With human curiosity, we contribute to society • The annual report is here • ERC Proof of Concept to Christelle Prinz for early detection of ovarian cancer • New milestone on the road to Science Village • X-ray eyes on artifact from shipwreck Gribshunden • Lung disease revealed with nano-particles • NanoLundians on the 100-list of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences • Nanosafety expert Ulla Vogel awarded an honorary doctorate
NanoLund at the Forefront of NanoScience
June 2023 • Newsletter from the Center for Nanoscience, Lund University
Strategic Research Area NanoLund
Photo of summer flowers.

With human curiosity, we contribute to society
Sustainability has come into focus for the industry and there is a true drive to address the huge challenges facing us to recycle much better, use less energy and make products that improve the daily lives of the many. NanoLund’s science, technology, and competencies can contribute in many important ways to make this happen. An environment such as ours, spanning all the way from deep fundamental research to applications in society is clearly understood to be needed to have this impact. Openness across disciplines and mindsets is not easy to achieve, but we can be proud to have come a long way in this regard.

As summer and vacation wait around the corner, we would like to present warm thanks to all our staff, students, and partners, inside and outside the University, for your ongoing support, understanding, and contributions. You all make NanoLund a great place to do research, educate and make a difference in society.

For the leadership of NanoLund,
Anders Mikkelsen, Maria Messing, and Anneli Löfgren

Photo of Anders Mikkelsen, Veronica Lattanzi and Peter Dröll. 1x1
Listen, learn, and then – act 

One of the highlights this spring was the international conference EuroNanoForum2023, held as a part of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Funded by the EU and Vinnova, and organized by NanoLund together with Chalmers, this event brought together participants from Europe, USA, and China – leading scientists, innovators, and policymakers, to discuss groundbreaking research and foster collaboration. Coordinated by Knut Deppert and Gerda Rentschler, the conference set new benchmarks for knowledge exchange and scientific progress.
525 ScienceVillageLR
Next milestone on Lund University’s road to Science Village: landlord wanted

Work is now in progress on procuring a landlord who wants to be part of the development of Nanolab Science Village. This means another milestone for Lund University’s establishment at the emerging Science Village – where the production of nanomaterials and semiconductor components will take place next door to the major research facilities ESS and MAX IV.

“Nanotechnology and nanoscience are necessary to address global challenges and achieve a sustainable world. We are already working on this, but we are bursting at the seams,” says NanoLund’s director Anders Mikkelsen.
A circuit board with a microwave photodiode
The Annual Report 2022

Featuring our research and the highlights of the year, grants, awards, and prizes, the annual report summarizes a year when our environment has grown to 441 participants, and the external funding was SEK 157 million. We had an all-time high of 428 publications – and 23 thesis defenses. We have implemented our new research areas and contributed to developing our infrastructures with major new investments.

“Having a unique assembly of excellent infrastructures for characterization and fabrication combined with excellent theoretical understanding and inventive and engaged students, all in one place is an incredible luxury. In our everyday work, we should remember to sometimes lift our gaze and look around – not many other places worldwide give such opportunities,” says Anders Mikkelsen.

The cover of the annual report is showing a plot, by NanoLund PhD student Maximilian Nitsch, based on data obtained via a numerical simulation of electron transport through a Majorana box Qubit.

Photo of a diver in a green sea.
X-ray eyes on artifact from shipwreck Gribshunden

When history meets present-day science fascinating things reveal themselves. In such a case, a sample of chain mail from the 15th-century Danish flagship, Gribshunden, was recently analyzed at MAX IV’s NanoMAX beamline. Researchers from Lund University want to know more about the structural and chemical makeup of the metal to give us a window into Sweden’s past, and NanoLundians Jens Wallentin and Filip Lenrick were among them.

Illustration of a lung and particles.
Lung disease revealed
with nano-particles

Nanoparticles can be used to detect certain lung diseases. The AiDA measurement method – based on the inhalation of nanoparticles – is easy to use and can complement other lung examinations. The method has now been tested on over 800 people, and the results look promising, according to a new thesis in aerosol technology.

Measuring the structure of the lung is difficult; even lung scans cannot reliably detect changes in the alveoli, the smallest parts of the lung. And it is precisely there, in the deep tissue structure, that some lung diseases can be identified. Pulmonary emphysema is one of them.

Madeleine Petersson Sjögren, one of the researchers who studied and evaluated the method, has recently presented her results in a thesis in aerosol technology. She says:
“Our results show that the method can be used to identify pathological changes in the lung. The examination is fast and provides information that, according to our research, is consistent with more advanced methods for measuring the structure of the lung.”

Photo of two women in a laboratory.
Sara Linse succeeds in prestigious EU grant round

NanoLund PI Sara Linse is among the three researchers at Lund University who have been awarded the ERC Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.5 million each to further develop and advance their research projects. Her project concerns research on chaperone proteins’ function in neurodegenerative diseases.

“It is immensely pleasing and flattering. The ERC grant enables us to take an in-depth approach using this exciting research, develop new methodologies, and collect data in a systematic way. I hope that after five years we will be close to an answer to the fundamental question,” says Sara Linse, professor of biochemistry and structural biology.

Photo of a woman in front of a book shelf.
Christelle Prinz gets ERC grant for research on early detection of ovarian cancer

Christelle Prinz, a professor of Solid State Physics and a principal investigator at NanoLund, has been awarded a European Research Council Proof of Concept Grant for her research into creating cost-effective biosensor diagnostics for the early detection of ovarian cancer. The project is aiming for developing a product that can identify women at risk of developing ovarian cancer.

“The product will be highly specific and robust and used for screening for early ovarian cancer. There is currently no predictive device for ovarian cancer on the market. The device will also be used to monitor cancer during treatment. Our hope is to bring a product to market within five years,” says Christelle Prinz.

