Margarita Zakharova defended her master degree thesis on Physics of Condensed Matter at the Department of General Physics, Tomsk Polytechnic University. The department implements many research projects jointly with the foreign partners, that is why all master students have the opportunity to do internships abroad.
‘Initially I learnt about the Institute of Microtechnology of KIT from Prof Yuri Kryuchkov. He assisted me to find my scientific supervisor. The experimental part of my thesis was conducted during my German internships one of which was funded by P.L.U.S. Scholarship of Tomsk Polytechnic University. Now I plan to enter the graduate school of Karlsruhe University of Technology and continue to work in this scientific group,’ says Margarita.
The research project of Margarita Zakharova is related to the development of novel optical components of X-ray radiation, namely, diffraction gratings through which it is possible to receive additional information on objects to be examined by X-rays.
‘When we see the X-ray image of our skeleton in the physician’s office, this is the result of absorption of X-rays. However, this is not all information that we can get. It is possible to receive data on the refraction of X-rays and their small-angle scattering inside objects and so on. As a result, there is fundamentally new additional data. Applying this technology, it is possible for physicians to distinguish, for example, boundaries of tumors.
Today X-ray radiation can provide us not only images of our skeleton but also other tissues of the body. In the future, we can get ‘images’ of all our body,’
The main objective of optical elements which TPU graduate is developing is to learn how quickly to obtain such images using simpler installations.
‘At the moment the major challenge in the X-ray visualization with phase contrast is that it is performed at rather complex installations which require careful tuning and operation, as well as large amounts of time, including irradiation, which is undesirable for medical technicians. Not every clinic can afford such equipment,’ clarifies master student of TPU.
She adds that R&D of novel optical elements in the field of radiography is an actively developing area. There are plenty of synchrotrons and laboratory sources of X-ray radiation in the world where new technology can be applied. X-rays have proven themselves as a source of radiation in materials science and medicine. The development of new optical elements will make it possible to improve the quality of X-ray images at times.
‘I’m grateful to TPU for the quality of education it provides. I believe that Tomsk Polytechnic University provides the best training in the field of mathematical analysis in Russia and, probably, in the whole world. Besides, I am thankful for the opportunity to go abroad for my internships, develop myself, expand my horizons and explore the world.
It is possible that in the future I will do joint research project together with the scientists from TPU, thus having an opportunity to learn something new from my colleagues,’ says Margarita.