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Physics / Materials Science - 12.09.2018
Probing individual edge states with unprecedented precision
Probing individual edge states with unprecedented precision
A new technique makes it possible to obtain an individual fingerprint of the current-carrying edge states occurring in novel materials such as topological insulators or 2D materials. Physicists of the University of Basel present the new method together with American scientists in ‘Nature Communications.' While insulators do not conduct electrical currents, some special materials exhibit peculiar electrical properties: though not conducting

Physics / Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 27.08.2018
New mechanism of electron spin relaxation observed
New mechanism of electron spin relaxation observed
Physicists at the University of Basel are working on using the spin of an electron confined in a semiconductor nanostructure as a unit of information for future quantum computers. For the first time, they have now been able to experimentally demonstrate a mechanism of electron spin relaxation that was predicted 15 years ago.

Environment - Physics / Materials Science - 15.08.2018
Marine heatwaves are threatening ecosystems
Marine heatwaves are threatening ecosystems
Marine heatwaves can irreversibly damage ecosystems and, therefore, also present a threat to fishing. As a team led by physicist Thomas Frölicher from Bern showed in a study just published , the number of marine heatwaves has increased dramatically in past decades. This trend will further intensify as a result of climate change.

Life Sciences - Physics / Materials Science - 15.08.2018
Signposts for cells
Signposts for cells
For the replacement of animal testing with alternatives in medical rsearch, complex microtissues need to be cultivated. Researchers from Empa have developed a special polymer scaffold for threedimensional cell cultures. Light beams act as signposts for the cells. In pharmaceutical research, scientists try to do without animal testing wherever possible or replace it with experiments on cell or tissue cultures.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 09.08.2018
Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons
Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons
Researchers have achieved a breakthrough that could in future be used for precise nanotransistors or - in the distant future - possibly even quantum computers. A material that consists of atoms of a single element, but has completely different properties depending on the atomic arrangement - this may sound strange, but is actually reality with graphene nanoribbons.

Physics / Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 08.08.2018
Novel approach to coherent control of a three-level quantum system
Novel approach to coherent control of a three-level quantum system
For the first time, researchers were able to study quantum interference in a three-level quantum system and thereby control the behavior of individual electron spins. To this end, they used a novel nanostructure, in which a quantum system is integrated into a nanoscale mechanical oscillator in form of a diamond cantilever.

Physics / Materials Science - 31.07.2018
Optical fibers that can
Optical fibers that can "feel" the materials around them
EPFL researchers have developed an optical fiber capable of detecting what sort of material or liquid they have come into contact with. Their research has been published. In recent years optical fibers have served as sensors to detect changes in temperature, like a thermometer, and pressure, like an artificial nerve.

Physics / Materials Science - Electroengineering - 25.07.2018
EPFL uses excitons to take electronics into the future
EPFL uses excitons to take electronics into the future
EPFL researchers have developed a transistor based on excitons - a type of particle most people have not heard of - that is able to function at room temperature. This breakthrough could lead to a new breed of faster, more energy efficient and smaller electronics. Excitons could revolutionize the way engineers approach electronics.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.07.2018
Material from PSI helps to check inconsistencies in the Big Bang theory
Material from PSI helps to check inconsistencies in the Big Bang theory
Shortly after the Big Bang, radioactive atoms of the type beryllium-7, among others, came into being. Today, throughout the universe, they have long since decayed and do not occur naturally, in contrast to their decay product lithium. Now researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have helped to better understand the first minutes of the universe: They collected artificially produced beryllium-7 and made it into a sample that could be investigated.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 23.07.2018
Search engine for «smart wood»
Search engine for «smart wood»
Mark Schubert modifies wood properties with the aid of the enzyme laccase. However, the search for suitable ingredients is complex - a bit like trying to find the key to an unknown lock. Instead of long, expensive series of experiments, Schubert uses artificial intelligence as it gets him to the goal more quickly.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 12.07.2018
Electrical contact to molecules in semiconductor structures established for the first time
Electrical contact to molecules in semiconductor structures established for the first time
Electrical circuits are constantly being scaled down and extended with specific functions. A new method now allows electrical contact to be established with simple molecules on a conventional silicon chip. The technique promises to bring advances in sensor technology and medicine, as reported by chemists from the University of Basel and researchers from IBM Research - Zurich in Rüschlikon.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 11.07.2018
On the path to new high-performance transistors
On the path to new high-performance transistors
X-rays aid better understanding of electron mobility in a modern transistor The electronics industry expects a novel high-performance transistor made of gallium nitride to offer considerable advantages over present-day high-frequency transistors. Yet many fundamental properties of the material remain unknown.

