Laboratory for Micro and Nanotechnology (LMN)
LMN is dedicated to fundamental and applied research with a focus on:
- Outstanding nanoscience by exploiting the synergies between advanced micro/nanofabrication and PSI’s large scale facilities, in particular the Swiss Light Source (SLS)
- Enabling innovations in instrumentation (optics, detectors, diagnostics etc.) for large scale facilities by applying nanotechnology
- Providing advanced micro- and nanofabrication technologies to academic and industrial users, in particular in the area of polymer nanotechnology.
Latest Scientific Highlights
PhD student Martin Heinrich of the Molecular Nanoscience group won the best poster award at the Nano-BW 2021 symposium at Bad Herrenalb (Germany), October 6-7. The symposium is held annually within the research network “Functional Nanostructures” of Baden-Württemberg.
Martin introduced his project in the form of a poster titled “Local Manipulation of Spin Domains in a Multiferroic Rashba Semiconductor”. His project started in July 2021 and is funded by the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) Basel. The poster award was selected by the vote of all attendees.
A split-and-delay line for XFEL pulses has been built and successfully tested by a team of researchers at the Linac Coherent Light Source. Key X-ray optical elements are two diamond diffraction gratings made at the Paul Scherrer Institut that are used to split and later recombine the intense ultrashort X-ray laser pulses for time-resolved measurements.
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.