A safe, economical and environmental friendly disposal of used nuclear fuel represents an essential objective of relevance for all. This guides the approach under development at the laboratory for reactor physics and thermal-hydraulics. Establish higher resolution simulation methods to gain more detailed knowledge on the content of each single nuclear fuel rod ever irradiated in a reactor. Thereafter, use this knowledge to explore optimization approaches that could potentially enlarge the range of disposal options allowing to fulfill the highest level of safety standards while reducing economical costs and geological footprints at the same time.
Combining magnetic and superconducting functionalities enables lower energy spin transfer and magnetic switching in quantum computing and information storage, owing to the dissipationless nature of quasi-particle mediated supercurrents. Here, we put forward a system where emergent spin-ordering and diffusion of Cooper pairs are achieved at a non-intrinsically magnetic nor superconducting metallo-molecular interface.
Every year, during the winter months, PhD students of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute take part in the SNI: Nano in the snow PhD school. Currently, as COVID-19 is still omnipresent in our everyday it happened virtually this year and Thomas Mortelmans took part. He said: “It was an exciting day filled with excellent scientific content from a variety of research fields; ranging from quantum physics, to protein engineering and drug delivery. During these events, the interdisciplinary of SNI is nicely highlighted and the benefit of joined research projects across scientific disciplines can be seen.”
Thomas gave an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of microfluidics and was awarded with the prize of best talk.
The compounds known as ‘pyrazinacenes’ are simple, stable compounds that consist of a series of connected nitrogen-containing carbon rings. They are suitable for applications in electrochemistry or synthesis, as the researchers describe in the science journal Communications Chemistry. They were first designed, synthesized and chemically characterized in solution by the Hill team and carefully investigated by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Surface Chemical Analysis. The compounds have been shown to reversibly release and accept electrons and arrange themselves differently depending on the oxidation state. Interestingly, the oxidation and reduction reactions of the pyrazinacenes are not only affected by a chemical impulse, but can also be stimulated by light so they can be considered photo-redox active.
Single atom catalysts hold great promise as O2- or CO2-reduction electrocatalysts, but a deeper understanding of their active sites’ structure and electronic properties is needed in order to render them sufficiently active and stable. To this end, we have used X-ray emission spectroscopy to determine these catalysts’ electronic configuration, and performed in situ measurements that unveil the effect of potential on this key feature.
To develop sustainable lignin valorization strategies, a solid understanding of the underlying reaction mechanism is critical. By detection of highly reactive and elusive intermediates, new light could be shed on one of the most basic elementary reactions in lignin catalytic fast pyrolysis.
During the week of March 15 – 19, we had the pleasure to welcome 20 international PhD students, PostDocs and assistant professors at PSI, taking part in the first virtual HERCULES SCHOOL on Neutrons & Synchrotron Radiation.
The unconventional normal-state properties of the cuprates are often discussed in terms of emergent electronic order that onsets below a putative critical doping of xc≈0.19. Charge density wave (CDW) correlations represent one such order; however, experimental evidence for such order generally spans a limited range of doping that falls short of the critical value xc, leading to questions regarding its essential relevance. Here, we use X-ray diffraction to demonstrate that CDW correlations in La2−xSrxCuO4 persist up to a doping of at least x=0.21.
Chemical changes inside of breathable airborne particles can cause reactive oxygen species (ROS) and carbon centered radicals (CCRs) to form, which are harmful to our bodies and induce oxidative stress in lungs. Using X-ray spectromicroscopy at the PolLux beamline and mimicking the environmental and sunlit conditions aerosol particles experience in the atmosphere near the Earth Surface, it was recently found that highly viscous organic particles with low water content can attain high concentrations of ROS and CCRs that persist over long times. Natural particles like these will occur in ambient humidity below 60% and effectively trap ROS and CCRs inside that react when exposed to light.