Annual Report 2016

Licentiate Degree: 13
Doctoral Degree: 16
Scientific journal article peer reviewed: 179
Conference paper peer reviewed: 128
Number of students (full-time equivalent): 87
Number of employees: 210
Revenue (SEK million): 287
The Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2 – is a unique environment where successful research and education is conducted within photonics, high-frequency electronics, medical electronics, microsystems, electronic systems construction and quantum components. Semi-conductors, superconductors, liquid crystals, graphene and carbon-nanotubes are examples of materials that are used to produce unique nanostructures for the research. The multi-disciplinary environment provides an excellent breeding ground for research and innovation, which will benefit  society by new inventions and ultimately new business opportunities. MC2 also hosts the Nanofabrication Laboratory, which is an open national infrastructure.

Research Laboratories
Applied Quantum Physics
Electronics Materials and Systems
Microwave Electronics
Quantum Device Physics
Terahertz and Millimetre Wave

Below are some highlights from MC2 during 2016.


Using new technology to map signals in the brain
Sensors based on nanothreads that are superconducting in liquid nitrogen are offering new ways of measuring activity in the brain. In the future, the technique may revolutionize brain research and add to our knowledge of how stress affects us, for example. It will also simplify diagnosis of patients suffering from neurological diseases. “This project is one of the most exciting things I have done in my research career,” says Dag Winkler, Professor of Physics at Chalmers.

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production
Heat dissipation in electronics and optoelectronics is a severe bottleneck in the further development of systems in these fields. To come to grips with this serious issue, researchers at Chalmers have developed an efficient way of cooling electronics by using functionalized graphene nanoflakes. The results are being published in the renowned journal Nature Communications. “Essentially, we have found a golden key with which to achieve efficient heat transport in electronics and other power devices by using graphene nanoflake-based film. This can open up potential uses of this kind of film in broad areas, and we are getting closer to pilot-scale production based on this discovery,” says Johan Liu, Professor of Electronics Production and Head of the Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory.

Sights set on record-breaking transmission speed
Work is at fever pitch at the Microwave Electronics Laboratory. Their goal? To find solutions for high-speed wireless communication. “We’re aiming for record speed in the field,” says Professor Herbert Zirath, head of the research team.

Paving the way for fast low-energy data communications
Fibre-optic cables are revolutionising data communication worldwide. Within three years, Chalmers researchers expect to be able to transfer 100 Gb of data per second in a single fibre with one core, and several terabits per second in a cable with multiple fibres and cores.
“The world’s data communication is increasing exponentially. Transmission speeds are so high already that wire cables are increasingly being replaced with optical fibre. Our project is about developing the technology that can equip these cables with even higher capacity,” says professor Anders Larsson.

New method leads one step closer to quantum computer
Researchers at MIT and Chalmers, with collaborators, have developed a new method to improve superconducting quantum electronic circuits, and thus get one step closer to the future quantum computers. The findings were published on 8 December in the renowned scientific journal Science, with Jonas Bylander, assistant professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory as one of the co-authors.

New transmission line technology takes us one step closer to urban 5G
Sofia Rahiminejad has managed to fabricate a new type of transmission line at frequencies above 100 GHz , together with researchers from the Antenna systems group at the Department of Signals and Systems – S2 – and the Micro- and Nanosystems group at MC2. The transmission line technology called gap waveguide technology makes it possible to fabricate small, high gain antennas at frequencies above 100 GHz for high data rate wireless communications. Today only 4G networks are available. This technology takes us one step closer to having 5G networks in urban areas.

Successful school collaboration got published
A successful collaboration between MC2 researcher Elsebeth Schröder and four students at Hulebäcksgymnasiet upper-secondary school resulted in an article in the scientific journal Plos One. “The article describes a concrete project and discusses the teaching principles behind the collaboration between Chalmers, Gothenburg University and Hulebäcksgymnasiet,” Schröder says.

