Nobel Prize in Physics to Anne L’Huillier • Success for Light & Materials Synergy Day • ERC Starting Grant to NanoLundian Filip Lenrick • The importance of taking nanosafety into account • NanoLundians successful with the European Innovation Council • Electrotherapy without surgery
NanoLund at the Forefront of NanoScience
November 2023 • Newsletter from the Center for Nanoscience, Lund University
Strategic Research Area NanoLund
Photo of Anne L’Huillier entering the celebration.

Anne L’Huillier – the first Nobel Laureate of Lund University
Stepping out to meet the cheering crowds at Fysicum celebrating the announcement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Professor of Atomic Physics Anne L’Huillier is shrouded in jubilation. Finally, a Nobel Prize has been awarded to a currently active scientist at Lund University. Together with Pierre Agostini and Ferenc Krausz she is recognised for experiments, which have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules. They have demonstrated a way to create extremely short pulses of light that can be used to measure the rapid processes in which electrons move or change energy.

During the press conference after the physics prize was announced, one of the journalists asked what the next step was now that Anne L’Huillier had received the highest award one can receive.
  “The next step is to stay where I am, regardless of what happened today. That’s my goal, to continue researching and teaching just as I do today, work with my research group, and continue to be myself,” replied Anne L’Huillier.

Photo of Anders Mikkelsen, Veronica Lattanzi and Peter Dröll. 1x1
Success for the Light & Materials Synergy Day

Nanowires, quantum dots, lasers and much more. At the Synergy Day on 10 October 2023, researchers from Lund Laser Centre and NanoLund together with MAX IV Laboratory met under the umbrella of Lund University’s profile area Light & Materials for an entire day, doing what we all love most: marveling at the worlds of science.
  Over 250 participants attended the sessions at Palaestra and the poster sessions in AF-Borgen. The organising committee consisting of Christelle Prinz, Francesca Curbis, Joakim Bood, and Tönu Pullerits had put together an exciting program on the theme Light Meets Materials. The program included updates from the research environments within the profile area, plenary talks, and poster pitches. During the afternoon parallel sessions invited speakers presented engaging talks on the topics of Medicine & Light, Energy, Climate & Environment, and Quantum Physics & Technology. More than 80 posters were presented from all areas within Light & Materials.

Awards were given for Excellent Support to Communications Officer Noomi Egan and Project Coordinator Gerda Rentschler, Young Teacher Awards to Mehran Sedrpooshan and Yue Zhao, and the NanoLund Junior Scientist Ideas Awards were presented to:
  • Patrik Olausson, Vertical MOSFETs using a “semiconductor-last” approach based on Template-Assisted Selective Epitaxy 
  • Mehran Sedrpooshan, Novel Surface Coating Technique via Spark-Ablation
  • Elham Akbari, Tissue-in-a-pit an infection-on-a-chip, microfluidic system to mimic host-pathogen Interactions 
  • Ivan Unksov, Biosensor for DNA based on fluorescent silver nanoclusters, semiconductor nanowires, and DNA origami
Poster Awards were given to:
  • Ruby Davtyan: Medicine & Light, Climate & Environment – “Lightguiding nanowires for single molecule detection with TIRF-level sensitivity”
  • Meena Raveesh: Energy – “Interferometric Quantum Control (IQC) by fs/ns Rotational Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy”
  • Mattias Ammitzböll: Quantum Science and Technology –  “Measuring the quantum state of a photoelectron”
A circuit board with a microwave photodiode
NanoLund researchers now coordinates three Vinnova competence centers

