Research group in Olomouc awarded by significant European grant

Historical Moravian city of Olomouc thrusts its way onto the scientific map of Europe with a prestigious grant awarded to the physical chemistry research group. The grant will allow regional research centre to study materials of the future.

Graphene - starting material for the research of modern functional materials, Credit: AlexanderAIUS, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Graphene – starting material for the research of modern functional materials, Credit: AlexanderAIUS, CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials connected with the Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, received a significant European grant that will allow state-of-the-art research in the field of advanced functional materials. Professor Michal Otyepka – 40 years old chemist and a team leader – explained that his research will focus on the chemistry of so-called 2D materials. Its negligible thickness characterizes this class of materials. Among these materials, the graphene is a well-known example and for its discovery, the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2010. 2D materials are expected to have some unique properties like interesting breaking strain or enormous surface area (for 1 g of graphene, it equals to a surface of four football pitches).

The project will be the basic research, and it can be defined as looking for fundamental rules of 2D chemistry and their application for the synthesis of new materials that could be used in many disciplines. Medicine, optical materials or environmental applications were mentioned by Prof. Otyepka to name just a few. During the project, researchers in Olomouc will also use existing facilities of The Regional Centre and Palacký University like top-class electron microscope which is one of the most powerful microscopes in Central Europe.

The five-year grant of 50 million of Czech Crowns (around 1.8 million Euro) was awarded to The Regional Centre by European Research Council. Giving the financial support of this scale to Prof. Otyepka and his group is an another example of how the regional universities and research facilities in the Czech Republic are more and more capable of participating in scientific projects of highest quality and international significance.