A new PSI method allows quantum-physical research on materials with the aid of X-ray lasers.
At high pressure, liquid water and water vapour merge together – the phase boundary disappears. Researchers have now discovered a similar behaviour in a quantum magnet.
The X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL really is as high-performance and versatile as planned.
Operando X-ray spectrotomography allows scientists to look inside of functioning chemical reactors. A research team at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), at Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France have employed this method successfully.
PSI scientists have investigated a material that could be suitable for future data storage applications. They have manipulated the crystalline structure of their sample while measuring how this affects the material’s magnetic and electronic properties.
Zeolites are already indispensable additives in the chemical industry – researchers from PSI and ETH Zurich suggest ways to make them still more efficient.
Tomographic images from the interior of fossils, brain cells, or computer chips are yielding new insights into the finest of structures. These 3-D images are made possible by the X-ray beams of the Swiss Light Source SLS, together with detectors and sophisticated computer algorithms developed at PSI.
Using a newly developed imaging method, researchers were able to visualise the magnetic structure inside a material with nanoscale resolution. They succeeded in creating a short "film" consisting of seven movie frames that shows, for the first time in 3D, how tiny vortices of the magnetisation deep within a material change over time.
Traditionally, violins are varnished to protect them from humidity and other environmental influences. At PSI, a scientific team has investigated how different coatings affect the instrument. Under no circumstances, they found, should anyone try to do without varnish completely.
It is reminiscent of a paper bird made with the help of the Japanese folding art origami: a microrobot that uses the force of magnetic fields to move. In the future, such small machines could be used, for example, in medical operations.
Three researchers share this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They are being honoured for their respective contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries. Petr Novák of PSI likewise works in this area of research and has known the three laureates personally for decades. In an interview, he tells about sitting directly across from one of them at the crucial moment.
The newest large research facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute, SwissFEL, has been completed. In January 2019 it began regular operation. Henrik Lemke, head of the SwissFEL Bernina research group, gives an interim report.
For the first time, PSI researchers have used neutrons to visualise very strong magnetic fields that are up to one million times stronger than Earth's magnetic field. This now makes it possible to study magnets that are already installed in devices such as magnetic resonance tomography systems or alternators.
A particular variety of particles, the so-called Weyl fermions, had previously only been detected in certain non-magnetic materials. But now researchers at PSI have experimentally proved their existence for the first time in a specific paramagnetic material.
PSI researchers have developed a material whose shape memory is activated through magnetism. Application areas for this new kind of composite material include, for example, medicine, space flight, electronics, and robotics.
Researchers at PSI have investigated a novel crystalline material at the Swiss Light Source SLS that exhibits electronic properties never seen before. Among other things, they were able to detect a new type of quasiparticle: so-called Rarita-Schwinger fermions.
Researchers at PSI have discovered a new phenomenon of magnetism with the help of the Swiss Light Source SLS. Certain groups of atoms behave like a compass pointing West. This could make computers much more powerful.
Electronics should get smaller, faster, and above all more energy-efficient. These themes are also present in several research groups at PSI. From incremental improvements to complete rethinking – who is currently working on what?
If you make electronic components smaller, they unfortunately get hotter. Also, we will soon reach the limit of technically feasible miniaturisation. At PSI, Gabriel Aeppli and Christian Rüegg are working on fundamentally new, physical solutions for better computers and data storage devices.
A team with three researchers from the ETH Domain has been awarded a prestigious EU grant. Today, they received the contract signed by the EU confirming the extraordinary 14 million euros funding. With it, they will investigate quantum effects which could become the backbone of future electronics.