Since 2003 President of the Czech Science Foundation (GAČR) awards the “President Prize” as an appreciation of extraordinary results achieved within projects funded by GAČR and focused on the fundamental scientific research. The Prize, connected with a financial premium, is awarded every year, in particular for outstanding achievements acquired in working on projects successfully completed in the preceding calendar year. Four researchers may be awarded every year.
On September 27th 2016, president of GAČR prof. RNDr. Ivan Netuka, DrSc., forwarded the 2016 President Prizes to four laureates in a very dignified environment of the ancient refectory at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University in Prague. Among the honoured, there was also Miss Kateřina Kůsová, PhD., from the Department of thin films and nanostructures of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She won the Prize for significant results obtained through the project entitled “Macroscopic and microscopic luminescence properties of silicon nanoparticles”. The project established both experimentally and theoretically that tensile strain, when combined with quantum confinement and applied to Si nanocrystals of certain size, transforms them to a material possessing a direct bandgap. This is a very sound breakthrough which indicates extensive application possibilities, e.g. in manufacturing tiny light sources integrated onto silicon chips, or in biological and medical uses of silicon nanoparticles. It is already a second significant award for Kateřina, who was also one of three laureates of the 8th year of Czech edition of the competition L’Oréal for women in science 2014.