Strategic collaboration with the Olle Engkvist Foundation: 100 MSEK for Nanolab Science Village • ERC Consolidator Grant to Ville Maisi • Solar cells being tested in space • Electrodes grown in the brain • One step closer to clinical phase for NanoLund spin-off company NeuroNano AB • Kimberly Dick Thelander inducted as IVA fellow • Register for Euro Nano Forum
NanoLund at the Forefront of NanoScience
March 2023 • Newsletter from the Center for Nanoscience, Lund University
Strategic Research Area NanoLund
Illustration of the thriving Science Village in north-eastern Lund.

NanoLund and Lund University in strategic collaboration with the Olle Engkvist Foundation:
100 MSEK for Nanolab Science Village
NanoLund at Lund University has established a long-term strategic collaboration with the Olle Engkvist Foundation, which intends to support the purchase of equipment for Nanolab Science Village to the tune of SEK 100 million over five years.

Through this collaboration, the foundation wishes to support the very strong, leading interdisciplinary research environment that is to be found at NanoLund. Nanotechnology holds the key to revolutionary solutions for the planet and humanity’s best. As such, the foundation views the strategic collaboration around the establishment of a new laboratory in Lund’s new neighborhood, Science Village, as very satisfying.

“My researcher colleagues and I are very grateful for the support from the Olle Engkvist Foundation. When we are ‘crafting’ at an atomic level, in order to create better conditions for both humanity and the planet, an optimally-equipped laboratory and the proximity to the two major research facilities – MAX IV and ESS – provide unique possibilities,” says Maria Messing, deputy director of NanoLund.

A circuit board with a microwave photodiode
Funding from European Research Council to Ville Maisi

Ville Maisi, senior lecturer at the Department of Physics at Lund University’s Faculty of Engineering (LTH) and a researcher at NanoLund, has been awarded a European Research Council Consolidator Grant worth SEK 28 million for the QPHOTON project. The project will involve the design of ultra-sensitive microwave detectors. These sensors can measure and count microwave photons and thus provide new insights into how measurement processes work in small nanoscale systems. The research will focus on building microwave detectors over a five-year period.

One of the hopes for the project is that it will increase knowledge about our universe.
“Perhaps our detectors will enable us to answer what dark matter is – currently one of the biggest mysteries in our universe,” says Ville Maisi.

Droplet on microchip.
Electrodes grown in the brain

The boundaries between biology and technology are becoming blurred. Researchers at Linköping, Lund, and Gothenburg universities in Sweden have successfully grown electrodes in living tissue using the body’s molecules as triggers. The result, published in the journal Science, paves the way for the formation of fully integrated electronic circuits in living organisms. In experiments conducted at Lund University, the team successfully achieved electrode formation in the brain, heart, and tail fins of zebrafish and around the nervous tissue of medicinal leeches. The animals were not harmed by the injected gel and were otherwise not affected by the electrode formation. One of the many challenges in these trials was to take the animals’ immune systems into account.

“By making smart changes to the chemistry, we were able to develop electrodes that were accepted by the brain tissue and immune system. The zebrafish is an excellent model for the study of organic electrodes in brains,” says Professor Roger Olsson at the Medical Faculty at Lund University, who is an affiliated member of NanoLund as well as Martin Hjort, also one of the authors of the publication.

Illustration of a solar cell in space.
New type of solar cell is being tested in space

With nanowires working as small solar radiation-collecting antennas, a new type of solar cell has been sent into space. By using three different materials they are a better match for the solar spectrum compared with today’s silicon solar cells. As the nanowires are light and require little material per unit of area, they are now to be installed for tests on satellites, which are powered by solar cells and where efficiency, in combination with low weight, is the most important factor.

“The big challenge was to get the current to transfer between the materials. It took more than ten years, but it worked in the end,” says NanoLund principal investigator Magnus Borgström, professor of solid state physics, who wrote the articles with Lukas Hrachowina, Yang Chen, Enrique Barrigóna, and Reine Wallenberg.

Photo of a blood stem cell.
Kind methods
mean happy cells

Stem cells from umbilical cords in Skåne are improved with nanotubes. By cross-pollinating nanotechnology with stem cell biology, researchers are creating gentle methods to ensure that more cells perform better. Blood stem cells are altered without showing that they have been modified.

“If you are interested in working with blood stem cells in Sweden, this is the place to be.” So says Martin Hjort, a researcher in chemical biology, who is focusing on reprogramming cells. He has one foot in the cleanroom lab at NanoLund at the Department of Physics, where he makes nanotube membranes small enough for cells to stick to them like lint on a Velcro strip.

“The nanotubes act like traps for the cells. The cell, in turn, doesn’t even detect the insertion of the tubes. The cell membrane is essentially intact, except where the nanotube was inserted. This method is without a doubt the kindest to the cells, and keeps them the happiest. The cell is a living entity that can get stressed and deteriorate. A bit like humans,” says Martin Hjort.

