News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 20 Mar 2017 16:52:28 +0100–-more-effective-than-ever-before.aspx storage of solar energy – more effective than ever before<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have demonstrated efficient solar energy storage in a chemical liquid. The stored energy can be transported and then released as heat whenever needed. The research is now presented on the cover of the scientific journal Energy &amp; Environmental Science.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Many consider the sun the energy source of the future. But one challenge is that it is difficult to store solar energy and deliver the energy ‘on demand’.</span><div><br /></div> <div>A research team from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown that it is possible to convert the solar energy directly into energy stored in the bonds of a chemical fluid – a so-called molecular solar thermal system. The liquid chemical makes it possible to store and transport the stored solar energy and release it on demand, with full recovery of the storage medium. The process is based on the organic compound norbornadiene that upon exposure to light converts into quadricyclane.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>‘The technique means that that we can store the solar energy in chemical bonds and release the energy as heat whenever we need it.’ says <a href="/en/staff/Pages/kasper-moth-poulsen.aspx">Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen</a>, who is leading the research team. ‘Combining the chemical energy storage with water heating solar panels enables a conversion of more than 80 percent of the incoming sunlight.’</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research project was initiated at Chalmers more than six years ago and the research team contributed in 2013 to a first conceptual demonstration. At the time, the solar energy conversion efficiency was 0.01 percent and the expensive element ruthenium played a major role in the compound. Now, four years later, the system stores 1.1 percent of the incoming sunlight as latent chemical energy – an improvement of a factor of 100. Also, ruthenium has been replaced by much cheaper carbon-based elements.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>‘We saw an opportunity to develop molecules that make the process much more efficient,’ says Moth-Poulsen. ‘At the same time, we are demonstrating a robust system that can sustain more than 140 energy storage and release cycles with negligible degradation.’</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read the <a href="">scientific article​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Videos about the research:</div> <div><a href=";amp%3bt=29s">;t=29s</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=";amp%3bt=57s">;t=57s</a></div> Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0100 fingerprints can reveal environmental gases<p><b>More efficient sensors are needed to be able to detect environmental pollution. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have proposed a new, sophisticated method of detecting molecules with sensors based on ultra-thin nanomaterials. The novel method could improve environmental sensing in the future. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.</b></p><p>“This could open up new possibilities for the detection of environmental gases. Our method is more robust than conventional sensors, which rely on small changes in optical properties”, says Maja Feierabend, PhD student at the Department of Physics and the main author of the article from Chalmers University of Technology and Technische Universität Berlin.</p> <p>Together with her supervisor, Associate Professor Ermin Malic, and Gunnar Berghäuser, postdoctoral researcher at Chalmers, she has proposed a new type of chemical nanosensor that consists of atomically thin nanomaterials that are extremely sensitive to changes in their surroundings. </p> <p>If you shine light on the sensor, you will see the optical fingerprint of the material itself. Molecules are identified by activating dark electronic states in the sensor material. If there are molecules on its surface, they will interact with these dark states and switch them on, making them visible. The result is an altered optical fingerprint, containing new features that prove the presence of the molecules. <br /></p> <p>“Our method has promising potential, paving the way for ultra-thin, fast, efficient and accurate sensors. In the future, this could hopefully lead to highly sensitive and selective sensors that can be used in environmental research&quot;, says Ermin Malic. <br /></p> The research has received funding from the European Union through the Graphene Flagship, coordinated by Chalmers. The researchers have filed a patent application for the novel sensor method. The next step is to work with experimental physicists and chemists to demonstrate the proof-of-principle for this new class of chemical sensors.  <p>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""><br /></a><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific article &quot;Proposal for dark exciton based chemical sensors&quot; in Nature Communications.</a><br /><br /><strong>For more information:</strong><br /><a href="">Ermin Malic</a>, Associate Professor, Division of Condensed Matter Theory, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 32 63, +46 70 840 49 53,<br /><br /><a href="">Maja Feierabend</a>, PhD student, Division of Condensed Matter Theory, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 32 64,</p> <p><br /></p> <p><img src="/en/departments/physics/news/Documents/Ermin%20Malic%20Maja%20Feierabend%20and%20Gunnar%20Berghäuser750x340.jpg" alt="Ermin Malic Maja Feierabend and Gunnar Berghäuser750x340.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br />The researchers Ermin Malic, Maja Feierabend and <span>Gunnar Berghäuser<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> have proposed a new method of detecting molecules with sensors based on nanomaterials. The method från Chalmers could improve environmental sensing in the future. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.</p> <p>Image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren<br /><br /></p>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0100 fashion industry gains new tools to reduce its environmental load<p><b>​The environmental impact of our clothing has now been mapped in the most comprehensive life cycle analysis performed to date. For the first time, this makes it possible to compare the environmental effects of completely different types of textiles. The results will be used to create a practical tool for clothing manufacturers that want to lighten their environmental load.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20170101-20170630/Sandra_Roos_Highrez-web.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Every year, 100 million tonnes of new textiles come onto the market and the textile industry has one of the highest turnovers in the world. It has long been understood that textile production has major environmental impact. But it has been difficult for textile companies to determine what choices they can make to reduce the environmental load, due to the wide variation in production processes.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Now the industry is being given entirely new opportunities. Researcher Sandra Roos has taken an overall approach to the clothing life cycle with her doctoral thesis at Chalmers University of Technology and the research institute Swerea, within the research programme Mistra Future Fashion. Over the course of her five-year project, she studied 30 different sub-processes in textile production. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>‘I have also assessed the toxicity of the chemicals used in the processes,’ says Roos. ‘This is an area where, until now, there were huge knowledge gaps. The sub-processes I studied extend from techniques as different as entirely synthetic textile fibres made of plastic, to cotton production – where farmers cultivate the soil, plant and harvest the cotton, before ginning and preparing it.’ </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The life cycle perspective she used involves an overall assessment, from production to the user phase and product waste management. The effect of background processes such as electricity consumption and mining are also included. The results make it possible to compare textile products that are extremely different to each other, which was not possible before.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Mistra Future Fashion is a collaborative project between the fashion industry and researchers in Sweden. Their next step will be to transform the results of the thesis to a practical tool that clothing manufacturers can use to improve the environmental performance of their processes and products. The tool is expected to be ready sometime in 2017. This is an important step, since the majority of the environmental load in the clothing life cycle is created in the production phase.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Unsurprisingly, Sandra Roos’s research shows that conventional cotton growing, where large quantities of insecticides are spread directly on land, stands out as a particularly heavy burden on the environment. Another of her conclusions was more unexpected. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>‘At present, most environmental indices are based on the type of textile fibre used: wool, nylon, polyester or cotton. But that is not where the major environmental impact is found, which is actually in the post-fibre processing stages: spinning, weaving, knitting and, above all, in the dyeing – the wet processing. All the chemicals used in these processes actually make it as hazardous as cotton growing.’</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Shopping trips cause one of the biggest climate effects of clothing</h5> <div>Roos’s research has also yielded conclusions about which consumer actions are most effective in reducing the environmental load of clothing.