Researchers Take First Look into the “Eye” of Majoranas
Majorana fermions are particles that could potentially be used as information units for a quantum computer. An experiment by physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics has confirmed their theory that Majorana fermions can be generated and measured on a superconductor at the end of wires made from single iron atoms. The researchers also succeeded in observing the wave properties of Majoranas and, therefore, in making the interior of a Majorana visible for the first time. The results were published in the Nature journal npj Quantum Information.
Chemists Create Clusters of Organelles by Mimicking Nature
Scientists from the University of Basel have succeeded in organizing spherical compartments into clusters mimicking the way natural organelles would create complex structures. They managed to connect the synthetic compartments by creating bridges made of DNA between them. This represents an important step towards the realization of so-called molecular factories. The journal Nano Letters has published their results.
Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope
A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists at the University of Basel and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology.
Physicists at the PSI’s large-scale research facilities are thinking beyond the Nobel Prize theories
This year’s Nobel Prize for Physics goes to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz for their investigations of topological phases and phase transitions in matter. This could have practical relevance one day for novel materials, for data storage, and for quantum computers. The Academy also cited, in its background report, experiments carried out by Michel Kenzelmann, who today is a laboratory head at the PSI. He and other researchers at the PSI continue to do experiments based on the theories that now have been honoured with the Nobel Prize.
On-Surface Chemistry Leads to Novel Products
On-surface chemical reactions can lead to novel chemical compounds not yet synthesized by solution chemistry. The first-step, second-step, and third-step products can be analyzed in detail using a high-resolution atomic force microscope, as demonstrated in Nature Communications by scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at Basel University and their colleagues from Japan and Finland.
Christoph Gerber received the Kavli Prize
This week, Christoph Gerber of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel received the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. He was honoured together with Gerd Binnig and Calvin Quate for the development of the first atomic force microscope 30 years ago.
Nanotechnology Supports Treatment of Malignant Melanoma
Changes in the genetic make-up of tissue samples can be detected quickly and easily using a new method based on nanotechnology. This report researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel in first clinical tests with genetic mutations in patients with malignant melanoma. The journal Nano Letters has published the study.
Bringing artificial enzymes closer to nature
Scientists at the University of Basel, ETH Zurich in Basel, and NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering have developed an artificial metalloenzyme that catalyses a reaction inside of cells without equivalent in nature. This could be a prime example for creating new non-natural metabolic pathways inside living cells, as reported today in Nature.
Researchers Watch Catalysts at Work
Physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in watching a silver catalyst at work for the first time with the aid of an atomic force microscope. The observations made during an Ullmann reaction have allowed the researchers to calculate the energy turnover and, potentially, to optimize the catalysis. The study, which was performed with experts from Japan and Iran, has been published in the scientific journal “Small”.
Better Contrast Agents Based on Nanoparticles
Scientists at the University of Basel have developed nanoparticles which can serve as efficient contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging. This new type of nanoparticles produce around ten times more contrast than the actual contrast agents and are responsive to specific environments. The journal Chemical Communications has published these results.
A new Type of Quantum Bit
In a quantum computer, quantum states form the smallest information units and replace the binary code used by today’s computers. Until now, these so-called qubits were typically created in a semiconductor using individual electrons, but these were vulnerable to dephasing. Now, an international team of researchers led by physicists from the University of Basel has succeeded in using a missing electron to create a qubit. The team reported its findings in the journal Nature Materials.