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The FZU project success rate exceeds the Czech Science Foundation average

Scientists from the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences (FZU) retained their last year’s extraordinary success in winning EXPRO grants awarded by the Czech Science Foundation (GA CR) and they excelled in junior grants success rate.

According to the Czech Science Foundation, the average success rate of project applications in the junior grant category is 31.2%, while the FZU scientists have achieved the success rate of 50%. In standard GA CR projects, the average application success rate was 24.5% while our scientists’ success rate was 29.9%. FZU projects in the EXPRO category have achieved the success rate of 33.3% as compared with 16.5% average of the Czech Science Foundation.

Out of the total of 105 submitted applications, the FZU won 33 last year (see the table below). In terms of international and LA projects, the final number is not yet known as the approval process is still in progress. The Czech Science Foundation have concluded the evaluation of project applications as of November 25, 2019, and the list of all successful projects is available here.

EXPRO grants

Six FZU scientists in total have applied for five-year support for basic research in the EXPRO grant category. This year also two FZU projects succeeded in the competition and the support of excellence in basic research has been granted to projects of Pavel Jelínek and Martin Schnabl.

The aim of Pavel Jelínek’s project is to design, synthesise and characterise 1D molecular chains on surfaces with unique material properties. With the financial support, Pavel Jelínek’s team can first devote their time to the examination of organometallic polymers, their magnetic structure and possibilities to control redox states in a chain. Subsequently they will be able to focus on the possibility of closing the forbidden band of pi-conjugated polymers by means of the topological phase transition proximity. This strategy should basically enable him to overcome the problem of Peierls transition (dimerization) at the emergence of purely metal pi-conjugated polymers. To synthesize molecular chains of desired properties with a length of tens to hundreds of nanometers, he will use chemistry on surfaces under the conditions of ultra-high vacuum (UHV). Their chemical structure will be analysed by high resolution scanning microscopy with functionalized spikes providing unprecedented spatial resolution. Scanning microscopy measurements will be complemented by other surface science techniques, such as electron diffraction and photoemission, and supported by theoretical analysis based primarily on DFT.

In his project, Martin Schnabl will construct and study string field theory describing a stress-free string in anti-de Sitter space using holographic duality. String Field Theory has evolved over the past few years into a potentially very useful tool to study the fundamental themes of string theory, such as how to link the classical background of open or closed strings through tachyon condensation and how to deduce the existence and study the properties of new backgrounds. In the long term, string theory is also believed to be guided by the giant calibration symmetry of higher spins, which should be fully reflected in the voltage-free string limit, and significant progress has been made in this area recently. The structure of string field theory within this limit should be particularly simple and transparent, as the fields should be organized into multiplets, and the calibration invariance should substantially limit the interactions allowed.

Junior grants

In 2019, the FZU won five junior grants in total.

Pavla Štěnclová succeeded with a project focused on the examination of the interaction between diamond surface (in the form of nanocrystalline diamond and DLC layers) and biomolecules using FTIR and XPS spectroscopy methods supported by AFM, SEM and WCA.

Petr Bednyakov has gained a project focused on ascertaining magnetic properties induced by various charge carriers and also in charged domain walls in ferroelectrics, which should allow Petr Bednyak to achieve magnetoelectric coupling and mode control.

Václav Eigner has succeeded with a project focused on experimental research of metal-organic networks suitable for impregnation with other substances (liquids, amorphous and poorly crystallizing substances) and on the study of their impregnation and transformation processes. Václav Eigner’s research has potential application in research and development of new pharmaceutical substances.

Maksym Buryi has received support for the project of nanoscintillators based on ultra-fast luminescence structures consisting of multiple quantum wells and composites.

Sabir Ramazanov succeeded with a project in which he will study the implications of non-standard particle models and gravity models for cosmology.

Project type Submitted Approved
Standard – applicant 50 14
Standard – co-applicant 17 6
Junior 10 5
International projects - applicants 17 5
International projects - co-applicants 2 1
LA projects 3
Total 105 33