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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


SNI Nano Image Award 2015

We are looking for the most beautiful images of the nanoworld and will honor the three best pictures with 300 Swiss Francs each. Don’t miss the chance and participate! Please submit your photos together with a title, a short description and the scale of the image to until October 31st, 2015. We will present the best pictures on our website and will announce the winners in the next issue of SNI update.


Successful Uni-Nacht

The joint program of the SNI and the Department of Physics was a great success. During the whole evening, the experimental booths were densely occupied. At the entrance of the laser labyrinth, a long queue formed that did not become shorter at midnight. And even after twelve o’clock, a large number of people were still doing crafts in the creative workshop. Many thanks to all who contributed.


Researchers in Basel Develop Ideal Single-Photon Source

With the help of a semiconductor quantum dot, physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new type of light source that emits single photons. For the first time, the researchers have managed to create a stream of identical photons from a semiconductor. They have reported their findings in the scientific journal Nature Communications together with colleagues from the University of Bochum.


Improved Stability of Electron Spins in Qubits

Calculation with electron spins in a quantum computer assumes that the spin states last for a sufficient period of time. Physicists at the University of Basel and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute have now demonstrated that electron exchange in quantum dots fundamentally limits the stability of this information.   more...


Molecular Bodyguards for Immature Membrane Proteins


During their formation within the cells, many proteins rely on the assistance of molecular protectors, so-called chaperones. They help the proteins to fold correctly and thus ensure the right final structure. The roles of chaperones in membrane protein folding have long remained unclear. Researchers   more...


Nadia Opara and Stefan Arnold – Award winners at the SNI Annual Event 2015

During the Annual Event 2015, Nadia Opara won the Best Talk Award and Stefan Arnold got the price for the best poster. The two SNI PhD students received their awards on 4th September at Lenzerheide where the second Annual Event of the SNI took place at the hotel Schweizerhof. During the closing ceremony,   more...


Congratulations to Peter Rickhaus

Peter Rickhaus from the Departement of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute has been awarded the Metas-Price of the Swiss Physical Society for his work on electron transport in graphene.


New PhD positions available

Within the SNI PhD School, five new PhD positions are now available. The deadline for submission of online applications is 30th September, 2015.
More information


Successful Boron-Doping of Graphene Nanoribbon

Physicists at the University of Basel succeed in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons and characterizing their structural, electronic and chemical properties. The modified material could potentially be used as a sensor for the ecologically damaging nitrogen oxides, scientists report in the latest issue of Nature Communications.

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Recent publications

Stimuli-triggered activity of nanoreactors by biomimetic engineering polymer membranes
Tomaz Einfalt, Roland Goers, Ionel Adrian Dinu, Adrian Najer, Mariana Spulber, Ozana Onaca-Fischer, and Cornelia G. Palivan
Nano Lett., DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b03386, October 2, 2015
The development of advanced stimuli-responsive systems for medicine, catalysis or technology requires compartmentalized reaction spaces with triggered activity. Only very few stimuli-responsive system
Link to journal

Snake trajectories in ultraclean graphene p–n junctions
Peter Rickhaus, Péter Makk, Ming-Hao Liu, Endre Tóvári, Markus Weiss, Romain Maurand, Klaus Richter & Christian Schönenberger
Nature Communications 6, Article number: 6470, March 2015
Snake states are trajectories of charge carriers curving back and forth along an interface. There are two types of snake states, formed by either inverting the magnetic field direction or the charge c
Link to journal

Full list of publications