News: Centre: Physics Centre related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 28 Jan 2022 06:54:13 +0100 Imre Pázsit receives Wigner Award<p><b>​Imre Pázsit receives The Eugene P. Wigner Reactor Physicist Award 2021 from the American Nuclear Society (ANS). The award recognises outstanding contributions toward the advancement in the field of nuclear reactor physics.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/ImrePaszit.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:196px;height:255px" /><strong>I​mre Pázsit</strong>, Professor at the Department of Physics, received the award during the recent ANS Winter Meeting in Washington DC. He is recognised for his contributions to the theory of random processes in nuclear reactors and the application of these methods for reactor diagnostics and to detect illicit nuclear materials.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">This is the second time that the Wigner Award is given to a Chalmers professor – in 2011 <strong>Nils Göran Sjöstrand</strong>, Professor Emeritus at the former Division of Nuclear Engineering at Chalmers received the prize – thus making Chalmers, along with MIT, the only university to have received the prize twice since the award was founded 1990.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“I feel extremely privileged to share this prestigious prize with legendary persons of early nuclear science and contemporary nuclear engineering and reactor physics, including the first recipient, <strong>E. P. Wigner</strong> himself. A special circumstance is that this is the first time a person born in Hungary received the prize, after the namesake, Dr. Wigner. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Wigner in Hungary in 1982 and I also corresponded with him. He would be happy to know that one of his countrymen is honouring his name. Receipt of this award requires a broad research activity, and has hence the flavour of a &quot;lifetime achievement&quot; award, for which I am thoroughly happy,” says Imre Pázsit.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">During the ANS meeting, Imre Pázsit, also gave the Wigner Award Lecture, titled &quot;A random talk (walk) in neutron fluctuations and reactor diagnostics&quot;. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span style="background-color:initial">Imre Pázsit received his PhD at the Lorand Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary, in 1975, and his DSc from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1985. From 1975 until 1983 he worked at the Central Research Institute for Physics in Budapest. In 1983 he became a guest researcher at the Swedish national lab Studsvik Energiteknik AB in Nyköping. In 1991 he became the Chair of Reactor Physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, where he has been a full professor since. He became a NERS adjunct professor in late 2008.</span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px">Imre Pázsit has been a member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg since 2004, an ANS Fellow since 2006, and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) since 2008. He served as the Executive Editor of Annals of Nuclear Energy from 2013 until 2019 when he became an Honorary Editor. Pázsit received the Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Rays with Neck Ribbon from the Japanese Government in 2016 and the Leó Szilárd Medal from the Hungarian Nuclear Society in 2016 (also shared with E. P. Wigner and E. Teller). He also became a Senior Member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management this year.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about the Wigner Award</a></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">For more information, please contact:</div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Imre-Pazsit.aspx">Imre Pázsit</a>, Professor at the division of Subatomic High Energy and Plasma Physics, Department of Physics,, +46317723081</div>Thu, 16 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0100 of the future in focus for Distinguished Professor grant<p><b>​​What will be significant of the batteries of the future? This is the focus of Patrik Johansson's research project, which has been granted funding within the Swedish Research Council's Distinguished Professor Programme. The grant of 47.5 million SEK extends over a ten-year period.“The long time span opens up for greater risk-taking and provides the opportunity to work long-term. These are highly important factors for conducting research,” says Patrik Johansson.</b></p><div><strong>Patrik Johansson</strong> is professor at the Department of Physics and one of Sweden's most prominent battery researchers. His focus is on exploring new concepts and solutions for batteries – and that is also what he will do within the context of the Swedish Research Council’s Distinguished Professor Programme.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The extensive grant means that he, as research leader, can build on already existing projects within his research group, but also explore new possibilities within the framework of what the project's title signals: the next generation of batteries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“As a battery researcher it can be easy to just look at the products that exist already today, and thus productize your thinking, especially due to the great interest in society for the ongoing electrification of everything and anything. Your focus turns to short term solutions, in order to help different actors solve whatever problems they are having here and now. That is of course something that has to be done – but as a researcher you also have a responsibility to resist this way of acting and focus on finding concepts that are favourable in a longer time perspective – more of revolution than evolution, says Patrik Johansson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The grant gives me the opportunity to try a lot of fundamentally different things, which you may not always be able to say later on that you have &quot;succeeded with&quot;, but which you in turn learned all the more from and which have been really challenging. And that is successful in itself; discovering the concept space is probably just as important. A special driving force for me personally is to try to get the research group to get far with small and simple ideas – quite challenging today when a lot of research is made large and complicated. The grant is also important to me as a research leader to build our operation, to lead it forward strategically, and to plan for what competencies are needed for a broader and at the same time deeper scope. However, my research <em>itself </em>has not in any way improved by me getting a distinguished professor grant, says Patrik Johansson with a laugh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">Batteries that meet the energy needs of the future</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The battery that is in vogue today is without a doubt the lithium-ion battery, which is found in everything from mobile phones to electric cars and electric ferries. But to meet the mobile and also stationary needs of the future for energy storage in the best way – readily available energy with high quality – large electrochemical energy storage solutions, i.e. batteries, will be needed. Here Patrik Johansson sees that we need to think afresh; perhaps create new types of batteries based on more common metals, such as sodium, calcium or aluminium? Or organic batteries?