European Academy of Sciences
Member Profile

Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov


Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov
Year of Election
Materials Science Division
Country/Region of working/living
Queensland University of Technology

Prof. Ostrikov has gained worldwide recognition across the fields of plasma science, nanoscience, materials science, and related areas of plasma applications. He is an acknowledged pioneer and leader in the rapidly emerging applied research area of Plasma Nanoscience and has been fundamental to the development of the field’s large international collaborative research community. Prof Ostrikov’s fundamental insights into using plasmas to structure nanoscale matter have been applied to the development of new advanced functional materials, devices and processes, which have applications in diverse research and technological fields. His approaches for control of energy and matter at nanoscales have been translated into a range of thermal, chemical, radiation and other processes. Their likely applications span the materials, energy, health and other fields, potentially leading to energy-efficient, green technologies for a sustainable future. Of special mention are recent physical insights into plasma and plasma-made nanostructure-enabled conversion of energy and matter leading to solar-thermal water purification and microbial sterilization and other applications, discovery of ion-enabled atomic bond manipulation that turn brittle ceramic materials superplastic, and mechanisms for the open-air plasma activation of fragile molecular matter to perform as a stable catalyst for hydrogen production under industry-relevant conditions. Prof. Ostrikov’s prolific publications in top journals across about 10 discipline areas have attracted over 21,000 citations (Google Scholar, GS) and H-index of 74 (GS). His preeminent international standing and impact beyond his primary field are further evidenced by over 150 plenary, keynote and other invited talks, multiple prestigious awards, honours, fellowships and professorial appointments in 6 countries.

• In June 2019 elected Academician (Foreign Fellow) of the European Academy of Sciences, which has 44 Nobel Laureates among its members. • Fellow, Institute of Physics, UK (since 2019). For outstanding contributions and promotion of Physics discipline. • NML Researcher Award (2018) for research excellence in the field of nano and micro science and continuing outstanding contributions to the development of science (Nano-Micro Letters and Nature Research Society). • In Sep. 2015, elected Academician (Foreign Member) of the Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe, AE). Amongst the AE’s members are >70 Nobel Laureates. • “Excellence in Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Physics” New South Wales (NSW) Science and Engineering Award (2014). Office of Chief Scientist & Engineer and Trade & Investment of NSW State Government. This award recognizes research excellence across the physical, chemical, and biological sciences. • Walter Boas Medal, Australian Institute of Physics (2010). For original research that has made the most important contribution to physics in the last 5 years. One of the most prestigious awards in Physics in Australia. • Pawsey Medal of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2008). For the most outstanding research in physics by an Australian scientist under the age of 40. One of the most prestigious awards in Physics in Australia. • ARC Future Fellowship, Level 3, Full Professor (2011-2015). One of the most prestigious fellowships in Australia with no more than 30 fellowships of this level awarded nation-wide across all disciplines per year. • CEO Science Leader Fellowship and Award, CSIRO (2008-2017). CSIRO’s most prestigious fellowship; prestige and level of support comparable to ARC Federation Fellowship. • Australian Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Fellowship of the ARC (2004-2009). One of the most prestigious fellowships in Australia with no more than 15 QEII fellowships awarded nation-wide across all disciplines per year. • Lee Kuan Yew Research Fellowship, Singapore (2002). Most prestigious and competitive mid-career research fellowship in Singapore, with only two fellowships awarded at that time annually, across all disciplines. • CSIRO Chief’s Award for Science Excellence, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Australia (2011). For outstanding multidisciplinary research. • National Top-End (short term) Visiting Professor Awards, China (2012-4, 2015-7). Highly-prestigious and competitive program to attract pre-eminent visiting professors who are internationally renowned in their fields. • More than ten honorary, adjunct, and visiting full professor-level appointments in 5 countries, including the Prominent Researchers from Abroad Distinguished Visiting Professorship Award of the Ministry of Science of Slovenia (2008, 2012), the Foreign Visiting Professorship (FVP) of Peking University (PkU), Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tsinghua University and “111 Project Master” of Zhejiang University, China (since 2015-6). • Promoted to CSIRO’s Chief Research Scientist in Plasma- and Nano- Technologies (2012). • Distinguished Doctor of Sciences, Kharkiv National University, Ukraine (2009). • Fellow, Australian Institute of Physics (since 2008). • Alexander von Humboldt Researh (1997-1999) and Long-Term Cooperation (2002)Fellowships, Germany. • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Research Fellowship (2000-2001), Japan. • Royal Society Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1997), UK. • Best Young Scientist of the Year Award, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (1997). • The youngest Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) and a full professor in Ukraine (aged 29), 1997.

Prof Ostrikov’s fundamental concepts, discoveries, new theories, insights into structuring nanoscale matter using plasmas, developed over last 15 years have had a significant impact on his primary discipline (physics of plasmas) and specialized field (physics and applications of low-temperature plasmas) and opened many new opportunities for expanding and applying the new knowledge and practical theoretical and experimental approaches for the development of new advanced functional materials, devices and processes for applications in several research and technological fields. Prof Ostrikov’s world-leading research and international science leadership has created Plasma Nanoscience – a new and rapidly emerging research and technological field where he is regarded as an international pioneer and leader. Many researchers have followed his lead and engaged in the International Plasma Nanoscience Network that he created and leads. The iPlasmaNano conferences he has convened every year since 2009 set new directions and priorities in the field and are in high demand among researchers from diverse fields. Prof. Ostrikov has gained a worldwide recognition through his contributions to structuring matter at the atomic and nanometre scales to synthesize materials with exotic properties and assemble these materials into systems that exhibit novel functionalities, leading to devices and technological applications. His original plasma-based nanotechnology approaches to manipulate building blocks and structure nanoscale matter helped create new materials, processes and devices that are difficult or even impossible to achieve by other means. Prof. Ostrikov is among the handful of researchers who pioneered the studies of plasma effects in the formation and modification of matter with nanoscale features. He was first to raise the question about choosing and optimizing plasmas for nanotechnology applications and formulated the requirements for plasma sources in the synthesis of common nanostructures. Through publications and conference presentations, he informed the plasma and materials research community of the associated benefits, opportunities, and challenges. His original approaches for generating and controlling building blocks of nanoscale matter are recognized as groundbreaking, and stimulated plasma materials processing in other research and technology fields. Prof. Ostrikov was first to develop the practical framework to link the processes across nine orders of magnitude and to isolate building block generation, transport, and self-organization on plasma-exposed surfaces. His work discovered and quantified the effects of electric charges and ion focusing on nucleation and growth of diverse nanostructures. Adaptation of these concepts and approaches by other researchers (evidenced by numerous citations, conference presentations, and media stories) shifted paradigms in nanoscale synthesis and processing of advanced materials under non-equilibrium plasma conditions that were previously considered challenging or even impossible. This recognition is succinctly summarised by the following citation of the Pawsey Medal (Australian Academy of Sciences): “K. Ostrikov has achieved international repute through his contributions to diverse multidisciplinary fields, particularly in plasma nanoscience, where he is widely recognised as a pioneer and world leading authority. He has used innovative approaches to the creation and manipulation of atomic and nanoscale building blocks, the organisation of nanomatter by plasma, and describing the interactions between plasma and solids. His research has created new ways to generate self-assembled nanomaterials, nanoelectronic and photonic structures, and devices for future computer chips, solar cells, communications systems and biosensors.”

Impact beyond own field. Prof Ostrikov’s research has impacted on several fields evidenced by advanced nanomaterials for electronics, energy conversion and storage, environmental and biomedical sensing, catalysis, devices and processes for water purification, food processing, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, etc. Generic research methods and approaches for control of energy and matter at nanoscales developed through his fundamental research have been translated into a diverse range of thermal, chemical, radiation, and other processes of significant fundamental and applied interest across several fields, potentially leading to energy-efficient, green technologies for a sustainable future. International recognition from academia and industry. Prof. Ostrikov’s work has been recognised by many awards, honours, fellowships, and invitations. Remarkably, he is the first recipient of the high-profile Building Future Award of Germany’s Ministry of Economics, Association of Electronic and Electrotechnical Industries, and the world’s largest Trade Fair Messe Frankfurt in recognition of outstanding achievements and innovations in scientific research that sets a landmark in sustainable development in our society. He won the three most prestigious general-field (physics) medals of National Academies of Science of Australia and Ukraine and the Australian Institute of Physics, 7 prestigious international fellowships and 10 full professor-level appointments in 6 countries, and delivered more than 150 plenary, keynote, and invited talks at leading international conferences.

