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?
Fabia Gozzo is no woman for the comfort zone. First she made a beamline at the Swiss Light Source SLS of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI into one of the world's leading facilities. Today she is making her knowledge available to industry with her spin-off.
A radioactive agent, developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI to fight an especially malignant form of thyroid cancer, has the potential to become a blockbuster drug. Due to its structure, it might also be able to dock onto cells of other tumours and destroy them with its radiation. The Lausanne-based biopharmaceutical company Debiopharm wants to further develop the PSI agent to the point where it is approved as a drug. Debiopharm and PSI have now created the contractual basis for this.
Towards new shores: At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, enterprising researchers are venturing into the unknown. They're leaving their safe haven to become successful entrepreneurs. The journey from PSI to one's own spin-off takes courage. To keep the voyage from getting too stormy, PSI supports its business founders as they navigate through rough waters, and maintains these connections over many years.
The 16th of May is the International Day of Light. The research carried out with light at PSI enables advances in biology and pharmacology and also promotes the development of new materials for data storage and new technologies for personalised medicine.
The ABB facility in Wettingen got practical recommendations on increasing production of ceramic components. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI examined the components by means of neutron imaging. With the help of these images, ABB employees were able to see where there is still potential for process optimisation. This feasibility study was funded by the Hightech Zentrum Aargau.
Efficiently producing energy from biowaste: A technology developed at PSI and tested in collaboration with the Zurich-based energy provider Energie 360° makes it possible. It extracts significantly more methane from biowaste than conventional methods. For this important contribution to a sustainable energy supply, PSI and Energie 360° have now been awarded the Watt d'Or 2018 in the Renewable Energy category by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
Oles Sendetskyi, winner of a Founder Fellowship at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, wants to use polarity reversal in nanomagnets to develop a sustainable power source for small devices.
Jean-Baptiste Mosset, winner of a Founder Fellowship at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, wants to commercialise a neutron detector to spot plutonium and uranium.
With a new method for modifying antibodies, Philipp Spycher, winner of a Founder Fellowship at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, wants to develop drugs that are more stable and, thus, have fewer side-effects.
With a technology developed at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, around 60 percent more biogas can be produced from bio-waste than with conventional methods. But can it stand the test in practice as well? A 1,000-hour test at the Werdhölzli biowaste digestion and wastewater treatment plant in Zurich was able to answer this question with a clear yes. It was carried out in cooperation with the Zurich-based energy provider Energie 360°. The analysis of the stress test is now available.
Because of their high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds are a popular garden fertilizer. Recycled in this manner, they already contribute to an environmentally friendly waste management. But they have the potential to deliver much more: a new procedure developed at the PSI allows high quality methane to be formed from spent coffee grounds. PSI researchers involved in a pilot project carried out in cooperation with the Swiss food producer Nestlé were able to show that spent coffee grounds left over during the production of instant coffee can be efficiently re-used elsewhere.
Within Switzerland’s bio-waste a huge amount of precious energy is hidden. That’s because valuable methane, the main constituent of natural gas, can be obtained from it. With a technology developed at PSI, the yield of methane from bio-waste could be increased considerably in the future. A long-term test conducted in cooperation with Energie 360° at the Werdhölzli fermentation and wastewater treatment plant is expected to advance this technology further along its path to industrial use.
This fall, the time has come: The Energy System Integration Platform at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI goes into operation. Today, in the framework of the double conference Networked Energy Research Switzerland, it was presented to the media and around 150 representatives from politics, industry, and science.
16. March 2016Media Releases Research Using Synchrotron Light Industrial co-operation
A picture-perfect example of how basic research makes concrete contributions to the economy is the company DECTRIS — a PSI spin-off founded in 2006 and already highly successful. The latest development from DECTRIS is a detector called EIGER, which is used for X-ray measurements at large research facilities. There EIGER contributes, among other things, to the search for new drugs.
23. October 2014Industrial co-operation
Various basic materials for the chemical industry are manufactured using technology developed by the Ticino based company, Casale. The chemical compounds produced serve to make products like synthetic fertilisers or Plexiglas. In co-operation with PSI, Casale aims to make these production processes even more efficient as basic chemical products are export goods that face stiff competition around the globe. Tiny differences in production costs can be decicive when it comes to which licence a plant operator goes for.
10. October 2014Energy and Environment ESI Platform Renewable Energies Industrial co-operation
The Swiss government’s Energy Strategy 2050 includes a significant expansion of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. The integration of this electric energy, which is produced in a decentralised way and with temporal fluctuations, poses a major challenge for power grids. One possible solution involves using the electricity surplus that would otherwise overload the grid for the production of gases such as hydrogen or methane. The electric energy would thus be stored temporarily in form of chemical energy. These gaseous energy carriers can be converted back into electricity, heat or kinetic energy (in gas engines) at a later date as and when needed. Dubbed “power to gas”, the concept is the focus of the new Energy System Integration (ESI) Platform at PSI.
