Short Biography

After graduating in physics at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), Michel Calame joined the group of Prof. P. Martinoli in 1993 to do a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics on the electrical transport properties of superconducting thin films. In 1998, he spent six months at the Swiss Federal Office of Metrology METAS (Bern, Switzerland) as a scientific collaborator, working on low-temperature electronics for single-electron transistor devices. In 1999, after receiving a Swiss National Science Foundation grant for young researchers, he moved to the Center for Studies in Physics and Biology at the Rockefeller University (NY, USA) to join the group of Prof. A. Libchaber for a postdoctoral stay in molecular biophysics. Since 2001, he is with the nanoelectronics group of Prof. C. Schönenberger at the University of Basel where his research focuses on the electrical properties of nanometer-scale structures with a particular emphasis on molecular devices. Michel Calame was elected at the Swiss Academy of Sciences, as a board member of the Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics Platform in 2007. He received the venia docendi in physics from the University of Basel in 2011.

Since October 1st, 2016 the activities of our group in Basel are being progressively transferred to the Empa in Dübendorf. The Nanoscale Hybrid Electronic Systems group will be integrated in the Empa lab by August 2017 and our research will focus on nanoscale transport phenomena.


Research Summary

The research concentrates on the electrical and, to a lesser extent, opto-electrical properties of devices containing atomically precise structures with at least one dimension in the nanometer range. The devices are hybrid solid state - organic structures prepared using state-of-the-art lithography combined with self-assembly and chemical functionalization. The charge carriers being transported in such devices have to face confined geometries and interfaces between distinct materials. We are in particular interested in the study of molecular junctions where metallic or semi-conducting electrodes in the nanometer range are bridged by molecular compounds which can, for instance, exhibit switching properties.

Research page


Selected Publications

  1. Nernst Limit in Dual-Gated Si-Nanowire FET Sensors O. Knopfmacher, A. Tarasov, W. Fu, M. Wipf, B. Niesen, M. Calame, and C. Schönenberger Nano Letters 10, 2268-2274 (2010).
  2. Molecular Junctions based on aromatic coupling S. Wu, R. Huber, M. T. Gonzalez, S. Grunder, M. Mayor, C. Schönenberger, and M. Calame Nature Nanotechnology 3, 569-574 (2008).
  3. Electrical conductance of molecular junctions by a robust statistical analysis M. T. Gonzalez, S. Wu, R. Huber, S. J. van der Molen, C. Schönenberger, and M. Calame Nano Letters 6, 2238-2242 (2006).
  4. Single mismatch detection by gold-quenched fluorescent oligonucleotides B. Dubertret, M. Calame and A. Libchaber Nature Biotechnology 19, 365-370 (2001).
  5. Collective Pinning of a Frozen Vortex Liquid in Ultrathin Superconducting YBa_2Cu_3O_7 films M. Calame, S. Korshunov, C. Leemann and P. Martinoli Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 3630-3633 (2001).

List of publications


PD Dr. Michel Calame