Central Laboratory of Applied Physics - Plovdiv

The Central Laboratory of Applied Physics – Plovdiv (CLAP) conducts scientific, applied research, development and innovative transfer in the field of materials and technologies, including nanomaterials and nanotechnologies, and in the field of energy efficiency.

The Central Laboratory of Applied Physics was established on April 1, 1979 as a Laboratory of Applied Physics at BAS. In 1984, an experimental production was launched, based on which a Small Enterprise for Sensors and Sensor Devices was set up in October 1986. In 1986, LAP was transformed into the Institute of Applied Physics, and in 1995 – into the Central Laboratory of Applied Physics. In 2009, a Center for High Technology was established at CLAP.

CLAP was established as a unit of BAS conducting scientific and applied research in the field of microelectronics and optoelectronics, incl. development of III-V semiconductor materials, sensors and sensor devices on their basis.

Research and innovation activity

The main areas in which the scientific and applied activity in CLAP is carried out are:
• Innovative nanostructured and nano-sized layers for surface modification for industrial and biomedical applications.
• New semiconductor materials and structures high-efficiency solar cells and modules for charging electric vehicles.
• Energy-saving and ecological LED systems for organic farming, lighting, signaling and monitoring.

CLAP performs an innovative transfer to companies from the country and Europe of:

  • Hard wear-resistant coatings to extend the operating time of tools for the metalworking industry.
  • Super-hard high-temperature and wear resistant coatings for “dry” machining.
  • Technologies and equipment for electrolytic and plasma polishing of stainless steel, aluminum and aluminum alloy parts.
  • Highly efficient energy-saving RGB LED systems for greenhouse applications.
  • Autonomous energy-saving stations working on the basis of alternative energy sources with application in organic farming.

In 2004, the CLAP was awarded the Marine Drinov Honorary Plaque for scientific and applied research and their implementation in the development and production of sensors and sensor devices.

In 2015, the CLAP was awarded the Golden Stamp for European Management in Science and Golden Badge for contribution to the development of Bulgarian science.

The most significant achievements of CLAP after 2010 are:

  • A high-tech scientific research complex was built for the development and characterization of innovative materials for surface modification by nanostructured and nanosized coatings and thin layers.
  • Monolayer and multilayer hard wear-resistant coatings of nitrides, carbides and carbonitrides of transition metals with temperature stability up to 700°C were created and transferred to industry.
  • Ultra-hard mono-layer and multi-layer nanocomposite coatings, stable up to 900°C, and increasing the time of use of tools by 60% were created, some of which transferred to the metalworking industry.
  • Low-temperature technologies (below 200°C) for monolayer and multilayer (with nanosized period) nitride coatings with low friction and wear ratio and high corrosion resistance in aggressive environments were developed for industrial applications on specialized low-temperature steels, plastics and for medical applications on dentures, implants and more.
  • Multi-component compounds based on III-V dilute nitrides have been developed with high structural perfection and extended spectral IR photosensitivity for use in multijunction highly efficient solar cells.
  • Equipment and environmentally-friendly technology for electrolytic and plasma modification through polishing and oxidation of surfaces made of stainless steel and aluminum were developed.
  • An autonomous energy system based on alternative sources provided with remote control via an on-line connection was created. The system is multiplied to provide electrical power to sites away from standard power supply and urban areas.
Educational activity

CLAP is accredited for the training of PhD students under the code 01.03.26 “Electrical, magnetic and optical properties of condensed matter”.

CLAP works together with Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski and the Technical University of Plovdiv in the preparation of Bachelor, Master, Graduate and Doctoral students.

CLAP is the organizer of the NANOHARD International Conferences on “Nanostructured Materials, Thin Layers and Solid Coatings for Contemporary Applications”.

Other significant achievements of CLAP:

  • Within the framework of 4 European projects under COPERNICUS, NATO SfP and INTAS programmes, powerful, high-frequency and high-temperature SiC MESFETs; powerful high temperature SiC p-n diodes and high-temperature, high-frequency and high-voltage SiC p-i-n diodes have been developed. Ohmic and Schottky contacts have been developed for these devices, stable at temperatures up to 600°C. Powerful (over 100 W), high frequency (10 GHz) and high temperature (300°C) housings for SiC MESFETs and powerful diodes have been designed and manufactured.
  • A3B5 heterostructures have been developed and implemented for use in multijunction solar cells.
  • A wide range of photo-, magneto-, thermo-, radiation sensitive and capacitance sensors, as well as sensor units on their basis have been developed and implemented. Microwave sensors, photo probes and gamma LEDs are produced.
  • Based on Peltier modules, an isothermal container for the storage and transport of blood and a mini-refrigerator have been developed and manufactured. These products were awarded with a gold medal at the 55th International Fair Plovdiv and Silver Plaque at the International Exhibition “Makinova 2003” in Macedonia.