4. April 2014Media Releases Energy and Environment Industrial co-operation
On 4 April 2014 SBB is to launch a new minibar model in its Intercity trains. A fuel cell system including know-how of the Paul Scherrer Institute will also be on board. It will ensure that despite the limited space the minibar will have enough power to brew capuccinos and latte macchiatos, too.
14. November 2013Energy and Environment Industrial co-operation
Im Rahmen des Sinergia-Programms fördert der Schweizerische Nationalfonds das dreijährige Forschungsvorhaben REPCOOL. Unter der Leitung von IBM Research – Zürich arbeiten in diesem Projekt Wissenschaftler der ETH Zürich, des Paul Scherrer Instituts in Villigen und der Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano gemeinsam an der Erforschung eines „elektronischen Blutkreislaufs“ für zukünftige 3D-Computerchips. Vom menschlichen Gehirn inspiriert, entwickeln die Forscher ein Mikrokanalsystem mit einer elektrochemischen Flussbatterie, die 3D-Chipstapel gleichzeitig kühlen und mit Energie versorgen. Ultimatives Ziel ist die Entwicklung eines Supercomputers in PC-Grösse.
This news release is only available in German.
14. April 2013Media Releases Energy and Environment Industrial co-operation
Lithium-ion batteries are high performance energy storage devices used in many commercial electronic appliances. Certainly, they can store a large amount of energy in a relatively small volume. They have also previously been widely believed to exhibit no memory effect. That’s how experts call a deviation in the working voltage of the battery, caused by incomplete charging or discharging, that can lead to only part of the stored energy being available and an inability to determine the charge level of the battery reliably. Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, together with colleagues from the Toyota Research Laboratories in Japan have now however discovered that a widely-used type of lithium-ion battery has a memory effect. This discovery is of particularly high relevance for advances towards using lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicle market. The work was published today in the scientific journal Nature Materials.
12. April 2013Energy and Environment Industrial co-operation
Exhaust gases produced by diesel combustion are freed from harmful nitrogen oxides with the aid of an aqueous urea solution. That’s the state of the art. The urea decomposes into ammonia and this, in turn, reduces the nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen. However, the urea solution can produce undesirable solid residues and, in addition, freeze in extremely cold weather. Now researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) have developed a catalyst which can be used with better reducing agents than urea for nitrogen oxide reduction.
6. March 2013Energy and Environment Storage Industrial co-operation
Lithium-ion batteries are one of today's best technologies for storing electrochemical energy. They have a high energy density and specific energy and a sufficiently long lifetime to allow them to be used in microelectronic devices and cars. The commercial rise of Li-ion batteries in the last two decades is impressive. However, further improvements are possible and this is a field in which researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) are working. Nevertheless, the potential of the Li-ion battery is limited chemically and it will only be possible to achieve an even higher energy density, which is crucial for electric mobility in particular, by using other new types of batteries.
14. January 2013Energy and Environment Industrial co-operation
Cement holds the world’s buildings together. The binding agent for concrete and other construction materials is, if assessed by global production volumes, one of the world’s most important assets. However, cement production consumes vast amounts of energy – and this is largely obtained by the combustion of fossil fuels. Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute and the globally-active Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim want to change this.
7. February 2012Media Releases SwissFEL Industrial co-operation
Mehr als 10'000 Einzelteile – alle auf den Tausendstelmillimeter exakt – sollen bei der Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Paul Scherrer Institut PSI und Oerlikon Mechatronics AG, Trübbach gebaut werden und am Ende für perfekte Beschleunigung im SwissFEL, dem geplanten Röntgenlaser des PSI sorgen. Für den SwissFEL-Linearbeschleuniger wird Oerlikon Mechatronics die sogenannten Kupfertassen herstellen (komplex geformte und hochpräzise Scheiben) und diese zu Hohlräumen (Kavitäten) zusammenfügen, in denen sich die nötigen beschleunigenden Kräfte erzeugen lassen.
This news release is only available in German.
9. December 2011Media Releases SwissFEL Industrial co-operation
Das Paul Scherrer Institut PSI und die MDC Max Daetwyler AG (Bleienbach), haben heute einen Vertrag unterzeichnet, nach dem Daetwyler wesentliche Komponenten für den Röntgenlaser SwissFEL, die neue Grossforschungsanlage des PSI, gemeinsam mit dem PSI entwickeln und bauen wird. Die Massnahmen des Bundes zur Abfederung der Frankenstärke erlauben es, den Bau der Komponenten vorzuziehen und so das SwissFEL-Projekt schneller voranzutreiben.
This news release is only available in French and German.