Synchrotron Radiation and Nanotechnology Research Division SYN

Research into extremely small structures at the molecular and atomic level, leads to discoveries which are closely related to material properties as we know them on a larger scale, such as their strength, electrical conductivity, or magnetisation. The best material or structure for any particular application will only be found if we understand the relationship between the microscopic and the macroscopic. As a result, there are many and varied uses for this research, e.g. for new types of materials and surfaces, for modern technologies, for biology and medicine, and for the environmentally-acceptable use of energy.

PSI also researches the composition of materials and surface structures for use in fuel cells and innovative types of batteries. In addition, synchrotron light will provide insights into microscopic damage to materials and into the complex structure of bio-molecules which will, for example, make the targeted manufacture of new pharmaceuticals possible.

Objects with dimensions of thousandths of millionths of a meter are known as nanostructures. This minuteness will revolutionise every area of our technological world, whether in information transfer and data storage, or in sensors for biology, medicine and ecology. For example, specialists at PSI are working together on interdisciplinary projects to develop biosensors, artificial noses and optical electronics.

The SYN-division comprises four laboratories. Three laboratories (LSB, LSC, LSF) are centered around the Swiss Light Source (SLS). The fourth is the Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology (LMN), operating both cleanroom facilities and a beamline at the SLS.

The 16 beamlines at the SLS are therefore operated by the following laboratories: