Research on light-controlled materials receives 1.5 million in fundingThe European Research Council has granted Arri Priimägi 1.5 million euros in ‘Starting Grant’ funding. The results from the funded project can be used to improve the sensitivity of biosensors and in organic electronics, for example.
The objective of the ‘Tunable Photonic Structures via Photomechanical Actuation’ project is to produce new kinds of externally controlled photonic materials. The operation of these materials is based on the ability to adjust the thickness of thin films and the length of substrates with light. The project will involve harnessing this phenomenon for the manufacture of tunable lasers and in nanophotonics.
“This funding enables us to employ three postdoctoral researchers and two doctoral students, for example. In addition, 3–4 master’s theses will be completed during the project. In other words, we will be able to set up a great team to do something completely new at the interface between physics and chemistry,” Priimägi elaborates.
The results from the project can be used for such purposes as improving the sensitivity of biosensors or in organic electronics, as many physical quantities are sensitive to changes in the thickness or length of materials. The five-year project will be launched early in 2016.
This year, the European Research Council (ERC) awarded its highly valued ‘Starting Grants’ to 291 promising young researchers whose scientific careers have reached the stage of establishing their own research groups. A total of 2,920 applications were submitted and the funding granted for a single project totalled up to 1.5 million euros.
In Finland, funding was granted to three applicants, with Priimägi the sole recipient in the field of Physical Sciences and Engineering.
This funding was the second one of its kind received at the Tampere University of Technology. The first ERC Starting Grant was awarded to Tuomas Virtanen who develops calculatory methods for analyzing everyday sounds.
Academy Research Fellow, Assistant Professor (tenure track) Arri Priimägi, tel. +358 (0) 44 515 0300, arri.priimagi (at) tut.fi