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Swiss Nanoscience Institute

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) is a Center of Excellence in Nanoscale Sciences and Nanotechnologie. 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

Our founding director Professor Hans-Joachim Güntherodt has died

Today, we have received the sad news that our founding director Professor Hans-Joachim Güntherodt has died on Sunday. All who knew him are shocked about these news. Without Hans-Joachim Güntherodt, nanoscale sciences at the University of Basel and in Switzerland would not be where they currently stand. We would not have had an NCCR Nanoscale Sciences and no SNI at the University of Basel. During his career, he has not only fascinated students and PhD students but has also convinced colleagues, politicians and interested people from all disciplines of the astonishing nanoworld. We have lost an excellent scientists and a wonderful person who leaves a big gap. Our thoughts are with his family.

15th July 2014 - Smallest Swiss Cross – Made of 20 Single Atoms

The manipulation of atoms has reached a new level: Together with teams from Finland and Japan, physicists from the University of Basel were able to place 20 single atoms on a fully insulated surface at room temperature to form the smallest “Swiss cross”, thus taking a big step towards next generation atomic-scale storage devices. The academic journal Nature Communications has published their results.


Nano Argovia Call now online

The Argovia Programm supports applied research projects and stimulates the know-jow and technology between academia and industry in Northwestern Switzerland. Projects can be submitted until September 30, 2014. More information on Nano-Argovia, as well as the corresponding documents and forms can be downloaded.


26.06.2014 - High-Precision Nanosensors: Physicists Implement 10 Year old Theoretical Proposal

Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel were able to show that specifically modified diamonds could work as high precision nanosensors. The researchers used single crystal diamond cantilevers with embedded defects in their crystal lattice structure. In these so called   more...


25.06.2014 - Nanoscale Velcro used for Molecule Transport

Biological membranes are like a guarded border. They separate the cell from the environment and at the same time control the import and export of molecules. The nuclear membrane can be crossed via many tiny pores. Scientists at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel,   more...

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Workshop Oberflächenanalytik
Der Workshop ist nicht als wissenschaftliche Tagung gedacht, sondern als praxisnaher Austausch zum aktuellen Stand der Methoden und deren Anwendungen. Er findet am Dienstag, 2. September 2014 statt.

brainbox - where inventors meet
brainbox – is an event for scientists from academia who are interested in transforming their research into a practical application.

SNI Annual Event
The SNI Annual Event takes place on 11th and 12th September 2014 at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.


Recent publications

Strain coupling of a nitrogen-vacancy center spin to a diamond mechanical oscillator
J. Teissier, A. Barfuss, P. Appel, E. Neu, and P. Maletinsky
Physical Review Letters
We report on single electronic spins coupled to the motion of mechanical resonators by a novel mechanism based on crystal strain. Our device consists of single-crystalline diamond cantilevers with emb
Link to journal

Selective transport control on molecular velcro made from intrinsically disordered proteins
Kai D. Schleicher, Simon L. Dettmer, Larisa E. Kapinos, Stefano Pagliara, Ulrich F. Keyser, Sylvia Jeney & Roderick Y. H. Lim
Nature Nanotechnology (2014)
The selectivity and speed of many biological transport processes1 transpire from a ‘reduction of dimensionality’2 that confines diffusion to one or two dimensions instead of three3. This behaviour rem
Link to journal

Full list of publications