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LU CFI Thin Film Laboratory leading researcher Dr.phys. Mārtiņš Zubkins received the annual award in 2023 for success in energy for his doctoral thesis "New coatings based on metal hydride and oxide for energy, electronics and health care technologies"  


At the end of November, the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia (LU CFI) received a document certifying a patent nr. EP4033003A1, which was obtained thanks to the invention of Halil Arslan, Scientific Assistant at the Institute's Thin Films Laboratory. The invention relates to nanocoatings, more particularly, to nanocoatings deposited by plasma vacuum technologies and having semi-conducting properties.

The proposed method for deposition of yttrium monoxide film on a substrate by reactive magnetron sputtering, comprising the following steps:

  1. positioning a substrate in a vacuum chamber having a magnetron and yttrium source for sputtered particles and a process gas shroud means for partially enveloping the magnetron, the substrate having a surface facing the source;
  2. operating the magnetron to sputter yttrium particles from the yttrium source for coating the substrate surface, including introducing a process gas to the shroud means;
  3. withdrawing and depleting gas from the vacuum chamber and creating process pressure between 1×10-3 and 5×10-3 Torr with 1.40×10-8 - 1.74×10-5 Torr oxygen partial pressure by inletting the process gases and continuing sputtering yttrium particles from the yttrium source; as soon as the desired thickness of coating on the substrate surface is reached, disactivating the magnetron.


On May 18, researchers from the Latvian Institute of Solid State Physics took part in the program "Zināmais nezināmajā" ("The Known in the Unknown") on Latvian radio 1, where they talked about their research and achievements in the field of smart window technology.

Many different topics were touched upon in relation to smart windows. The audience was given a history of smart windows, a description of the different types and categories of windows (thermo-, electro- and phorochromic), their characteristics and production technologies, the different types of thin coatings, advances in the use of windows today and their future perspectives.

Guests of the programme: the head of the Thin Film Laboratory at the Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia, academician Juris Purāns, and researchers Mārtiņš Zubkins and Boriss Poļakovs from the same institute, as well as the technical director of "AGL Technologies" Andris Āzens.


On February 25, the radio SWH program “Prāts izglābs pasauli” (“Mind will save the world”) was dedicated to houses of the future. The host of the program, Ieva SIliņa, discussed the 3D house printer with the leading researcher of RTU Māris Šinka and smart windows with ISSP UL’s leading researcher and head of the Thin Films Laboratory, Juris Purāns. Participants also discussed high-strength concrete for construction that the RTU students are developing. An energy efficiency expert Anrijs Tukulis provided some practical steps to keep people’s electricity bills as low as possible.

In the program, experts talked about the smart houses of the future: windows protecting from cold, darkening in direct sunlight and acting as solar panels from one side and lamps from the other; houses printed from environmentally friendly and “green” materials; and future technologies that can help people today.

“Prāts izglābs pasauli” is a program hosted by Ieva Siliņa, innovation and digitalization advisor to the Minister of Economics, member of the Riga City Council, external advisor to the President of Latvia on science and education policy, and science enthusiast. The program’s creators believe that the mind and the latest technology will save the world; together with Latvia’s young and leading scientists, the program searches for answers to existential, topical or simply funny questions in a semi-serious atmosphere.

The full program in Latvian is in the Radio SWH archive here

Story on Latvian television about Smart Windows technology developed in Latvia. The materials developed at the Institute of Solid State Physics of Latvian University in Thin Films Laboratory under the guidance of an academician Juris Purans has been recognized by the Latvian Academy of Sciences as one of the most significant achievements in Latvian science in 2022.

Story on Latvian television about Latvian scientists development of an antibacterial transparent overlay for screens, which in the future may help in the fight against Covid-19 and other viruses.
“We make a very thin coating, almost invisible to the eye. We can apply multiple layers. As a result, we obtain an antimicrobial coating,” says Mārtiņš Zubkins, a leading researcher at the Thin Films Laboratoty in Institute of Solid State Physics of the University of Latvia. The head of the laboratory, Juris Purans, pointed out that the goal of the scientists is to create a transparent material, which in the future may be used to stick on the phone. And the virus will not live on it for a long time. One of the components of the coating is copper, and scientists do not disclose the rest of the composition - there is no patent yet.

The Baltic Assembly Prize in Science in 2020 was presented to physicist, corresponding member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, team member of Thin Films Laboratory Robert Eglitis. He has been awarded for the research cycle "Theoretical calculations for new materials for energy production and storage".

In March, 2021 as result of a collaboration between three laboratories of the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia and  KTH and Synchrotron SOLEIL (France) the scientific article A. Chesnokov, D. Gryaznov, N. V. Skorodumova, E. A. Kotomin, A. Zitolo, M. Zubkins, A. Kuzmin, A. Anspoks, J. Purans „The local atomic structure and thermoelectric properties of Ir-doped ZnO: hybrid DFT calculations and XAS experiments” (https://doi.org/10.1039/D1TC00223F) was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C with an impact factor of 7,059!  

On 19 of March, 2021 as result of a collaboration between the scientists of the Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia (Juris Purans, Inga Pudza, Alexei Kuzmin) and several world-leading centres the article  "Local electronic structure rearrangements and strong anharmonicity in YH3 under pressures up to 180 GPa" (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21991-x) was published in the Nature Communications journal with an impact factor of 12.121! 

Latvian Science’s Top 10 Achievements:  2013, 2014 and 2015 (A new magnetron sputtering technology and a new multifunctional R&D cluster tool for thin films manufacturing including transparent conductive coatings)

Latvian Academy of Science award: Acad. E. Silina prize (2009)

Rome International Center for Materials Science of Superstripes "Fibonacci" prize (2016)

Article about new coating materials in Ilustrētā Zinātne (Illustrated Science): http://old.ilustretazinatne.lv/content/stikls-klust-aizvien-viedaks-0
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Institute of Solid State Physics, University of Latvia, Thin Films Laboratory