Nikolaev Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (NIIC) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is one of the most important chemical research institutions in Russia. It is one of the only two existing in the whole country academic research centers for inorganic chemistry (another one is Kurnakov Institute of general and inorganic chemistry in Moscow). NIIC carries out fundamental and applied research in inorganic chemistry and related areas. Research activity of the NIIC covers all modern inorganic chemistry including coordination, cluster, and supramolecular compounds, chemical thermodynamics, electronic structure and crystal chemistry, functional materials, fundamental principles of separation and purification of chemical compounds. The following research expenditures illustrate recent development of NIIC (millions of rubles): 355 in 2010, 412 in 2011, 446 in 2012.
NIIC comprises three departments subdivided into 24 research units (laboratories), including one international laboratory. NIIC can boast with several established and internationally recognized scientific schools, which exercise a significant influence in the Russian science. Altogether 223 researchers (in 2012: 54 D.Sc. and 142 Ph.D.) carry out fundamental and applied research. A quarter of the total number of researchers is less than 35 years old.
NIIC actively participates in graduate and postgraduate education. Every year it accepts about 60 postgraduate students. The Inorganic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry as well as Low Temperature Physics Chairs of the Novosibirsk State University are located in NIIC.
NIIC participates in Asian-Pasific Academy of Materials (APAM), International Program «Supramolecular Systems in Chemistry and Biology (SupraChem), French-Siberian program for education and research.
NIIC publishes “Journal of Structural Chemistry” which has the highest impact factor of all the Russian journals dealing with inorganic chemistry.
In order to boost innovative research and applications NIIC has such bodies as department of science and technology (STD) and department for international trade (DIT).
STD produces metallic Bi and Bi2O3 of highest purity (99.999% (5N) or 99.9999% (6N)), which are used for preparation of a wide range of compounds (pharmaceuticals, HTSC ceramics, single crystals of mixed oxides), low-melting alloys and fiber optics. NIIC is the only large-scale produces of these commodities in the CIS countries. The products are delivered to the USA, France, Ukraine and are also used in NIIC for production of single crystals of Bi4Ge3O12 (BGO).
The main task of DIT is commercialization of the applied research. This department, in close collaboration with laboratories, is responsible for organization, development, production and marketing of high-tech products and services. The commercial activity in the recent three years is illustrated by the following volumes (millions of US dollars): 2.9 (2010), 3.4 (2011), approx. 3.7 (2012). Main export articles are optical elements based on scintillating single crystals Bi4Ge3O12 (BGO) and CdWO4 (CWO). They are used for production of positron-emitting tomographs (PET) (SCIONIX (Netherlands), 500 kg of BGO/year and GE Healthcare (USA). The latter company makes almost half of the total amount of PETs in the USA and is the main consumer of BGO in the US market.
All the research is supported by a powerful instrumental and analytic basis. Chemical instrumentation is available through Center of collective use of the available equipment. This center enables determination of chemical composition, structure and other characteristics of new compounds and materials prepared in the NIIC.
The equipment in the Center includes:
The infrastructure available in NIIC allows preparation and manipulation with virtually every class of chemical compounds, including extremely aggressive F2 and its compounds, extremely air- and water-sensitive organometallic compounds, very inert noble and refractory metals and their compounds.
The researches of the NIIC publish every year about 300 papers in peer-reviewed national and international journals, and the share of publications in international journals increases every year and is now close to 50 %. In 2012 six monographs were published, and 12 patents were granted. The Web of Science database (December 2012) counts 5690 publications by NIIC researchers. They were cited 30672 times, and NIIC h-index is 52.
Numerous grants, awards, scholarships and fellowships testify the high level of research in NIIC. In the period from 2009 to 2012 NIIC carried out more than 30 RFBR funded research projects per year, while in there were already 53 such projects, including 32 initiative projects of the “a” category, and 21 RFBR research grants for young scientists.
In 2010-2012 young researchers from NIIC were awarded with several Presidential grants and awards, with two National awards «L’Oreal-Unesco» for successful female scientists in Russia, and with two awards established in memory of prominent Siberian scientists. In addition, the government of the Novosibirsk region awarded several grants to successful young scientists from NIIC.
High level national and international conferences organized by the NIIC testify the recognition of the scientific contributions of the NIIC researchers. In 2010 NIIC organized XIX International Chugaev Conference on Chemistry, Analysis and Technology of Noble Metals, in 2012 VII National cluster conference which was attended by numerous scientists from abroad.