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PREIN researchers successful in Academy of Finland grants

Academy Project Funding

The funding by the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering was granted for four years 2023-2027 to the following PREIN related research projects.

Mircea Guina, Tampere University
Light sources for Cryogenic Communication Based on Nanomechanical Modulation of Valley Alignment in GaSb/AlGaSb nano-structures
Professor Mircea Guina’s project aims to develop a new class of light sources in which electro-mechanical strain modulation using surface acoustic waves enables efficient and high-speed light modulation with low dissipative losses. Such light sources are needed for building information links from low-temperature superconducting logical circuits to room temperature electronics and photonics systems. The technology developed in the project may offer a more efficient way of connecting large numbers of signals to cryogenic quantum-technology processors, offering a fully solid-state implementation solution compatible with silicon photonics.

Jukka Seppälä and Jouni Partanen, Aalto and Jyrki Saarinen, University of Eastern Finland 
3D-GRINO-PPCI 3D Graded Index Optics Printed using Photocurable Inks
3D-GRINO-PPCI will deliver locally optimized polymeric materials with designed gradient compositions to tailor the performance of the optical systems well beyond the capabilities of today’s technologies. We will present a groundbreaking opportunity to replace conventional optical lenses, where material interface (form) refracts light rays, with lenses with parallel tailored refractive index distribution (graded-index GRIN), which makes possible for the optical rays also to bend inside the optical elements. Although simple geometrically symmetric GRIN optics is possible to manufacture currently, our unique multi-material 3D printing technology will enable simultaneous control of complex GRIN structures with accuracy, flexibility, and functionality never seen before. We will also develop optical design algorithms that will benefit from the researched materials and processing data bank, and are able to optimize optical systems for much smaller number of elements than ever before.​​​​​​​

Caterina Soldano, Aalto
TADF emitters field-effect light-emitting devices (TADF-FIELD)
Organic light-emitting devices are now widely used in consumer electronics displays, where they enable lighter and thinner devices using less energy than conventional LEDs. Thermally-activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) molecules are novel emitters showing, among many advantages, potentially 100% efficiency and avoidance of shortages of ordinary fluorescent/phosphorescent compounds. The efficiency of the light emission process depends on the relative energy of the materials excited states. TADF-FIELD plans to address the following key research question: “can a horizontal (external) electric field improve light emission process in these materials?”. To achieve this, we plan to test these materials in a field-effect-based organic light-emitting device platform (i.e. OLETs), so far largely unexplored. Project will be carried by the Organic Electronics group at the Department of Electronics & Nanoengineering, School of Electrical Engineering at Aalto University (Espoo). ​​​​​​​

Polina Kuzhir, University of Eastern Finland
Core-sHell nAnodiamond foR All-optical Cancer ThERagnostics
Theragnostics has emerged as an ultimate technique of cancer treatment that combines imaging-guided diagnosis and therapy. The CHARACTER goal is to create and validate experimentally multifunctional fluorophore that will enable less invasive all-optical theragnostic. It is made of diamond nanoneedles doped with nitrogen, silicon, and other atoms, which make optical properties of diamond very sensitive to the temperature change. We will combine temperature sensing with modern imaging techniques. Furthermore, according to our estimations, cancer cells accumulating the needles can be destructed under irradiation with near-infrared light pulses without damaging healthy tissue. In the mid-to-long-term time frame, CHARACTER scientific breakthroughs are to provide direct benefits for the European society and citizens by offering early diagnostics and therapy of cancer that will change the trajectory of disease, enhancing the health, and wellbeing.

Academy Research Fellows

The following PREIN researchers received Academy fellow funding. 

Xiaolong Liu, Aalto University
Femtosecond-Laser Hyperdoped Germanium for Broadband Infrared Photonic 
For infrared detection, the intrinsic silicon is limited to wavelengths below 1.1 µm while intrinsic germanium below 1.6 µm. This project will exploit the femtosecond-laser hyperdoping technologies to fabricate the so-called hyperdoped germanium to further enhance the properties of germanium. We will improve the responsivity and extend the operating wavelength of germanium even beyond 1.6 µm. The resulting IR technologies will help achieve sustainable development objectives related to health and energy.

Nikita Durandin, Tampere University
Light-Activated Materials for Bioscaffold Fabrication and Controlled Drug Release Applications (LAMBDA)     
Photoresponsive systems for controlled drug release, extracellular matrix fabrication for tissue engineering emerged in the recent years due to their fine spatiotemporal control and non-invasiveness. Yet, most of them require phototoxic blue/UV light with poor tissue penetration. This issue will be overcome via triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion process that enables in situ blue/UV light generation upon safe red light-excitation of greater penetration depth. Thus, the process will allow to perform phototriggered drug release deeper in tissue with less phototoxicity. The similar issue in tissue engineering will be addressed by using a two-component system (containing red light-absorbing sensitizer and co-initiator) capable to create radicals upon safe red light-excitation. Hence, the red light will initiate free radical polymerization of an injectable polymer-cells suspension to form cell-laden hydrogel in situ deeper in tissue in minimally invasive and well controlled manner.

Andreas Norrman, University of Eastern Finland
Quantum complementarity structures in vector light photonics
Quantum photonics, the science and technology of quantum light, is a broad research field at the heart of modern optical physics. The project explores complementarity structures connected to polarization of light in various quantum photonic topologies. Polarization, the vectorial aspect of light, is a key notion in photonics and offers a central resource for optical applications. Complementarity, stating that quantum systems share mutually exclusive properties, is likewise a primary concept in quantum physics of relevance for high-precision metrology. The project takes place at the University of Eastern Finland and covers advanced fundamental research together with the University of Gdansk (Poland), University of Zaragoza (Spain), and ETH Zurich (Switzerland). The results are expected to reveal new foundational facets of quantized light and to form the basis for novel quantum optical applications harnessing interferometric techniques, polarimetric sensing, and complex-structured light.