Oddur Ingólfsson, Professor of Physical Chemistry and Head of the Faculty of Physical Sciences at the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, leads a large international group of scientists that recently received about a four million Euro grant from the 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie ETN programme of the European Commission.
The project, ELENA, formally began on 1 October and will be ongoing for the next four years. Beside the University of Iceland and the Science Institute, twelve other universities, three other research institutes and five companies from 13 countries are involved in the project.
"This is certainly a great honour and clearly shows that systematic development of the University of Iceland and Icelandic research centres has the potential to strengthen our reputation abroad and our domestic infrastructure. Receiving the grant on the 50th anniversary of the Science Institute, which is this year, is also enjoyable" says Oddur.
The project focuses on chemistry as fundamental to nanotechnology, and the grant is for research and training of prospective employees in the field.
Nanotechnology has been called the technology of the 21st century and is based on a precise control and manipulation of extremely small things and can be used in various ways. The obvious examples are microprocessors and electronic circuits in computers and telecommunication, but nanotechnology is currently used in much wider fields, such as biotechnology and medicine.
Nanotechnology is developing fast, which in turn requires increasingly smaller components and increased flexibility and control over material composition. To respond to this demand the international research group, under the leadership of Oddur, intends to strengthen research in this field and train a new generation of scientists with multi disciplinary skills. The long term goal is to strengthen innovation in nanotechnology in Europe and ensuring competitiveness in this field, thus benefitting industry, the economy and the community as a whole.
The research group will focus especially on the chemistry underpinning two emerging nano-technology writing techniques; Focused Electron, Beam Induced Processing and Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography. The knowledge will consequently be deployed to develop the techniques even further, making them commercially competitive. Fifteen doctoral students take part in the project; thereof three in Iceland. This group will join a growing number of European scientists with a fundamental understanding of the physics and chemistry behind nanotechnology, and thus be able to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial activities in the field in Europe.
For further information on the ELENA research project, please contact Oddur Ingólfsson, professor and head of the University of Iceland Faculty of Physical Sciences, tel +354 6464