NanoLund News: Medals, awards, and nanodiamonds, quantum phase transitions, ERC-grants for covid-tests, and much more. Web version
NanoLund at the Forefront of NanoScience
Photo of the spring flower Scilla Siberica in front of Lund University Library.
In these virtual times: Moving towards brighter days
Looking up from Zoom, spring is suddenly upon us and everything awakens as it moves towards brighter days. At the start of the new year, we took over as deputy director and director of NanoLund, a big but inspiring challenge. One of the great privileges of our new roles is the chance to meet and discuss nanoscience and technology with all of you in and around NanoLund.

In these virtual times, we don’t just bump into each other, so we made a conscious effort, from the start, to meet as many of you as possible, to hear what you are doing, what your ideas for the future are, and where you think NanoLund should be moving. We have been met with great openness and enthusiasm, had many lively discussions, and learned a lot. We hope to meet many more of you in the coming months. Just getting a brief glimpse into the science, technology, and ideas that colleagues across fields are developing can truly lift your day and boost your energy. With this in mind, one of our goals this year is to look over how we organize our scientific areas to maximize our opportunities to meet, discuss and develop new ideas within and across disciplines.

Being in the middle of a great organization with exciting infrastructures, including new ones in the Science Village area, we should remember that we have a lot to offer society around us, across Sweden and the world. One of our tasks now is to work with universities, companies, hospitals, and other institutions everywhere to create new scientific directions, technologies, and understanding that use our unique opportunities.

Finally, we want to thank Heiner Linke for all his efforts in leading NanoLund for eight years. Many people have played a role in making NanoLund a success, but Heiner has been a key part of this – it is now up to all of us to step up and continue this work.

With the wish to soon see you again,
Maria Messing and Anders Mikkelsen, for the leadership of NanoLund
Close-up of a cell membrane. The yellow circles are openings into the cell that the researchers have succeeded in creating. Film: Elke Hebisch
Fluorescent nanodiamonds
successfully injected into living cells

Nanodiamonds are consistently bright and can give us unique knowledge about the inner life of cells over a long time. Now physics researchers Elke Hebisch and Christelle Prinz from the strategic research area NanoLund have succeeded in injecting a large number of nanodiamonds directly into the cell interior.
Atoms pairing in an illustration by Jonas Ahlstedt.
Observing the emergence of a quantum phase transition shell by shell

By studying cold atoms, researchers have in a unique way been able to observe a precursor to a quantum phase transition, and thereby study physical processes that can be compared to the Higgs mechanism. The discovery can, among other things, provide more knowledge about quantum mechanical processes that are similar to the processes in which matter changes its state from gas, liquid, or solid form into another state. The result can also provide more knowledge about superfluids and superconductors.

Stephanie Reimann, professor of Mathematical Physics and a Principal Investigator at NanoLund, has together with former post doc Johannes Bjerlin at LTH, and colleagues in Heidelberg in Germany and Aarhus in Denmark, recently succeeded in conducting a study, built around a unique experiment in Germany, where this analogy to the Higgs mechanism can now be confirmed in a system with only a few atoms.

“We started working on the theoretical basis for how quantum phase transitions occur in systems with a few particles five years ago, but now our colleagues in Germany have succeeded in conducting an experiment that confirms that theory with unusually high precision”, says Johannes Bjerlin.
640x640transp Photo from the short movie made by SSF.
How to make smarter and more efficient electronics
We are facing new challenges, and consequently, we need the development of electronics to continue. But the question is: how do we do that? Mattias Borg, co-coordinator of Exploratory Nanotechnology, explains how in a short movie made by SSF – the Foundation for Strategic Research who is funding Mattias Borg’s research with 4 million SEK 2017–2021.

Read more and watch the movie
Recent articles from NanoLund researchers
Engaging more than 50 research groups in the faculties of engineering, science, and medicine, NanoLund is a strategic research area funded by the Swedish Government and Sweden’s largest research environment for nanoscience and nanotechnology.

We contribute to societal and sustainability challenges, for example in health and clean energy, using the tools of nanoscience and nanotechnology. To this end, our research topics range from materials science and quantum physics to applications in energy, electronics, photonics, personalized medicine, and nanosafety. In the research portal, our recent scientific articles from NanoLund researchers are found – most recent articles on tops.

1x1 Photo of Christelle Prinz.
ERC grant for covid-test

Christelle Prinz, professor of solid state physics and affiliated with NanoLund, receives 150,000 € to further develop research results that are considered to have great innovation potential by the European Research Council.

For several years, physicist Christelle Prinz has developed nanotechnology to diagnose and study diseases in various ways, such as cancer. For this project, she now receives extra funding. The purpose, though, is completely different: One of the techniques used to study cells has proven useful for detecting viruses – including the one causing covid-19. Unlike today’s PCR test, results can come after a few minutes. In addition, they become cheaper to manufacture and read. If everything goes according to plan, a test like this could be used in a year at the earliest.

Photo of metal industry tool. 640x640transp
640x640transp X-rays and neutrons entering the metals and manufacturing industries
640x640transp Researchers from the two Strategic Research Areas NanoLund and SPI (Sustainable Production Initiative, Chalmers and Lund University) have joined forces in a new collaboration together with major Swedish companies from the metals and manufacturing industries. The project aims to facilitate and improve the industry’s use of MAX IV and ESS through direct collaborations between industrial and academic researchers.
1x1 Photo of Tommy Cedervall.
With focus on nanosafety

NanoSafe4All is the name of a new collaboration initiative that brings together researchers from different faculties within the university and a number of industry partners. The aim of the initiative is to ensure that products based on nanotechnology and materials, including new materials that generate nanoparticles during their life cycle, can be developed and handled in a safe and sustainable manner.

