CORDIS - Résultats de la recherche de l’UE

Advanced training in Laser Sciences

Final Activity Report Summary - ATLAS (Advanced Training in Laser Sciences)

Laser technology is being used today in a diverse range of fields that include fundamental aspects of scientific research as well as development of innovative new technologies with possible applications in electronics and optoelectronics, communications, manufacturing technology, environment, medicine, nanotechnology and even entertainment.

After recognising that providing well-organised, advanced training for young scientists in laser science and applications is of crucial importance to European prospects of not only maintaining, but also enhancing, the momentum that was generated over the recent years, the ATLAS project was launched by four European laser research centres. The centres were the 'Institute of electronic structure and laser, foundation for research and development' (IESL-FORTH) in Greece, the 'Laser research centre' (VULRC) in Lithuania, the 'European laboratory for non-linear spectroscopy' (LENS) in Italy and the 'Laser centre Vrije Universiteit (LCVU) in the Netherlands. These host institutes had all expertise in research training projects, being also members of Laserlab-Europe, which was a pan-European network of laser research infrastructures. ATLAS became possible thanks to funding by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) in the frame of the Marie Curie actions.

Research training was offered at four thematic focus topics:
1. ultra-fast lasers, advanced coherent radiation sources based on optical parametric generation and low and high-order harmonic generation;
2. molecular reaction dynamics, including novel-imaging techniques for the detailed mapping of chemical processes;
3. biomolecule dynamics, i.e. state of the art laser spectroscopic methods and laser optical tools for the manipulation and study of biomolecules at the cellular and molecular level;
4. nanotechnology, i.e. ultrafast laser methods for dynamic studies of nanostructures and processing of materials at the nano-scale level.

In the past four years, a total of 33 young scientists, including 16 female, from many countries across the European Union, including France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Belarus, as well as also from outside Europe as far as South Africa and China, were awarded 480 fellowship months in the form of long term and short term research training fellowships. The Marie Curie fellowships enabled these young scientists to receive advanced research training on laser-based science and technology to be used on cutting-edge multidisciplinary research in physics, chemistry, biology and nanoscience. Furthermore, the multi-site character of the project gave to the fellows extra opportunities to carry out their research at more than one laser laboratories within the ATLAS network, thereby gaining access to advanced equipment and interacting with leading scientists in their field.

The project lead to important results across its thematic directions that were presented in about 30 scientific papers in leading scientific journals by the end of 2008 and in numerous oral and poster presentations in conferences. In the beginning of 2009, two of the fellows had already defended their PhD theses, while most of the rest were working towards completing their doctorate work.