Departement News

Crystal phase engineering: the “art” of creating materials with tailor made properties by playing with their crystal structure

Nowadays materials science faces an even more ambitious task: creating materials by design, that is engineering materials with tailor made properties, typically because they can be useful for some specific applications. A way to achieve this goal is creating superlattices, periodic structures made of an ordered sequence of building blocks of different materials, whose properties that can be tuned by controlling the stacking of the building blocks.

In the framework of a collaborative research project led by Ilaria Zardo, from the University of Basel (Switzerland), counting with the collaboration of the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) (Spain), the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) (Spain) and the Technical University of Eindhoven (The Netherlands), the tuning of the vibrational properties of a crystal phase superlattice has been demonstrated for the first time. This superlattice is different from the conventional ones, since its basic LEGO® bricks used as building blocks, rather than made of different materials, are made of different crystal phases of the same material. This finding has been published in the journal Nano Letters and highlighted by the editor in the journal cover .


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Hoverboard gewinnt Bundespreis bei «Jugend forscht» - ein Grund zu feiern!

In dem Science-Fiction-Klassiker „Zurück in die Zukunft II“ flitzt Filmschauspieler Michael J. Fox auf einem Skateboard durch die Straßen, das keine Rollen besitzt, sondern wie ein Hovercraft über dem Boden schwebt. Genau an dieser technologischen Vision tüftelten auch Felix Sewing und Alex Korocencev. Ihr Gefährt basiert auf vier rotierenden Scheiben, die auf einer darunterliegenden Metallplatte ein kräftiges, abstoßendes Magnetfeld hervorrufen können. Die Tragkraft des Boards ist durchaus beeindruckend, der Prototyp kann ein beträchtliches Gewicht stemmen. Zudem ist es möglich, die Rotorscheiben einzeln zu kippen, wodurch sich das Brett gezielt lenken lässt. Mittlerweile funktioniert die Technik so gut, dass die beiden Jungforscher für die darin verwendete Magnetanordnung ein Patent beantragt haben.

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QUSTEC call for PhD students

Quantum Science and Technologies QUSTEC on EUCOR -- The European Campus (Uni Basel, Uni Freiburg, Uni Strasbourg, Karlsruhe KIT, and IBM Zurich)

Call open for 39 doctoral fellowships at!

Apply now, call closes Aug 19, 2019.


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The winner of the golden chalk, the golden correction pen & the golden scale FS2019 are known!

Congratulations to the winner of the golden chalk, the golden correction pen & the golden scale!

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The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

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Prix Schläfli 2019 an Physiker Matteo Fadel von der Universität Basel

Der Physiker Dr. Matteo Fadel von der Universität Basel gehört zu den vier jungen Forschenden an Schweizer Hochschulen, die von der Akademie der Naturwissenschaften (SCNAT) mit dem Prix Schläfli 2019 ausgezeichnet werden. Der Preis wird jährlich für die vier besten Doktorarbeiten in Naturwissenschaften vergeben.

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Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide

The use of potassium bromide in the production of graphene on a copper surface can lead to better results. When potassium bromide molecules arrange themselves between graphene and copper, it results in electronic decoupling. This alters the electrical properties of the graphene produced, bringing them closer to pure graphene, as reported by physicists from the universities of Basel, Modena and Munich in the journal ACS Nano .

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Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors

For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide. In addition, they found a long-sought explanation for the unusual magnetic properties of the material. The journal Science has published the findings.

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Ernst Meyer is awarded an ERC Advanced Grant!

The European Research Council has awarded two University of Basel scientists each a generously endowed ERC Advanced Grant. Biologist Professor Alex Schier and physicist Professor Ernst Meyer will each receive funding in the six figures for their innovative research projects.

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Resolvable heavy neutrino-antineutrino oscillations at colliders

The explanation of the observed light neutrino flavour oscillations requires new particles, absent in the present theory of elementary particles, the so-called “Standard Model”. Extensions of the Standard Model where these new particles are within reach of collider experiments often feature a pair of additional "heavy neutrinos”, with nearly equal masses. Physicists from the University of Basel have recently shown that the small mass difference is predicted in simple neutrino mass theories of this type, and that it leads to oscillations between heavy neutrino states and heavy antineutrino states. These heavy neutrinos and antineutrinos can be detected by their decays into leptons and antileptons of the Standard Model. For comparatively long-lived heavy neutrinos, the oscillations could be resolved at the next (high-luminosity) stage of LHCb, and at envisioned future particle colliders. Their observation would allow a deep insight into the origin of neutrino masses (Mod. Phys. Lett. A34 (2019)).


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