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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 update October 2016

The October issue of SNI update is online.


Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope

A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists at the University of Basel and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology.


Nano Image Award 2016

Many thanks to all who contributed!


Nanodragster team on the radio

SRF interviewed the Nanodragster team, that will participate in the first international nanocar race. Tobias Meier, co-pilot of the team from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and Departement of Physics, explains the race, the goals and the challenges the teams are facing.


Physicists at the PSI’s large-scale research facilities are thinking beyond the Nobel Prize theories

Image: Paul Scherrer Institute

This year’s Nobel Prize for Physics goes to David Thouless, Duncan Haldane, and Michael Kosterlitz for their investigations of topological phases and phase transitions in matter. This could have practical relevance one day for novel materials, for data storage, and for quantum computers. The Academy   more...


Swiss Team Holds Speed Record

A team of the University of Basel is going to participate in the first international nanocar race in Toulouse in spring 2017. The Swiss Nanoscience Institute supports the young scientists from the Department of Physics, who enjoy the competition and additionally, will learn a lot for their research during this challenge.


On-Surface Chemistry Leads to Novel Products

On-surface chemical reactions can lead to novel chemical compounds not yet synthesized by solution chemistry. The first-step, second-step, and third-step products can be analyzed in detail using a high-resolution atomic force microscope, as demonstrated in Nature Communications by scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at Basel University and their colleagues from Japan and Finland.


Christoph Gerber received the Kavli Prize

This week, Christoph Gerber of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel received the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. He was honoured together with Gerd Binnig and Calvin Quate for the development of the first atomic force microscope 30 years ago.


Nanotechnology Supports Treatment of Malignant Melanoma

Changes in the genetic make-up of tissue samples can be detected quickly and easily using a new method based on nanotechnology. This report researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel in first clinical tests with genetic mutations in patients with malignant melanoma. The journal Nano Letters has published the study.


Bringing artificial enzymes closer to nature

Scientists at the University of Basel, ETH Zurich in Basel, and NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering have developed an artificial metalloenzyme that catalyses a reaction inside of cells without equivalent in nature. This could be a prime example for creating new non-natural metabolic pathways inside living cells, as reported today in Nature.

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Art of Molecule
In der Klosterkirche Königsfelden findet am Sonntag, 23. Oktober, unter dem Motto Klang der Moleküle (Infos zum Konzert und zu Tickets) das erste gemeinsame Event mit dem argovia philharmonic statt.

On 27 October 2016 at 7.20 pm the next talk will take place at Sud in Basel.


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