Six MC2-researchers share 17 millions in grants from VR
31 researchers at Chalmers were successful in getting grants from The Swedish Research Council (VR) in its general call for applications within natural and engineering sciences. Six of these are working at MC2 and received a total amount of 17 200 000 SEK. Congratulations to you all!

STINT funding for promoting double PhD Degree program between Chalmers and Fudan University
Chalmers has received a funding for promoting double PhD degree program between Chalmers and Fudan University, one of the top universities in China. The purpose of this grant to encourage exchange between researchers and students of Chalmers to visit and explore potential research areas and topics for such a program to create double PhD degree program. “As far as we know, it is the first time that this kind of grant has been awarded for an international collaboration with universities in the Shanghai area. This opens up opportunities for long term partnerships with universities in this region and it will further intensify the already established relationship between the universities in that region and Chalmers”, says professor Johan Liu, principal investigator of the STINT grant, at MC2.


New flagship under discussion for top researchers
The Chalmers researchers Per Delsing and Jari Kinaret were on the panel of leading international researchers who discussed the EU’s future Quantum Technology Flagship at a seminar just before Christmas. The Chalmers Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance organised the ‘Quantum Technology’ Initiative Seminar at the Chalmers Conference Centre in the Student Union Building from 13 to 15 December 2016. Some 200 participants listened to and networked with 20 or so of the top notch research names in the sector. The three packed days also included a poster exhibition with about 40 posters.

Many examples of utilisation during Centre Day

About 150 participants from the academic and business worlds got together to celebrate Chalmers Chase excellence centre and GigaHertz Centre in the Palmstedt Hall on 30 November. In 2017 the two centres will work even more closely.
Centre Day featured a wealth of interesting speakers, who presented many examples of fruitful collaborations between the business community and Chalmers over the past decade. It was a day for celebrating the past and looking to the future, with many personal reflections on the benefits of collaboration. The three centre directors Erik Ström, ChaseOn, Staffan Sjödin, Chase, and Jan Grahn, GigaHertz Centre, were very pleased with the Centre Day.

Second launch for successful online course on graphene
The successful online course "Graphene Science and Technology" will start for the second time on 31 October. Just as last year, the course will be led by Jie Sun, Associate Professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory. "I feel excited because I can transfer some useful knowledge to the public", he says.
Online courses, so-called MOOCs (massive open online courses), are a huge phenomenon world-wide. In spring 2015, Jie Sun's MOOC "Introduction to Graphene Science and Technology" was the first to be launched on Chalmers edx platform. The course became a great success with 9 600 participants from six continents.

Well-attended evening for alumni at MC2
"Have fun," was the motto when around one-hundred alumni from the business community and from within MC2 met at the department on 26 October. Behind the exhortation was Cristina Andersson, industrial relations officer, and the evening's organizer together with the coordinator Debora Perlheden. "Take the opportunity to interact with the companies – they are like low-hanging fruit here this evening", she said in her welcome speech in the auditorium Kollektorn. The purpose of the alumni gathering was to bring people together, to network and have fun.

Time for the Swedish finals in the International Physics Olympiad 2016

14-18 March 15 physics students from Swedish upper secondary schools met up at the MC2 and Physics departments to compete for five places in the International Physics Olympiad in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Chalmers also welcomed five specially invited female VIP guests to take part in the intense programme of workshops, lectures and study visits.
Sheila Galt, head of undergraduate education and professor of applied electromagnetics at MC2, had a huge role in the organizing committee. "The competition is aimed at spurring young people on to be even better physicists and, of course, to encourage their interest in the subject", she said.

100 schoolchildren became nanoscientists for a day
A forest of waving hands greeted associate professor Per Lundgren as he welcomed pupils from Fenestra School in Billdal. During The International Science Festival, children had been pouring into MC2 – 100 in all – for its endlessly popular activity “Nanoscientist for a day”. The festival’s school programme attracted around 300 children to the department.

