"Spicy world of NanoScience" since 2007
Tomsk State University is a research-type university and a leading innovation center for science and education, which meets contemporary labor market requirements and is integrated into high-tech sectors of economy and service industry.
Departments, research institutes, research educational centers at Tomsk State University jointly with a number of institutes of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences are making intense efforts to develop nanotechnologies, this implementing together with partners research and educational projects and programs with utilization of contemporary scientific and manufacturing equipment of the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage (TRCCU).
The Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage was founded in 2006 by the consortium of Tomsk State University and the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (ISPMS SB RAS) for the purpose of expanding joint activity areas, implementing large-scale pilot projects, process plans and innovation projects, which require integration of scientific and technical potential and, primarily, instrument stock of science intensive equipment. At present, the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage combines 11 core Centers for Collective Usage and the “Biotest-Nano” center of Tomsk State University, Centers for Collective Usage “Nanotech” and accredited testing laboratory “Metall-test” of the ISPMS SB RAS. The Center is intended not only for research work and educational process but also for rendering services to third party organizations, among other things, for testing various production, including nanoscale industry output. To this end, the Center possesses respective metering techniques, metrologically certified equipment, the operation of which is ensured by highly skilled operator specialists. Metrological provision of activities carried out at the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage is executed by the Department of Standardization, Metrology and Quality Control of R&D jointly with the Department of Activity Coordination for the Center for Collective Usage at scientific management of Tomsk State University, which report to pro-rector; vice-chancellor проректору по научной работе of Tomsk State University.
The Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage is the test center of Industry department of the Center for metrological provision and conformance evaluation of nanotechnologies and nanoscale industry output for the “Functional nanoscale materials and high-clean substances” area. The Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage was accredited as a test center for engineering competence in the system of accreditation of testing laboratories in compliance with the State Standard R ISO/MEK 17025-2006 (Certificate ROSS RU.0001.22NN07), in the system of accreditation of analytical laboratories (Certificate ROSS RU.0001.517686), as well as in the System of Voluntary Certification for Nanoindustry Output “Nanocertifica” of State Corporation “Rosnanotech” (Certificate ROSS.RU.V503.04NZh00.70.04.0026). The Center takes part in interlaboratory comparing product tests, including nanoindustry output tests, on a regular basis.
The main functions of the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage in metrology and standardization areas are as follows
Applying contemporary equipment, the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage is implementing a number of large-scale projects:
TECHNOLOGIES FOR OBTAINING CATALYSTS FOR GLYOXAL PRODUCTION VIA VAPOR-PHASE OXIDATION OF ETHYLENE GLYCOL
The Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage takes an active part in projects executed by Tomsk State University to develop catalysts for the most important industrial processes of deep oil refining and gas processing. Technology for obtaining glyoxal synthesis catalysts  is one of successful developments.
Due to high activity and unique properties, glyoxal has widespread application in manufacturing of brisant substances and propellants, drugs (imidazole, tinidazole, metronidazole, quinoxaline, piridazone, etc.), disinfectants and pesticides, solutions for soil fixing, hydrolic fracture, well repair, preparations for gas cleaning from sulfur-containing compounds, polymers, low-toxic carbamide resins, glues, films, rubber fillers, additives to plastics, resins, basis of multiple vanish compositions, structural concrete, solutions for high-quality leather tanning, moisture-resistant glues and plasters, electronic boards, etc. Partners to the project are “Industrial Company Novokhim” LLC, “Glyoxal-T” LLC. The developed catalyst exceeds all foreign analogues in activity and service life, its action is based on functioning of finely dispersed particles of silver and copper applied upon the oxide matrix. Thermal stability is the catalyst’s important peculiarity: it can be applied at temperatures up to 700оС without catalyst ageing.
Using this catalyst enabled to launch the first Russian glyoxal production in Tomsk, its production capacity making 1,000 tons per year. Besides research study and catalyst tests carried out within the framework of the project, the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage developed and metrologically certified “Method for glyoxal mass fraction measuring in aqueous solution of glyoxal via the gas chromatography method” (STO TGU 060 – 2009, # 168 dated 16.04.2009, Certificate of Attestation MVI # 224.09.11.038/2009 dated 28.04.2009) and the standard specimen of composition “Glyoxal, 40-% solution”.
