METANANO-2016: Interview with Scientists
Representatives from research institutions from Russia and twelve other countries gathered for the METANANO-2016 international conference in Anapa. Their areas of interest include plasmonics, quantum technologies, photonic crystals, polaritons, nano-optics and other fields in nanophotonics and metamaterials. In an interview for ITMO's news portal they talked about why they came to the conference, challenges in their fields of science and latest important inventions.
Mr. Kirill Belyaev from the Ioffe Institute
I work in the Quantum Confinement Heterostructure Laboratory. The research area for this topic is vast and includes problems of plasmonics and single-photon systems. I try to pursue the most promising fields of science which in my point of view is cryptography. Regrettably, it's hard to find funding in Russia. One has to win a grant to buy equipment. Also, all research institutions in Russia try to collaborate with European research teams, which is strange if you ask me - we have our own strong collectives. During this conference, I want to meet representatives from the Technical University of Denmark. We don't have any collaboration, but they work on the most advanced research.
Vladimir Kulakovski from Institute for Solid State Physics
Our team works in two directions: photonic crystals and their use in the control of light polarization in emitters, and research on polaritrons, non-linear effects and the like. We're interested in collaboration with scientific teams that are able to create the structures necessary for our work. As of now, I'm thinking of ITMO University. Collaboration between research institutions is essential, especially in Russia, where financing is a problem. And it's not only because of the lack of investors, but also the ill-considered governmental system that implies that scientists have to spend all of their budget in a year. As a result, I can't save funds for new equipment. Another problem is constant changes in science as a system: today we're told one thing, tomorrow - another. There is no stability in this field, lots of demands from the industry and government - and that's why young scientists prefer to go abroad.
Ovidio Penya-Lopez from Polytechnic University of Madrid
I research plasmonics. I find METANANO interesting, as its topics are close to the field of my research. Many of my colleagues and partners came here as well. In my opinion, among the most important recent inventions in plasmonics were those that had to do with invisibility properties. The medical applications of plasmonics are also of great importance.
Anastasia Khramova, a Master's Degree student from Moscow State University
Our team works on experimental research of magnetooptical light modulators, including the increase of their frequency. I came to the conference to share our results. There are similar devices on the market, but there has to be a choice: some need modulators with higher frequency, some require more accuracy, etc. As our work is experimental and we always lack equipment, when new questions arise we have to work something out with what we have. Unfortunately this is our greatest problem.
Carsten Rokshtul from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
I do theoretical research in solid-state physics, and also work in the nanotechnology field. In our team we research nanooptics, quantum optics included - different effects that establish in single photons and single-photon systems. I also research scattering theory. Technological implementation of scientific research and inventions is my third line of work. For instance, we try to increase the solar batteries efficiency, and work on new sensor systems. Its application is really important in science, as well as the ease of implementation of new research. If it's done, then research will be sponsored and commercialized.
Igor Chesnov from Vladimir State University
I do fundamental science, polaritronics, to be exact. As of now, there is lots of interesting research in this area. What defines leading positions in this or any other field is a separate question. Surely, fundamental breakthroughs are important, as well as research that gives results that can be applied. Whatever anyone tells you, science depends on applied research, as they sponsor it well. Surely, there are other indexes, but this is what one has to aspire to. To get financing, one needs to work a lot, and maintain ties with colleagues. Well, this is the reason why people gather at conferences such as “METANANO”.