News from the SNI network

The geometry of an electron determined for the first time
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B. Original source:,


The aim of the National Technology Transfer Center ANAXAM is to build a bridge between research and industry: The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, and the Canton of Aargau are setting up an association together with industrial partners to support this endeavor.
Research institutions conduct research, industrial companies produce. The nationally active technology transfer center ANAXAM will provide a bridge between these two worlds. The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), and the Canton of Aargau are applying for federal funds to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Transfer Center (AM-TTC). The ANAXAM project (Analytics with Neutrons and X-Rays for Advanced Manufacturing) is founded on the globally recognized expertise at the PSI in neutron and X-Ray analysis. Media release Canton of Aargau:


New contents: Neuronal Parkinson inclusions are different than expected
An international team of researchers involving members of the University of Basel’s Biozentrum challenges the conventional understanding of the cause of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers have shown that the inclusions in the brain’s neurons, characteristic of Parkinson‘s disease, are comprised of a membranous medley rather than protein fibrils. The recently published study in Nature Neuroscience raises new questions about the etiology of Parkinson’s disease. Original source:


Better thermal conductivity by adjusting the arrangement of atoms
Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters. Original source:


Revealing the hidden face of crystals
In the Nano Argovia project A3EDPI, a team of researchers led by Dr. Tim Grüne demonstrated that electron diffraction can be used to analyze the structure of nanoscale materials. In a recent article in Nature Communications, they have now presented three-dimensional sample supports that enable the collection of complete datasets. Media release University of Vienna:
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Silicon as a semiconductor: silicon carbide would be much more efficient
In power electronics, semiconductors are based on the element silicon – but the energy efficiency of silicon carbide would be much higher. Physicists at the University of Basel, the Paul Scherrer Institute and ABB explain what exactly is preventing the use of this combination of silicon and carbon in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters.

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Short summaries of these studies can be found at: