Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - GLADNET (Analytical glow discharge network)

The project was composed of 16 partners, including research institutes, academic institutions and industrial firms, from 11 countries. The educational objectives were to produce the next generation of glow discharge scientists with experience across the fundamental and applied aspects of the field, as opposed to the more common practice of favouring one over the other. This was accomplished by a frequent secondment schedule of Marie Curie Fellows (MFC) at other partners' laboratories, thus promoting collaboration. Also, the MCFs followed a training program with biannual short courses, organised by GLADNET and open to the scientific community, on relevant scientific and career development topics.

Overall, GLADNET harboured 18 early stage researchers (ESRs) and 6 experienced researchers (ER). From the ESRs, eight completed 3 year fellowships and as a result are close to obtaining their PhDs; the rest had fellowships of 1 year or short stays of less than six months.

The scientific objectives of the network were;
i) to further the analytical capabilities of glow discharge spectroscopy and,
ii) to rectify the fragmentation of research in the field by bringing together leading European groups.

Regarding objective i), GLADNET has produced more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, with 11 more submitted or in preparation. The major contributions of GLADNET in fundamental aspects of glow discharges include the modelling, spectroscopic & electrical studies of mixed plasma gases effects, like hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen additions to argon; of matrix effects, such as H in steels; of pulsed powering mode of operation, such as the characterization of time-dependent signal intensities vs the self-absorption effect; and of operating conditions on crater shapes. Also, the developed instrument for determination of reaction rate coefficients will aid modelling studies of multiple fields of plasma research for many years to come.

The major contributions in the applied aspects include the characterisation of the GD's ability to give molecular information from macromolecular solids via ToFMS; of the depth profiling capabilities of double focusing MS; as well as the development of GDOES analytical methods for advanced materials such as nanowires, composites, and those used in photovoltaics. This is beneficial, for example, to the GD instrument producing companies, as well as the solar cell research and production fields because a new generation of well experienced researchers is now present to transfer this knowledge into practice. Moreover, GLADNET has produced a first chapter of a much needed GDOES spectral library from which the whole spectroscopy community will profit.

Regarding objective ii), almost half of the publications produced by GLANDET include the participation of two partners or more, showing that we have successfully bridged the gap between the different European GD research groups. Furthermore, GLADNET members have consistently used the most important venues, such as international conferences, for dissemination purposes.

In late August 2010, the first International Glow Discharge Spectroscopy Symposium (IGDSS) was held in Albi, France. This open international conference was conceived and organized within GLADNET and served as a platform for leading scientists and users to come together and discuss relevant issues, disseminate the latest developments in the field and foment collaboration. IGDSS gave an opportunity for almost all GLADNET researchers to present a recollection of their work, some of which is featured in a themed issue of the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectroscopy, one of the leading journals in our field. It is worth noting that ESRs V. Steflekova, D. Alberts, V. Efimova, and A. Derzi have received awards at conferences for presenting work directly related to GLADNET.

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