Scientific Highlights and News
Thomas Mortelmans has been a PhD at the Laboratory for X-ray Nanosciences and Technologies for the last four years. He recently defended his PhD-thesis at the University of Basel entitled: "The development of a nanofluidic particle size sorter and its biomedical sciences" and was awarded the grade of summa cum laude.
Researchers have shown that mirror-image substances – so-called enantiomers – can be better distinguished using helical X-ray light.
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.
PSI develops a revolutionary achromatic lens for X-rays.
The 'perfect' X-ray beam-splitter: Researchers at SwissFEL have an ingenious solution to produce coherent copies of pulses, facilitating a realm of new X-ray techniques.
The test identifies different virus variants and improves disease prognosis.
The European Research Council approves PSI projects for the development of a quantum computer and brain research worth about 5 million euros.
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.
The Cristallina-Q team has welcomed French high-field experts at SwissFEL for an informal 2-day retreat. The ten participants discussed which technical capabilities of the UZH-PSI pulsed magnet setup should be further developed and which science cases targeted in the upcoming commissioning and pilot experiment phase.
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.
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).
Earlier news and highlights are found in the "News and Highlights Archive"