Dear colleagues,

After a long absence, I am delighted to once again be actively focused on my research and the SNI. Your support over the last few months has been a great help in getting back on my feet, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would especially like to thank all those who have filled in for me so well during my absence and have stepped in both in the laboratory and on the administrative side. At the SNI, our general manager Claudia Wirth in particular took on many additional tasks and executed them perfectly. Andreas Baumgartner, the new coordinator of the PhD School, also assumed numerous additional roles and proved an excellent representative at academic events.

My absence has meant that I had very little involvement in our annual report, which has recently returned from the printer. I would like to thank everybody who helped to compile this wonderful report. This summary of our activities over the past year is also available to read online. A surprise awaits visitors to the SNI website – nanoscience.ch – where our new web presence recently went live. I hope the new site will prove easy to navigate and that you will find all the information you need.

In April, our vice director Daniel Loss was awarded the coveted King Faisal Prize for Science for his development concept for a quantum computer. We congratulate him and have taken the opportunity of his success to cover the special phenomena of the quantum world in a little more detail in our title story. This issue of SNI update also contains a portrait of Sonja Neuhaus, a young materials scientist in the FHNW School of Engineering who has already conducted several successful Argovia projects. We also briefly report on various events from recent months and have summarized press releases published since the start of the year announcing the results of research by some SNI members.

I wish you a wonderful and productive spring and happy reading!

Kind regards,

Christian Schönenberger, SNI Director University of Basel