High-impact publications across disciplines. His research made plasma research visible well beyond specialized journals in the fields, through high-profile publications in top journals across several fields, e.g. Nature Communications (cross-disciplinary), top journals in Physics (e.g., Rev. Mod. Phys., Adv. Phys., Phys. Rev. Lett., Phys. Repts.), Chemistry (Chem. Rev., Chem. Soc. Rev., J. Amer. Chem. Soc.), Nanotechnology (e.g., ACS Nano, Nanoscale Horizons), Materials Science (e.g., Adv. Mater., Adv. Energy Mater., Adv. Funct. Mater.) and many other high-impact journals in other fields including microbiology, industrial chemistry and chemical engineering, medical oncology and biomedical devices. Citation impact. The publications have made truly outstanding impact evidenced by extraordinary for his primary field H-index of 74 (74 papers have been cited 74 times or more, Google Scholar, GS) achieved over 22 years of active research career and which has increased by more than five points per year in last eight years – while a yearly growth of the H-index (M-index) of an individual researcher by one unit is commonly accepted as a sign of success [Nature 436, 900 (2005)]. Full list of publications and citation metrics can be found through the following Google Scholar link:

Fields of scholarship and current research directions: 1) Plasma nanoscience 2) Nanotechnology, nanofabrication 3) Nanoscale synthesis and processing 4) Materials science and engineering 5) Functional nanomaterials and devices 6) Low-temperature plasma applications 7) Energy, environmental, health, and other industrial technologies 8) Nano-plasmas and plasmonics 9) Plasma health care and medicine 10) Plasma catalysis 11) Biomedical genetics 12) Cleantech 13) Industrial and agricultural biotechnology 14) Advanced (e.g., additive) manufacturing 15) High-energy-density physics Selected areas of contributions: solving cross-disciplinary problems: Prof. Ostrikov’s selected contributions can be categorized in five major areas. Throughout his distinguished career he has advocated and implemented a unique approach from the development of fundamental concepts all the way to practical applications in different fields: • The original “plasma nanoscience” conceptual framework of low-temperature plasmas as a versatile tool for nanotechnology, and recognition of this knowledge area as a distinctive research field • Novel approaches to plasma-specific fundamental interactions and catalytic processes; • Advanced functional nano-materials enabled by plasma-specific effects; • Reforming of organic matter into functional nano-carbon materials for specific applications; and • Applications of the arising materials, processes and devices in diverse fields ranging from energy materials to biomedicine. Solving cross-disciplinary problems. These contributions helped solve important cross-disciplinary problems across the physical, chemical, biological and engineering sciences and led to diverse applications spanning from advanced functional materials for energy, sensing, catalysis, water purification, to plasma treatment of biomass and biological objects for sustainable manufacturing, biotechnology, health care, hygiene and biomedicine.

