Researcher Excellence Grants

The aim of the Researcher Excellence Grant is “To enlarge the number of organisations with capacities closely relating to metrology” within the EU Member States and FP7 associated countries. A Researcher Excellence Grant provides financial support for an experienced researcher who is capable of making a substantial contribution through research activities relevant to the JRP objectives. The research is mainly undertaken at a Home Organisation that is not part of the national metrology systems (i.e. a non NMI/DI organisation). This aims to “open the JRPs to the best science”.

Three REG-Researchers contribute to the MACPoll project:

Dr. Manuel Aleixandre

Dr. Olavi Vaittinen

Dr. Serguei Novikov

Dr. Manuel Aleixandre 

The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) participates in MACPoll in WP 4 as a REG recipient. Dr. Manuel Aleixandre will carry out the whole research at this Home Organization. Dr. Aleixandre will work as member of an experienced research group, which consists of 5 senior scientists and PhD level researchers, which forms the Spanish reference national research group on gas sensors that is active since the late 80s. Today its technical and scientific activities focus in the study, design and fabrication of solid state sensor prototypes (resistive, mass and optic fibre) and their applications. The group interests range from the study of the detection mechanism to data processing and pattern recognition. The project will be managed and coordinated by Mari Carmen Horrillo Güemes the head of the department of Gas Technology and Surfaces of CSIC.

The scientific career of the REG-Researcher, Dr. Aleixandre, has been focused in the area of gas sensors. His expertise includes several areas. He has experience with the fabrication and development of materials to use as resistive gas sensors, piezoelectric material to use in mass gas sensors and implementation of optical sensors using sputtering or chemical vacuum deposition (CVD) techniques. He has also experience in analytical methods to study these materials such AFM. He finally has worked in the analysis of the data using several techniques such neural networks or other statistical methods (PCA, LDA…) to analyse the measurements and give classification results of measurements in laboratory or field applications.

Selected publications:

  • M. Aleixandre, I Sayago, M.C. Horrillo, M.J. Fernández, L. Arés, M. García, J.P. Santos and J. Gutiérrez, Sensor array for the monitoring of contaminant gases, Sensors for Environmental Control, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Singapore (2003), ISBN 981-238-338-7

  • I. Sayago, H. Santos, M.C. Horrillo, M. Aleixandre, M.J. Fernández, E. Terrado, I. Tacchini, R. Aroz,W.K. Maser, A.M. Benito, M.T. Martínez, J. Gutiérrez, E. Muñoz, Carbon nanotube networks as gas sensors for NO2 detection, Talanta 77 (2008) 758–764

  • I. Sayago, E. Terrado, M. Aleixandre, M.C. Horrillo, M.J. Fernández, J. Lozano, E. Lafuente, W.K. Maser, A.M. Benito, M.T. Martinez, J. Gutiérrez, E. Muñoz, Novel selective sensors based on carbon nanotube films for hydrogen detection, Sensors and Actuators B, Volumen: 122, Pages, 75-80 (2007)

  • M. Aleixandre, I. Sayago, M.C. Horrillo, M.J. Fernandez, L. Ares, M. Garcia, J.P. Santos, J.Gutierrez, Analysis of neural network and analysis of feature selection with genetic algorithm to discriminate among pollutant gas, Sensors & Actuators B, 103 (2004) pp 122-128

  • M.J. Fernández, J.L. Fontecha, I. Sayago, M. Aleixandre, J. Lozano, J. Gutiérrez, I.Gràcia, C. Cané, M.C. Horrillo, Discrimination of volatile compounds through an electronic nose based on ZnO SAW sensors, Sensors and Actuators B 127 (2007) 277–283

  • M.C. Horrillo, M.J. Fernandez, J.L. Fontecha, I. Sayago, M. Garcia, M. Aleixandre, J. Gutierrez, I. Gracia and C. Cane, Optimization of SAW sensors with a structure ZnO-SiO2-Si to detect volatile organic compounds, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, Volume 118, Issues 1-2 (2006) Pages 356-361

  • I. Sayago, M. Aleixandre, L. Arés, M. J. Fernández, J. P. Santos, J. Gutiérrez, C. Horrillo, The effect of the oxygen concentration and the rf power on the zinc oxide films properties deposited by magnetron sputtering, Applied surface scince 245 (2005) 273-280

  • I. Sayago, M. Aleixandre, A Martinez, M. J. Fernández, J. P. Santos, J. Gutiérrez, I. Gracia, M. C. Horrillo, Structural studies of zinc oxide films grown by RF magnetron sputtering, Synthetic metals 148 (2005) 37-41

Dr. Olavi Vaittinen 

The University of Helsinki (UH) participates in WP 2 of this JRP as a REG recipient. Dr. Olavi Vaittinen carries out most of his research activities at the Home Organization, i.e. with the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, University of Helsinki. The REG-Researcher will work as member of an experienced research group, which consists of at least 4 PhD level scientists with multidisciplinary background (from physical chemistry to laser physics and electrical engineering). The group has specialists in both experimental and theoretical research, and it is supervised by a professor of physical chemistry, who actively participates in the scientific work. The expertise of UH and the REG-researcher includes the following areas relevant to this application: air quality measurements, high-resolution laser spectroscopy, and fundamental research on molecular spectroscopy.

Within the planned project, the main focus of dr. Vaittinen research will consist in the development of methods and procedures for lower uncertainties in the measurement of chemical pollutants, particularly of those that are challenging due to their reactivity. The REG-researcher and the team at UH have developed a state-of-the-art laser spectrometer required in the research. They have applied the spectrometer for sensitive trace gas detection in ambient air and exhaled breath.

Selected publications:

  • M. Metsälä, F. M. Schmidt, M. Skyttä, O. Vaittinen and L. Halonen, ”Acetylene in breath: background levels and real-time eliminations kinetics after smoking,” submitted for publication in Journal of Breath Research

  • F. M. Schmidt, O. Vaittinen, M. Metsälä, P. Kraus and L. Halonen, ”Direct detection of acetylene in air by continuous wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy,” Appl. Phys. B, in press

  • K. Stamyr, O. Vaittinen, J. Jaakola, J. Guss, M. Metsälä, G. Johanson and L. Halonen, ”Background levels of HCN in human breath measured by infrared cavity ring down spectroscopy,” Biomarkers, 14, 285-291 (2009)



Dr. Serguei Novikov 

The University of Aalto participates in WP 4 of this JRP as an organisational REG. Dr. Serguei Novikov has joined MACPoll project in October 2012 and he will carry out the research activities at the Home Organization, specifically at the Department of Micro and Nonosciences (MNS), University of Aalto. The REG-researcher together with the MNS group will support the MACPoll project in the development of graphene sensors suitable for environmental metrological applications. The REG will undertake processing of a new generation of devices for gas sensors, as well as gas response measurements for typical gas pollutants. MNS has a Molecular Beam Epitaxy/Deposition (MBE/MBD) system capable for graphene growth as well as for silicon carbide deposition.

During the last 10 years Serguei has participated in scientific projects related to the development of chemical gas sensors. Serguei is an author on 61 articles in peer reviewed scientific journals and 36 conference papers.