Creation and development of the institute

In 60th of the last century, Donbass was a rapidly developing important industrial region of USSR. A characteristic feature of the period was regionalization of science.  Progress in production forces in Donbass generated a burning need in organization of fundamental and applied scientific researches that would be maximally oriented to the solution of the most important scientific and engineering problems of coal industry, metallurgy, machine building.

In 1965, Donetsk Scientific Center of Academy of Sciences of USSR was founded for the purpose of multi-agency coordination of scientific and technical progress at the regional level. One of the first systemic institutions was Donetsk Institute for Physics and Engineering of AS USSR.

The founder of the institute and the first director (1965 – 1982) was Alexandr Alexandrovich Galkin, academician of AS USSR, Doctor of Sciences in Physics and Mathematics, professor. The institute bears his name. Efficient recruitment, strategic selection of the basic lines of scientific activity provided rapid evolution and establishment as the largest academic scientific institution in Donetsk region. Within a short time, production of cryogenic liquids was developed and the institute started progressing as a center of researches at low and ultralow temperatures. Scientific features of the institute have been complex studies of solids under extreme conditions: low temperatures, high pressure, strong magnetic fields that got the institute world fame. The last years of his life, A.A. Galkin concentrated his attention to progress in physics of high pressure especially applied aspect. The results of this work became scientific basis of a new technology of metal processing, namely, hydroextrusion. This technology was put into industrial practice for the purpose of non-waste formation of the products of complex profile like the superconducting multi-core wire  composed by tens millions of fibers.  To 1978, the institute became the leading organization in this research area in USSR.   

Extension of the topics of research activity of the institute resulted in emergence of a series of new related scientific institutions contributing to industrial development of the region. These are Institute for Physical and Organical Chemistry and Chemistry of Coal, Research Institute for complex automatisation of Ministry of Industry and Communication Means of USSR, experimental design bureau “Luch” of Ministry of general machine-building of USSR dealing with solution of the problems of space exploration, Institute for Physics of Mining Processes.

Further the Institute was headed by Dr. of Sci. in Phys. and Math. N.M. Kovtun, corresponding member of NAS of Ukraine E.A. Zavadskii, corresponding member of NASU, Dr. of Sci. in Phys. and Math., professor V.N. Varyukhin.

Constant orientation of the staff activity to solution of urgent top-priority problems of science and engineering, correct administrative and personnel policy, creativity of the scientists provided rapid rise of the institute as a center of researches in the area of resonance, magnetic, superconducting, optical and mechanical properties of matter under extreme conditions.

Recent years allowed the institute to reinforce the scientific potential, to enhance the level of the projects, to form international importance as a leading scientific center in the physics of solids. The researchers of the institute have obtained a series of fundamental world-class scientific results.

These are:

  • Discovery of a principally new physical phenomenon that is intermediate state in antiferromagnets;
  • Progress in the theory of excitons, kinetic properties of semiconductors, defects in crystals;
  • Fixation and study of irreversible induction of new states of a matter by strong magnetic field;
  • Development of a conceptually new approach  to  obtaining physical information from tunnel characteristics of superconductors;
  • Discovery of the phenomenon of dopleron-phonon resonance in metals;
  • Finding of a new type of plastic deformation at the mesoscopic level that is formation of local dipole bends of crystal lattice etc.

The majority of the works of the institute is characterized by tight relation of fundamental studies and development of applied problems. The most explicit examples are researches in the area of physics and technics of high pressure.

Developed at the institute:

  • Scientific and technological basis of hydroextrusion and screw extrusion;
  • Basis of control of mechanical properties  of high-nitrogen alloys by high pressure methods;
  • Methods and modes of formation of powder  objects by cold isostatic pressure;
  • New principles of formation of nanostructured state of materials  in bulk samples that are based on the application of high hydrostatic pressure and severe plastic deformations;
  • Series of results contributing to the progress in urgent science lines: high-temperature superconductivity, physics of strongly correlated systems, nanophysics and nanotechnologies, magnetism, optics, structure and properties of materials, scientific basis of creation of new functional materials.

