General Information

Main fields of activity
The aim of the Institute is to organize and carry out the most advanced basic, exploratory, and applied research into the theory of solutions, production of new materials, and development of modern chemical solution-based technologies. Among its objectives is also fostering the industrial implementation of the obtained research results in:
•    solution chemistry, theory of chemical engineering processes in liquid media;
•    synthesis, chemical structure and reactivity of macroheterocyclic compounds and supramolecular systems based on them;
•    chemistry and technology of preparation and modification of oxide, polymer, and hybrid nanomaterials in solutions;
•    development of new pharmaceutical drug compound forms and medical use materials.
ISC RAS coordinates and supervises training at a number of research and educational centers, student research laboratories established for integration of higher education and science and improving the quality of fundamental higher education. G.A. Krestov Institute initiated the establishment of the Ivanovo branch of the Higher Chemical College of the RAS. The Institute provides its students with laboratory equipment and other research facilities, as well as chemical reagents for preparation of their projects and graduation dissertations. The Institute also offers post-graduate courses in major professional educational programs.

The aim of ISC RAS is to foster the development of fundamental science and to acquire new knowledge about the world around us. ISC RAS is now the only Russian specialized research institution whose main research activity focuses on solving fundamental problems of physicochemistry of solutions and theory of liquid state of matter.
The importance and relevance of these studies stem from the fact that most chemical reactions, including high-volume chemical industrial processes and "fine" biochemical processes in living organisms, proceed in liquid phase. The Institute holds a leading position in the world and in the Russian Federation in the field of basic research into solution chemistry and development of fundamentals of modern chemical technology of obtaining novel promising functional materials based on solutions. Created by G.A. Krestov, ISC RAS is the leading research school in solution chemistry that has made a great contribution to the further development of physicochemical theory of obtaining liquid-phase, high-dispersion and nano-sized materials and their practical application in new technological processes. In the last few years, the Institute has intensified its studies in the field of supercritical fluids, ionic liquids and sol-gel processes, supramolecular and biological chemistry.

The Institute Structure and Personnel
The Institute's policy is targeted at preservation and development of the leading research schools founded by G.A. Krestov and A.M. Kutepov, training of highly-qualified specialists, defense of candidate and doctoral dissertations, and cooperation with higher educational institutions. Among the Institute’s priorities is encouraging young people to enter science by helping them to make the first steps in research and providing accommodation for young workers.
The Institute consists of 13 research laboratories, including the Center for Joint Use of Scientific Equipment "The Upper-Volga Region Center of Physico-Chemical Research", administration and management departments, engineering and support departments, as well as other auxiliary units.

Awards
The Institute can boast a number of awards. For example, eleven of the Institute’s current workers are winners of the Russian Federation Government award in the field of science and technology, six researchers have been awarded the title of an "Honourable Scientist of the Russian Federation", three - the title of an "Honourable Chemist", two - an "Honourable Worker of Higher Professional Education of the Russian Federation", and two have been decorated with a medal of the Order of Merit for the Service to Motherland, second class and an Order of Honour.
But there is one award that stands out among the others - the USSR State Award of 1987 for the development of the fundamentals of chemistry of nonaqueous solutions and their practical application. The award was given to a group of scientists, including five researchers of the Institute, who worked under the supervision of the Institute founder - G.A. Krestov, a Corresponding Member of the RAS.

Expert activities
Five of the ISC RAS workers are permanent members of advisory councils and commissions of government authorities. Twelve workers regularly participate as experts in the activities of commissions of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, federal and regional government authorities and state-run corporations, five are members of the expert councils of the High Qualification Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia.
Workers of the ISC RAS regularly participate in the activities of international scientific and engineering organizations – The European Molecular Liquids Group (EMLG) and The Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines – as members of these organizations or as experts in the examination of international projects of Horizon 2020, a new EU framework programme.