</div> <div>‘If you want to be as eco-friendly as possible, there is only one thing you need to remember: use your clothes until they are worn out. That is more important than all other aspects, such as how and where the clothes were manufactured and the materials they are made of.<span style="background-color:initial">‘</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>But in industrialized countries, only a tiny percentage of garments are worn 100 to 200 times, which is usually the potential lifetime. In Sweden, for example, consumers buy an average of 50 new garments per person and year. Similar figures apply to the rest of Europe and the United States.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Such high consumption makes how the clothing is produced more important. But it is difficult for consumers to get information about the most important aspects – those related to processing of the textile materials. Instead, Sandra Roos has another recommendation to the average consumer who wants to live greener: </div> <div><br /></div> <div>‘Think about how you travel to the clothes shop. When it comes to impact on the climate, this is the factor that is the easiest to influence, other than buying fewer garments, and one that has substantial effect. Since many shopping trips are taken by car, consumer travel accounts for a large share of the climate load during the clothing life cycle. In Sweden, that share is a full 22 percent.’<br /><br /><strong>Text:</strong> Johanna Wilde and Christian Löwhagen<br /><strong>Photo:</strong> Sandra Roos <span>and Christian Löwhagen<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /></div> <div><br /><a href="">Read the full press release &quot;The fashion industry gains new tools to reduce its environmental load&quot;</a>.<br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Facts: Climate impact from the various phases of our clothing’s life cycle</h5> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/EoM/Nyheter/Diagram-textiles_400.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The chart shows climate impact generated by Swedes during the various phases of the clothing life cycle.  A similar pattern applies to the rest of Europe and the United States.</div> <div>Production accounts for 70 percent. Distribution of the clothes until they reach consumers accounts for only 4 percent – even though the clothes are mainly made in countries far away from Sweden.  Consumer shopping trips account for a full 22 percent. Washing and drying accounts for only 3 percent, and waste management does not contribute to climate impact since the disposed garments go to energy recovery.</div> <div>Clothing purchases by Swedes produce the fourth largest share of all carbon emissions for the country - after transport, food and housing.</div></div> <div>​<br /></div>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:00:00 +0100 Time for Into the Forest<p><b>​On March 18, it is time for the Swedish premiere of the French-Swedish horror thriller &quot;Into the Forest&quot;, which is partly recorded at MC2. The premiere takes place during the 25-year jubilee Film Festival at Dal.</b></p><div>&quot;Into the Forest&quot;, or &quot;Dans la foret&quot; in original, is a story about two brothers – Tom, 8, and Benjamin, 11 – who travel from France to Sweden to spend their summer holiday with their father who they have not seen in a long time. It is a psychological horror-thriller directed by French director Gilles Marchand.</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Filmed at MC2</h5> <div>Several scenes were filmed during autumn 2015 in the Nanofabrication Laboratory, where the main character has his workplace.</div> <div>&quot;He has the type of job that calls for a sterile environment where people work in protective clothing – and we are very happy to have found the right environment here at Chalmers. The clean room corresponds very well with the director's vision,&quot; said Frida Hallberg, one of the film's Swedish producers, in an interview in conjunction with the team's visit.</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Loaned out instruments and attributes</h5> <div>MC2 also loaned out some instruments and attributes belonging to the research environment – such as posters, research items and other printed material.</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/into_the_forest_banner.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" height="232" width="327" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;Into the Forest&quot; is a co-production between French Les Films de Francoise, Swedish GötaFilm International, to which Frida Hallberg is associated, and Film i Väst. The main characters are played by Jérémie Elkaïm, Timothé Vom Dorp and Theo Van De Voorde.</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Viewing at MC2 later on hopefully</h5> <div>At the Swedish premiere the film will be introduced by mayor Martin Carling (C), chairman of the municipal in Dals-Ed, along with the Swedish producers Frida Hallberg och Olivier Guerpillon. The Film Festival at Dal is Sweden's 3rd largest filmfestival with around 70 viewings in ten days.</div> <div> </div> <div>MC2 hopes to be able to arrange a separate viewing of &quot;Into the Forest&quot; later this spring.</div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Psychological-horror-thriller-filmed-at-MC2.aspx">Read earlier news item about the film</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Watch official trailer</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read more about the Film Festival at Dal</a> (in Swedish) &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:00:00 +0100 helmet yields fast and safe evaluation of head injuries<p><b>​Results from a clinical study demonstrates that microwave measurements can be used for a rapid detection of intracranial bleeding in traumatic brain injuries. A recently published scientific paper shows that health care professionals get vital information and can quickly decide on appropriate treatment if patients are examined using a microwave helmet.</b></p>​The study demonstrates a new health care application for microwave measurements. Previously, microwave measurements have been used to distinguish stroke caused by bleeding in the brain from stroke caused by cloth.<br /><br />The new study shows that the technology also applies to patients affected by traumatic brain injury, which is the most common cause of death and disability among young people. This type of injuries are often caused by traffic accidents, assaults or falls. An estimated 10 million people are affected annually by traumatic brain injuries.<br /><br />The study compared 20 patients hospitalized for surgery of chronic subdural hematoma – a serious form of intracranial bleeding – with 20 healthy volunteers. The patients were examined with microwave measurements which were compared to traditional CT scans. The results show that microwave measurements have great potential to detect intracranial bleeding in this group of patients.<br /><br />“The result is very promising even though the study is small and only focused on one type of head injury. The microwave helmet could improve the medical assessment of traumatic head injuries even before the patient arrives at the hospital”, says Johan Ljungqvist specialist in neurosurgery at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. “The result indicates that the microwave measurements can be useful in ambulances and in other care settings.”<br /><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/MikaelPersson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></span><br />Further studies of acute head injury patients are ongoing and planned in Sweden and abroad.<br /><br />“Microwave technology has the potential to revolutionize medical diagnostics by enabling faster, more flexible and more cost-effective care”, says Mikael Persson, professor of biomedical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. “In many parts of the world microwave measurements systems can become a complement to CT scans and other imaging systems, which are often missing or have long waiting lists.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/Mikael_Elam_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />“It is challenging to develop a new clinical methodology, from early tests to a device for clinical use in a hyperacute clinical environment where routine care of patients cannot be delayed. It requires a close collaboration between technical and medical professionals which has been supported by MedTech West, a western Sweden based organization for med-tech research &amp; development driven by clinical need”, says Mikael Elam, professor of clinical neurophysiology, Sahlgrenska Academy and University Hospital.<br /><br />The Swedish Research Council programme for clinical research has also been crucial for the project.  <br /><br /><br /><br /><strong>Text:</strong> Yvonne Jonsson<br /><strong>Photo:</strong> Oscar Mattsson, Cecilia Hedström<br /><strong>Illustration:</strong> Boid<br /><br />The article &quot;Clinical Evaluation of a microwave-based device for the detection of traumatic intracranial hemorrhage&quot; was recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma by  researchers from Chalmers and Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital.<br />The article can be downloaded at <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /><br /><strong>Contacts: </strong><br />Mikael Persson, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Signals and Systems, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31-772 15 76, <a href=""></a> <br />Mikael Elam, Professor and Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg and the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden +46 31-772 15 76, <a href=""></a><br /><br /><a href=""></a><br /><br /><a href=""><table class="chalmersTable-default" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-size:1em"><tbody><tr class="chalmersTableHeaderRow-default"><th class="chalmersTableHeaderFirstCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/mikrovagshjalm_350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:300px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/s2/Nyheter%20och%20kalendarium/Strokefinder/mikrovagsteknik_350.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:300px" /><br /><br /><br /></th> <th class="chalmersTableHeaderLastCol-default" rowspan="1" colspan="1"><br /></th></tr></tbody></table></a><br /><strong>Facts about microwave measurements </strong><br />A microwave helmet is placed on the patient's head and the brain tissue is examined with the aid of microwave radiation. The system consists of three parts: a helmet-like antenna system that is put on the patient's head, a microwave unit and a computer that is used to control the equipment, data acquisition and signal processing. Individual antennas in system transmit, in sequence, a weak microwave signals through the brain, while the other receiving antennas measure the reflected signals. Distinct structures and substances in the brain affect the microwave scattering and reflections in different ways and the received signals provides a complex pattern, as interpreted by using advanced algorithms.<br /><br />Read more about Chalmers research in this field:<a href="/en/departments/s2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/default.aspx"><br /><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Signal processing and medical engineering</a><br /><br /><a href=""></a>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 07:00:00 +0100 women in science-prize to catalysis researcher<p><b></b></p><p>​<a href="/en/Staff/Pages/leistner.aspx">Kirsten Leistner, postdoc </a>at Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, is awarded the L’Oréal-Unesco For women in science-prize which aims to highlight female scientists in the beginning of their career. The ceremony took place in Stockholm, 6th of March. Leisner along with Julia U was given the awarded by Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research.  </p> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="font-size:14px;margin-right:0px"><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="font-size:14px">- It means a lot to me personally, as a sign of recognition, that one is going in the right direction. For my research, it is also significant, because there is funding attached to this prize, which will allow me to develop new initiatives in my research, says Kirsten Leistner.</span></div></blockquote> <div>With the funding that comes with the award she also wants to invite a prominent female scientist within catalysis to hold a seminar at Chalmers. </div> <blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px"><div><span style="font-size:14px">- I want to invite a role model and somebody who can speak about the difficulties that women face in research. There are certainly some unresolved issues. That is why there is a prize such as this. It is there to put a spot light on these unresolved issues. There have been many improvements over the years, but there are still quite a few things that could be improved, says Kirsten Leistner</span>.</div></blockquote> <div>In cars and trucks there are catalysts, which are made from solid materials with the capability to through catalytic reactions convert pollution particles and nitrogen oxides to harmless gases. As a postdoc in Professor Louise Olsson’s group Kirsten Leistner explores how to stop catalysts to deactivate from the gases they are exposed to. </div> <div><br />Unesco about Kirsten Leistner: Her research is distinguished by both geographical movability and innovative collaborations with great international experience. She has earlier been rewarded with a number of awards and hopes to establish herself as an independent researcher.</div> <div><br />Also Julia Uddén, Stockholm University, was awarded with the L’Oréal-Unesco For women in science-prize.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <a href=""><div>Read more about the L’Oréal-Unesco For women in science-prize.</div></a><div><br />Text: Mats Tiborn</div>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0100 transport in focus during Canadian state visit<p><b>​The Governor General of Canada recently visited Göteborg, as part of a state visit to Sweden. Elna Holmberg from Swedish Electromobility Centre was one of the invited experts at a round table talk about sustainable transport.</b></p>​How can people be encouraged to choose sustainable means of transport? This was one of the key questions when experts from state, region, industry and academia gathered for a round table discussion at Volvo Truck Experience Center with the Governor General of Canada David Johnston, in the presence of King Carl Gustaf and Prince Carl Philip.<br /><br />Elna Holmberg, Director of Swedish Electromobility Centre, was one of the invited experts, along with Mats Viberg, First Vice President of Chalmers University of Technology, Anna Johansson, Minister of Infrastructure and Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO of Volvo Group, among others.<br /><br /><strong>What did you talk about at the round table?</strong><br />“We talked about the importance of collaboration to implement the transition to sustainable transportation. We discussed congestion problems, new forms of ownership and different ways to get a higher utilization of vehicles. There is a lot going on right now, and we can learn from each other.”<br /><br /><strong>Did you bring up any particular issue?</strong><br />“I talked about the academy as a neutral party for producing knowledge. I emphasized the importance of informing society, both of the effects that increased greenhouse gas emission have - especially on health - and of the opportunities and the knowledge that grows and matures in the academic world.”<br /><br />“I also stressed the need to reduce the costs of electric vehicles. This can be done, for example, through collaborative research and demonstration projects. I believe in people’s ability to interact and create innovations that will solve the climate and congestion problems.”<br /><br />The meeting at Volvo Truck Experience Centre was part of the program when the Governor General of Canada David Johnston and his wife Dr Sharon Johnston payed a state visit to Sweden on 20-23 February 2017.<br /><br />Text: Emilia Lundgren<br />Photo:<br /><br /><a href=""><em>Swedish Electromobility Centre</em></a><em> is a national Centre of Excellence for hybrid and electric vehicle technology and charging infrastructure. The Centre unifies Sweden's competence and serve as a base for interaction between academia, industry and society. Chalmers University of Technology is host of the Centre.</em><br /><em>Partners: AB Volvo, Volvo Car Corporation, Scania CV AB, Autoliv Development AB, Chalmers University of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Uppsala University, Linköping University. </em>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0100 MSEK to new research environments at MC2<p><b>​The Department for Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2 – at Chalmers gets nearly 48 MSEK in the recent allotment on large research environments within natural and engineering sciences from the Swedish Research Council.</b></p><div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/anders_larsson_350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Anders Larsson, Professor of Photonics and head of the Photonics Laboratory, is principal investigator (PI), for the new research environment which now has been granted 23,988,000 SEK from the Swedish Research Council. His project &quot;Integrated WDM Transmitters for Ultra-High Capacity Datacenter Connectivity&quot;. His project is about methods to increase communication capacity in the data centers where all information sent over the Internet is stored and processed.</div> <div>&quot;While more and more cloud-based and bandwidth-intensive services grow, these data centers are developing into huge installations that require communication with a capacity that can only be met by fiber optics. In these networks, data is sent on one wavelength per fiber&quot;, says Anders Larsson.</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Leading research environment</h5> <div>Co-applicants and research leaders of the project are Victor Torres Company, Associate Professor of Photonics, Magnus Karlsson, Professor of Photonics, and Peter Andrekson, Professor of Photonics and director of the Chalmers Centre of Excellence Fiber Optic Communications Research Centre (FORCE), all from the Photonics Laboratory at MC2, and Leif Oxenlöwe at the Centre for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communication (SPOC) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).</div> <div><div>&quot;We intend to develop this into a leading research environment in Europe. We will build this strong environment through a collaboration between FORCE here at Chalmers and SPOC at DTU. They provide complementary expertise and together we represent the two leading research centres for optical communication in Scandinavia&quot;, says Anders Larsson.</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>Significantly increased capacity<span></span></span></h5></div> <div>The project aims to develop techniques and methods which make it possible to significantly increase capacity by sending data at multiple wavelengths per fiber. This is called wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), and requires solutions other than telecommunications since the requirements for example the level of integration, power consumption and cost are very different.</div> <div>&quot;For this, we will develop new types of light sources that emit light at several wavelengths, methods to integrate these into complete optical transmitters and methods with which to encode information on the different wavelengths. We will work with different techniques and methods for different parts of the communications network in a data center, from short links such as connecting servers in a rack to longer links that connect groups of servers in different parts of the center&quot;, explains Anders Larsson.</div> <div>An important part of the project is the integration where researchers will use something called silicon photonics, which is a technology for building integrated optical circuits in silicon.</div> <div><span><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/goran_johansson_350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Combining <span>plasmonics and quantum information</span><span></span><span></span></h5></span></h5></span></div> <div>Göran Johansson, Professor of Applied Quantum Physics and Head of the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory, gets almost as much funding, 23,688,000 SEK for the project &quot;Quantum plasmonics – a technology for quantum photon-photon interactions at room-temperature&quot;.</div> <div>&quot;Our vision is a quantum computer that works at room temperature and a global Internet for quantum information. The key to this is to combine two fields of research that have not cooperated in any significant way: plasmonics and quantum information. With this as a building block the road is open to both a quantum computer and a quantum Internet&quot;, says Göran Johansson, who contributes to the theory of quantum physics part.</div> <div><div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">&quot;A fruit of the <span>Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance<span>&quot;</span></span> </h5></div> <div>His co-applicants in the project are Timur Shegai, Associate Professor, and Mikael Käll, Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, both of which make plasmonic experiments and have achieved very promising results so far.</div> <div>&quot;The cooperation is a fruit of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance, which also supported a start-up project in the area last fall. It is also in line with the future flagship of quantum technology&quot;, says Göran Johansson.</div> <div>Per Delsing, Professor of Experimental Physics at MC2, is also contributing with his expertise to the project.</div> <div><div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">&quot;E<span>normous impact on our society&quot;<span></span></span> </h5></div> <div>Quantum physics and information theory are two of the last century's most significant scientific and technological breakthroughs. Quantum physics explains how nature works at the atomistic scales and forms the theoretical basis for the semiconductor and photonics technologies enabling today's information society. Information theory quantifies the information content and provides the framework for effective communication and information processing.</div> <div>&quot;Together, these two breakthroughs had an enormous impact on our society, both social structures of economy, technology and science&quot;, says Göran Johansson.</div> <div><div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Eavesdropping </h5></div> <div>The end of the last century a number of scientific discoveries initiated a process in which these two fields are joined and we started talking about quantum information. Scientists realized that a computer where information is stored and processed according to the principles of quantum physics could solve problems that are unsolvable for today's computers.</div> <div>&quot;It also became clear that communication based on quantum information allows us to do things that are impossible in classical communication, for example may be made completely secure against eavesdropping.&quot;</div> <div><div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><span>Potential to operate at normal pressure and room temperature<span></span></span> </h5></div> <div>Several technologies for quantum information has been developed, based on natural quantum systems such as atoms and photons as well as tailored quantum superconducting circuits and semiconductor quantum dots. A problem common to all these technologies is that they require very low temperatures and/or ultra-red vacuum to operate. </div> <div>&quot;In our research environment, we develop a technology for quantum information that has the potential to operate at normal pressure and room temperature. Key to this is the electromagnetic properties of metallic nanoparticles&quot;, explains Göran Johansson.</div> <div><div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Nearly 95 MSEK in total to Chalmers </h5></div> <div>Chalmers was granted a total of 94,842,000 SEK of the Swedish Research Council's call for the years 2017-2022. Of these MC2 receieves a total of 47,676,000. The total amount for the entire grant period is 425,736,000 SEK, allocated to seven Swedish universities. Chalmers is the university allocated second most funding, just barely passed by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, which received 95,742,000 SEK.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text and photo:</strong> Michael Nystås</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/New-flagship-under-discussion-for-top-researchers.aspx">Read more about the discussions on a future EU-flagship within quantum technology</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read more about the grant decision</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><a href="/sv/nyheter/Sidor/guldregn-over-nya-forskningsmiljoer.aspx">Read more about all grants to Chalmers in this allotment</a> (in Swedish) &gt;&gt;&gt; </div>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 10:00:00 +0100,1-M€-to-improve-nuclear-safety.aspx,1-M%E2%82%AC-to-improve-nuclear-safety.aspx5,1 million euros to improve nuclear power safety<p><b>​Chalmers will coordinate a research and innovation project to improve nuclear power safety. The purpose is to develop techniques that make it possible to identify disturbances in operating nuclear reactors at an early stage. During four years, the European Commission will invest 5,1 million euros in the project Cortex, managed by Christophe Demazière and Paolo Vinai, Professors at the Department of Physics.</b></p>​“We believe that these techniques can be applied to both the existing fleet of operating nuclear reactors and the ones that will be built in the future. This will contribute to a lowering of the CO2 footprint on the environment, and to a more reliable production of cheap base-load electricity for the consumers. An additional aspect is the ageing fleet of reactors in Europe: operational problems are expected to be more frequent in these plants and we need to detect such problems at an early stage”, says Christophe Demazière. <br /><p></p> <p>The project is funded within the EU program Horizon2020 and is a large international collaboration involving 17 European partners, two partners from Japan, and one partner from USA. The consortium consists of several research groups from academia, research institutes, safety and technical organizations, and private companies servicing the nuclear industry. In addition, this project is in line with the expertise and competence developed at Chalmers by Professor Imre Pázsit, who is also involved in the project. </p> “The scope of the research is very interdisciplinary. The project will combine the work of experts in different fields spanning from nuclear reactor physics to artificial intelligence and from computational to experimental physics. An advisory end-user group will help keep the research aligned with the needs of the nuclear industry and to maximize the impact in terms of industrial innovation”, says Paolo Vinai. <p>The Swedish nuclear power plant Ringhals takes part in the advisory group.<br /><br />Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren<br /><a href=""></a><br /><br /><strong>More information:</strong><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christophe-Demazière.aspx">Christophe Demazière</a>, Professor, Division of Subatomic and Plasma Physics, Department of Physics, Chalmers, +46 31 772 30 82, <a href=""></a></p> <p></p> <p><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Paolo-Vinai.aspx">Paolo Vinai</a>, Associate Professor, Division of Subatomic and Plasma Physics, Department of Physics, Chalmers, +46 31 772 30 80, <a href=""><br /></a></p> <p><br /><a href=""></a> </p> <p></p> <p><strong>More about Cortex: </strong><br />Cortex (CORTEX) stands for core monitoring techniques and experimental validation and demonstration. The project aims at developing beyond state-of-the-art core monitoring techniques that can be used to detect and characterize operational problems in commercial nuclear power reactors, before they have any inadvertent effect on plant safety and availability. The method is non-intrusive and does not require any external perturbation of the system. </p> <p></p> <p>Cortex is a so-called Research and Innovation Action (RIA) in the Horizon2020 program of the European Commission. The project proposal was more specifically submitted in the <a href="">Euratom 2016-2017 fission category</a>. </p> <p></p> <p><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the work of the research group.<br /></a></p> <p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/Illustration-CORTEX_750x340px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:315px" /><br />The project Cortex will develop techniques that make it possible to identify disturbances in operating reactors. Such techniques are based on the monitoring of stationary fluctuations in the neutron flux in reactors. A tool that was earlier developed at Chalmers to calculate the effect of known perturbations will be used in the project. Illustration: Christophe Demazière.<br /></p>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0100 break-through: Producing gasoline in yeast cell factories<p><b>​There have been many attempts to modify this stubborn little enzyme. But none have succeeded, until now. With new findings from Chalmers the enzyme FAS has started to produce sustainable chemicals for biofuels.</b></p>​We are in great need of sustainable and clean alternatives to oil-derived products. One of the choices at hand is to produce chemicals and biofuels from sustainable biomass.<br /><br />To do this, researchers in the group of Professor Jens Nielsen at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering is hard at work trying to design yeast cell factories that can actually produce the chemicals we need in a sustainable way. The group now had a major break-through, as they developed a novel method of changing the enzyme FAS, fatty acid synthase, into producing new products.<br />– This enzyme normally synthesizes long chain fatty acids, but we have now modified it into synthesizing medium chain fatty acids and methyl ketones – chemicals that are components in currently used transportation fuels, Post-doc Zhiwei Zhu explains.