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Swiss Nanoscience Institute

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) is a Center of Excellence in Nanoscale Sciences and Nanotechnology. It was founded in 2006 by the University of Basel and the Swiss Canton Aargau and consists of a network of different research institutions in Northwestern Switzerland. At the SNI, interdisciplinary teams work on basic research topics in different areas of nanoscale sciences. Applied research projects build bridges between basic research and applications in industry and are combined in the Nano-Argovia Program of the SNI. Under the umbrella of the SNI, the University of Basel offers a Bachelor and Master Study Program and initiated a PhD Program in Nanosciences. Knowledge and technology transfer into industry as well as active information of the public are important pillars of the SNI activities.

News from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute


Physicists Measure van der Waals Forces of Individual Atoms for the First Time

Physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the very weak van der Waals forces between individual atoms for the first time. To do this, they fixed individual noble gas atoms within a molecular network and determined the interactions with a single   more...


Quantum Sensors for High-Precision Magnetometry of Superconductors

Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel have developed a new method that has enabled them to image magnetic fields on the nanometer scale at temperatures close to absolute zero for the first time. They used spins in special diamonds as   more...


Nuclear Pores Captured on Film

Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published   more...


European Funding for Four Investigators From the University of Basel

Four researchers of the University of Basel have been awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants by the European Research Council (ERC). The neurobiologists Prof. Silvia Arber and Prof. Peter Scheiffele as well as chemist Prof. Thomas R. Ward and geneticist Prof. Rolf Zeller each receive 2.5 Million Euros of funding.


The Atom Without Properties


The microscopic world is governed by the rules of quantum mechanics, where the properties of a particle can be completely undetermined and yet strongly correlated with those of other particles. Physicists from the University of Basel have observed these so-called Bell correlations for the first time between hundreds of atoms. Their findings are published in the scientific journal Science.


Silicone films for artificial muscles


Researchers of the University of Basel and Empa have gotten a step closer to engineering artificial muscles: they have developed a method to generate nanometer-thin silicone films.


Internationale Kollaboration testet Zuverlässigkeit von quantenmechanischen Simulationen

Zusammen mit Kollegen von über 30 anderen Hochschulen haben Wissenschaftler der Universität Basel die Zuverlässigkeit von quantenmechanischen Simulationsmethoden zur Berechnung von Materialeigenschaften getestet. Dabei untersuchten sie, inwiefern die Berechnungen unterschiedlicher Softwareprogramme übereinstimmen.   more...

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Swiss NanoConvention 2016
The Swiss NanoConvention 2016 will be held in Basel from 30 June – 1 July, 2016.

Annual Event SNI
The next SNI Annual Event will take place in Lenzerheide from 15th - 16th September 2016.


Recent publications

Spatiotemporal dynamics of the nuclear pore complex transport barrier resolved by high-speed atomic force microscopy
Yusuke Sakiyama, Adam Mazur, Larisa E. Kapinos & Roderick Y. H. Lim
Nature Nanotechnology (2016)
Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are biological nanomachines that mediate the bidirectional traffic of macromolecules between the cytoplasm and nucleus in eukaryotic cells. This process involves numerous
Link to journal

Quantitative nanoscale vortex imaging using a cryogenic quantum magnetometer
L. Thiel, D. Rohner, M. Ganzhorn, P. Appel, E. Neu, B. Müller, R. Kleiner, D. Koelle & P. Maletinsky
Nature Nanotechnology (2016)
Microscopic studies of superconductors and their vortices play a pivotal role in understanding the mechanisms underlying superconductivity1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Local measurements of penetration depths6 or ma
Link to journal

Full list of publications