Educational Activity
ISC RAS coordinates and supervises training at a number of research and educational centers, student research laboratories established for integration of higher education and science, improvement of the quality of fundamental higher education, forms and methods of student research organization, stimulation of students' initiatives in research and creative activities in science, individual training of specialists in the field of theoretical and experimental chemistry and chemical technology. The most important source of qualified personnel for the ISC RAS is the Ivanovo branch of the Higher Chemical College, RAS (IB HCC, RAS). IB HCC, RAS was founded by Decision No. 12/67-01-70 of the RAS Presidium on March 31, 1992. ISC RAS is responsible for the supervision of the training process, according to Decision No. 12200-266 of the RAS Presidium of June 16, 1993. Highly qualified researchers from ISC RAS teach at the IB HCC, RAS. They also supervise the students' research. The ISC RAS facilities and resources, including the laboratories, equipment, chemical reagents, access to the electronic library and various information and analytical resources, are also used by students of several universities (ISUCT, IvSU, IvSPU and others) for doing their research, preparing their course papers, graduation and Master degree works. The Institute has recently opened a department for for teaching students nanoengineering jointly with Ivanovo Polytechnic University. It is also planning to continue its educational activity by establishing and developing departments in cooperation with other educational institutions. One of such departments is going to be opened at Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology together with Lille University of Science and Technology in the framework of the ERASMUS+ program that will be realized in the next five years. This joint department will enroll Master degree students and those who want to take a joint post-graduate course. It is planned to continue the cooperation by opening a Russian-French laboratory for green chemistry methods. One of the main aims of the Institute is to pass on knowledge and experience to the younger generation because some of its representatives are likely to take on leading positions in the Institute's administration in future. And the Institute offers them training opportunities involving them in the activities of the Institute Commissions.
The Institute successfully realizes a post-graduate program in Physical Chemistry in the speciality of Chemical Sciences. Up to 15 post-graduate students are simultaneously taught at ISC RAS.

Facilities
The physical facilities that the Institute possesses enable it to pursue its long-term goals and day-to-day objectives in its main research directions.
The Institute's 12 laboratories and Center for Joint Use of Scientific Equipment are located in 3 main laboratory and office buildings and several auxiliary facilities.

Research Equipment
ISC RAS is currently a large research center with state-of-the-art equipment for doing research. The Institute's modern high precision instruments and complexes, advanced methods and measurement techniques allow its workers to study a wide range of objects by the methods of chromatography-mass spectrometry, gas phase electron-diffraction, high-temperature mass-spectrometry, gas and liquid chromatography, electron and optical microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, electronic transition and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, atomic absorption and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry. All the expensive equipment belongs to the Upper Volga Region Center of Physico-Chemical Research, the Institute's center for joint use of scientific equipment. The research equipment allows the Institute to study the structure and properties of substances in condensed state, solutions and supercritical fluids, carry out physico-chemical screening of drugs, and model a number of manufacturing processes.
 In the last few years the Institute has purchased a lot of costly and unique equipment: an Avance 500 NMR spectrometer, a VERTEX 80v FT-IR spectrometer (Bruker) with attachments for handling samples in the supercritical state, an Advance D8 multifunctional X-ray diffractometer (Bruker), a Solatron SI 1260 impedance/gain-phase analyzer, a Zetasizer Nano ZS particle size, zeta potential and absolute molecular weight analyzer (Malvern), a NOVA 1200 Series automatic surface area and pore size analyzer (Quantachrome), a DMA 4500+DMA HP, DMA 5000M densimeter (Anton Paar GmbH), a GBC MFR 2100 micro Fourier rheometer, a simultaneous thermal analyzer (DSC/DTA/TG) with an STA 409 CD/7/G skimmer coupled with a QMG 422 gas-phase analyzer, a DSC 204 F1 Phoenix differential scanning calorimeter with a μ-sensor, a DSC 204 F1 Phoenix NETZSCH heat flow differential scanning calorimeter, an Agilent 1200 Series high efficiency liquid chromatograph, a Solver P47 PRO scanning probe microscope, and a ministation for liquid nitrogen production.

