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.
Cornelius Hempel officially joins LMN as group leader "Ion Traps". We wish him every success for the future!
Marie-Christine Zdora, Umut Sanli and Talgat Mamyrbayev officially join the X-ray Optics and Applications group as Post-Docs. We wish them every success!
Robert Kälin officially joins the Quantum Technologies group as technician of the Cristallina endstation.
Alexander Steppke officially joins the Quantum Technologies group as project coordinator for the collaboration of the Cristallina-Q team and the Laboratory of Quantum Matter (LQM) of Prof. Johan Chang at the University of Zurich (UZH).
Iuliia Bykova officially joins the group X-ray Optics and Applications as Post-Doc. We wish her every success.
Supported by SNF R'Equip, a new 20bit low-noise pattern generator for our 100 keV direct write electron beam lithography system Raith/Vistec EBPG5000Plus has been successfully installed. This allows for faster exposures (up to 125MHz stepping frequency) with better placement accuracy within the writing field up to 1x1 mm². The so called Universal Pattern Generator (UPG) supports now a broad spectrum of primitiv shapes, which can dramatically improve the quality of exposed nanostructures by optimized fracturing of designs.
Heidelberg DWL66+ direct laser writer, funded by ANAXAM, is in operation now. It is a new photolithographic system closing the gap between the mask aligners on one side and the Nanoscribe two-photon 3D lithography system on the other. It is equipped with semiconductor laser with the wave length of 405 nm and is capable of exposing the minimum feature size down to 0.3 µm on wafers up to 200 mm or 9"x9" mask blanks.