Laboratory for X-ray Nanoscience and Technologies
The Laboratory for X-ray Nanoscience and Technologies' (LXS) mission is to perform fundamental and applied research with focus on nanoscience by leveraging the synergies between advanced micro/nanofabrication and large-scale facilities, particularly the Swiss Light Source (SLS) and the SwissFEL. We develop and apply X-ray instrumentation (optics, detectors, diagnostics, etc.) for large-scale facilities using advanced micro and nanotechnology.
Latest Scientific Highlights and News
Targeted manipulations of an atom's magnetic moment are tricky, as the charge currents used for this process are extremely difficult to control . Now, a consortium of collaborators in Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Italy reports on a solution to this problem in the cover page article of Physic Review Letters 128, Vol. 15. As it appears, the magnetization of an atomic gas can be altered by high-power lasers using a patterned wave front. The method is promising for studying and manipulating the magnetic properties of matter at the nanoscale.
PSI hosted again the Hercules School in March 2022. We had the pleasure to welcome 20 international PhD students, PostDocs and scientists to demonstrate our state-of-the-art techniques and methodologies at our large scale facilities, the Swiss Light Source (SLS), the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) and our free electron laser SwissFEL.
First X-rays have reached the SwissFEL Cristallina experimental station on 14.03.2021 which is one day ahead of schedule. The achievement of this important milestone marks the beginning of the commissioning phase of the Cristallina project.
Performing PhD research is generally focused on answering key questions in basic sciences. However, sometimes, these projects find real-world applications. To do so, out-of-the- box thinking and innovation are crucial. To put these to the test, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) of the University of Basel organized a workshop called: “Innovation Workshop: From Lab to Start-up” for SNI PhD students. During this workshop, the PhD students had the opportunity to develop ideas for a possible future start-up and present them in a short, but powerful pitch to convince potential investors. The three SNI students from the team Magnocell, including three from the Paul Scherrer Institute took part and were awarded first prize. The winning team was consisted out of: Thomas Mortelmans of the Laboratory of Micro-and Nanotechnology, Shichao Jia of the Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology and Antonia Ruffo of the Electrochemistry Laboratory and Tamara Aderneuer of CSEM Basel. Their idea was to create a company that has the potential to revolutionize modern fuel cells and could make an impact on a billion dollar landscape.
When Shichao was asked about his opinion concerning the workshop, he said the following:
‘In general, dissemination of the advances in basic sciences to the public is never easy. It is even more so in a business context where you would probably have to sell your scientific idea to potential investors. In my opinion, this workshop was deliberately organized to train and prepare us for such a scenario. While the scientific idea itself is undoubtedly essential for a science/engineering-driven start-up, the preparation for the pitch made me realize that it is equally important, if not more, to convey to the potential investor the public interest brought by our idea, our grasp of the target market and our vision for the growth of the start-up. Last but not least, it was so much fun to work with Antonia, Tamara and Thomas “against the clock”.’
At the end of May 2021, the Fachhochschule Nordwerstschweiz hosted the Polymer Replication on Nanoscale conference (prn-conference.com/program). The conference aims to provide an up-to-date overview on the state of the art and newest findings in R&D on polymer replication on the micro- and nanoscale. The virtual conference was attended by members from both academia as well as industry. Here, Thomas Mortelmans, PhD-student in the Laboratory of Micro-and Nanotechnology, had the honor to give an invited talk entitled: Thermoplastic 3D nanofluidic devices for biosensing. The presentation explained how different nanofabrication methods can be simultaneously used to achieve 3D nanoscale topography control in a cost-effective and up scalable manner. At the end of the conference, Thomas was awarded with the best talk award in the category of young scientists.