ENHANCE: A New EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network (MC-ITN)
EU supports material scientists within the FP-7-PEOPLE-ITN call
International exchange with 15 partners from Academia and Industry
Innovative concepts for the production and integration of functional thin film layer materials for applications in micro- and nano-electronics, data storage and photovoltaics are the main focus of a new Marie Curie Initial Training Network Program for education and training of PhD students, which is co-ordinated by Juniorprofessor Dr. Anjana Devi at the Ruhr-University Bochum. The EU is funding this doctoral education program with the amount of 3.7 Mio Euro. Within the doctoral exchange projects, research stays over several months in the cooperating locations straight through Europe, from Helsinki to Padua, are embedded. In Germany, the Research Center Jülich, the AIXTRON AG (Aachen), the Carl-Zeiss NTS GmbH (Jena) and the NamLab (Dresden) are part of this network.
Perfect control in the nano-world
Chemical thin film processes permit the fine control of material qualities on the nano-scale. The perfect control of the chemical composition, size and form as well as the position of the structures on the surfaces is the basic nano-structural element in information technology and power production or information storage devices. For that, tailor-made chemical molecular compounds (precursors) play a big role. Their applications in metal-organic chemical vapour deposition, molecular or atomic layer deposition, and by plasma or electrons or ion induced or enhanced thin film processing methods are investigated. In that context, the combination of different routes of physical and chemical surface treatment is very attractive.
Interdisciplinary and international consortium
The network offers a structured and focussed education program for PhD students in this field of nano-technology and closes a gap within the traditional study courses in chemistry, physics and engineering. This concept is very unique, says Junior Professor Dr. Anjana Devi, Coordinator of ENHANCE, because it directly links the multidisciplinary research with practice. Eight academic groups and seven industrial partners from Germany, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria form the Network. This international orientation including project specifically integrated exchange phases of several months corresponds to the goals of high-class doctoral advancement, says Dr. Christiane Wüllner of the coordination office of the Ruhr University Research School and refers to the guest scientist-program: The guest-doctoral candidates from abroad can be admitted as associated members in the Research School http://www.research-school.rub.de
Top position in the strong competition of project funding
The Marie Curie program supports structured postgraduate programs and promotes the mobility of young scientists at the highest level. Thus the Marie-Curie program is attractive and very much in demand and the competition to set up networks and Education Centres is very high. In the framework of the FP-7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 call, out of 886 evaluated applications, 92 projects, from all disciplines, were recommended for funding. The Bochum ENHANCE network proposal secures 2nd place in the Chemistry ranking. In addition, ENHANCE was rated 2nd best project concept out of 20 successful coordinating networks from Germany.
In between the Research Departments
Nucleus for the success was the cooperation of two female junior researchers from Bochum and Jülich and the closely knit international contacts established during the course of the DFG priority research programme 1119 co-ordinated by the RUB (2001-2007). Thematically this project is integrated between the Research Departments „Interfacial Systems Chemistry“, "Integrity of Small Scale Systems/High Temperature Materials" and of “Plasmas with Complex Interactions“.