Correspondence of the Institute's activities to the policy of the Russian Federation in the field of science and technologies
The Institute's studies and developments are fully in line with its aims, quite relevant and comply with the main documents defining the policy of the Russian Federation in the field of science and technology.
The Institute has realized a number of projects within the special federal program, "Studies and Innovations in the Priority Areas of Science and Technology Development in Russia in 2014-2020”. The projects are related to the following directions of the program:
 
1. Biocatalytic, biosynthetic and biosensor technologies.
2. Biomedical and veterinary technologies.
3. Computer simulation of nanomaterials, nanodevices and nanotechnologies.
4. Nano-, bio-, information and cognitive technologies.
5. Technologies of new and renewable sources of energy, including hydrogen energy.
6. Technologies of obtaining and processing of construction nanomaterials.
7. Technologies of obtaining and processing of functional materials.
ISC RAS is taking part in four technological platforms:
• "Medicine of the Future";
• "Bioindustry and Bioresources – BioTech2030";
• "Bioenergy";
• "New Polymer Composite Materials and Technologies".

The main scope of the Institute's research
The Institute is currently doing research in six basic subject fields, receiving yearly subsidies from the government:
• Development of approaches and methods of physical chemistry for studying multi-component supramolecular, molecular, and ion-molecular systems as promising materials;
• Tetrapyrrole macroheterocyclic compounds: the interrelation between physical and applied properties;
• Theoretical and engineering foundations of obtaining functional materials and nanocomposites;
• Providing polypropylene and natural cellulose-containing fibrous materials with new functional properties using nanosized dispersions and chemical, plasma-chemical, and hydroacoustic effects;
• Development of screening approaches to obtaining soluble forms of drug compounds with neurotropic activity based on cocrystal technologies;
• Fundamentals of methodology of predicting properties of novel organic and inorganic functional materials by combining experimental and theoretical methods of modern physical chemistry.
The Institute is now involved in the implementation of 10 projects of the Programs for Basic Research of the RAS Presidium and 5 projects of the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science of the RAS. In the last five years, the Institute has realized 47 projects within the framework of these programs.
 
In the last five years, the Institute has also completed research financed by 8 grants of the President of the Russian Federation for Government Support for Young Russian Scientists - Candidates and Doctors of Sciences - and a scholarship of the President of the Russian Federation given to young scientists and post-graduate students involved in state-of-the-art research and development in the priority areas of modernization of the Russian economy. The Institute has completed 19 research, development and engineering projects as part of the federal and ministry-level special programs of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation: "Research and Development in Priority Areas of Modernization of the Science and Technology Complex of Russia in 2007-2012", "Scientific and Academic Personnel of Innovative Russia in 2009-2013", "Development of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industries of the Russian Federation for the period until 2020 and further".
 
Fifty-two projects have been implemented by the Institute after winning the Competition of Project Initiatives of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. Twenty-nine projects realized by ISC RAS have been financed by the grants received from the joint program of the Government of Ivanovo region and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.  Two research groups of the Institute have won the competition to receive grants of the Russian Science Foundation in its priority area of activity – "Basic and Exploratory Research Done by Individual Research Groups".
 
The Institute is currently implementing grants together with its foreign partners within the 7th Framework Program of the European Union, FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES: "Effects of solvents on the physicochemical properties of bioactive components: combining theory and experiment" ("BIOSOL") jointly with the University of Lille (France), Max Planck Institute of Applied Mathematics (Germany), and Syddansk University (Denmark) and "Dendrimers for Photonic Devices" ("DphotoD") together with Lund University (Sweden), Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), Technical University of Ilmenau (Germany), and B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

