IPCP RAS / Facts and Figures

The Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics of RAS is the founder of the research center of RAS in Chernogolovka and one of the largest and leading institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The institute was established in 1956 after the creation of the research testing area for the Institute of Chemical Physics of AS USSR in Chernogolovka. Later it was restructured as a subsidiary and then as a branch of ICP AS USSR. In 1991 it was registered as an independent Institute of Chemical Physics of RAS in Chernogolovka, and since 1997 has been called the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics.

The Institute was created on the initiative and under the supervision of the Nobel Prize Winner Academician N.N. Semenov and the Corresponding Member of RAS F.I. Dubovitskii. The major research directions were set up by the outstanding Soviet scientists such as: Academician N.M. Emmanuel, V.N. Kondrat'ev, N.S. Enikolopov, V.I. Goldanskii, Yu.B. Khariton, Ya.B. Zeldovich, Corresponding Member of RAS V.L. Tal'roze. Since 1991, Professor S.M. Baturin, a prominent scientist in the field of kinetics and mechanism of polymerization processes, headed the Institute. At present, the director of IPCP RAS is S.M. Aldoshin, Vice-President of RAS, a famous specialist in the field of structure of matter and properties of materials.

The Institute performs a number of investigations in the following fields: general problems of chemical physics, structure of molecules and solids, kinetics and mechanisms of complex chemical reactions, chemical physics of explosion and combustion, chemical physics of polymer synthesis and modification, chemical physics of biological processes and systems, chemical materials science. The founders and heads of these studies are M.V. Alfimov, L.O. Atovmyan, A.N. Dremin, G.B. Manelis, A.G. Merzhanov, B.A. Rozenberg, L.N. Stesik, V.Ye. Fortov, A.Ye. Shilov, etc.
In IPCP RAS, a unique experimental base, a testing area and specialized premises allowing large-scale investigations of rapid processes, combustion and explosion, nature chemical-technological and micro-biological installations, vivarium and a modern computer center have been created.

  The elementary processes are in the focus of scientists' attention too: methods for calculation of the potential energy surfaces, transformation dynamics and cross-section of reactions (V.I. Osherov), as well as semi-empirical methods for calculation of radical reactions (Ye. T. Denisov) have been developed. Rate constants of a great number of elementary reactions have been determined experimentally.

  A modern theory of multi-impulse nuclear resonance, which was developed and tested experimentally, not only allows the explanation of formerly unknown effects but provides broad information on the basis of NMR characteristics (B.N. Provotorov, L.N. Erofeev, E.B. Feldman).

  Studies of free radicals, their accumulation and destruction, permeating radiation effects on chemical reactions, SHF became the basis for a new field of science - chemistry of high energies (V.L. Tal'roze, V.I. Goldanskii, A.N. Ponomarev).

  Studies of kinetics and mechanisms of complex chemical reactions as well as development of the theory of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis are the key subjects in the investigations performed by the Institute. Major regularities and the mechanism of thermal decomposition of various compounds (primarily high-energy and high-molecular ones) have been studied, and quantitative correlation of their composition and crystalline structure with reactivity has been determined (G.B. Manelis, G.M. Nazin, Yu.I. Rubtsov). Stabilization methods have been developed. General principles of the mechanism of chemical reactions in solids have been worked out, namely, the retardation effect of crystal lattice in monomolecular reactions has been revealed and studied quantitatively, as well as the auto-wave processes, diffusion and mechanic-chemical ones (self-acceleration as a result of stresses appearing in the course of chemical reactions); the role of point defects and dislocations has been investigated.

  Quantum dimensional effects in thermal and photochemical reactions, structural features of molecule packing in crystals, which determine magnetic properties and account for high ionic conductivity, and reversible photochromic processes have been studied (L.O. Atovmyan, S.M. Aldoshin). Assuming the developed ideas of electron conductivity of crystals of organic compounds, the new organic metals and superconductors have been obtained and studied (I.F. Shchegolev, E.B. Yagubskii). Original methods have been developed to obtain ultra-dispersed substances of different chemical nature, among them nano-materials, supra-molecular systems and nano-tubes. Specific features of kinetics of chemical reactions in these systems, their electrical, photochemical and other physical properties have been investigated (V.F. Razumov).

