The Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (IESL-FORTH) was founded in 1983. It has since established its international presence in the areas of Laser Science, Micro/nano-electronics, Polymer Science, Materials Science and Astrophysics. Nowadays, IESL occupies a distinct position in the international scientific map in several of these fields. IESL is a well-established internationally-recognized Research Institute, with personnel of ~200 members. IESL possesses research infrastructures of international standards and unique within Greece (lasers, micro/nano-electronics, polymers & soft matter, astrophysics). The Institute has achieved excellence in several research areas and has laid the grounds for a competitive presence in others. The objectives of the Institute are:
- To perform high quality basic and applied research.
- To develop expertise in selected advanced technological fields and to exploit this either via sales of specialized innovative products and services or via the transfer of knowledge and expertise for the benefit of Greek and European industry and the broader public sector.
- To provide education and training to young scintists in specific fields of advanced technology as optoelectronics, micro/nano-electronics, materials science & engineering as well as laser science & applications.
Innovative Products and Services
In the course of nearly thirty years following its establishment in 1983, IESL has successfully attained a high position in the international scientific map in selected research areas (Materials and Lasers). Significant achievements in highly competitive and ambitious European Union programmes have contributed to this success; such is the programme “Access to Research Infrastructure”, within which IESL and especially the Lasers lab acts as a European Laser Facility (Ultraviolet Laser Facility) since 1990, supporting the implementation of innovative programs of European Union researchers.
Moreover, important scientific achievements have particularly accentuated the Institute in the international scientific community having led to publications in high impact journals (e.g., Nature, Science) and to international awards and distinctions for research excellence to its researchers. Such achievements include activities of the Laser Group (first observation and measurement of attosecond light pulses, Leadership Award / New Focus Prize 2004 of the Optical Society of America), of the Polymer and Hybrid Nanostructures Group (John H. Dillon Medal 1998 of the American Physical Society, participation in the European Soft Matter Infrastructure, 2011), the Microelectronics group (finalists of the Descartes Prize of the European Union, 2002) and the Metamaterials group (Descartes Prize of the European Union, 2005, and James C. McGroddy Prize 2013 of the American Physical Society 2013) .
In addition, the Institute holds a very important position in selected areas of applied research such as the applications of laser based advanced techniques and methodologies for the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage (restoration of the West Parthenon Frieze using Laser, 2012 IIC Keck Award), the micro/nano-processing of materials, etc.
Competitive Research Projects At the present time, IESL is executing 78 competitive research Projects with a total IESL budget of ~ 30.74 million €. These projects are funded by the European Union within the seventh Framework Programme, FP7, (43 Projects; 15.77 million €), by International and other organizations (7 projects; 1.36 million €) and by the Greek Cohesion Programme ESPA (28 Projects; 13.61 million €).
Experience and Expertise
IESL is primarily a Physics & Materials Institute aiming at performing high quality fundamental and applied scientific research, which is focused on two main research directions, Laser Science & Photonics and Materials & Devices Science & Technology whereas there is an important adjunct activity in Astrophysics (IESL operates the Skinakas Observatory). More specifically, the experimental and theoretical research activities at IESL are in the forefront of international research in:
- Laser science and applications in the areas of strong field physics, atomic and molecular physics and chemical dynamics, theoretical atomic, molecular and optical physics and chemistry, micro- and nano-processing of materials, photonics for cultural heritage, photonic materials and devices, biophotonics and biomedical applications, and quantum optics. IESL operates the Ultraviolet Laser Facility since 1990, which is part of a European research infrastructure (LASERLAB EUROPE). IESL is also part of the CHARISMA European research infrastructure on Cultural Heritage.
- Materials and devices, which include micro/nano-electronics of compound semiconductors and their devices, nanomaterials and nanophotonics, polymers and soft matter, biomaterials, electronic, magnetic and photonic materials, hybrid nanomaterials and meta-materials. IESL is part of the European research infrastructure ESMI on soft matter.
- Astrophysics and astronomy, with studies in a broad range of astrophysical phenomena utilizing observational data from ground-based and space facilities and in developing new theoretical methods for the interpretation of these observations. IESL operates the Skinakas Observatory.