Poster Prize 2022: First Prize (AKB Foundation) of the SAPhW Poster Award at the Swiss Pharma Science Day 2022
Rahel Wallimann, PhD student in the “Nuclide Chemistry Group”, received the first prize (AKB Foundation) of the SAPhW Poster Award at the Swiss Pharma Science Day 2022.
Thomas Mortelmans receives the Swiss Nanotechnology PhD award
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.
Spin Density Wave versus Fractional Magnetization Plateau in a Triangular Antiferromagnet
We report an excellent realization of the highly nonclassical incommensurate spin-density wave (SDW) state in the quantum frustrated antiferromagnetic insulator Cs2CoBr4. In contrast to the well-known Ising spin chain case, here the SDW is stabilized by virtue of competing planar in-chain anisotropies and frustrated interchain exchange.
Connecting Women in Physics
Through role models and networking, the first “Women in Physics Career Symposium” helps early career researchers stay in physics
Hydrogen-induced softening effect in zirconium alloys
The fuel used for nuclear energy production is normally enclosed in zirconium-based cladding tubes that constitute the first barrier between the radioactive material and the environment. In water-moderated reactors, cladding tubes tend to corrode, generating hydrogen as side product. The study of the hydrogen embrittlement in zirconium alloys is of high relevance for the industry.
Depending on temperature, local hydrogen concentration, and local stress conditions, different hydrogen-induced embrittlement mechanisms can be active in the cladding material: in certain conditions hydrogen in solid solution might cause material softening through a mechanism known as hydrogen enhanced localized plasticity (HELP).
With the goal of determining the conditions necessary to activate the HELP effect in zirconium alloys, samples have been evaluated by different micro-mechanical and macro-mechanical techniques. Results highlight the importance of the interplay between solid solution hydrogen and hydrides on the hardness and yield point of the tested materials.
Dynamic magnetic crossover at the origin of the hidden-order in van der Waals antiferromagnet CrSBr
The van-der-Waals material CrSBr stands out as a promising two-dimensional magnet. Here, we report on its detailed magnetic and structural character- istics. We evidence that it undergoes a transition to an A-type anti- ferromagnetic state below TN ≈ 140 K with a pronounced two-dimensional character, preceded by ferromagnetic correlations within the monolayers. Furthermore, we unravel the low-temperature hidden-order within the long- range magnetically-ordered state. We find that it is associated to a slowing down of the magnetic fluctuations, accompanied by a continuous reorienta- tion of the internal field.
A new spin on sample delivery for membrane proteins
Proteins hover in front of the X-ray beam at a Swiss Light Source beamline. Now, spinning thin films bring on board these trickiest of proteins.
Finding Ketenes in the Methanol to Olefins Process
How are the first olefins formed in the early stages of the methanol-to-olefins process? Detection of two reactive ketene species solves this long-standing puzzle.
Thin-Film Oxynitride Photocatalysts for Solar Hydrogen Generation: Separating Surface and Bulk Effects Using Synchrotron X-Ray and Neutron-Based Techniques
The conversion of solar light into hydrogen by photoelectrochemical water splitting is one of the potential strategies that can allow the development of a carbon-neutral energy cycle. Oxynitride semiconductors are promising materials for this application, although important limitations must still to be addressed. One of the most important issues is physicochemical degradation of the semiconductor, at the interface with water, where the electrochemical reactions occur. In this regard, thin films, with well-defined and atomically flat surfaces, are invaluable tools for characterizing material properties and degradation mechanisms, while identifying strategies to mitigate detrimental effects. Thin oxynitride films may allow the use of complementary characterizations, not applicable to conventional powder samples. In particular, the study of the solid–liquid interface can benefit enormously from the use of thin films for synchrotron-based surface-sensitive X-Ray scattering methods and neutron reflectometry. These investigation approaches promise to speed up the design and discovery of new materials for the production of solar fuels, while paving the way for similar applications in other research fields. This work aims at reviewing the literature contributions on oxynitride thin films for solar water splitting summarizing what is learnt so far and suggesting experimental strategies to unveil what is still not clear.
Nickelate superconductors are intrinsically magnetic
Waves of magnetic excitation sweep through this new material whether in superconducting mode or not – another clue to the mystery of loss-less electric currents.