“The ERC proof of concept is key to converting our idea into an actual prototype and initiating IP protection. It will also help us start a company and bring in more funding to continue developing our product, which will be useful in society.”

Photo of a man checking things up in devices of wood..
Inexpensive spectrometer triggers chemistry students’ curiosity

A team of NanoLund researchers sought ways to make students understand what is actually happening inside the “magic black box” of a commercial spectrophotometer.

“This set promotes discovery in a natural and self-motivating way. By changing samples in the spectrometer, we can explore a variety of materials and their properties,” says NanoLundian Jens Uhlig, one of the researchers behind the work, that started out as a study in problem-based learning – but the enthusiasm from the students motivated the team of researchers to continue developing a compact spectrophotometer using inexpensive materials. The work has now been published in the Journal of Chemical Education.

“Science is more interesting if it is related to our everyday life and is easily accessible. Our new spectrometer, therefore, consists of inexpensive components and minimal theory. It encourages students’ curiosity to solve problems and understand how a spectrometer works,” says Jens Uhlig, NanoLund education coordinator, and chemistry researcher at Lund University.

Photo of a reconfigurable transistor.
Reconfigurable transistors important in future semiconductors

Reconfigurable transistors are key elements in the development of future semiconductors.

As conventional transistors approach the limit of how small they can become, more functions in the same number of units will become increasingly important in developing small and energy-efficient circuits for better memories and more powerful computers. In two articles published in Science Advances and Nature Communications, NanoLundian Lars-Erik Wernersson together with Zhongyunshen Zhu and Anton Persson have shown both how to create new modifiable transistors and how to control them at a new level of detail.

Photo collage from the database Lucris

Recent articles from NanoLund researchers
Engaging researchers 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. 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.

Photo of a concrete statue.
NanoLundians on the prestigious IVA 100-list

For the fifth year, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has presented its annual list of highlighted research projects with potential impact on society. This year, 13 were from Lund University.

Fredrik Höök, Rubina Davtyan, Heiner Linke, Pontus Nordenfeldt, and Kenneth Wärnmark are all found on the list where research projects with potential societal impact.

Photo of a woman in front of a blackboard with white writing on it.
Nanosafety expert Ulla Vogel is awarded an honorary doctorate

At the annual Doctoral degree conferment ceremony of Lund University, Ulla Vogel, a former member of the NanoLund Scientific Advisory Board, was named honorary doctor.

She opened with a lecture on nanoparticles and the importance of regulating them in our living environments to prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases, “Nanoparticle safety: from research to regulation” at a popular science breakfast seminar with all three honorary doctors of LTH – the Lund University Faculty of Engineering.

Ulla Vogel is a professor and head of Nanotoxicology and Occupational Hygiene at ”Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø” in Copenhagen. She also has several ongoing projects with LTH from the past and has also been Scientific Advisor for NanoLund since 2017. The decision to name her an honorary doctor states that she is “a role model in taking basic and applied research to societal impact and improved legislation” and that she will be a very good ambassador for LTH. Our warmest congratulations!
Jens Uhlig making pizza in the lovely summer afternoon.
Grand finale for the very first NanoLund Mentoring program

The time has come to celebrate four and a half months of meetings between NanoLund PhD students and their mentors. In the closing workshop, the mentees reflected on the program and what they have learnt. Under the guidance of Tina Persson from Passage2pro, they looked back at the career development plan they did at the start of the program to think about how and what they would like to change or perhaps do differently now. The job market has also changed during the course of the program, which may affect the plan. But, most valuable and interesting were the discussions between the mentees where they shared experiences from the program.

We wish to thank all participants and specifically the mentors for their time and for sharing experiences with the mentees. Our mentees testify that the program has been very valuable, bringing them new perspectives and insights into different career paths and choices. Also, the discussions with the mentors have helped them on the journey towards finalising their PhDs.

Photo of two men at a prize ceremony.
The Sahlberg scholarship 2023 to Marshall Ringisayi Machingauta

The Sahlberg scholarship is awarded to NanoLund PhD student Marshall Ringisayi Machingauta for his thesis ”Development and characterization of an eco-friendly cosmeceutical formulation with optimal performance”. Marshall studied the Master’s program in Drug Technology: Research, Development, and Production. He is now doing his PhD at Kemicentrum.
Welcome to our new NanoLund members!
NanoLund keeps growing and has more than 100 research groups at the end of 2022. We currently have 59 faculty members and 52 affiliated faculty members. So far, in 2023, we welcomed five new members.

New faculty members:
Dmitry Baranov, Chemical Physics

New affiliated faculty members:
Marie Skepö, Theoretical Chemistry, LINXS
Erik van Loon, Mathematical Physics
Nils Norlin, Experimental Medical Sciences
Regina Dittmann, Solid State Physics
Photo collage for master thesis projects.
For students:
inspiration for finding master thesis projects

Research groups within NanoLund describe their research as inspiration and invitation to contact them about master thesis projects. Methods and research subjects are listed as short tags to facilitate a quicker orientation.

The topics for master/diploma projects include a large variety, e.g. materials science, quantum physics, and nanobio.  
Photo of Anders Mikkelsen and Maria Messing at the Annual Meeting.
Save the date: NanoLund Annual Meeting 2023

The NanoLund Annual Meeting, where we meet for an entire day of science, conviviality, and celebration will take place in Lund, Tuesday October 10. The location is to be announced, but we do hope for a venue in the heart of Lund.

This year’s annual meeting will be co-arranged between the Lund University profile area Light and Materials, Lund Laser Centre, and NanoLund. We hope to see as many of you as possible there!

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.
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