[ASC-media] Pawsey Medal for Nano-Fabrication Pioneer

Lara Davis lara_davis4 at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 25 05:54:23 CET 2008

Pawsey Medal for Nano-Fabrication Pioneer

Associate Professor Kostya Ostrikov, a pioneer in the field
of plasma nano-science at the University
of Sydney, has been awarded the 2008
Pawsey Medal by the Australian
 Academy of Science.

Associate Professor Ostrikov earned the medal, awarded to
early career scientists for outstanding physics research, for both theoretical
and experimental work, which, in the words of one of his colleagues, Professor
Iver Cairns “has created the field of deterministic plasma nano-fabrication,
which was inconceivable just a few years ago”.

While most manufacturing of nano-scale devices involves
painstaking methods that build structures atom by atom, plasmas – ionized gases
– have the ability to deposit atoms in a highly controlled fashion by the
millions in just millionths of a second. Until recently it was thought that the
inherent randomness of plasma would limit any attempts at high-precision
control of the deposition process. However the research of Associate Professor
Ostrikov and his colleagues has developed methods of controlling the plasma’s
characteristics, such as pressure, temperature or voltage, in such a way that
the plasma organizes itself, forming intricate nano-structures such as
cylinders, or the pyramids shown in the picture (*) – a very different result to
the deposition by neutral gases. 

As well as developing mathematical models for the formation
of these self-organised complex systems and the surfaces to which they attach,
Associate Professor Ostrikov is a leader in a team which has developed
innovative plasma sources that can create the nano-structures predicted by his

Understandably the ability to create such precisely
controlled nano-structures in such fast timeframes has many industries pricking
up their ears, with the prospect of applications in nano-electronics,
nano-optics and biomedicine looming large, as well as more exotic applications
such as quantum dots for nano-lasers, ultra-thin solar cells or quantum

Beyond the lab, Associate Professor Ostrikov has looked at
nano-fabrication in nature: in his soon-to-be-published book “Plasma
Nanoscience: From Nature’s Mastery to Deterministic Nanofabrication”  he also looks at nano-particles around
red-giant stars, and discusses the creation of the first building blocks of
life on primordial earth.

Associate Professor Ostrikov was educated in the Ukraine, and was awarded a Doctor of Science by Kharkov University at age 29, at the time the
youngest ever recipient of the prestigious award. He also won the Best Young
Scientist of Ukraine Award of the Academy
of Sciences of Ukraine. Since
then he has continued with his prodigious output of work, despite having to
weather the collapse of the Soviet Union, and has won six highly-prestigious
research fellowships in the UK,
Germany, Japan and Singapore
before moving to Australia
in 1999. He currently holds a QEII research fellowship at the University of Sydney’s
School of Physics.

His award is another feather in the cap for the School of Physics
at the University
 of Sydney, which counts
among its staff six previous Pawsey medallists, including last year’s winner,
Professor Ben Eggleton.

For more information contact:

Dr Phil Dooley, 0414 94 55 77, outreach at physics.usyd.edu.au(*) Images can be found at: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/about/news.shtml

Kostya Ostrikov is on leave this week, but can be contacted
at kostya at physics.usyd.edu.au.
>From Tuesday 28th Jan, he will be back in the office: 9351 3167

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