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DFG OKs 10 Research Centers

Photonics.com
Dec 2007
BONN, Germany, Dec. 5, 2007 -- The German Research Foundation (DFG, for Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) will establish 10 collaborative research centers Jan. 1 focused on topics that could lead to the development of high-brightness lasers, highly integrated circuits and new types of sensors and computer memory.

The 10 new collaborative research centers (SFBs) will receive a total of €74.4 million (approximately $109 million) in funding over the next four years, as well an additional 20 percent of the allocation to cover indirect costs incurred by the projects, the DFG said. Two of the 10 centers are transregional, or based at more than one location.

The goal of SFB 787, Semiconductors -- Nanophotonics: Materials, Models, Components, based at the Technical University of Berlin, is to develop novel photonic and nanophotonic components from a variety of materials. Theoreticians and experimental researchers from Berlin and Magdeburg will collaborate in areas including material science, modeling, and production and characterization of components. They hope to be able to generate very high frequency and ultrashort pulses with laser diodes and semiconductor amplifiers as well as high-brightness lasers in the infrared to green spectral range.

SFB 767, Controlled Nanosystems: Interaction and Interfacing to the Macroscale, based at the University of Konstanz, aims to discover how nanostructures interact with each other and with macroscopic structures -- under-researched issues fundamentally important to nanotechnology. The studies by researchers from Konstanz and Stuttgart could yield key insights into the basic science of nanostructures and have applications in telecommunications, data storage and highly integrated circuits.

Surface physics, magnetism, semiconductor physics, materials science and theoretical physics are the common elements of SFB 762, Functionality of Oxidic Interfaces, based at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. Researchers from Halle, Leipzig and Magdeburg will investigate the production of oxide heterostructures and the characterization of their structural, ferroelectric, magnetic and electronic properties. Insights gained from their work could lead to the development of new types of sensors and computer memory.

Inflammation -- in the brain and outside the brain -- and the role it plays in diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis and viral infections is a focus of several of the new centers. Another SFB will study issues relating to the functioning of neuronal networks, with the goal of finding effective therapies for diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's.

Other SFBs will focus on: The neurobiological basis for behavior, how cancer cells adapt in patients suffering from diseases of the lymph nodes, the distribution of oxygen in tropical oceans, and managing cycles in innovation processes.

At its meeting in Bonn Nov. 20-21, the DFG Grants Committee also approved continued funding for 26 established SFBs, bringing the number of collaborative research centers funded next year to 259. They will receive a total of €403 million (about $591 million) in 2008, plus the 20 percent program overhead.

For more information, visit: www.dfg.de/sfb/en


GLOSSARY
ferroelectric
That property of particular materials that determines that they will be polarized in one direction or the other, or reversed in direction, when a positive or negative electric field is applied, remaining so until disturbed.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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