  Biomimetics is being intensively developed, i.e., mechanisms of fermentative reactions are studied in order to create principally new catalysts. On their basis novel systems of catalytic fixation of molecular nitrogen, low-temperature activation of methane, etc. have been developed (A. Ye. Shilov with co-workers).

  Processes of combustion and explosion are traditional directions of investigations in chemical physics. The Institute developed the experimental methods and studied the kinetics of high-temperature chemical reactions. The mechanism of self-ignition, thermal explosion and transition from self-ignition to ignition has been studied to yield a modern theory of thermal explosion of condensed substances (A.G. Merzhanov, V.V. Barzykin, V.G. Abramov). The mechanism of burning of explosives, gunpowder and propellants has been investigated to reveal a determining role of reactions in the condensed phase, the processes of evaporation and dispersion; the methods governing these processes have been developed together with the theory accounting for their nature (G.B. Manelis, A.G. Merzhanov, B.V. Khaikin, V.A. Strunin). A theory has been developed and general regularities of filtration burning of heterogenic systems (gas-solid) have been worked out; specific features of super-adiabatic heat-up, auto-localization during multi-phase reactions, stability of the plane front have been studied (G.B. Manelis, Ye.V. Polianchik).

  The phenomenon of "solid-flame" burning was revealed, the theory of gas-free burning was formed, formation of numerous compounds in the burning wave was studied, these being the basis for a new technological direction - self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) (A.G. Merzhanov, I.P. Borovinskaya).

  Thorough investigations have been performed to study kinetics and mechanism of oxidation by fluorine, formation and destruction of excited particles during burning and explosion, which served the basis for creation of the chemical laser (V.L. Talroze, G.K. Vasil'ev).

  Investigations of substances under extreme conditions were performed to study chemical and phase transformations at high temperature and high pressure in different surroundings under the impact of strong shock- and detonation waves. It revealed hydrogen and inert gases transition into a super-conducting state ("metallization") and the reverse effect, "dielectrization", of a number of metals within the mega-bar pressure range. Effective methods were developed to convert the energy of explosion into the energy of electromagnetic radiation and electric impulse simulationg lightning (V.Ye. Fortov, V. B. Mintsev et al).

  The mechanism of detonation of condensed explosives was widely studied to set up a corresponding theory. The peculiarities of the processes occurring on the shock-wave front and its stability were studied, and methods of investigation of chemical transformations in shock- and detonation waves were developed; a new way to synthesize diamond in a shock- and detonation wave was developed as well as the way to synthesize wurtzite-like boron nitride widely used in industry (A.D. Dremin, O.N. Breusov).

  A great number of works were performed in connection with industrial safety in energy-engineering and similar branches of industry concerning the processes of burning and explosion and taking into account the possibility of terrorist attacks. Calculation and experimental methods were worked out together with the methods modeling the initiation and development of ignition and explosion in devices and in industry, methods preventing the emergency cases, localization of these processes and elimination of their effects (including those applied in certain productions) (A.G. Merzhanov, V.Ye. Fortov, G.B. Manelis).

  Successive applications of kinetic and chemical-physical approaches to the processes of polymerization and study of polymer properties resulted in determining the quantitative kinetic regularities and the mechanism of formation of various classes of polymers, the nature of active centers and creation of new initiators and inhibitors of the process. "Living" chains and the reactions of inter-chain interaction were discovered. The theory of cross-link polymers formation and evolution of their topology structure was developed. Micro-heterogeneity of the curing process for cross-link polymers and micro-phase separation during the process have been studied, which determine the reaction rate and, in a large extent, properties of the material obtained (N.S. Enikolopov, B.A. Rozenberg, G.V. Korolev).

  A general notion of the mechanism of metal-complex catalysis was formed to yield a mode of governing the polymerization process on its basis (A.Ye. Shilov, F.S. D'yachkovskii, N.M. Chirkov).

  Qualitative kinetic basis was created to obtain polyurethanes of various structure and their derivatives. It has been shown that of importance is the function of macromolecules distribution according to their functionality. Ways to control the process were found as well (S.G. Entelis, S.M. Baturin).

  Macro-kinetic theory of polymer curing was created, and methods to obtain monoblocks and optimize the process were developed, which served the basis for the technology of obtaining large monoblocks on various polymer basis and for various applications.