Pilot trials of catalysts for synthesis of valuable chemical semi-products: glyoxalic acid and pyruvaldehyde (Fig. 1) are currently accomplished on the equipment of the Center for Collective Usage.
TECHNOLOGY FOR OBTAINING SUBMICROCRYSTALLINE AND NANOSTRUCTURES IN LARGE-DIMENSION CAST BILLET OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND TITANIUM ALLOYS VIA SEVERE PLASTIC DEFORMATION METHODS
Severe plastic deformation technology  includes multiple uniaxial pressing within the selected temperature conditions and changing the axis of strain, and subsequent rolling. The technology allows to get a titanium bar VT1-0 in nanostructured or submicrocrystalline conditions while preserving sufficient plasticity with mechanical properties comparable to properties of medical-purpose titanium alloys (VT, VT16). In contrast to titanium alloys, the VT1-0 bar does not contain alloying elements (aluminium, vanadium, molybdenum), which are harmful to a living organism. This determines its advantages as a material for medical-purpose items. Research and development work in the scope of the project resulted in creation of titanium dental implants. Implant development was carried out purposefully, upon the initiative by Professor V.K. Polenichkin, head of subdepartment of maxillofacial surgery and general dentistry at the State Educational Institution for Continuing Vocational Education at Novokuznetsk State Medical Refresher Institute (GOU DPO NGIUV) of the Federal Agency for Healthcare and Social Development (Roszdrav) (Novokuznetsk).
The outcome of the above research was development of a set of dental implants made of titanium and instruments and accessories (TU 942422.001-10), required for surgical and orthopaedic procedures. The implant construction ensures sparing traumatizing of the patient’s jaw (bone tissue self-threading takes place while implantation operation is performed), initial stability in the course of introduction into bone tissue of the jaw, bone tissue tight contact with the implant surface, capillary blood filling of the structure elements, which enables to reduce the period for osteointegration and patient’s rehabilitation. Clinical trials have proved that the designed implants meet qualifying standards, possess good operational and functional properties, are recommended for dental practice in the Russian Federation and for registration in the Federal Supervisory Agency for Health Care and Social Development (Fig. 2). After the dental implant set registration at the Federal Supervisory Agency for Health Care and Social Development takes place, it is planned to organize implant production in Tomsk and to arrange refresher courses for dentists in Novokuznetsk under the auspices of the State Medical Refresher Institute.
The developed technology for getting volumetric nanostructured billets in the form of bars and plates with a high level of mechanical and physical and operational characteristics can also be applied as a material for producing structure components for contemporary equipment (for example, waveguides for magnetostrictive ultrasonic transducers) and is efficient for solving applied problems of mechanical engineering and aerospace industry. Further development of this direction is also promising for medical-purpose items (including manufacturing of prosthetic cardiac valve components).
TECHNOLOGY FOR MAKING LAMINATED AND GRADIENT THERMALLY STABLE COATINGS VIA MAGNETRON-ION SYNTHESIS METHODS WITHIN A SINGLE PROCESS CYCLE
Works in the area of material science is performed on equipment of the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage. Magnetron reactive sputtering of metals and high energy ion beam bombardment enable to synthesize coatings with depth-changing structural phase and chemical compositions, the so called gradient coatings . The bottom layer of such coatings should ensure good conjugation with the substrate and high bearing capacity, the upper one – required functional characteristics of coatings (hardness, wear resistance, heat-resistance, etc.), the middle layer – should serve as a transitional binding agent and possess high relaxation ability and sufficient strength and viscosity.
Solving the problem required investigation of structural-phase states, determination of components’ concentration profiles and their distribution along the thickness of nano-composite coating, as well as their influence on tribotechnical and mechanical properties of coatings. On the other hand, nanocrystalline state of coatings is nonequilibrium, which may lead to changing properties as a result of elastic relaxation, grain growth, phase transformations. A unique complex “SPRUT” was designed to apply gradient nano-structural coatings, and integrated study of coatings were carried out on the Center equipment while fine-tuning operating conditions (Fig. 3).
