Published: 5 March 2016, 13:26 | By: Christian Helgrt
The European Research Council (ERC) has announced that one of the highly prestigious ERC Consolidator Grants will be awarded to ACP principal scientist Prof. Lothar Wondraczek for his research proposal "UTOPES" (Unifying Concepts in the Topological Design of Non-Crystalline Materials). ERC grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by young and established top researchers who are working in Europe - the sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. In particular, ERC Consolidator Grants shall boost the independent careers of such excellent researchers by providing adequate support at the critical stage where they are consolidating their own independent research team or program.
The aim of the new research project UTOPES is to overcome the limits of understanding and modelling the short- and long-term dynamics in the formation of non-crystalline structures. "For this, we will develop processes by which material states are reached, which cannot be realized today. A number of glass properties are highly dependent on the process conditions, especially on the time in which a molten glass is cooled. If one would monitor a glass over millions of years, its characteristics would change. For example, it would become optically transparent. Thus, a whole field of possible property variations is currently inaccessible, quite simply because we do not have the necessary time. The aim, therefore, it to speed up extremely slow reactions by changing the process paths," Wondraczek describes the central idea of his research.