Research papers published in the last five years
The Institute has been regularly publishing the results of its research in the form of monographs and papers in top-rated peer-reviewed journals, as well as presenting them at scientific conferences and symposia. The Institute's publication activity has taken it to the top of the rating of the Russian research institutions. The last few years have seen a considerable increase in the number of citations of the Institute's publications, according to the Web of Science data, which indicates the growing quality and relevance of the problems they address.
In the last five years, the number of the Institute's papers that have been indexed in Russian and international analysis and information systems of science citation has reached 1271 (Russian Science Citation Index journals), 948 (Web of Science database), and 983 (Scopus). The Institute's researchers have published 554 papers in foreign scientific journals, written 11 monographs, 2 textbooks, and authored 47 chapters in joint monographs. ISC RAS has been granted 12 titles of protection in the Russian Federation for its inventions and utility models.
The Institute regularly organizes all-Russian and international scientific events (conferences, symposia, seminars, etc.). In the last five years, ISC RAS has organized 28 large scientific conferences with international participation.
In order to promote communication between scientists and to popularize research results, the Institute has long been among the organizers and in some cases the main co-organizer of 5 international and 2 all-Russian conferences. More than a third of all the participants of these conferences are young scientists. However, in addition to that, the Institute's Council of Young Scientists (CYS) regularly arranges open scientific seminars that also aim to promote communication between scientists and to popularize research results. All these activities facilitate the exchange of ideas in the most relevant areas of research, help young scientists to share knowledge and opinions about the modern problems of various fields of science with each other, to become better professionals, and to build new professional and personal contacts. The Institute's Council of Young Scientists, together with Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology, organizes a Summer School for Young Chemists – a summer school for schoolchildren who get the chance to do real research under the supervision of young scientists. Participants are offered lectures about new promising areas of chemistry, seminars and lessons on the most important subject areas of inorganic and organic chemistry, master-classes on practical chemistry, excursions to the Institute's laboratories and Center for Joint Use of Scientific Equipment. The results of the studies conducted by the Institute's workers regularly become the themes of mass media reports at the federal and local levels on TV, in newspapers, and on Internet information portals. To attract more readers and viewers, the Institute's Council of Young Scientists posts information about the most important achievements and evens in its microblog and social media.

ISC RAS cooperation with the Ivanovo region authorities
The Institute is an active participant and organizer of scientific events in the region. ISC RAS can be truly called the center that shapes and promotes scientific knowledge in the region as the Institute often initiates and takes part in realization of a lot of scientific events in the region.
ISC RAS coordinates and supervises training at eight research and educational centers and departments organized jointly with higher educational institutions in Ivanovo. These educational centers were established either as joint departments or as joint research and educational centers. Such centers have been established in cooperation with Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology (ISUCT), Ivanovo State Power Engineering University (ISPEU), Ivanovo State University (IvSU), Ivanovo State Medical Academy (ISMA), and Ivanovo State Academy of Architecture and Construction (IGASA). The aims of these centers are: to solve problems of integration of higher education and science, to raise the standards of fundamental higher education, to improve the forms and methods of students' research organization, to develop students' initiative in research and creative activity in science, to provide conditions for training of specialists in the field of theoretical and experimental chemistry and chemical technology. ISC RAS, together with the universities of Ivanovo, is realizing federal and regional research projects.
ISC RAS initiated and actively participated in the establishment of Ivanovo Regional Scientific Coordination Center under the Governor of Ivanovo region. The Center represents a council responsible for science and innovations and a regional coordination unit. ISC RAS also facilitated the signing of an agreement between the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Administration of Ivanovo region about co-funding of regional grants. The Institute has made a number of proposals for innovations for the industrial park and has also become a member of the non-profit organization - "Association of Entrepreneurs in Textile and Clothes Industries of Ivanovo Region". The ISC RAS working group is responsible for organizing the participation of Ivanovo region in international innovation and investment exhibitions.
ISC RAS is one of the founders of the engineering company that was granted government support by the decision of the Contest Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, dated 15 September, 2014. The company is a pilot project in the field of textile and clothes industry and its main aim is to promote the development of the textile cluster in Ivanovo region.