Sweden’s Innovation Agency, Vinnova, will invest in 11 new competence centers starting in January 2024. Among the new ones, two are directly connected to NanoLund – which, together with the already existing center C3NiT, means that NanoLundians now engages in a total of three competence centers:
  • Advanced Chip Technology (ACT) – processes and methods for the development of semiconductor components, managed by Lars-Erik Wernersson
  • Integrated Sensors and Adaptive Technology for Sustainable Products and Manufacturing (SENTIO) – focusing on integrated sensor technology enabling digital real-time optimization of industrial products and production processes for a sustainable industry, managed by Anders Mikkelsen
  • Center for III Nitride Semiconductor Technology, C3NiT – a platform for generating and exploiting cutting-edge research in III-nitride semiconductors for the next generation of power and high-frequency electronics, through a combination of scientific excellence and industrial relevance, managed by Vanya Darakchieva
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Balancing work and life at the NanoLund Student and Postdoc Retreat

This year’s NanoLund Student and Postdoc retreat took place in Smygehamn with almost 70 participants. They used the opportunity to dive into the topics “Work-Life-Balance” and “Communication” during the two days at the idyllic south coast of Skåne.
Speakers sharing their expertise, interactive workshops, and a social program provided insights and food for thought.
Photo of droplets.
Controllable droplets carry promise for self-assembled nanodevices

Metal patterns printed on a III-V semiconductor material can control the appearance and positions of droplets arising on its surface when heated. The result is a significant step forward for controlled device fabrication on a chip.

“Droplet dynamics is always fascinating and has been studied for decades. By simply heating up a few simple compound materials, you can get a very rich behaviour,” says Sandra Benter.

Photo of a man in a lab.
Maning Liu pioneers – WISE celebrates its first scientific publication

“Twisted or planar?” is the question that our brand new affiliated faculty member, Assistant Professor Maning Liu, and his colleagues explore in their new article – making it to the cover of Solar RRL. The Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability, WISE, thereby celebrates its very first scientific publication.

“Eventually, we found that twisted side-chains in the small molecular hole-transport materials are more favorable for the efficient interfacial charge transfer as well as for blocking the diffusion of hygroscopic dopants towards perovskites, leading to much-enhanced device performance (almost doubled efficiency compared to the planar case) and operation stability,” says Maning Liu.

çight and matter.
Understanding the behaviour of light and matter – key to future technologies

If we can understand how and why light and matter behave as they do, we are one step closer to solving some of the most fundamental problems in physics. Finding the answers to these questions drives Ville Maisi, Associate Professor of Solid States Physics at NanoLund.

“If we manage to solve how and why particles and light behave the way they do, and under what conditions, we can lay the foundation to whatever new technology there might be. Just look at the transistor, today transistors are used everywhere, but 70 years ago they were only studied in the laboratory,” says Ville Maisi.

Illustration of a scientific experiment on mice and their lungs.
Study shows the importance of taking nanosafety into account

Lung exposure to nanowires induces an inflammatory response and allergic response when tested on mice.
“This emphasizes how important it is that we continue to take nanosafety into account”, says Professor Christelle Prinz, one of the researchers behind the study.

In a collaboration with the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, led by Ulla Vogel, and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, researchers from NanoLund have investigated the toxicity of gallium phosphide nanowires in mice after lung exposure.

“By combining many experimental methods, we could investigate the inflammatory and allergic responses elicited by nanowires, as well as track and characterize the nanowires in lungs and distant organs. The study also shows the relevance of using nanowires as models for one-dimensional nanoparticles, since they are easy to localize in tissue, using electron- and optical microscopy”, says Christelle Prinz.
Photo of a man welding.
ERC Starting Grant to NanoLundian Filip Lenrick

Among the scholars from Lund University who have received European Research Council Starting Grants is Filip Lenrick, a researcher in industrial production, for the project “Bulk-like Joints by Gas Actuated Bonding”.

“The aim of the project is to develop a method that is capable of welding the advanced alloys needed for the next generation of energy systems, such as solid oxide fuel cells or thermal solar power stations. These applications create an extremely stressful environment for the materials used in the equipment. There are large forces at high temperatures in a corrosive environment, all at the same time. Therefore, very advanced alloys will be required for equipment to function. The problem is that such alloys are generally difficult or impossible to weld. I want to solve this by developing a new way of welding,” says Filip Lenrick.