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 Kimberly Dick Thelander
The Göran Gustafsson Prize in chemistry to Kimberly Dick Thelander

With the help of the microscope, nanocrystals can become new semiconductors – and “for the study of the atomic structure of nanomaterials and its characterization by in-situ electron microscopy”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards Kimberly Dick Thelander, professor of Materials Science, the Göran Gustafsson Prize.
Kimberly Dick Thelander’s research interests include new crystalline semiconductor materials.

“Actually, my research is essentially fundamental. I try to understand the processes behind how crystals are formed. If we can understand that, we can also control the process and then we can create different forms of new materials. It doesn’t have to be semiconductors, but semiconductors are interesting because there’s so much you can do with them”, she says.

Together with other prominent researchers and experts in the private and public sectors, Professor Kimberly Dick Thelander has also been inducted as a new Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

Photo from the NanoLund Mentor Program Kickoff

Stepping out of the comfort zone – kick-off with the new NanoLund Mentoring program
As part of the NanoLund Mentoring program, NanoLund arranged a kick-off with a pilot round of 12 PhD students who are about to meet their mentors. The PhD students are all well over halfway through their PhD studies. The mentoring program intends to guide the students and open new networks for them, and started with meeting Tina Persson, a Global ICF Coach.

“We have matched them with mentors after the PhD students submitted an application in which they told us a bit about their thoughts and considerations for their career after their PhD. Our aim has been to find mentors outside their research group and preferably outside their organization”, says Mirja Carlsson Möller, NanoLund center coordinator.
“The mentors have come from our network or tips from the network. All mentors have been very positive and have been happy to volunteer.”
Photo of Anne L’Huillier
Anne L’Huillier Frontiers
of Knowledge Awardee

For her pioneering work in attosecond physics, Anne L’Huillier is one of the three new laureates of the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in basic science – a prize from the BBVA Foundation.

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences goes in this fifteenth edition to Anne L’Huillier (Lund University, Sweden), Paul Corkum (University of Ottawa, Canada), and Ferenc Krausz (Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany), the three pioneers of “attosecond physics” or “attophysics” whose work has made it possible to observe subatomic processes unfolding over the shortest time scale captured by science.
Photo of a man in a hallway
Neuronano AB approaching the clinical phase

Neuronano AB – a med tech company spun out of NanoLund and the Neuronano Research Center (NRC) – issued new shares, according to the news service Rapidus. 20 MSEK are taking the company closer to the clinical phase.

Treating diseases with biocompatible electrodes small enough to leave as little imprint on the brain tissue as possible – that’s the business concept for Neuronano AB. The first application, now being tested on animals, will reportedly soon begin clinical trials on humans. The aim is to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

“The big problem in this type of brain research is the side effects. The method involves activating the right part of the brain, which is made up of very complex systems. If you stimulate too roughly, you also activate areas that cause side effects. At the same time, you can’t know in advance exactly where to stimulate, plus-minus one millimeter is a lot in this context,” says Neuronano founder Jens Schouenborg to Rapidus, who was first on reporting the new issue.
And the NanoLund Junior Scientist Ideas Award goes to...
The junior scientist ideas award is presented to the young researchers who are granted NanoLund seedling projects; proposals for novel research projects submitted by master’s students, PhD students, and postdocs at NanoLund. The grantees are selected based on the originality, feasibility, potential impact, and initiative of their proposed project from across all research areas of NanoLund.

In 2023, 15 seedling project applications were received and evaluated by a group of senior scientists. Four projects were selected for funding by a one-time sum of SEK 100 000 per project. The evaluation committee was Ville Maisi, Vinay Swaminathan, Dmitry Baranov, Jesper Wallentin, and Ivan Scheblykin.
Photo of a chip 1x1
Registration is open
for Euro Nano Forum

Nanotechnology and advanced materials play a central role in achieving the changes we need for the “Green Deal” – a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of a climate-neutral EU. In this twin transition, where tech and data can lead the way towards strong and resilient societies and economies, European research programs are pivotal in supporting the necessary changes.

The inspiring sessions, combined with great networking opportunities, will pave the way to new collaborations and fresh ideas on hot topics like materials for fossil-free energy production; energy storage and energy efficiency; novel applications for 2D materials; new materials for future chips; and how “safe and sustainable” can be included from the start.

Euro Nano Forum 2023 is your chance to interact with important leaders from the industry, the European Commission, and academia, as well as European interest groups and initiatives. Posters and exhibits are welcome and free of charge!
Place and Date: Lund, 11–13 June, LTH Kårhuset, John Ericssons Väg 3, Lund

522 Masterportal collage for newsletter
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.  
538 MariaMessingA%cc%8arsmo%cc%88te 1x1
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!

1x1 539 Jeddi
PhD Student Hossein Jeddi wins his second gold medal

At last, we would like to shine the light on NanoLundian PhD student Hossein Jeddi. Earlier this year, he won his second gold medal in the Swedish wrestling championship. Big congrats from all the colleagues at NanoLund!

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