The Mission of the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry (IGIC) is to perform fundamental and applied research in the field of inorganic material science. The scientific investigations at IGIC are organized in four thematic areas in line with the contemporary challenges:
– materials for eco-energy, optical and biomedical technologies;
– environmental protection and climate change materials and processes;
– utilization of natural resources and environmental monitoring;
– new approaches for instrumental and theoretical analysis of materials.
In the basis of the research is the scientific approach for studying the correlation “composition-structure-property" with a view to design materials with desired properties.
The most considerable achievements at IGIC after 2015 are as follows:
– new phenomena have been discovered in the redox chemistry of metal centers in deposited metal nanoparticles and the mechanism of many catalytic reactions is clarified;
– new heterogeneous catalysts have been developed for control of emissions containing greenhouse gases, volatile organic substances and nitrogen oxides;
– a new class of electrode materials for sodium-ion batteries has been identified as an alternative to the current lithium-ion batteries;
– new optical systems based on glass and ceramics are proposed to replace single crystals;
– new computational strategies for quantum chemical modeling of the properties of metal-containing materials have been developed;
– highly sensitive and selective analytical methods have been developed for analysis of essential and toxic elements in plant samples and biological materials;
– the environmental status of polluted natural waters and soils has been assessed and improved.
The education at IGIC is mainly oriented to training PhD students in five specialties – inorganic chemistry, solid state chemistry, kinetics and catalysis, analytical chemistry and theoretical chemistry. By 2019, 133 PhD theses have been accomplished at IGIC.
Due to the high research level and international recognition, in 2004 the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry was recognized by the European Commission as Centre of Competence on Multifunctional Materials and New Processes with Environmental Impact (MISSION). Just after the completion of this project, in cooperation with the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the Sofia University, IGIC started another project to build a National Center of Excellence for New Materials (UNION). In 2005, in order to find realization of the scientific achievements at IGIC and to respond to current industrial tasks, IGIC, in association with other chemical institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, created Technological Transfer Center – TRANSMISSION. Later on, a number of European projects were successfully accomplished at IGIC: 1) “Creating highly qualified specialists in advanced environmental materials: from design to innovation" (Designovat), funded by the European Social Fund (2007-2013); 2) “Modernization of IGIC-BAS structure for enhancing its innovative capacity and competitiveness in the field of eco-technologies and technologies related to human health”, under the Operational Program “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy" (2007-2013). Currently, in progress at IGIC is another substantial project aiming at creation of a National Center for Mechatronics and Clean Technologies, under the Operating Program “Science and Education for Intelligent Growth”.