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Irish Fund Young Researchers

Photonics.com
Oct 2009
DUBLIN, Ireland, Oct. 23, 2009 – The Irish government has awarded €7.9 million (about $11.8 million) to 15 young researchers at seven colleges and institutes in Cork, Dublin and Galway to support their ongoing work.

“It is vital that we have in Ireland the mechanism to keep and attract to Ireland highly skilled, early-stage career researchers,” said Conor Lenihan as he announced the government’s first Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) awards under a new Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) initiative. Lenihan is the minister for science, technology and innovation.

The researchers are at an early stage in their profession, and the grants are aimed at assisting their progress toward a fully independent academic research career.

“These 15 outstanding individuals are among the brightest working in Irish laboratories today, and SIRG provides them with the necessary support to enable the transition from team member to independent and accomplished innovator in their respective fields,” Lenihan said. “It will also allow them to recruit 15 postgraduate students.”

The award recipients are based at Tyndall National Institute in Cork (four awards), Trinity College Dublin (four awards), NUI Galway (three awards), Dublin Institute of Technology (one award), University College Cork (one award), University College Dublin (one award) and Waterford Institute of Technology (one award).

Dr. Paul Eastham of Trinity College Dublin will receive €474,506 (about $713,000) for his work on the strong interactions and collective effects in semiconductor optoelectronics. Eastham and his team aim to investigate how quantum dots, or artificial atoms, would interact with each other in laser or quantum computing devices.

Dr. Andreas Amann at Tyndall National Institute will get €469,994 (about $706,000) to further investigate how lasers emitting more than one color could be used to perform the logical operations that are today performed by electronic computers, which could greatly improve telecom networks.

Dr. Nikolay Petkov, also of Tyndall, will receive €530,734 (about $797,000) for his efforts towards transitioning to faster and more efficient nanotechnology computers. The work is investigating nanowires made from silicon and germanium for use as high-performance transistors.

Tyndall’s Dr. Ray Duffy has been awarded €562,547 (about $845,000) for his work toward improving the speed and power of computer chips by manufacturing components smaller than current semiconductor devices that are 45 nm wide. His work is studying the use of germanium instead of silicon as a possible way to allow for sub-20-nm technologies.

Other grants were awarded for research concerning bioengineering, computer networking and the Internet, tumor and T-cell studies, gene regulation, blood diseases, artificial photosyntheis and renewable energy.

For more information, visit: http://www.sfi.ie/


GLOSSARY
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...
quantum dots
Also known as QDs. Nanocrystals of semiconductor materials that fluoresce when excited by external light sources, primarily in narrow visible and near-infrared regions; they are commonly used as alternatives to organic dyes.  
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