The institute developed reputation of designer of unique cryogenic, cryomagnetic, radiospectroscopic equipment of scientific experiments.

In 2015, the institute became a subordinate institution of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Donetsk People’s Republic. In 2023, after the region was admitted to the Russian Federation as a new territory, DONFTI came under the federal administration of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation.

Now Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution ”Galkin Donetsk Institute for Physics and Engineering” is the largest scientific institution in Donbass. Seven scientific research departments, two supporting research ones and 16 auxiliary units employ about 229 persons including 111 researchers (17 Drs. of Sci. and 45 Ph. Ds).

The institute provides successful development of scientific schools founded by academicians A.A. Galkin (physics of high pressure and spectroscopy of solids), V.G. Bar’yakhtar (theory of magnetism), V.I. Arkharov (mesoscopic phenomena in solids), corresponding members K.B. Tolpygo (theory of dynamics of lattice defects and biophysics), E.A. Zavadskii (physics of phase transformations under extreme conditions), V.N. Varyukhin (nanophysics and nanotechnology). The scientific schools gained world-wide currency.

The institute has wide experimental equipment park at disposal. The scientists use more than 1600 devices and installations, with tens of then being unique.

The institute continues at the modern level the research lines initiated by the founders of the scientific schools. At the same time, new urgent branches of physics are   in progress here like nanophysics and nanoelectronics; physics and technology of promising constructional and functional materials; physics of crystals under extreme conditions.

Among important fundamental researches, the institute realizes projects aimed at development of new technologies of production of nanomaterials and equipment for industry.  Urgent importance of the results of the projects is confirmed by more than 900 applications for inventions and over 870 patents and titles of protection.

The strategy of the institute activity is focused on fundamental and applied researches oriented to modern direction of the world science evolution, namely:

  • Study of micro- and macroscopic properties of solids under varied external impacts (high and low temperature, high pressure and mechanical loading, strong magnetic and electric fields, high-frequency, radio-frequency and optical radiation);
  • Development of new methods of testing of mechanical, magnetic, superconducting, electrical, resonance, optical properties  of the materials, study of their crystal, magnetic and electronic structures, design of the related equipment and devices;
  • Development of physical basis of the production of materials with the  prescribed properties, production of prototype samples and  small-lot production of the articles made of these materials;
  • Practical use of scientific results of applied projects.

Great attention is paid to training of young scientists by post-graduate courses and attestation of the high-skilled scientific staff by a dissertation council. Since 1991, scientific journal «Physics and high pressure technology» is published. The journal is refereed by the scientific electronic library and included to the base of Russian Index of Scientific Citation and the database of Russian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of Russian Academy of Sciences.

The results of the research activity of the scientists of the institute are published in more than 100 monographs. Every year, over 200 papers are published in leading homeland and international scientific journals. 18 staff members were awarded by State Prize in Science and Technics, 12 – nominal academic prizes and others, 3 – title «Honorary master of sciences and engineering науки и техники», 1 – title «Honorary inventor», 6 persons became winners of an academic prize for young scientists.

During a complex period of modern history of Donbass, Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution ”Galkin Donetsk Institute for Physics and Engineering” is the largest representative of fundamental science  in Donetsk People’s Republic. Scientific staff potential, unique park of experimental and technological equipment, great experience of multidimensional scientific research allowed the institute to retain the positions in the world science. Traditional co-operation with scientific community of Russian Federation is one of the most important factors of successful and effective development of scientific research at the institute that is aimed at the solution of the most urgent scientific and technological problems that are of special importance for Donetsk People’s Republic.  

In 2020, State Budgetary Institution ”Galkin Donetsk Institute for Physics and Engineering” meets the 55th anniversary. Despite of the existing problems and obstacles, there are reasons to state that the staff of the institute celebrates the jubilee in full possession of the accumulated experience and creative abilities. Famous scientific schools are working; new projects and ideas are generated; afflux of young talented scientists  is observed.