<br />– In other words: We are able to produce gasoline and jet fuel alternatives by yeast cell factories, and this has never been done before.<br /><br />The important enzyme was first elucidated by Nobel Prize winner Feodor Lynen, and many researchers have in recent years tried to modify it. But it seemed very hard, or close to impossible – until now.<br />– We did not expect this. Actually, it was thought by the scientific community that this rigid enzyme was not readily amenable to manipulation, says Zhiwei Zhu.<br /><br />The findings are in fact a result of a lucky break. A few years ago, the researchers occasionally found a FAS which had two acyl carrier protein domains.<br />– We first tried to change this FAS by replacing one of its acyl carrier protein domains with a foreign enzyme to render it new activities, and surprisingly it worked. Then we implemented such modification in other fungal FASs and found this approach versatile.<br /><br />The researchers are now focusing on using the modified enzyme to build yeast cell factories for production of chemicals and fuels. An invention patent has been filed, and the company Biopetrolia – a spin-off company to the Chalmers department – are closely involved, trying to further develop the technique to make it economically viable.<br /><br />But as a researcher, Zhiwei Zhu also has a long-term goal of his own:<br />– I am also interested in deeply revealing the biochemical and structural basis of this novel modification in fungal FAS.<br /><br /><br />Link to the scientific article: <a href="">Expanding the product portfolio of fungal type I fatty acid synthases</a> <br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />In the photo: Zhiwei Zhu, Jens Nielsen and Biopetrolia CEO Anastasia Krivoruchko. Photo taken by Martina Butorac.<br />Tue, 28 Feb 2017 14:00:00 +0100“Entrepreneurship-is-anti-heroic”.aspx Gartner: “Entrepreneurship is anti-heroic”<p><b>​He describes entrepreneurship as anti-heroic, thinks failure is essential and refers to the American Dream of success - if you just work hard enough - as naive. Professor Bill Gartner recently visited Chalmers TME, with the promise to both provoke and entertain.</b></p><div>​His passion for the subject is unmistakable. When William B Gartner – or Bill as he is often called – talks about entrepreneurship he speaks fast, vividly and with many references the sports world.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div>– Entrepreneurship is just like sports – most people don´t win. But we don´t want to talk about that, because it´s boring, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Being one of the true pioneers in the field, Bill Gartner started exploring entrepreneurship research in the 1970´s. With his 1988 article, 'Who is an Entrepreneur?' Is the Wrong Question, he contributed to a shift in the field, from studying the individual traits of the entrepreneur to regarding entrepreneurship as a behavioural process.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Behavior drives identity<span></span></span></h2></div> <div> </div> <div>Gartners firm belief is that behavior drives identity, and he dismisses the idea of entrepreneurs having common traits that unite them.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>I really believe that we become what we do, in terms of identity. I mean, how can you have the identity of a tennis player, without playing tennis? Mozart came from a family of musicians. And why has Sweden produced so many good tennis players: because everybody play tennis!</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>If you hold on to a view of special entrepreneurship characteristics, it leaves out a lot of people who might play the game in an interesting way, Gartner points out.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>But that doesn´t mean that everybody should become an entrepreneur, or act entrepreneurial. Everybody can learn the basics of the game, but some will be really crappy at it!</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center">&quot;The notion on the American Dream – that trying hard always leads to success – is stupid&quot;</h3></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Gartner stresses the importance of looking at entrepreneurship from a contextual perspective. We should focus on the process, how and why people start companies, and not on the individual, he argues. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>According to Gartner, there is an unfortunate tendency to mystify entrepreneurship.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>We want to make the process magical, and tell the story of the successful individual. But that´s just naive. Entrepreneurship is anti-heroic. It´s hard work, and vast amounts of it is boring. Also, it´s not an individual act. Entrepreneurship is always relational, it always involves other people, he says.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> Criticizes the Trump slogan</h2> <div>Gartner believes that the general image of the entrepreneur as a hero is problematic in many ways. He refers to what he calls “the dark side of the American dream”: the belief that all Americans can be successful in anything, regardless of social class. <br /><br /></div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>The notion on the American Dream – that trying hard always leads to success – is stupid. To say that everybody has the same set of access to everything - that´s just wrong. People can´t be whatever they want. This is where it becomes evil, because when you are told everything is available to you, it´s simply not true, and it distorts what is actually possible. What you can do is limited by things like your social network, your education and your capabilities, he says, and takes the opportunity to throw a swipe at the Trump campaign slogan.</div> <div> </div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>“Making America Great Again” is nostalgia for just a few individuals who had the possibility of opportunities in the past.  It ignores nearly everyone else. America has forgotten that what made America great was the social ability to move forward. Social capital and education make a big difference, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Unlike many of his American research colleagues in the field, Bill Gartner has a more qualitative approach in his research on entrepreneurial behavior. He argues that the language of entrepreneurship research had been usurped by the economists.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>People do things that aren´t rational, they do things for their own reasons. We need to be more realistic and humanistic, and have a larger, broader framework for paying attention to how people are, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div><div> <br /><img src="/en/departments/tme/PublishingImages/News/Andra%20storlekar%20maxbredd%20250xnågot/BillG-forelasning1.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center">&quot;To learn, and to be a good entrepreneur, you have to do a lot of crappy things. In entrepreneurship most people don´t win&quot;</h3> <div> </div></div> <div> </div> <div>In entrepreneurship, failure is common. It is also necessary, and very hard to avoid, Gartner points out. </div> <div> </div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>You are going to make a lot of mistakes. To learn, and to be a good entrepreneur, you have to do a lot of crappy things. In entrepreneurship most people don´t win, he says, and uses a metaphor from the sports word to illustrate his point:</div> <div> </div> <div><span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>Look at soccer. The likelihood of a professional soccer player getting the ball in the net is ten percent. That means nine failures out of ten! Sports is about failure, there is one winner and a bunch of loosers. It´s the same with entrepreneurship.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What can we expect from your seminar at Chalmers?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><span>– I don´t know yet. I like to talk about whatever people in the room want to talk about. So, I won’t know what that will be until whomever is in the room asks questions and offers comments.  I promise we will have a good time, it will be really interactive and interesting!</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <br /> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Bill Gartner on…</h4> <div> </div> <div><strong>…what characterizes Swedish entrepreneurship research </strong></div> <div> “Its variation – and depth. Sweden has one of the longest entrepreneurship research traditions in Europe. You have many pioneers in the field, a strong behavioural group and great researchers within critical entrepreneurship studies”. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>…his best advice to researchers in the entrepreneurship field</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>“Pursue your passion, and pay attention to other people”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>…why he sometimes uses narrative methods (e.g. films, plays and novels) to study and describe entrepreneurship</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>” It´s about the nature of learning. We learn a lot through stories. People tend to be either content or process driven – and stories have both”</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>…the mystification of entrepreneurship</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>“People mystify entrepreneurship without realizing how much time it takes to create something. We simply don´t want to talk about the Mondays and the day to day processes, because it´s boring”. </div> <div> </div> <div> <br /><br /><strong>Text: Ulrika Ernström</strong><br /><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">FACTS, RESEARCH AND MORE INFORMATION</h4> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>About Bill Gartner</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">William B. Gartner</a> holds a joint appointment at California Lutheran University as Professor of Entrepreneurship and at Copenhagen Business School as Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Art of Innovation. He is also Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Linnéuniversitetet.  