Responses to questionnaire on nanotechnology





Anna Pacholak
Science & Technology Officer
British Embassy Warsaw


Nanotechnology as an interdisciplinary area of research has been growing very fast worldwide for the last years. It has already achieved a significant commercial impact.
The 5th Framework Programme has given a great importance to the development of nanostructures and nanocomposites in Poland. It has encouraged Polish institutions and universities to national and international collaboration, which is continuing in the 6th Framework Programme.
Polish government took initiative to invest in nanotechnology research considering it as innovative and highly technological.

The situation in Poland

In November 2000 the Polish State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN) launched a Targeted Research Project: “Metallic, Ceramic and Organic Nanomaterials: Processing – Structure – Properties – Applications”. The project is co-ordinated by the Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering at Warsaw University of Technology. It is aimed to stimulate research on nanomaterials in Poland and promote closer scientific collaboration between researchers in this field. Nevertheless, an important purpose of the project is to give an overview of the current status of nanotechnology in Poland and enable to decide about its further development. The total funds of this project amount to 3.1 m $. The project involved 15 scientific institutions working within 26 research tasks. Roughly 14 projects are related to metallic, 12 to ceramic and 2 to polymer nanomaterials. A wide range of specific subjects is covered by the projects. Among those are structural metallic and ceramic materials, soft and hard magnetic materials, electronic materials, biomaterials, basic phenomena in nanophase systems, processing methods and experimental techniques.

National Targeted Research Project “Metallic, Ceramic and Organic Nanomaterials: Processing – Structure – Properties – Applications” provides an extended survey of the current activity and expertise in this field of research in Poland. It has shown that substantial development has been made in many areas of the nanocrystalline materials. The result points to strong and weak sides of the Polish nanomaterials community. The experience gathered will form a basis for further decisions about which materials and technologies should be developed and supported by the Government.

Two other Targeted Research Projects were proposed to the KBN in 2003:

Currently 10 Polish Universities of Technology and 7 Research Institutes are deeply involved in investigations at the area of nanotechnology and nanomaterials. The main research topics concern:

Investigated nanomaterials are based on such polymers group as thermoplastic, thermosets and polyurethanes. The obtained and applied nanoparticles are mainly: clays, hybrid aluminum ligands, and ferromagnetic particles. The investigations concern increasing fire-resistance of the nanocomposites, surface engineering and wires from nanomaterials.

Polish Research Institutes Dealing with Nanotechnology

1. Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, Warsaw University of

The Faculty is a leading centre in fundamental and applied sciences.
The main areas of scientific research are failure and degradation of materials, magnetic materials, surface engineering, and grain boundaries properties, materials characterisation.
The Faculty formed 2 Centres of Excellence:

In 2003 the Faculty carries 2 grants in the 5th Framework Programme dealing with nanotechnology:

and 1 grant in the NATO – “Science for Peace” entitled: “Magnetic Nanocomposites for Transformer Cores and Magnetic Refrigeration”

Materials Science and Engineering Faculty - Poland

2. High Pressure Research Center – UNIPRESS, Polish Academy of Sciences

The main subject of research in The Laboratory of Nanomaterials is synthesis, characterisation and sintering of bulk nanometric materials (nanocrystalline powder) under very high pressure.
High Pressure Research Center created the Centre of Excellence in the 5th Framework Programme (NoE Initiative, Functional Nanostructured Materials).

High Pressure Research Center

3. Centre of Excellence CELDIS - Physics and Fabrication of Low Dimensional Structures for Technologies for Future Generations (at the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) – created under 5th Framework Programme.

CELDIS Centre is focused on nanostructures based on metallic materials exhibiting magnetic properties, hybrid structures e.g., multilayers metals, semiconductors, with the emphasis on the research for the new functionalities in new electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Centre of Excellence CELDIS

4. The Institute of Electron Technology (ITE)

The major Polish research centre with the primary focus on semiconductor, micro- and nanotechnology. The main area of the activity of the Institute include research and construction of devices like specialised integrated circuits, lasers, photodetectors, nuclear detectors, sensors.
Recently, ITE established two Centres of Excellence accepted by the Minister of Science:

- CEPHONA (Physics and Technology of Photonic Nanostructures)
- MANTRAC (Micro- and Nanotechnology Applied Research Centre)

Institute of Electron Technology (ITE)