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Advanced Technologies Ltd. (AT) was incorporated in 1994 in Bulgaria's capital Sofia. The two co-founders Dr. George R. Ivanov (CV in BG/EN) and George Hristov, M.BA., (see their THEN and NOW pictures) through his company Polymex were classmates from the most famous Bulgarian Secondary School: The English Language School in Sofia. George Ivanov continued his scientific career in the Institute of Solid State Physics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences to receive his Ph.D. in physics. George Hristov dropped his Ph.D. in economics to concentrate on his business. In 1999 George Ivanov bought the 49 % share of Polymex to become 100 % company owner. George Hristov moved to another city and concentrated into his agricultural business but is helping now and then with sound advice.

CEO and owner of Advanced Technologies Ltd. Dr. George R. Ivanov in a live prime time show Otkrito (Open) on the Bulgarian National Television explaining the future in front of molecular electronics and the principal advantages of AT's 4th generation of LB film equipment (1998). Dr. Ivanov is a founding member (1990) and national coordinator of the International Society for Molecular Electronics and BioComputing (IS MEBC). He is a member of the National Expert Council of the National Center for Nanotechnologies.

        The company originated as an Academy spin-off company to commercialize the system for ultra thin organized organic film deposition based on the Langmuir and Blodgett method developed from 1988 to 1990. Several redesigns were made, first sale in Sofia University was achieved and we focused our efforts into penetrating the East Asia markets which were most lucrative at that time. We sold 3 different systems in Japan in 1995 and 1996, we arranged a distributor agreement with the famous Seiko Instruments, and orders kept coming. We sold one LB film system in Republic of Korea in 1997. However we had problems moving to mass production. The bubble burst first in Japan and the financial problems in Korea (97 - 98) created problems in front of this production. We diversified our products by developing the Patch-clamp amplifiers and from 96 to 99 we had sales in Japan, Bulgaria and Italy (see patch-clamp history). Dr. Ivanov spent 1 year (2002 - 2003) as a post doc in Prof. Fred Sachs lab in the State University of New York (SUNY) in USA working in this field - fast videocamera visualization of the patch in the patch-clamp method.

        In 2001 we were ordered 2 Frequency Response Analyzers (FRA) from the Central Laboratory for Photooptical Processes in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The instruments were delivered in 2002 and still they produce excellent results without any repair. Recently we were ordered from the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy - Sofia a system, which is based on the FRA technology and uses the Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy method to monitor Fuel Cells during their high temperature work.

        With Bulgaria entering the European Union in 2007 we have 2 focuses in our work. First is the distribution and Application Scientist support of Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) in Bulgaria. Money for science infrastructure (instruments purchase) are finally being given in Bulgaria. Since 2006 we negotiated agreement for distribution of Anfatec Instruments (Germany) and late in 2007 imported currently the most powerful AFM in Bulgaria with possibilities for Magnetic and Electric Force Microcopies. Second, with free access to the EU market we would like to bring our competitive advantage in the FRA area to the international market.

        We have adopted the scientific approach and application orientation in the design of our scientific instruments. For example the first generation of our Langmuir-Blodgett film deposition systems was designed in several different schemes as regard mechanical units, surface pressure sensor, motor control, position measurement. They were thoroughly studied as regard accuracy, response time, generated vibrations, unevenness of motion. Several scientific publications (Refs. 1, 2, 4, 7) and some patents emerged. Our efforts were evaluated by the scientific community and we were invited to deliver the only oral report as regards equipment manufacture at the LB5 conference in Paris in 1991. Since 1987 we have designed 4 generations of LB film equipment.

        We continue also our research in the area of Langmuir-Blodgett films. Our main interest is in fluorescently labeled phospholipids because they are suitable model compounds for understanding LB films and have potential in chemical sensor applications (Ref 3). Several new effects were found for DPPE-NBD molecule. For the first time fluorescence self-quenching in Langmuir films was observed. The solid phase domains are seen dark by fluorescence microscopy (Ref. 5). This allows us to study pure single component films without use of staining dyes. LB multilayers were studied by small-angle X-ray diffraction, polarized FTIR spectroscopy and elipsometry thus evaluating molecular conformation in solid phase (Ref. 6). This conformation coincides with the results from computer aided molecular conformational analysis at simulated air-water interface. Surprisingly at pressures considerably lower than the equilibrium spreading pressures for DPPE-NBD, bilayer structures were observed by different scanning probe microscopy methods (AFM, FFM, SNOM, SSPM, phase imaging, Ref. 9, 12). Scanning near-field optical microscopy was also possible on a single component films (Ref. 10). Another new effect is the influence of cobalt ions as fluorescence dequencher on monolayers from DPPE-NBD while in bulk they are known as strong quenching agents (Ref. 8, 11). Recently we studied LB monolayers from 30 nm ferrite spheres, coated with oleic acid (Ref. 14) (see /Products/AFMs). We also combined AFM and FLIM to the study of aggregation in LB monolayers from DPPE-NBD (Ref. 15). Some of our work on fluorescently labeled phospholipids is summarized in our book chapter (Ref. 19). Recently we started the research on another nano material - aerogels (Ref. 18).