The collaboration initiative NanoSafe4All takes place during the years 2021–2023 and is led by Tommy Cedervall, researcher at the Department of Chemistry and director of the research program Mistra Environmental Nanosafety. 
2021 NanoLund Seedling projects
Masters students, doctoral students, and postdocs currently working in a NanoLund research group annually have the opportunity to apply for funds for seedling projects, to explore a new idea. Funds of up to 100 000 SEK per project are available. In addition to project funding, each Junior scientist responsible for a granted proposal will receive the Junior Scientist Ideas Award. 2021, the Seedling project money goes to:

Anurag Kawde (postdoc): Towards more efficient water splitting: Charge carrier dynamics in CdSe functionalized Si nanowire photoelectrodes
Yen-Po Liu (PhD student) and Zhaojun Zhang (postdoc): Temperature dependent optoelectronic properties studies on the suspending single CsPbBr3 NW device
Carina B. Maliakkal (postdoc): In-situ TEM investigation of Stranski-Krastanov growth dynamics

Photo of trees. 1x1
Lund University invests SEK 100 million in sustainability research program
An interdisciplinary research program focusing on Agenda 2030 and sustainable development is to attract international research expertise and to bring about the establishment of more internationally leading research environments in sustainability.
“With its breadth and cutting edge, Lund University has unique opportunities to tackle complex issues such as sustainability, and here we have a fantastic chance to reinforce interdisciplinary environments”, says Lund University’s Vice-Chancellor Erik Renström.

Photo of Anne l’Huillier. 640x640transp
640x640transp Anne L’Huillier wins
the Max Born Award
640x640transp Anne L’Huillier, professor of Atomic Physics and affiliated member of NanoLund, has been awarded the Optical Society Max Born Award 2021 “for pioneering work in ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics, realizing and understanding high harmonic generation and applying it to time-resolved imaging of electron motion in atoms and molecules.”
640x640transp Photo of Lars Samuelson by Kristofer Lindblad.
Lars Samuelson receives award from the Japan Society of Applied Physics
Lars Samuelson, Professor of Solid State Physics and founder of NanoLund receives the Award of ”JSAP Fellow International” for ”Creation and Application of Compound Semiconductor Quantum Nanostructures and Contribution to Sweden-Japan Collaborations”.
Collage of the awardees of the Future Innovation Prize. 640x640transp
Two innovation prizes to NanoLund
The project “Overcoming the shortage of blood stem cell donations with the help of nanotechnology” with Martin Hjort as team member, and “Transparent solar cells: solar cell windows” with Yang Chen and Magnus Borgström are among the awardees of the Lund University and Sparbanken Skåne’s prize for future innovations.
Photo of the Öresund Bridge.

New seminar series inspiring collaborations around Öresund
During the spring term, we have started a new seminar series at the three nanoscience hubs located in the Copenhagen–Lund area, aiming to shed light on our mutual capabilities and to inspire and facilitate collaborations among researchers. The speakers were Winnie Svendsen (DTU) who talked about nanostructures for bio-analysis, Bo Wegge Laursen, (KU), who talked about super-bright fluorescent molecules and Anders Mikkelsen (NanoLund) who talked about nanoscale systems that are inspired by insects. Each time, the number of participants was over 100, and the discussions after the talks resulted in concrete ideas for future collaborations. This positive response encouraged the organizers to continue the series and three more talks are in planning.
Photo of Oxana Klementieva. 1x1
New NanoLund seminar series

This spring we also launched the NanoLund seminar series. These seminar series aim to increase the awareness among ourselves about all of the ongoing cutting-edge research within the different fields of nanotechnology carried out by the close to 100 research groups in NanoLund. The seminars in this series consist of two parts. The first part consists of a lecture, followed by a session to discuss ideas and possible collaborations.

Oxana Klementieva, Principal investigator at NanoLund, gave the first seminar with the title Combining microspectroscopy and neurobiology for understanding Alzheimer’s disease.

NanoLund spin-off companies attract new investments
We are happy to notice that NanoLund spin-off companies continue to attract investments for their work to apply nanotech-based research results into new solutions addressing societal challenges.

Since the beginning of this year, Aligned Bio has raised 23 MSEK for its mission to utilize its single-molecule identification technology in the biomedical market and Wren Therapeutics Ltd. raised £12.4 million into drug discovery for protein misfolding diseases. In addition, Watersprint that purifies water using UVC LEDs currently has an open investment round and Spermosens, the developer of medical device products for male infertility, is going public with a listing on the Spotlight Stock Market in early May.

2021 annual meeting
The NanoLund Annual meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 12. Save the date! This year, the theme is Light.
Photo of the 2020 NanoLund Annual Meeting with Corona restriction space between the participants. 640x640transp
Thoughts on topics for colloquia or seminars
We would love to hear your suggestions. Please contact Maria Messing with your ideas!
Did we miss anything?
Do you have a story, a discovery or an event we should include in our newsletter? We are curious to know – please write to us.
NanoLund in social media
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