The most important basic research results
ISC RAS has gained a lot of experience in basic research aiming to develop a unified theory of particle structure and dynamics in liquid phase and supercritical systems, to identify the conditions and criteria of formation of stable nanostructures and nanoparticle ensembles in such systems, and to create methods of synthesizing new materials and nanocomposites with "breakthrough" properties and their unique combinations. The Institute has also done a lot to establish the physicochemical foundations of obtaining composite polymer materials based on natural and synthetic fibers and to develop methods of producing functional materials, including nanomaterials, using supercritical fluids, ionic liquids, and sol-gel processes.
ISC RAS has achieved outstanding results in its basic research, including:
•    creation of materials for high-sensitivity sensor devices that will be used to develop highly selective receptors of targeted drug delivery, functional devices for storage and transmission of information at the molecular level, new types of chromophore fluorescent sensors, cation-controlled heterotopic macroheterocycles of a new type for identification, separation, and selective binding of multifunctional reagents, spin-crossover complexes that can serve as molecular light energy absorption antennas;
•    development of formulations of multicomponent solutions for producing stable suspensions of selective chirality nanotubes characterized by semiconductor conductivity  (the results obtained are of great importance for developing photonic technologies and creating new laser apparatuses in particular);
•    production of novel soluble forms of drug compounds belonging to the group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications based on the cocrystal technology. The solubility of the novel forms is 5 times higher than that of the respective individual compounds (the results are pharmaceutically relevant since the new substances will be used for creating nontoxic drugs of a new generation).
Some of the basic research results have been included in the reports of the Russian Academy of Sciences to the Government of the Russian Federation including:
•    development of a new type of chromophore fluorescent sensors – derivatives of dipyrrolylmethene for ultraselective identification and express analysis of microquantities (up to 10-9 mol/L) of Hg2+, Cd2+, Cu2+, Co2+, Zn2+, and Ni2+ ions in water and organic media;
•    confirmation of the structure of a pore formed by the CRY type toxins in a lipid membrane by the Brownian dynamics method;
•    synthesis of cation-controlled heterotopic macroheterocycles, whose application range includes high-selectivity macrocyclic receptors, devices for storage and transmission of information at the molecular level, targeted drug delivery;
•    obtaining of Fe(III) complexes with asymmetric and branched azomethine ligands;
•    establishing for the first time that the fluorescence of frozen ethanol solutions of binuclear zinc(II) helicates with 3,3′-bis(dipyrrolylmethenes) increases 100 times when the temperature goes down from 200 to 77 K, which can be of use in optical devices for low temperature control;
•    preparation of new polymorphic forms and cocrystals based on felodipine, which belongs to the group of calcium channel blockers, for the first time and studying them in order to create water-soluble pharmaceutical systems;
•    obtaining, studying and patenting of new soluble forms of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs by using multi-stage screening algorithms and the cocrystal technology;
•    development of a new method of sol-gel synthesis of biomedical materials: obtaining of highly stable enzyme-entrapped preparations based on aluminum oxyhydroxide;
•    development of a methodological approach to selecting ionic liquids suitable for the use as working electrolytes for capacitive energy storage devices. The distinguishing feature of this approach is that it allows researchers to determine kinetic dependences of interaction between the functional materials and the working electrolyte in conditions simulating capacitor charge-discharge and storage processes and to simultaneously control the electrical parameters of the corrosion cell, which allows nondestructive monitoring of the corrosion process development;
•    substantiation of the mechanism of transition from the lower 2D state of fullerene (C60@H2O molecular capsules) to the higher 3D state (single-component hexamolecular C60 layer), namely stepwise vertical and lateral phase separation of the homogeneous binary C60-H2O system into more and more fullerene-enriched 3D phases and free water;
•    identification of solution types producing stable suspensions of selective chirality nanotubes (the results obtained are of great importance for developing photonic technologies and creating new laser apparatuses in particular);
•    development of a cost-effective technology of producing biologically active flax-based silver nanocomposites;
•    development of a technology of producing reinforced polypropylene fibers making it possible to improve their strength, adhesion, and hydrophobicity.
The most important results of applied studies