In the framework of work implementation, experimental models were obtained and laboratory wear resistance tests were executed for carbide inserts of drills made of fast-cutting steel and straight turning tools with hard-alloy plates with applied laminated coatings. The operational life after applying these coatings increased by 3–5 times for carbide blades, by 3.5 times for various types of drills, by 2 times for straight-turning tools, i.e., the designed laminated coatings should be efficient as protective coatings for instrument purposes. Experimental models were also made for frames and noses with laminated nanocomposite coatings applied upon their working surfaces for work of combined valves of compressors for high-pressure polyethylene production. The performed operational tests have proved that operational life of the equipment using processed components increases by more than 2 times.
The following large-scale projects are also implemented with the help of equipment of the Center for Collective Usage:
Educational activity at the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage is arranged with utilization of contemporary research complexes (analytical and manufacturing equipment), which meet the world standards in technical and operational characteristics of instrumentation pool, and make part of integral multilevel educational system for a new generation staff training and retraining for nanoscale industry .
The Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage has the following directions in its educational activities:
Upon the order of the State Corporation “Rosnanotech”, the job retraining program entitled “Methods and technologies for forming interphase boundaries and nanostructural nonmetallic polyfunctional coatings” (520 hours) was developed and implemented using the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage equipment. The program was executed in the framework of the project “Development and approbation of the program for advanced job retraining and learning complex, dedicated to investment projects of the State Corporation “Rosnanotech” in the field of diversified production of porous nanostructural nonmetallic inorganic coatings”.
Based on the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage, the annual Workshop school “Research and metrology of nanoscale materials” takes place for a chain of centers for collective usage of scientific equipment.
The first Workshop school was organized in November 2008 in the framework of the Federal Special-Purpose Program “Researches and developments on priority lines of development of scientific and technological complex in Russia for 2007–2012” and the Federal Special-Purpose Program “Evolution of nanoscale industry infrastructure in the Russian Federation for 2008–2010”. The second Workshop school took place within October 12–16, 2009 within the scope of the II International Conference with elements of scientific school for the youth “Physics and Chemistry of Nanoscale materials” with support of the Federal Special-Purpose Program “Scientific and Educational Research Personnel of Innovative Russia” and the Federal Special-Purpose Program “Evolution of nanoscale industry infrastructure in the Russian Federation for 2008–2010”. At these Workshop schools, participants listened to the lectures by specialists of leading companies-manufactures of scientific equipment, visited masterclasses and hands-on training using the equipment pool of the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage.
In 2010, the school acquired a more applied nature, the metrological component of the event was reinforced. The third Workshop school took place in November 2010 in the framework of the All-Russian conference “Interaction of higher education institutions and research institutes with enterprises in the scope of development and implementation of programs for enterprise innovative development. Scientific and metrological support of integrated projects for establishment of high-technology manufacturing” (November 8–13, 2010). The event invited for participation representatives of divisions of the Center for metrological provision of nanoscale technologies and nanoscale industry products of the Russian Federation (Center for International Education), operator-specialists of centers for collective usage at high education institutions and academic institutions, as well as representatives of enterprises and higher education institutions that implement integrated projects to establish high-technology manufacturing, – winners at the contest under the RF Government Decree # 218 dated April 9, 2010. The III Workshop school traditionally contained refresher courses with utilization of contemporary analytical equipment of the Center for Collective Usage.
The event became the information realm for exchanging opinions and discussions between heads of the Center for International Education departments and representatives of businesses in real sector of economy on issues of the RF industries need in development of new standard specimen products and material parameters measuring techniques. The event also identifies necessity for drawing new regulatory and procedural documents that regulate industry activity, and for updating the existing documents. Participation of representatives of metrological departments and centers for collective usage founded under the auspices of RF institutes of academic sciences and higher education institutions, enabled to establish scientific and technical relations for efficient utilization of unique measuring and test equipment, potential of highly qualified scientific brainpower of the Center for Collective Usage, as well as for refresher courses for the Center for Collective Usage specialists in the area of measurement assurance.
Nowadays, the Tomsk Regional Center for Collective Usage is an inalienable part of the infrastructure for education for science, higher school, real sector of economy, for advancing scientific developments and basic research for nanoscale industry, metrological provision of new technologies.
Authirs: O.V. Babkina, G.E. Dunaevsky, I.V. Ivonin (Tomsk State University, #36, Lenin Av., Tomsk, 634050)
P.P. Kaminsky (Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, #2/4, Akademichesky Av., Tomsk, 634055, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)