In the last decade, new challenges have come up in medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring and materials processing, which require the use of high-class specialized equipment.
Scientists who do research in medicine or work with a variety of materials today employ the incredibly useful femtosecond (1 fs equals 10-15 s) laser sources. Lasers of this kind allow scientists to uncover new and surprising ways in which atoms and molecules interact and shed light even on those that have been difficult to study thus far because of their fast motion (the sensitivity of the human eye is around 0.4-0.7 µm, while the range used in diagnostics and materials excitation is found at 2-6 µm, i.e. in the mid-infrared range).
Developing a new, faster diagnostic technique using mid-infrared waves is the task set before research teams from Poland and Austria, headed by Prof. Dr hab. inż Ryszard Robert Buczyński from the Institute of Geophysics at the University of Warsaw, within the framework of a CEUS-UNISONO grant. The winner was recommended by the Austrian FWF agency.
The purpose of the project is to employ this new and relatively inexpensive form of light in materials science and engineering and, prospectively, in the life sciences and medical diagnostics (instead of X-ray or magnetic resonance systems).
The 2021 CEUS-UNISONO call is now closed. Altogether, it attracted 78 proposals, 15 out of which, with a total budget of nearly 16.5 million PLN, were recommended for funding. The success rate was 19%.
The CEUS programme is organized by the NCN based on the Lead Agency Procedure (LAP) in cooperation with research-funding agencies from several countries, such as Austria (FWF), Slovenia (ARRS) and the Czech Republic (GAČR). Its purpose is to fund basic research projects in all disciplines of science, carried out by research teams from two or three CEUS-participating countries. More details about the CEUS-UNISONO call can be found here.