Dear colleagues,

As the year once again draws to a close, it is a good opportunity to take stock of the past 12 months.

By and large, it has been a good year for the SNI.

In the Nano Argovia program, we received a large influx of 19 new applications and five extensions. This clearly shows that our regional program for applied research in collaboration with industry is now firmly established, and that we are able to choose the very best and most promising projects. The SNI steering committee recently approved six new projects, which will get underway in 2019.

Eight new projects were approved for the SNI PhD School in 2018. We received applications from a large number of qualified candidates. This year also saw eight of our PhD candidates successfully complete their dissertations, and another candidate will have her thesis defense just before the holidays.

In order to summarize the results of the Nano Argovia and PhD School projects, we are already compiling the annual report – and I would like to take this opportunity to ask all those involved to submit their information in good time.

Having spread the word about a few success stories over the last year through press releases, our newsletter, the website or events such as the Nano-Tech Apéro, we also have some great news to share in this, the last SNI update of the year. My colleague from the Department of Physics, Professor Jelena Klinovaja, has been promoted to associate professor, and you will find a brief portrait of her in this SNI update.

In the cover story, we report on a publication by Tim Grüne and colleagues. This emerged from the Nano Argovia project A3EDPI and has seen a very positive media response over the last month.

At the end of the year, we were also delighted to learn that an R’Equip application has been approved for a new transmission electron microscope (TEM) at the Nano Imaging Lab. We will therefore conduct an evaluation over the coming months to determine exactly what requirements the new instrument must fulfil and then proceed with procurement in the course of next year.

Lastly, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all those who have contributed to the success of the SNI through their work, ideas and suggestions, and who have helped our center of excellence for nanosciences in Northwestern Switzerland earn its outstanding reputation on the regional, national and international stage. I wish you a peaceful and relaxing holiday season and a happy, healthy and successful new year.

Warm regards,

Prof. Dr. Christian Schönenberger

SNI Director