Gartner is the 2005 winner of the Swedish Entrepreneurship Foundation International Award for outstanding contributions to entrepreneurship and small business research.  His recent book: <em>Entrepreneurship as Organizing: Selected Papers of William B. Gartner (2016)</em> is published by Edward Elgar.  His current scholarship focuses on: <em>“what entrepreneurs do:” the social construction of the future, and the hermeneutics of: value creation and appropriation, possibility and failure</em>.<br /><br /><strong>The seminar with Bill Gartner</strong><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>On February 24, William B. Gartner held a seminar at Chalmers (at the TME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar) with the title:  &quot;What do entrepreneurs do?  A dialogue on the nature of entrepreneurial behavior, practice and process&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/tme/calendar/Pages/Bill-Gartner-Seminar.aspx">More information about the seminar</a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>About the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar runs every semester at Chalmers, Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME), Division Entrepreneurship and Strategy. The seminars are open to everyone and you do not need to sign up in advance. After the seminars, that usually lasts 1-1,5 hours, there is time for discussions. <br /><a href="/en/departments/tme/InnovationEntrepreneurshipResearchSeminar/Pages/default.aspx">More information on the <span><span>Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar<span></span></span>:</span></a><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Here are some of the previous speakers <span>at the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar<span></span></span>:</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Robert Demir</a>, Stockholm Business School</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Helene Ahl</a>, Jönköpings universitet</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Sebastian Spaeth</a>, Chair of Management &amp; Digital Markets at University of Hamburg</div> <div> </div> <div><span>v</span>, University of Bath</div>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:10:00 +0100 elusive surface spins on superconducting quantum devices<p><b>​Findings, recently published in the renowned journal Physical Review Letters, shed new light on the origin of magnetic noise in quantum circuits. &quot;We adress a long standing problem of the source of environment noise in superconducting quantum devices, like squids, q-bits and so on&quot;, says Andrey Danilov, Senior Researcher at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory at MC2, and one of the authors.</b></p><div>​The advancement of quantum computing now faces a tremendous challenge in improving the reproducibility and robustness of quantum circuits. One of the biggest problems in this field is the presence of noise intrinsic to all these devices, which origin has puzzled scientists for many decades.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the paper &quot;<a href="">Direct Identification of Dilute Surface Spins on Al2 O3: Origin of Flux Noise in Quantum Circuits</a>&quot; the researchers show that the same signatures of atomic Hydrogen that astronomers use to study the birth of distant stars reveal themselves in very small quantities in these tiny and ultracold quantum circuits.</div> <div> </div> <div>The identification of the elusive yet detrimental spins mentioned, shed new light on the origin of flux noise in quantum circuits, showing great promise for its mitigation. Remarkably, the highly reactive physisorbed atomic hydrogen, a by-product of water dissociation, was found to be stable in very small densities on the surface of these devices, closely matching the ubiquitous density of previously unknown paramagnetic species inferred to be responsible for flux noise in ultrasensitive SQUID magnetometers.</div> <div>The presented technique can also be applied to study oxide surface chemistry important for many other fields such as catalysis and gas sensing.</div> <div>&quot;This is a result of more than two years of work by an international team, with three authors from the Quantum Device Physics lab, and the other four authors formerly affiliated with QDP/Chalmers&quot;, says Andrey Danilov. </div> <div> </div> <div>The involved Chalmers researchers are Andrey Danilov, Astghik Adamyan and Sergey Kubatkin. Collaborating researchers are also Sebastian de Graaf and Tobias Lindström, National Physical Laboratory, UK, Donats Erts, Institute of Chemical Physics, University of Latvia, and Alexander Tzalenchuk, Royal Holloway, University of London.</div> <div> </div> <div>The paper has been selected as one of the Physical Review Letters Editor's suggestions.</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read the paper &gt;&gt;&gt;</h5> <div><a href="">Direct Identification of Dilute Surface Spins on Al2 O3: Origin of Flux Noise in Quantum Circuits</a></div>Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:00:00 +0100 journalist, geodesist and a physicist named Chalmers honorary doctors of 2017<p><b>​Kaianders Sempler, who has been publishing popular science articles with illustrations since the late 1970’s, most notably in the weekly newspaper Ny Teknik (“New technology”), is elected to honorary doctor at Chalmers University of Technology in 2017. He shares this honorary award with geodesist Kristine M. Larson and physicist Steve Girvin, both from the US.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">​Kaianders Sempler</h3> <div>Kaianders Sempler is a science journalist, illustrator and public debater, who has been affiliated with the newspaper Ny Teknik since 1978. In this capacity he has regularly been publishing articles and chronicles about interesting technological novelties and science history events. He explains both new discoveries and known phenomena in his inimitably pedagogical and popular science style, as well as he writes fascinating stories on historical events where science and technology made a decisive (but to many readers unknown) role. </div> <div>Kaianders Sempler is elected to honorary doctor in Chalmers for his outstanding achievements as science journalist and public educator in natural sciences, engineering and technology. Through his textual and visual work, he is a forerunner in contemporary science communication both in research and education.</div> <div>Kaianders Sempler is a Chalmers graduate in architecture. He has had an active collaboration with several Chalmers researchers by way of publishing their submitted articles and essays, most often with much appreciated reviewing and own additions, as well as by writing about subjects suggested by Chalmers researchers. Kaianders Semplers broad knowledge and expertise about science journalism is an invaluable asset for education of researchers in popular science communication.  </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Kristine M Larson</h3> <div>Kristine M. Larson, professor at the University of Colorado, is a world-leading researcher in the application of signals from Global Navigation Satellite Systems, e.g. GPS, in geoscience research. Her work covers a wide spectrum of geophysical phenomena and geoscientific questions – from measuring motions of the Earth’s crust and volcanic activity, to measuring sea level in a geocentric coordinate system.</div> <div>Kristine M. Larson is appointed an honorary doctorate for her groundbreaking research on using GPS signals to measure soil moisture, snow depth, vegetation, and sea level.  Her work contributes to improved hydrological studies, weather forecasting, climate models, and sea level rise estimates; research areas of highest relevance for a sustainable development on global scale.</div> <div>During 2010–2011 Kristine M. Larson was a jubilee professor at Chalmers where she worked on the development of techniques to measure sea level with GNSS-signals. The collaboration between Kristine M. Larson and researchers at Chalmers is ongoing and the question of how accurate sea level can be measured becomes even more important now when the new twin telescopes at the Onsala Space Observatory start to observe.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Steven Girvin</h3> <div>Steve Girvin is Professor of Physics &amp; Applied Physics and Deputy Provost for Research at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He is a prominent researcher in the field of condensed matter physics, and has given important contributions to the understanding of the fractional quantum Hall effect, single electron devices and quantum information. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.</div> <div>In parallel with his assignment as Deputy Provost, he is leading a very successful theory group working on quantum information. The group has among other achievements worked out concepts for novel quantum bits and laid the foundations for the quickly growing field of circuit quantum electrodynamics.</div> <div>Steve Girvin spent one year as a post-doc at Chalmers during the 1980s and then established contacts with Swedish researchers, leading to a number of fruitful collaborations. He has frequent contacts with the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers on the topic of quantum computers. In addition to collaborative research projects, he has also had advisory functions in numerous organisation committees, and has also been a speaker at many local workshops and conferences, the latest being the Chalmers' Initiative Seminar on Quantum Technology in December 2016.</div>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:00:00 +0100 put Chalmers on the world map for semiconductors<p><b>​Thorvald Andersson was one of the people who helped to put Chalmers on the world map for semiconductors in the 1980s. He has now been retired for a few years, but has not yet cut all ties with MC2. “It’s been successful – and above all fun,” says Andersson, reflecting on the past.</b></p>He was born outside Karlstad in 1946. After completing a technical upper-secondary school programme in Örebro, he went on to study Mathematics at Uppsala University.