Physics / Materials Science - Chemistry - 10.07.2018
A step closer to single-atom data storage
A step closer to single-atom data storage
Physicists at EPFL used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to successfully test the stability of a magnet made up of a single atom. Despite the rise of solid-state drives, magnetic storage devices such as conventional hard drives and magnetic tapes are still very common. But as our data-storage needs are increasing at a rate of almost 15 million gigabytes per day, scientists are turning to alternative storage devices.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Physics / Materials Science - 09.07.2018
Smart Nanoparticles keep immunotherapy focused on cancer
Smart Nanoparticles keep immunotherapy focused on cancer
MIT and EPFL researchers have developed a highly targeted and non-toxic method for battling cancer through immunotherapy. Their nanoparticle gel acts only on immune cells surrounding the tumor, without affecting the rest of the body. Immunotherapy is a highly promising and innovative approach to battling cancer that works by enlisting the body's natural defenses to attack cancer cells.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Physics / Materials Science - 09.07.2018
Fight against viruses: The origin of specific immune cells revealed
Fight against viruses: The origin of specific immune cells revealed
Within the immune system, so called plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a relevant role in the protection against viral infections. However, pDCs have also been associated with auto immune syndromes. In the current , a research team of the University of Basel could finally solve the puzzle about of their origin.

Medicine / Pharmacology - Physics / Materials Science - 03.07.2018
Dust is in the air
Dust is in the air
Current legal limits for fine dust in the air are based on the mass and size of the particles. For health effects, however, not only the amount of dust is decisive, but also its chemical composition. Empa researchers have now compared the noxious potential of particulate matter in Switzerland and in China.

Physics / Materials Science - 02.07.2018
Making opaque materials totally transparent
Making opaque materials totally transparent
EPFL researchers have found a way to make materials that are normally opaque to sound waves completely transparent. Their system involves placing acoustic relays at strategic locations so that sound waves can propagate at a constant amplitude - regardless of what may lie in their path. This method could eventually be used to make it possible to hide objects like submarines.

Chemistry - Physics / Materials Science - 19.06.2018
An unlikely marriage among oxides
An unlikely marriage among oxides
Sebastian Siol is looking for new materials with unusual properties that were so far not accessible in experiments. To do this, he connects partners who don't really fit together: One partner forces the other into a state that would not be possible without the unlikely pairing. Siol also makes sure that the crystal bonds last in everyday life.

Life Sciences - Physics / Materials Science - 19.06.2018
Tracking down the smallest particles
Nanomaterials consist of tiny particles of different composition. They are used, for example, in textiles and can enter aquatic systems directly from the factory, while being worn or disposed of. For years, research groups at Eawag have been investigating the effects of artificially manufactured nanoparticles on human beings and the environment.

Microtechnics - Physics / Materials Science - 18.06.2018
Diamond watch components
Diamond watch components
Researchers have developed a new technique for carving materials to create micromechanical systems. In particular, they have created a miniscule watch component out of synthetic single-crystal diamond. Diamond is very hard and elastic, a very good thermal conductor and highly transparent, which makes it ideal for many mechanical and optical applications.
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