Skip to main content

Boosting the scientific excellence and innovation capacity in digital holographic microscopy of the Institute of Applied Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HOLO (Boosting the scientific excellence and innovation capacity in digital holographic microscopy of the Institute of Applied Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-12-31

The overall aim of the HOLO project was to boost the scientific excellence and innovation capacity in digital holographic microscopy of the Institute of Applied Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (IAP-ASM) by creating a network with the high-quality Twinning partners: Universität Stuttgart (USTUTT), Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Intelligentsia Consultants (Intelligentsia). To achieve this aim, the 3-year project was built upon the existing strong research and innovation base of IAP-ASM and its Twinning partners.

To boost their scientific excellence and innovation capacity in digital holographic microscopy, the partners implemented a science and innovation strategy focused on two sub-topics:

1. Design and optimization of diffractive optical elements (DOE) to improve digital holographic microscopy (DHM), and
2. Development of advanced image processing algorithms for digital holographic microscopy (DHM) using diffractive optical elements (DOE).

The research and innovation strategy had the following objectives:

• Objective 1: Strengthen IAP-ASM’s research excellence in DHM
• Objective 2: Enhance the research and innovation capacity of IAP-ASM and the Twinning partners
• Objective 3: Raise the research profile of IAP-ASM and the Twinning Partners
• Objective 4: Contribute to the research and innovation priorities of Moldova
• Objective 5: Support research and innovation on a European level
WP1: Short Term Staff Exchanges
25 person-months of visits by IAP-ASM’s experts to USTUTT.
5.4 person-months of visits by USTUTT’s experts to IAP-ASM.

During the visits to USTUTT, IAP-ASM’s experts received training focused on the design of amplitude and phase of DOE (sinusoidal and blazing gratings, Fresnel and singularities plate) by simulating them on SLM and designing the optical setup with SLM for recording DOE.

24.9 person-months of visits by IAP-ASM’s experts to TUT.
4.65 person-months of visits by TUT’s experts to IAP-ASM.

During the visits to TUT, IAP-ASM’s researchers received training in mathematical modelling techniques using Matlab code. They simulated the process of digital holographic recording and have made computer phase reconstructions using the local least square method implemented in Matlab. It was shown that the application of phase grating during hologram recording led to a considerable phase imaging enhancement (about 20% of PSNR). Based on these results, a joint paper for a high impact journal has currently been published.

WP2: Training Workshops, Conferences and Summer Schools
IAP-ASM hosted the International Conference on Materials Science and Condensed Matter Physics in 2016 and 2018. Each conference was attended by 300 participants

The consortium partners have presented at 18 international conferences during the project.

The first HOLO summer school was hosted by IAP-ASM (September 2016) in Chisinau, Moldova and was attended by 24 young researchers, undergraduate masters, and PhD students from Moldova and Romania.
The second HOLO summer school was hosted by USTUTT (June 2017) in Stuttgart, Germany and was attended by 23 young researchers from Moldova, Germany and Belgium.
The third HOLO autumn school was hosted by TUT (November 2018) in Tampere, Finland and was attended by 29 young researchers from Tampere, Moldova, Russia Ukraine and France.

WP3: Dissemination and Outreach
A twelve minute film about the HOLO project and IAP-ASM was broadcast by the State TV Channel MOLDOVA1. The video is available on the project website and via Youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLvLNJ7hGwA).
In addition, a second project film was created to focus on the early-stage researchers from IAP-ASM working on HOLO. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AyGKJt9gUw)

The project website (www.h2020-holo.com) has been available since early June 2016, providing regular updates of the consortium's exchanges, summer school activities, outreach events and conference participation.

A project poster, leaflet, brochure and three newsletters have been produced. All are publicly available for online viewing or distribution.

The consortium partners have organised 9 outreach activities during Period 1 and 2.
Impact 1. Improvement in the scientific excellence and innovation capacity of IAP-ASM in Digital Holographic Microscopy;
The IAP-ASM researchers visited USTUTT and TUT on several occasions to maximise the scientific expertise and resources in Germany and Finland. They received training in a number of DHM-related topics,fostering an increase in individual and joint publications within the project. Through this collaboration, IAP-ASM also nurtured its scientific and innovation capacity by involving their early-stage researchers to improve their work. The European partners supported IAP-ASM by providing an international collaboration through their joint presentations at scientific conferences with respect to DHM.

Impact 2. Increase in international collaboration on a European level of IAP-ASM in Digital Holographic Microscopy;
Based on the achievements stemming from the staff exchanges between the scientific partners, their collaboration continued through other events, including organised summer schools, training workshops and conferences. These opportunities provided IAP-ASM a platform to showcase their scientific progress in DHM, broadening their exposure to a wider international community of experts. IAP-ASM also organised two international conferences and presented their work at others. The summer schools and training workshops were particularly beneficial for students, PhDs and postdocs to receive lectures and feedback from a wide variety of invited and HOLO experts.

Impact 3. Increase in the research profile of IAP-ASM in Digital Holographic Microscopy;
IAP-ASM has increased their research profile in the field of DHM through several areas. The professional development of their researchers was held as priority and through the staff exchanges and training workshops, provided a solid framework for building their practical and scientific capacities. Through the HOLO project, researchers increased the research profile of the institute by improving their own academic research impact through opportunities such as presenting at international conferences. The training workshops also served as agencies for participants to demonstrate their work and to introduce potential networking venues between early and experienced scientists to continue collaborating in DHM. Finally, raising the research profile of IAP-ASM was also focused upon through increasing the visibility of the institution itself. Through their outreach activities, IAP-ASM raised their profile on a national level with open events, engaging both scientists and the public with details and activities of the institution and a significant effort to highlight the relevancy of the technology and the project itself for Moldova.

Impact 4. Contribution to the research and innovation priorities of Moldova via Digital Holographic Microscopy.
The HOLO project was developed to target the impact it would continue to have on Moldova’s society and economy, even after its completion. Over the course of the project, the project’s focus on digital holographic microscopy directly contributed to three of the Moldovan parliament’s five strategic directions of science and innovation(2013-2020): “Innovative materials, technologies and products”, “Health and biometrics”, and “Biotechnology”.
HOLO Logo
Dr. Elena Achimova (IAP-ASM) and Dr. Giancarlo Pedrini (USTUTT)
8th International Conference on Materials Science and Condensed Matter Physics