  The role of free radical processes in the norm and in pathology was thoroughly investigated, which yielded new approaches to treatment of pathological processes.

  For many years the Institute has been involved in creating new biologically active compounds, whose mechanisms of pharmacological activity are based on their impact on pathological processes of free-radical nature, such as oncology and cardiovascular diseases, mechanical injuries, etc. Among these compounds are antioxidants including nitroxyl radicals. The basis to understand the mechanism of their action was developed, and their high efficiency was proved. Preclinical testing was performed and now clinical trials are in full progress (N.M. Emanuel, N.P. Konovalova, G.N. Bogdanov). The investigations of the impact of nitric oxide donors on the development of cancer processes were commenced. Their anti-tumor and anti-metastatic activity was first revealed together with sharp decrease of toxicity of cytostatic agents during their simultaneous use with NO donors (S.M. Aldoshin, N.P. Konovalova, L.T. Eremenko).

  The Mathematical Department of the Institute (A.Ya. Povzner, A.I. Volpert, A.Ya. Dubovitskii, P.K. Berzigiyarov) is involved in the development of the mathematical basis for chemical physics: theory of differential equations systems, optimization methods, up-to-date calculation methods, modes of set transformation, which formed the basis of current chemical physics (theoretical basis for chemical kinetics, macro-kinetics, theory of burning and explosion, etc.).

In IPCP RAS, a unique experimental base, a testing area and specialized premises allowing large-scale investigations of rapid processes, combustion and explosion, nature chemical-technological and micro-biological installations, vivarium and a modern computer center have been created.
Up-to-date methods of investigations have always been in the focus of attention of the Institute specialists. Creation of sensitive differential calorimeters (L.N. Gal'perin) started up the kinetic calorimetry in the country.

Findings of the fundamental research are widely used in applied works, creation of new technologies and productions.

IPCP RAS (the branch of ICP AS USSR) played an important role in the development of the national rocket industry and ammunition production, being the head organization in AS USSR dealing with problems of propellants, gunpowder and explosives. The research performed in this filed formed the basis for creation of special technical equipment and a number of productions determining the defensive potential of the country (F.I. Dubovitskii, G.B. Manelis, L.N.Stesik, L.T. Eremenko, G.N. Nechiporenko).

Development of the scientific basis of technological processes and establishment of large industrial productions on their basis have been performed through the Technological Department and Commercialization Center under the general supervision of S.M. Aldoshin, V.N. Troitskii, A.A. Brikenshtein, V.I. Savchenko, P.Ye. Matkovskii and their co-workers.

Basing on the developments of the Institute, the enterprises have been established to produce trioxane and polyformaldehyde, polypropylene, highly effective pesticides ("Lier" plant in China); a plant in Tatarstan for production of synthetic lubricants, a plant producing high linear alpha-olefins in Saudi Arabia have been built; hydrogenation processes have found their industrial application; enterprises of utilization of industrial and domestic wastes by means of superadiabatic burning have been built in Moscow and Finland; the sensors are produced to carry out express-tests (determining the amount of sugar, alcohol, etc.); the industrial technology was developed and clinical trials of the anti-cancer drug "Ruboxyl" are coming to an end; new materials and medical products have been created and studied; equipment for scientific research and technological devices have been developed.

One of the major directions of the Institute activity has always been training of high-quality specialists. On the basis of the Institute there is a Branch of Moscow State University, a chair of Moscow Physical Technical Institute and other high schools. Many students of different high schools of Russia (former USSR) were professionally trained in the Institute: more than a thousand Ph.D. and doctoral theses were defended here. Specialists trained at the Institute work now not only in the Russian Academy of Sciences but in various high schools, research organizations, Russian Federation industry, in near and far away foreign countries.

The works of the Institute employees are widely known, they are marked by Lenin and State Prizes, Awards of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Russian Government and a number of foreign prizes and diplomas.

The Institute of Chemical Physics formed the basis of Noginsk Scientific Centre of AS USSR (currently Scientific Center of RAS in Chernogolovka). The following leading institutes of RAS were established on its basis: the Institute of Solid State Physics, the Institute of Theoretical Physics named after Landau, etc. A number of departments of the Institute in the course of their development grew into independent organizations, such as the Institute of Structural Macrokinetics, Branch of the Institute of Energy Problems of Chemical Physics.