The Institute performs a lot of applied studies. For example, employing the results of basic research into heterogeneous systems, its workers have developed a technology of deep conversion of natural flax fibers into a wide range of materials (fire-resistant, biologically active, composite and other types). One of the aims of such studies was to solve the strategic problem of reducing the dependence of the Russian economy on the fluctuations of imported cotton prices. The process documentation developed at G.A. Krestov Institute of Solution Chemistry of RAS was used to design two plants – LenOm, LLC, an enterprise in the town of Kalachinsk in Omsk region, and Vologodchina, an agricultural enterprise in Cherepovetsk in Vologda region – and to perform commissioning tests and launch the industrial production of new materials.
The Institute is currently working to commercialize the following developments:
• preparation of modified polypropylene fibrous materials with improved properties by immobilizing nano- and ultradispersed polytetrafluoroethylene particles in them;
• synthesis of precursors of photosensitizers for producing and developing drug formulations for photodynamic therapy of cancer;
• production of new soluble forms of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
ISC RAS has for the first time synthesized the following novel materials:
• electrorheological liquids that undergo transitions from viscous flow to solid state under the action of electric field;
• chromophore fluorescent sensors for ultraselective identification and express analysis of micro-quantities of ions;
• mesoporous copper-containing alumina-based nanoarchitectures;
• highly selective macrocyclic receptors for selective binding of multifunctional reagents;
• hybrid organo-inorganic functional polymer and fiber nanocomposite materials;
• form-stable hydrogels with high water-retention capacity that can be used as matrices for sustained release of biologically active preparations;
•  nanostructured biocomposite materials based on colloidal solutions of cellulose and starch ester binary mixtures;
•  fixatives for pigment printing;
•  sorbents of oil and petrochemical products from polyolefin waste;
•  Tezagran fire retardants;
• novel materials based on chemical modification of flax and flax production waste: textile and construction materials, Modilen fiber, Biolen biologically active dressings, flax wool, and high quality cellulose.
 ISC RAS has developed the following new technologies:
• energy-efficient technologies of deep flax processing ensuring 100% utilization of raw materials used to manufacture a whole range of new products;
• a technology of production of a wide range of goods by controlled chemical modification of flax and flax production waste;
• a cost-effective technology of obtaining biologically active flax-based silver nanocomposites;
• a technology of producing reinforced polypropylene fibers with improved strength, adhesion, and hydrophobicity.
The most socially important project among those realized by the Institute was the development of energy-efficient technologies of deep flax processing ensuring 100% utilization of raw materials used to manufacture a whole range of new products.
The results of basic research into heterogeneous systems became the foundation for the development of a new technology of deep conversion of natural flax fibers into a wide range of materials (fire-resistant, biologically active, composite and other types). This was also part of the strategic plan aimed at reducing the dependence of the Russian economy on fluctuations of prices of imported cotton used to produce a variety of materials, including cellulose for manufacturing gun powder for the artillery and solid propellants, surgical cotton wool with immobilized antiseptic preparations, biologically active dressings with silver nanoparticles, from annually renewable raw materials extracted in Russia. According to the instruction of the President of the Russian Federation issued at the meeting of the Presidium of the State Council of the Russian Federation on June 20, 2008, the Institute continues its research and development activities under the state contract of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. The aim of the contract is to develop resource-saving technologies of preparation of modified high-purity flax fibers for manufacturing nonwoven materials for medical and cosmetic purposes, hygiene, as well as technical fabrics with tailored properties.
Cheaper domestic raw materials used instead of expensive foreign cotton to produce highly demanded goods for medical purposes make it possible to preserve the unique natural properties of the flax fiber – water absorption, air permeability and ability to prevent wound infections and facilitate the recovery. They also help to avoid the use of environmentally hazardous chlorinated reagents.
The process documentation developed at G.A. Krestov Institute of Solution Chemistry of RAS was used to design two plants – LenOm, LLC, an enterprise in the town of Kalachinsk in Omsk region, and Vologodchina, an agricultural enterprise in Cherepovetsk in Vologda region, – and to perform commissioning tests and launch the industrial production of new materials. The enterprises have produced 2.4 tons of modified flax fiber, 202 tons of medical wool from flax, 1.7 mln square meters of the НО-Л-1А (NO-L-1A) materials for railway carriage production.