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Perfectly Clean Laboratory
October 26, 2012   
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Laboratories free from the tiniest particles of dust, bacteria or chemical contaminants? This is no longer science fiction. Such “clean-room” laboratories will be built at the Warsaw Center for Advanced Materials and Technology (CeZaMaT), which is scheduled to open in the first half of 2015.

The center will be one of the most modern research and development facilities in Europe.
Work to establish CeZaMaT marks Poland’s largest hi-tech research infrastructure project that aims to bring together a team of researchers to conduct applied research, says Prof. Romuald Beck, vice-president for research at the CeZaMaT company.

So far Polish researchers have demonstrated that they are good at theoretical research while in experimental work they have encountered some fundamental barriers because of a shortage of research equipment, Beck says. “Now, provided with the necessary infrastructure, they will be able to overcome these barriers and effectively carry out their work.”

The CeZaMaT project is being carried out by a consortium of eight research centers in Warsaw. These are the Warsaw University of Technology, the University of Warsaw, the Military University of Technology, the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology, and four institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (the Institute of Physics, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Institute of High Pressure Physics, and the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research). The project is coordinated by the Warsaw University of Technology and the University of Warsaw.

For now, the researchers working as part of the consortium are conducting research in the laboratories of the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of High Pressure Physics, the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology, the University of Warsaw, and the Military University of Technology.

The consortium is focusing on research into modern materials and technology. The results of the researchers’ work will be put to use in sectors such as information and communications technology (ICT), medicine, defense, automaking and aerospace. The project has been co-financed by the European Union and will cost an estimated zl.385 million. Eighty percent of this amount has been earmarked for the construction of a central laboratory that will be fitted out with state-of-the-art research equipment.

In addition to the construction of the new laboratory building, at 19 Poleczki St. in Warsaw, the project also involves the construction and modernization of existing laboratories at the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Experimental Physics, at the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology, at the Institute of High Pressure Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and at the Military University of Technology.

The central laboratory will meet high technical standards. The rooms in which advanced research will be conducted must have a stable microclimate with a constant temperature and humidity.

Clean-room air will be free from the smallest particles, bacteria and chemical contaminants. It will pass through special filters and be constantly exchanged—even several hundred times per hour. In such a laboratory the requirements of cleanliness must be strictly observed. Before entering the room, scientists will have to wear special clothing. Even the smallest particles in the air could ruin the effects of their long-term research. The laboratory must also be resistant to vibrations that could disrupt the operation of the ultra-sensitive research equipment used by the researchers.

The laboratory will be furnished with specialist research equipment. To make sure this high-quality equipment is used as effectively as possible, the laboratory will be working two shifts, says Beck. In the lab, researchers will build a range of devices and systems, including electronic and photonic components, for use in communication, transportation, energy generation and healthcare. For example, inexpensive solar cells and functional nano-materials for use in biosensors for the detection of tumor cells, will be produced there. Research conducted at the CeZaMaT laboratories will also be applied in the storage and dispensing of gases and chemicals, including drugs.

The modern laboratory facilities will enable researchers from both Poland and abroad to conduct cutting-edge research. “We want our labs to be open to all those who have an interesting research project, not only to researchers affiliated in our consortium,” says Beck. “The availability of such a modern center in Poland will not only help keep the most talented engineers and scientists in the country, but will also help increase the competitiveness of the Polish economy thanks to the fact that this will be applied research.”
Elżbieta Szumiec-Zielińska
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