Grebenshchikov, Ilia

Grebenshchikov, Il’ia Vasil’evich


Born June 12 (24). 1887. in St. Petersburg: died Feb. 8. 1953. in Leningrad. Soviet chemist and technologist: academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1932) and member of the presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1947).

Grebenshchikov graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1910. From 1922 to 1932 he was a professor of physical chemistry and theoretical electrochemistry at the Petrograd (Leningrad) Institute of Electrical Engineering. He was one of the founders of the State Institute of Optics in Leningrad, where he was director of the chemical laboratory that he had organized. In 1933 he founded a laboratory for silicate chemistry, which in 1948 was reorganized as the Institute of Silicate Chemistry (Leningrad). He was director of the institute from 1948 to 1953.

From 1909 to 1912, Grebenshchikov investigated the effect of high pressures (to 300 meganewtons per square meter [MN/m2]. or 3.000 kilograms-force per square centimeter [kgf/cm2]) on the temperatures of crystallization of certain organic compounds; he was the first person to study the effect of pressures to 400 MN/m2 (4.000 kgf/cm2) on the composition and crystallization temperature of binary eutectics. In 1915. together with N. N. Kachalov, he laid the foundation for the development of a domestic optical glass industry. He proved that the high chemical stability of many kinds of glass and silicates is due to the formation of a dense amorphous film of silica on their surfaces. In 1931 he produced a new porous glass with adsorptive properties. Grebenshchikov invented a method for the surface treatment of optical components, or the so-called blooming of glass surfaces (that is, coating the glass with a fine transparent film that lowers the reflection of light). He created a new chemical theory of metal polishing. After 1944 he directed work on the study of the physicochemical properties and synthesis of new transparent plastics for use in optics. Grebenshchikov was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at its third convocation. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR (1942. 1952). two Orders of Lenin, three other orders, and medals.


“Il’ia Vasil’evich Grebenshchikov.” Moscow-Leningrad, 1947. (AN SSSR: Materialy k biobibliografii uchenykh SSSR: Seriia khimich. nauk, issue 7.)
Trudy, posviashchennye pamiati akademika I. V. Grebenshchikova. Moscow. 1956.