. Dr. P. Lamberti rejoiced in the fact that the institutions working together during implementation of the project, have to share their facilities and knowledge with each other. Thus, young Italian and foreign scientists have excellent opportunities to work in FTMC, which is the world leader in the field of terahertz studies.
“From our point of view, we will be able to offer our doctoral students an ideal place, equipped with all the necessary tools for their experiments. FTMC is a great partner as it can offer new equipment, instruments, technologies, and excellent environment for doctoral students from other countries. Unfortunately, in Italy we do not have such modern, spacious laboratories and facilities for studying, comparing and applying new techniques or technologies in different contexts. ”- said Patrizia Lamberti.
According to prof. Dr. Patrizia Lamberti, it is necessary to announce the message to the whole EU that there is a great scientific center in Vilnius possessing the capacity to compete globally:
"The first time I visited FTMC, I felt like a child in an amusement park. Here I saw all instruments, equipment, that I had heard about, because I was an electrical engineer, but I had never used them in my work. I consider FTMC to be a dream place for every scientist. As a researcher, I can get all I need for my experiments in one place. Here I can perform any experiment according to best scientific practice. For electronics engineers, FTMC is a magic place to fulfill your dreams. I really want to work here. ”
Dr. Polina Kuzhir, Head of the Laboratory of Atomic Problems of Research Institute of the State University of Belarus mentioned, that this project is highly promising and doomed to success:
“All project participants have their own specific functions that do not duplicate. We in Belarus are involved as full-fledged scientific partners, so we are responsible for electromagnetic theory and part of the electromagnetic experiment. We are happy to be able to work with FTMC. The Centre is the strategic, key-partner of our University, without which we would not be able to compete and work internationally with other EU countries. We’ve always been interested in projects of this kind, because they provide great access to powerful research infrastructure, which is not available at our university. Thanks to this project, researchers from Belarus will have open access to equipment and infrastructure of FTMC and other project partners. We hope that together will be able to create a specific prototype of the device, so this project will be commercially viable.“