The ERC Starting Grant is aimed at researchers in the early stages of their careers and has scientific excellence as its sole selection criterion. The researchers and their projects have been ranked the highest in Europe through peer review and in very high competition.
Collage from YouTube.
Creating completely new materials with atoms

Kimberly Dick studies the building of new materials by working on an atom scale.

“Big discoveries are made when we realize something fundamental and yet surprising about nature”, she says.

Since the atoms are at the nanoscale, she has built her own unique electron microscope so she can both see and build. If an atom were the size of a Lego piece, lying in a hand, the hand would be the size of planet Earth. The microscope allows her to study fundamental things about how nature works and how things work on an atomic scale which can pave the way for new findings, materials, and processes.

Photo of a person standing in front of shelves with clay objects.
New NanoLundian investigating clay materials at an atomistic level

Clay is described as an ancient material with a great future. It has been used since ancient times for protecting, building, and carrying things. If we learn more about how to change various properties of clays, such as through the addition of certain molecules or salts, we can use them for new and sustainable products in the fields of medicine, architecture, and building materials.

“The potential areas of application are huge,” says an enthusiastic Marie Skepö, professor of theoretical chemistry and a new affiliated faculty member of NanoLund.

“Clay particles look like plates where the flat surface is negatively charged, and the edge is positively charged”, explains Marie Skepö and continues: “When different salts are added in experiments, the particles can form different structures and have unique properties that matter for various applications”.

Photo of a man in the lab.
Researchers reveal deficiencies in “corrosion-resistant” metallic materials

Buildings, modes of transport, artworks, and music instruments – we encounter metallic materials almost everywhere in society. The factor that limits the lifetime of these materials is corrosion, which means a material is eaten away and dissolved due to electrochemical reactions. Corrosion damage is associated with costs amounting each year to around four percent of the gross world product (GWP) and causes considerable carbon dioxide emissions.

In a new study published in the research journal Advanced Materials, a research team led from Lund University studied an alloy of nickel, chromium, and molybdenum that is known for its corrosion resistance. Using accelerated electrochemical tests at the synchrotron light facilities MAX IV in Lund and PETRA III in Hamburg, the researchers concluded that the alloy’s corrosion resistance was significantly poorer than expected under these test accelerated test conditions.

“This leads to problems for the industry, which cannot rapidly test and compare different materials in a correct way. We can also prove that it’s not only corrosion reactions that take place during the accelerated electrochemical tests, but also other reactions that have been previously ignored, such as water splitting,” says Alfred Larsson, doctoral student of at synchrotron radiation research.
Photo of a zebrafish
Electrotherapy without surgery

Roger Olsson, professor of chemical biology and therapeutics, and Martin Hjort, researcher in chemical biology and therapeutics, have together with researchers at Gothenburg University successfully developed temporary, organic electrodes that can be seamlessly integrated into biological systems. The method, now published in Nature Communications, opens up a future where bioelectronics can be implanted in and removed from the body without surgery.

“Our work naturally integrates electronics with biological systems, which opens up possibilities for therapies for non-chronic diseases, that are difficult to treat. In the study, we used zebrafish, an excellent model for studying organic electrodes in brain structures,” concludes Martin Hjort, first author of the study.

Photo collage from the database Lucris

Recent articles from NanoLund researchers
Engaging researchers, students, and staff in the faculties of engineering, science, and medicine, NanoLund is Sweden’s largest research environment for nanoscience and nanotechnology and a strategic research area funded by the Swedish Government. We contribute to societal and sustainability challenges, for instance in health and clean energy, using the tools of nanoscience and nanotechnology. To this end, our research ranges from materials science and quantum physics to applications in energy, electronics and semiconductors, photonics, life science, and nanosafety. In the research portal, scientific articles from NanoLund researchers are found – most recent articles on tops.
Photo of a person wearing full protection clothes in cleanroom lab.
NanoLundians successful with the European Innovation Council

Lund University has proved to be the most successful of all Swedish universities within the European Innovation Council’s support for new and pioneering technology. Since the first call for applications was announced in 2021, Lund University has been awarded funding for seven projects, of which five are connected to NanoLund:
  • InsectNeuroNano (Insect-Brain inspired Neuromorphic Nanophotonics), coordinator Anders Mikkelsen
  • SISHOT (Single-shot, ultrashort laser pulse characterization based on the dispersion scan technique), coordinator Cord Arnold
  • SOLARUP (Advanced Strategies for Development of Sustainable Semiconductors for Scalable Solar Cell Applications), partner Kimberly Dick Thelander
  • MHz-TOMOSCOPY (MHz rate mulTiple prOjection X-ray MicrOSCOPY), partner Pablo Villanueva Perez
  • AcouSome(Acoustofluidic thin-film actuated chip for exosome separation from blood), partner Thomas Laurell
Photo of five people with flowers and diplomas.
Helmholtz High Impact Award to Eva Unger

We are proud to learn that affiliated faculty member Eva Unger has been honoured with the first Helmholtz High Impact Award. The Helmholtz High Impact honours creative and innovative solutions that address a major challenge in science, business, or society. Combining different disciplines and working together across centre boundaries to tackle one of the biggest challenges of our time – the energy transition – Eva Unger is one of the recipients of the first Helmholtz High Impact Award.

Photo of a woman in front of a blackboard with white writing on it.
Christina Isaxon discussed air pollution in Almedalen

“As a researcher, I am interested in what is required for us to comply with the air pollution maximum levels and how research can contribute. Hopefully, during the panel discussions, we can find common paths forward,” says Christina Isaxon, who participated in a panel discussion named “Clean air for everyone?” at the annual event Almedalen Week in Visby.

Lund University highlighted the global challenges we are facing – such as air pollution and food poverty. The program also inspired hope of finding solutions in external engagement between academia and society at large.
Jens Uhlig making pizza in the lovely summer afternoon.
All over the place – NanoLund participated in the “Culture Night”

Lectures, lab tours, Science Slam – and giving sneak peeks at MAX IV Open Day. NanoLund and Solid State Physics were all over the place during the annual event ”Culture Night” (Kulturnatten). This year NanoLund participated again in a joint effort with the Physics Department at Lund University in the annual Kulturnatten (”Culture Night”) event in Lund. Together we offered fun demonstrations, popular lectures, lab tours, a quiz for kids, and a very popular Science Slam.

In addition, NanoLund contributed to MAX IV Open day where we presented our research in general, and gave specific examples of industry collaborations conducted at MAX IV and other large-scale research infrastructures.

Microchip with text on it.
See the seminars from EuroNanoForum

Were you among those who couldn’t make it to the conference EuroNanoForum2023? Don’t despair – we have gathered recordings of several sessions for you to watch.

The EuroNanoForum 2023 marked a lively and engaging event where academia, industry, policymakers, and stakeholders converged to deliberate on Nanotechnology and advanced materials for a sustainable Europe. Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Innovation were at the center of discussions.

If you are interested in, for example, materials for a sustainable future, advanced materials for aerospace, solar hydrogen, electrochemical energy storage, quantum computer ecosystems, life sciences, or maybe the greenest battery on earth – just clear out your schedule, take a load off, and settle in for the playlist!
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Support in high-impact publishing

NanoLund offers our members support in high-impact publishing. As a member of NanoLund, you can get hands-on help from experienced editors to achieve the highest impact and visibility of your work. If you have an important result that you think should be published in one of the top journals in your field, contact Anna-Karin Alm.

Did you know that there are several support and funding opportunities for NanoLundians?

Mentoring Programme
The NanoLund Mentoring Programme will be organised again in spring 2024. PhD students and post docs will be welcomed to join for an opportunity to reflect on future careers choices with an external mentor. More information will come soon!
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Master thesis inspiration
Topics available for master thesis projects within NanoLund are found here. Students are invited to contact the supervisors for the projects they find interesting directly.
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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