IKBFU trains experts for unique Megascience facilities

24 August 2018
IKBFU researchers will take a step into the future, educating a generation of young scientists who are able to work with conceptually new specific sources of X-ray radiation - 4th generation synchrotrons that are unparalleled in the world. According to the decrees of the RF President, it is planned to implement international scientific mega-projects soon, including 2 new Megascience facilities. This decision, which is important for the entire Russian scientific community, certainly acquires special significance for IKBFU. Anatoly Snigirev, the Head of the IKBFU Laboratory of "X-ray Optics and Physical Materials Studies" shares some information about the 4th generation synchrotron, young specialists training and prospects of kantiana.ru.

Could you share some more information about the 4th generation synchrotron mega-project?

A.S.: 2018 is extremely important for the IKBFU Laboratory of X-ray Optics and Physical Materials Studies, which we created five years ago in the framework of Resolution 220 (Megagrant). Even then we understood the need to create a competence center in the field of coherent X-ray optics. Over the years, a good research foundation has been created in this area. In the research world the interest to new sources of the 4th generation is booming now. 5 large projects on constructing such facilities or upgrading the existing obsolete models have been approved of. Some of them involve Russia directly. The projects will be implemented in China, USA, Japan, Germany and France. This year, the Government of the Russian Federation decided to build two "Megascience" facilities in our country: in the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Novosibirsk academic cluster, and in the Kurchatov Institute, Protvino.

15 August, the IKBFU Laboratory of X-ray Optics and Physical Materials Studies is officially turned into the International Research Center "Coherent X-ray optics for “Megascience” installations. How will this affect the current research?

A.S.: We are expanding our capabilities. We set more ambitious and strategically important tasks. Within the framework of the International Research Center, new structural units will be created to successfully implement our plans: a group of diagnostics and metrology of X-ray optics, a group of applied X-ray optical studies and X-ray microscopy, and a group of magnetic phenomena research on new generation X-ray sources. We set ourselves the task of teaching students to understand this physics, the principles of interaction of X-ray coherent radiation with matter, the most optimal methods and approaches for new sources. And also master the methods of modeling, this is the most difficult theoretical stage. To understand this process, Igor Shchelokov, a researcher of the Laboratory of X-ray Crystal Optics of the Institute of Microelectronics Technology and Highly Pure Materials of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Chernogolovka), came to lecture.

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How are you going to solve this task?

A.S.: Within the framework of 5-100 and "Megagrant" program we plan visits of leading researchers from scientific centers of Russia, Japan, France, Norway, and Germany. 2 schools are to be held, one of them is in Poland together with Gdansk University of Technology, where XFEL specialists from Hamburg, Spring8 (Japan) and Stanford (USA) will come. They will talk about the possibilities and methods of using free-electron lasers. We are considering cooperation with University of Novosibirsk, where the synchrotron will be built. We initiate student exchange program, involve our students in assembling the installation. Next year we are to launch a full-fledged Master's program for the Megascience facilities.

Why does Kaliningrad attract young scientists?

A.S.: In Russia, two megaprojects will simultaneously develop - this is an extraordinary situation. Kaliningrad is a geographically European center of competence - this is a unique phenomenon. The location and facilities of IKBFU draw a great interest from Moscow, St. Petersburg and European centers. NTP "Fabrika" is a technologically rich complex with unique equipment. In addition, children's technopark "Quantorium" which has laser technology that allows us to produce model optical products and devices similar to X-ray provides us with young talents. In fact, we can create a new progressive scientific community, raise it from school years and help in achieving research ambitions.

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