Prof Ostrikov’s leadership and legacy have been recognized across the three dimensions: Science knowledge and research outcomes, Community and collaborative linkages, and Mentoring and research capacity building: Science knowledge and research outcomes. Prof Ostrikov has led the development of the theoretical basis and experimental techniques to study nanoscale plasma-surface interactions in plasma-enabled nanofabrication. His works identified plasma controls of nanoscale growth and self-organization leading to the desired morphological, structural and other materials properties in parameter spaces inaccessible by other methods. This led to systematic guiding principles and methods to produce advanced functional nanomaterials with tailored properties summarised in standard references. His persistence and persuasion helped overcome the then prevailing perception that plasmas are necessarily detrimental to the synthesis of delicate nanomaterials. The continuously raising profile and the rapid growth of publications suggest that plasma nanoscience received international recognition within about ten years since his early ‘vision’ paper (Rev. Mod. Phys. 77, 489 (2005)), which was a rare feat in the plasma community. His new scientific insights inspired researchers to collaborate across disciplines and publish in high-impact journals to make plasma research visible beyond specialized journals. His multiple high-profile publications, awards and honours motivated researchers to follow and surpass his lead. Prof Ostrikov’s research and community leadership raised the profile of plasma technologies in materials processing and device fabrication, leading to the distinctive knowledge base of plasma nanoscience and its recognition as a multi-disciplinary research focus area. Community and collaborative linkages. Prof Ostrikov created the International Plasma Nanoscience Collaborative Network and formally introduced it to the major International Congress in Plasma Physics (ICPP2006). He led the conception of the annual international iPlasmaNano conferences and the establishment of the multi-disciplinary plasma nanoscience community. As community’s science leader, he convened nine successful conferences across four continents, with two more confirmed for 2019-2020. His achievements and leadership inspired numerous cross-disciplinary collaborations across the large international community, which joined efforts to apply nanoscale plasma-surface interactions in manufacturing, energy, catalysis, and other fields. The network now engages more than 300 leading researchers from all over the world, many with their own labs, teams, and students. Mentoring and research capacity building. Leading the change, research capacity building, raising talent is a succinct way to describe Prof. Ostrikov’s successful approach to building lasting legacy in human capital and research infrastructure. Throughout his career, he has initiated new research endeavours, established new groups and networks, secured new resources and world-class research facilities, attracted and mentored new talent. As a leader in his five current and previous groups, and collaboration catalyst across the international research network that he built and leads, Prof Ostrikov has engaged, led, mentored and supervised or co-supervised >70 postdoctoral and higher-level researchers, and >100 graduate and undergraduate students. His researchers and students became senior academics or researchers, won prestigious fellowships, honours and awards (e.g., Humboldt, ARC Future, ARC DECRA, Marie Curie, CSIRO Julius Career, JSPS fellowships), pursuing successful careers in academia, research, industry, Government and other sectors and new enterprises. About 12 years ago, Prof Ostrikov has founded the Plasma Nanoscience Centre Australia (PNCA) at CSIRO, where more than 30 staff and students were trained. The quality of training was recognised as world-class, with several leading international groups placing their staff and students to PNCA at their own cost. He leveraged resources to build, from scratch, the unique equipment base in seven laboratories that covered nearly all the key areas of leading-edge applications of low-pressure plasmas in nanofabrication, energy and optical devices, and atmospheric pressure plasmas in catalysis, health care and medicine. Over the last four years, he engaged CSIRO and QUT in a partnership and attracted resources to establish his current research capacity, the Joint Sustainable Processes and Devices Laboratory (SPDL). This new laboratory builds on PNCA’s capabilities and has two nodes in Brisbane and Sydney. Prof Ostrikov offered research training for students and early career researchers across the six topical fields of plasma applications in nanotechnology, clean and sustainable manufacturing, 2D/3D printing, catalysis, agro-, food-, bio-technology, and medicine. Such combination in the same group is unique.

Current research program: resolving grand challenges. Prof. Ostrikov's current research program focuses on discovering plasma-specific controls to help overcome fundamental scientific barriers in applications of additive manufacturing (3D printing) in nano-manufacturing. Solution of the critical issues of resolution and throughput, range and structure of printable materials, and limited control of atomic bonding and nanoscale structure is poised to open new horizons in applications of 3D printing in nanomanufacturing targeting high-end applications such as nanostructured metal-based catalysts for renewable hydrogen fuel production and high-performance alloys and composites. Last five years: moving faster, aiming higher. In last five years, Prof. Ostrikov’s research advances and career achievements are particularly astonishing. First, he was able to expand the applications of his generic approaches and methods into several new fields including ion-material interactions, nano-plasmas for high-energy-density physics and applications, new classes of two-dimensional nanomaterials, plasma-assisted catalysis, chemical and sustainable engineering, biotechnology and microdevices, water purification, and a few others. Second, he was elected as an Academician (Foreign Member) of the very prestigious Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe) and European Academy of Sciences which collectively include more than 115 Nobel Laureate members. Third, since 2015, he has published more than 250 papers in top journals including Rev. Mod. Phys., Chem. Rev., Chem. Soc. Rev., Nature Comm., Phys. Reports, Adv. Mat., Adv. Energy Mat., Adv. Funct. Mat., ACS Nano, Nano Energy, Mater. Horiz., Appl. Catal. B Environ., ACS Nano, Matter, and many others. Fourth, since 2015, his papers have been cited over 11,600 times, corresponding to an H-index of 50 (GS). This extraordinary high rate of high-impact publications and citations in last five years (compared to both his previous career, and other leading researchers in the field) clearly evidence that Prof. Ostrikov’s already distinguished career is experiencing a rapid upward surge.