The 14th MC2 Relay Race a real folk fest

The 14th consecutive MC2 Relay Race on 27 September was lucky with the weather and turned out to be a real folk fest. The prize trophy was retrieved back from MC2 by the winning team Condensed Marathon Physicists. The winning time was 20.34.

Working environment inspections examines the big and the small
At the end of each year, the annual working environment rounds are conducted all over the department. We were there when the premises of the Microwave Electronics Laboratory were reviewed. "The rounds are an important opportunity for us to ensure that our facilities are functional and safe for all who work here," said Kaija Matikainen, house responsible and safety representative.

14th year for the technology race Save the egg
Västergårdsskolan, Öckerö, The English School of Gothenburg and Karl Johansskolan, Gothenburg, took the victory when Save the egg was settled during two intense days in November. The winners later on received their awards from the hand of Nobel laureate Sir James Fraser Stoddart. It was the 14th consecutive year for Chalmers popular technology competition for tricky fifth graders. During two days the entrance hall of the MC2 building murmured of happy children and their teachers. This year, 1 900 students from 50 schools with a total of 150 entries participiated.


Mikael Fogelström new head
Mikael Fogelström, professor of theoretical physics, became new head at department from 1 July 2016. "I think it will be a very interesting job, there are many challenges to tackle," he said in a first comment.

Göran Johansson new head at Applied Quantum Physics

Göran Johansson, professor of applied quantum physics, became new head at the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory from 1 September 2016.

Jan Stake appointed editor-in-chief of scientific publication
Jan Stake, Professor of Terahertz Technology and Head of the Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory at MC2, was appointed new editor-in-chief of the scientific periodical IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology. “Above all, it will be exciting to work on behalf of the entire terahertz community and have the opportunity to influence this field of research,” said Stake.

Sheila Galt in radio shows on light and magnetism
"Who knows what?" ("Vem vet vad?") was a new radio series from the Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (UR) in which children investigated life and science. In the first program we learned why it is dark at night and what light really is. Sheila Galt, head of undergraduate education and professor of applied electromagnetics, took the listeners on an exciting journey to outer space.

Göran Johansson recipient of Edlund Award
Göran Johansson, full professor of applied quantum physics, was the recipient of the Edlund Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA). “It is a great honour that my research is being commended by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,” he said.

Multidisciplinary research team receives the 2016 Areas of Advance Award

The Areas of Advance Award 2016 was awarded to researchers from two different departments: MC2 and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. The team have studied the interaction of terahertz radiation with biological and chemical systems, and in three years they have established a new, exciting research area together.

André Dankert awarded the Arne Sjögren’s prize
André Dankert was awarded the Arne Sjögren's prize for the most innovative PhD thesis in the area of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Chalmers. The price of 30 000 SEK was introduced in 2013 in memory of the Chalmers alumnus Arne Sjögren (F68).

Jie Sun gets the Foundation Award 2016
Jie Sun, Associate Professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory, was one of the recipients of the Foundation Award 2016. He got the prize along with the group which created the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) at Chalmers, "Introduction to graphene science and technology". "The feeling is fantastic. I feel honored to be granted this prize. Also I thank my colleagues for the interesting team work", said Jie Sun.


Faithful servant of the clean room bows out
The electron-beam lithography  machine  JEOL JBX5D2 was finally retiring after 28 years of faithful service. We were there when the old equipment was wheeled out of the clean room at Chalmers. “I was less choked than I had expected to be. Everything has its time,” said Bengt Nilsson, who has been involved in the entire journey.

Digital conference rooms ready for use
In 2015, a digital conference room opened on floor 6 in the MC2 building. At the end of 2016 another room stood ready for use – now on floor 2. "The basic idea is to hold meetings in a professional manner without having to travel," said Henric Fjellstedt, systems manager at the department.

Published: Thu 23 Feb 2017. Modified: Tue 28 Mar 2017