  1. G. R. Ivanov, A. T. Todorov, A. G. Petrov, "New highly precise and well defined Langmuir-Blodgett film deposition system", in Molecular Electronics vol. 7 (1991), ed. P.I. Lazarev, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, p. 139.
  2. G. R. Ivanov, A. T. Todorov, A. G. Petrov, "Langmuir   trough with enhanced performance", Makromol. Chem., Macromol. Symp., 46 (1991) 377.
  3. G. R. Ivanov, A. G. Petrov, "Polymorphism in Langmuir films from a fluorescently labeled phospholipid",  Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst., 215 (1992) 245.
  4. G. R. Ivanov, K.G. Kostadinov, A. G. Petrov, "Aspects of Langmuir-Blodgett trough design: computerization, pressure measurement, unevenness of motion, generated vibrations", Thin Solid Films, 210/211 (1992) 13.
  5. G. R. Ivanov, "First observation of fluorescence self-quenching in Langmuir films", Chem. Phys. Lett., 193 (1992) 323.
  6. P. J. Lukes, G. R. Ivanov, M. C. Petty, J. Yarwood, M. H. Greenhall, Y. Lvov, "Deposition and structural properties of Langmuir-Blodgett films from a fluorescently labeled phospholipid", Langmuir, 10 (1994) 1877.
  7. I. I. Yovchev, B. V. Vasilev, G. R. Ivanov, "A basic Langmuir-Blodgett trough configuration", Universite de Plovdiv, Travaux Scientifiques, 30 (1995) 25, fasc. 4 - Physique.
  8. G. R. Ivanov, J. I. Petkova, R. Brasseur, M. Fujihira, H. Takano, Y. Okabe, "Aggregation and energy transfer in Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett films from a fluorescently labeled phospholipid", in Future Directions in Thin Film Science and Technology, eds. J. M. Marshall, N. Kirov, A. Vavrek, J. M. Maud, World Scientific, Singapore, 1997, 381.
  9. G. R. Ivanov, J. I. Petkova, Y. Okabe, D. Aoki, H. Takano, H. Kawate, M. Fujihira, "Scanning probe microscopy studies of aggregation in Langmuir-Blodgett films", Supramolecular Science, 4 (1997) 549.
  10. M. Fujihira, H. Monobe, A. Koike, G. R. Ivanov, H. Muramatsu, N. Chiba, N. Yamamoto, T. Ataka, "Application of scanning near-field optical microscopy to thin organic film devices", Ultramicroscopy, 71 (1998) 269.
  11. G. R. Ivanov and M. Fujihira, "Novel phenomena in organized organic monolayers", in Thin Film Materials and Devices - Developments in Science and Technology, eds. J. M. Marshall, N. Kirov, A. Vavrek, J. M. Maud, World Scientific, Singapore, 1999, 261.
  12. G.R. Ivanov and M. Fujihira, "Single component Langmuir-Blodgett film investigated with 5 scanning probe microscopy methods", Colloids and Surfaces A, 198 - 200 (2002) 305.
  13. B. K. Tuleva, G. R. Ivanov, N. E. Christova, "Biosurfactant Production by a new Pseudomonas putida Strain ", Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung, 57c (2002) 356.
  14. T. Angelov, D. Radev, G. R. Ivanov, D. Antonov, I. Spirov, T. Ruskov, A. G. Petrov, "Hydrophobic magnetic nanoparticles: synthesis and LB film preparation", J. Optoelec. Adv. Mat., 9 (2007) 424.
  15. G. R. Ivanov, J. I. Burov, "Nanodimentional Aggregates in Organic Monolayers Studied with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)", Sixth Int. Conf. Balkan Physical Union; AIP Conf. Proc. 899 (2007) 257.
  16. G. As. Georgiev, A. G. Jordanova, G. R. Ivanov, Z. I. Lalchev, "Interaction of poloxamer F-98 with free standing phospholipid films ", J. Optoelec. Adv. Mat., 11 (2009) 1241.
  17. G. R. Ivanov, G. As. Georgiev, Z. I. Lalchev "Monolayers from fluorescently labelled phospholipids ", J. Optoelec. Adv. Mat., 11 (2009) 1238.
  18. G. R. Ivanov, R. Tomova, S. T. Djambova, M. Nadoliiski and D. Dimova-Malinovska "Functionalized aerogels - new nanomaterials for energy-efficient building. Preliminary AFM, Nanoidentation and EIS studies ", J. Phys.: Conf. Ser., 253 (2010) 012077. Link and full text PDF.
  19. G. R. Ivanov, G. Georgiev and Z. Lalchev - Book chapter "Fluorescently Labeled Phospholipids - New Class of Materials for Chemical Sensors for Environmental Monitoring ", in "Relevant Perspectives in Global Environmental Change", Julius Ibukun Agboola (Ed.), (2011) ISBN: 978-953-307-709-3, InTech Link and full text PDF.

        We had developed our patch-clamp amplifiers in collaboration with the Institute of Solid State Physics and the Institute of Biophysics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. For more info on their patch-clamp activities visit their sites.

        We are developing our Frequency Response Amplifiers in collaboration with Prof. D.Sc. Zdr. Stoynov, from the Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

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