<br />“After that I came to Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg and studied Physics and Mathematics. I had good teachers and found it so interesting that I carried on down that path,” explains Andersson with a smile.<br /><br /><strong>Offered a doctoral studentship</strong><br />In the early 1970s he was offered a doctoral studentship in the former Physics Department led by Professor Gösta Brogren, and he publicly defended his doctoral thesis there in 1976. Andersson then found time for a year at teacher training college before Chalmers called him back. Professor Brogren asked whether Andersson wanted to take over and develop the MBE activities at Chalmers and build up the MBE Group. MBE stands for Molecular Beam Epitaxy and is a method of making advanced layered structures at atomic level.<br />“I barely knew what it was, but I decided to accept. With the help of Gösta we first bought an MBE system in 1977. The funding didn’t come from Chalmers, but instead mostly from individuals in Stockholm and Lund. They had been to conferences and/or had completed their doctorates at places such as Cornell, so they understood the development. At Chalmers it was surprisingly quite conservative,” says Andersson.<br />“An additional MBE system was purchased in 1990, this one with more backing from Chalmers. Eventually students started to complete their doctorates. It was a fun time with so many exciting things going on,” recalls Andersson. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/thorvald_andersson_665x330d.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong>Being emptied</strong><br />We meet on the fourth floor of the MC2 building. Andersson has a small work corner among removals boxes and clutter near to the laboratory. The premises are now being emptied.<br />“Before I retired I had my office one floor up; Professor Johan Liu then moved in there. We used the room we’re sitting in now as a coffee and meeting room for the MBE Group,” says Andersson.<br />He explains further:<br />“It all started in the Physics Department, but when the physics building was due to be rebuilt, we decided to move to these empty premises. I got everyone on board with the idea that it was better to move than to stay and enclose the machines inside the physics building. Organisationally, the MBE Group then became part of the Division for Microelectronics (MEL) at MC2, but that was mainly a formality. We have always been an offshoot who have looked after ourselves.”<br /><br /><strong>Learnt more in the USA</strong><br />As soon as he had returned to Chalmers in 1977, Andersson travelled to the USA to learn more about MBE technology. There, he went on several study visits to various laboratories at MIT, Bell Labs, IBM, Wright Patterson AFB and Varian. After returning home, it was time to open the wallet. The first machine cost 180,000 dollars to buy at that time.<br />“Gösta Brogren forced me to go to the central administrative office at Chalmers and make the payment on the same day that the dollar dipped below five Swedish kronor. The payment was successful despite a technical glitch,” recalls Andersson.<br />When the time came to buy an additional machine in 1990, the price had soared to nearly SEK 10 million. It was jointly financed by the banks’ newly established research fund and Swedish Central Government, which provided grants for heavy equipment.<br />“Following my contacts with the above labs, I realised that modern, advanced equipment would be very expensive to purchase. Many people were initially critical, but today equipment costing ten times as much is purchased unhesitatingly. It has been an exciting development.”<br /><br /><strong>The world’s first commercial machine</strong><br />At MC2 the machines are known as “MBE I” and “MBE II”, but their official names are “Varian MBE-360” and “Varian GEN II Modular”. Varian is the name of the manufacturer, which was based in Palo Alto, California. It remains comparable with “Mercedes class” even today.<br />“'MBE I' was the world’s first commercial machine bought by a university, and it was the fourth machine of its kind in the world. The first was purchased by Varian’s own research lab, the second by WPAFB in Ohio, the third went to Germany (for use by the postal services), the fourth to Chalmers, the fifth to Cornell and the sixth to Santa Barbara.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/thorvald_andersson_665x330b.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong>Unique in Sweden</strong><br />The MBE Group was unique in Sweden when it was founded in 1977, and it continued its activities until the end of 2015. Thorvald Andersson led the group until he retired in 2013.<br />“The first few years consisted purely of research, which aimed to lead to applications for component groups, but component research was never a big hit in Sweden. It’s impossible to follow the Asian, Japanese ventures, because there is a market there in a completely different way. The USA has the needs of the defence industry and you can obtain money there to supply it with materials; in Asia you have the consumer market. We have none of those things here, and Europe barely does either,” he explains.<br />Nevertheless, for a time his group was at the forefront of material research into semiconductor materials (quantum structures) and they advanced the research in this field.<br />“We were working on the technology from such an early stage and were regarded as some kind of pioneers in Europe at first. For a time I was a speaker at several important conferences in the USA, Asia and Europe.” <br /><br /><strong>Wanted a small group</strong><br />Andersson had the ambition of constantly keeping the group relatively small, with 5–10 members.<br />“I didn’t want there to be too many of us because that creates other problems. It’s said that a group of more than six people develops what you could call ‘social’ problems. If fewer than five people make up the group, it’s very easy for everyone to get close to each other, and it’s therefore easier to solve any problems. If there are more than six members, there’s always a bit of friction and unfriendliness – it’s what I’ve heard many people say. That’s why I never wanted there to be too many of us, so that it would get unwieldy. The technical side of things was difficult enough so I didn’t want any other problems. But I think it went well and was very interesting.”<br /><br /><strong>Like the pages of a book</strong><br />Using both MBE machines it was possible to produce layered structures with a thickness ranging from one up to about twenty atomic layers. The key is therefore to manufacture specifically thin layers with an extremely high degree of control. Layer upon layer upon layer.<br />“You can compare it to a book in which the pages represent the thin layers. When the layers get thinner than a few nanometres, their properties differ from the norm for the host material. MBE is therefore a technology dedicated to making atom-thin layers with quantum properties. Thicker layers require different technologies.” <br /><strong>What are the layers used for?</strong><br />“We used them to study various quantum properties in physics. Gallium arsenide and gallium nitride can be used for LEDs, such as white LEDs. Other areas of use include high-frequency components in mobile phones, high-frequency transistors that previously ran at megahertz speeds but now run at gigahertz speeds and frequencies a thousand times higher. LEDs and transistors are the largest commercial areas of application today.” <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/thorvald_andersson_665x330c.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong>Stellar career path</strong><br />Thorvald Andersson has had an academic career that went from strength to strength. He became an Associate Professor in 1983 and was promoted to the position of Professor of Physics in 2001. His CV is an impressive, 10-page list of his achievements; prizes and accolades, Visiting Researcher posts, citations, and names of doctoral students.<br /><strong>What do you value the most?</strong><br />“In the 1980s I had two articles that were very highly cited, and researchers at Bell Labs commented that through those articles I had put Chalmers on the world’s semiconductor map. That was nice. I wrote the articles together with a Russian researcher who was here at that time. The 1980s were perhaps the heyday. Within a short period, some of my articles were referenced more than 100 times, which was quite unusual in those days,” says Andersson.<br />The group members were the first in the world to produce the results presented in both articles, which were about quantum wells. <br />“We were also among the first to understand quantum dots. And we worked on antimonides very early on. In this we were on a par with the largest laboratories. Naturally we can’t compare ourselves to the world’s major laboratories; they had completely different resources – not just for expansion but also for analysing materials, and we never had that,” says Andersson. <br />He is critical of how government funding was distributed between the higher education institutions.<br />“The funding was often divided between Chalmers, Lund, Stockholm and Linköping. This led to dilution, which were the rules of play that we had to live with, but I never thought that it was particularly good. We might start something, but could never really finish it as it took too long, and in the meantime the major international laboratories that tackled it made much more rapid progress. We saw many such situations very early on here,” says Andersson.<br /><br /><strong>A Visiting Researcher in many countries</strong><br />As a Visiting Researcher, Andersson worked in departments in large parts of the world for a total of nearly two and a half years: in the USA, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Poland, Germany, Greece, France, the UK... <br />“I’ve been in all those countries as a Visiting Researcher for short or long periods of time – visits ranging from a few days to up to a year. It has been extremely exciting.”<br />He has also received several accolades for his work. In 1999 he was awarded a prize for best business concept in the Venture Cup (a competition for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow), in 2009 he received SEK 100,000 from Teknikbrostiftelsen (a foundation promoting contact between academia, industry and the local community), and as recently as in 2011 he came third in Lärosätenas Idétävling Väst (a competition within higher education institutions for utilisation of ideas). Among others.  <br />“I have also worked on other types of semiconductor materials. Towards the end of my career I worked on molecular semiconductors. They constitute an area for the future that is big in Linköping and Stockholm, for example.”<br />In conjunction with his nearly one-year period as a Visiting Researcher in Japan in the mid-1990s, Andersson started working on gallium nitrides, which were a novelty at that time.<br />“NTT outside Tokyo, where I was, is one of the largest laboratories in the world.” <br />Over the years Andersson has supervised more than 30 doctoral students and licentiate students. In the 1980s and 1990s there was a great deal of interest among students, but it has subsequently waned here as in most Western countries. <br />“Today it is probably difficult to attract students to this area. Just like in the rest of society, young people like to follow what is covered in the media and perhaps see the flashiest topics, and less of what may be interesting in the long term.”<br /><br /><strong>Took part in establishing MC2</strong><br />Thorvald Andersson was very highly involved in establishing MC2. Initial discussions began already back in the 1970s. A formal steering group was set up in 1990, with Andersson among its members. He has been involved throughout. <br />“I was the person to come up with the initial idea of building a new laboratory in 1977, which much later became the cleanroom and MC2. I had seen major laboratories, mainly in the USA, and understood what was happening. But at Chalmers initial discussions were only about equipping a room, moving a room, adding a room and suchlike. The opinions from Physics were solely negative. So I suggested to Gösta Brogren that it was imperative to seriously consider daring to construct much larger purpose-built premises, and to combine the Physics part of the Electrical Engineering Department and the Electrical part of the Physics Department. Gösta seized the opportunity and tackled it; at first, he was doubtful, but he soon changed his mind,” says Andersson smiling.<br /><br /><strong>Started predecessor</strong><br />He also helped start the Centrum för halvledare och mikroelektronik (a centre for semiconductors and microelectronics), which was also a predecessor of MC2. Its past chairs included Professors Torkel Wallmark and Olof Engström.<br />“But as soon as something becomes formal, many people get involved and it can be difficult to identify the actual mutual interest. And that’s when I often lose my commitment and shift my focus to something else instead. It’s not a straight line but a very winding path. Everyone has to agree. I’m more informal in my way of working,” says Andersson.<br />However you look at it, you can see that the MBE technology and the machines, the idea of constructing the new premises and a “centre” acted as a catalyst for establishing MC2. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/thorvald_andersson_665x330.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong>Continuing in the cleanroom</strong><br />The MBE activities are now continuing in the Nanofabrication Laboratory – the cleanroom – which already contains two equivalent systems. The old machines are being phased out and dismantled; a few components that can still be used are being saved.<br />“In principle, you could clean them thoroughly and sell them. But I expect that there are so many of these for sale around the world that it would probably be difficult to find a buyer,” says Andersson.<br /><strong>How do you feel about things now?</strong><br />“I’m not a sentimental person. The machines are basically just stainless steel. People have often developed a personal relationship with old equipment, but the nature of development today is such that what was once hot will eventually become old. Two to three new research fields will emerge in the space of 10 years. The only possible fear is that it is taking too long to get new research fields into the laboratory.<br /><strong>You don’t feel that it is knowledge that risks being lost?</strong><br />“Yes, of course, but that’s all part of the game,” he says. <br /><br /><strong>Kept in contact</strong> <br />Thorvald Andersson has been a Professor Emeritus since 2013. He has not lost contact with MC2 entirely, although he has not retained any teaching duties. <br />“I visit occasionally and meet old colleagues. We have quite a lot to discuss, sometimes for several hours.”<br />He spends most of his time with his wife, Ingegerd, who is a retired psychologist, the families of their three children including their eight grandchildren, their sailing boat and their holiday cottage in Bergslagen.<br />“It’s all go, all of the time. I also read a lot when I’m at home. At the moment I’m reading three books in parallel, including Herman Lindqvist’s De vilda Vasarna (a violent history of the Vasa family). I’m also reading a book about de Gaulle and one about the Kremlin. Before that I read Äntligen diktatur, (Finally dictatorship), which is about Thailand. I sometimes read novels, no crime novels, but mostly books that are linked to reality.<br /><br /><strong>Writing down his memories</strong><br />Andersson has also started documenting his experiences, precisely as a way of harnessing the knowledge that he has acquired over the years. He doesn’t yet know what the new project will result in, or even whether it will ever be completed. It might end up being a combined history and autobiography.<br />“It’s not exactly going to be finished tomorrow – I’ve only completed a few pages so far. When I actually sit down and write, I keep going off on small tangents that you can meander down endlessly. There’s no plan; I’m just writing, seeing where it leads to and whether it can be used. I hope to have something finished in the course of 2017. It’s all quite exciting,” concludes Andersson.<br /><br />Text and photo: Michael NyståsTue, 14 Feb 2017 10:00:00 +0100 efforts to reveal the darkest secret in the Universe<p><b>​How do stars and galaxies move and how did the Universe form? The answer could be found in the dark matter – unknown particles that represent more than 80 percent of the total matter in the Universe. During March, experts from all over the world will gather in Munich, Germany, to work out strategies to detect dark matter for the first time. The coordinator of the workshop is Riccardo Catena, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</b></p><div>​<span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/90x75px/Riccardo_Catena_IMG_0222_90x120.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> – We need to join efforts to solve one of the biggest mysteries in the Universe. Now there are experiments that could tell us what dark matter actually is and we need to cooperate across traditional scientific boundaries in order to create a framework to interpret the data. Unveiling the nature of dark matter is one of the most pressing research questions in science today, says Riccardo Catena, theoretical astroparticle physicist at the Division of Subatomic and Plasma Physics.</div> <div> </div> <div>One of the large ongoing experiments, Xenon1T, is located in the underground experimental facility Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy. The results from this first ton-scale detector will be presented in the next months. </div> <div>In order to get the most out of the data, around 70 researchers from different fields will meet for a four-week long workshop. This is the first time that theorists and experimentalists within astro-, particle and nuclear physics join efforts to solve one of the biggest mysteries in the Universe.</div> <div><span> – <span style="display:inline-block"></span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> Dark matter is a hypothetical particle that has escaped detection so far. If we can detect it and understand its nature, we can provide a coherent explanation to a number of otherwise mysterious phenomena in the Universe. For example, stars and galaxies move with velocities too high to be explained in terms of visible matter only, says Riccardo Catena.</div> <div> </div> <div>In addition, a new particle could pave the way for totally new possibilities.  </div> <div> <span>– <span style="display:inline-block"></span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> It’s hard to predict the far-reaching impact of a new particle. When for example Thomson (1897) discovered that the electron was a subatomic particle he didn’t think it could be of much use. Today all kinds of modern technology are based upon the properties of electrons. </div> <div> </div> <div>To arrange the interdisciplinary workshop, Riccardo Catena has been granted EUR 78 000 from the Munich Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics (MIAPP). In the organizing team, Chalmers will also be represented by co-organizer Christian Forssén, Professor at the Subatomic and Plasma Physics Division at the Department of Physics. Professor Jan Conrad from Stockholm University also takes part in the coordination of the event. In total there will be six participants from Sweden. </div> <div> </div> <div><span>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren,<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></div> <div> </div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the workshop in Munich 6-31 March 2017. </a></div> <div><span></span> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">For more information, please contact: </h5> <div><a href="">Riccardo Catena</a>, Assistant Professor, <span>Department of Physics<span style="display:inline-block">,</span></span> Chalmers: +46 76 890 19 76, <br /><span><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Christian-Forssen.aspx"><span>Christian Forssén</span>,</a> Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers: +46 31 31772 32 61,<span></span></span><br /></div>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0100