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Today, electrification is being built up in a lot of different sectors and everything is based on lithium-ion batteries. We already see this year that the price of lithium-ion batteries, which has fallen sharply for a long time, is now levelling out. In the long run, it's probably about sustainability. If you can then launch one or more complementary battery technologies that are cheaper, safer, or simply just different – there may be advantages for a battery to for example work at 80 rather than 25 degrees Celsius – there is much to be gained. Today battery researchers in general are not looking in that direction, which my research group will now do. Concept creation is always based on fundamental material physics, but also requires great methodological knowledge and application understanding, says Patrik Johansson.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">Conceptually different batteries</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Battery research is a field that is developing rapidly. What was in vogue five years ago has already passed in many ways, in terms of exploration of materials, methods and concepts. Likewise, society's needs are changing at a rapid pace – ten years ago there was hardly any talk of electric cars or electric aircraft, today the issue of electrification is dominant in the development of society. So where are we in 2030, to which is the year the Distinguished Professor Programme extends?</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“It is of course very difficult to predict, but what we want for 2030 is something that is conceptually different and not just a refinement of existing technology. Whether that change then may be at the battery, material or functionality level – so be it. What I wish us to have achieved in ten years' time is that we have found two or three new concepts that hold up to a critical examination and at least have the potential to complete the step from research to technology. And that we have maintained our curiosity and long-term perspective.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">About the Distinguished Professor grant:</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">The purpose of the Swedish Research Council's Distinguished Professor Programme is to create conditions for the most prominent researchers to conduct long-term, innovative research with great potential to achieve scientific breakthroughs. The grant must also enable the establishment and construction of a larger research environment of the highest quality around a leading researcher.</span></li> <li>This year, three new distinguished professors within natural and engineering sciences were appointed, who were granted a total of more than SEK 147 million for the years 2021–2030. <a href="">Read more about the grant on the Swedish Research Council's homepage.</a></li></ul> <br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">Läs mer:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Patrik-Johansson.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Battery researcher who will happily challenge fake news​</a><span style="font-weight:300"> </span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">–</span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial"> </span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">read a </span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">portrait of Patrik Johansson.</span><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Patrik-Johansson.aspx"><div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-weight:300"></span> </div></a></div> <div><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/Chalmers-startup-for-better-batteries-wins-stage-two.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Compular - a startup-company based on the research of Patrik Johansson</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">For more information, please contact:</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Patrik-Johansson0603-6580.aspx">Patrik Johansson</a>, professor, division of Materials Physics, Department of Physics<span style="background-color:initial"> <br /></span><a href=""></a><span style="background-color:initial">, +46 (0)31 772 31 78 </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Text: Lisa Gahnertz</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist​</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><br /></div> ​Thu, 02 Dec 2021 15:00:00 +0100 exotic materials for technologies of the future<p><b>​The development of computer and energy technologies is beginning to slow down. New magnetic and electronic materials are needed for it to regain momentum. As a Wallenberg Academy Fellow Chalmers researcher Yasmine Sassa is developing new combinations of materials that display exotic magnetic states, skyrmions, which could play an important role in future technologies for data storage.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Our electronic revolution is built upon semiconducting silicon. Thanks to its unique properties, electronics and information technologies have developed at an explosive rate, but we are reaching the limit of what today’s materials can do. New hi-tech materials are needed for continued development.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Yasmine Sassa, Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, is developing experimental methods for studying transition metal oxides. These materials have many promising properties for future electronics; when they are combined in a particular manner, they can function as superconductors, or create the right conditions for exotic magnetic states, skyrmions or other topological magnetic states, that could be used for new ways of storing data. If the material is produced as extremely thin films, just a few atoms thick, quantum effects occur that can be used to build quantum computers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">Unexpected magnetic and electronic materials properties<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“My interest in strongly correlated physics started as a Master's student when I took a course about peculiar phenomena in solid-state physics,” says Yasmine Sassa. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In this course, we talked about frustrated magnetism and unconventional superconductivity, to name two examples out of many. After that, I had the privilege of extending my knowledge during my Ph.D. and Postdocs. I discovered a fascinating world of new physical properties that cannot be simply explained within classical models. The various correlations give rise to unexpected magnetic and electronic materials properties. If we understand how to control and tune them, we can develop and tailor materials for sustainable technological applications. This is what drives me to pursue research in this field.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:20px">Control of quantum effects</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In her research, Yasmine Sassa will study the extremely thin films mentioned above, and optimize their chemical composition so that she can study novel topological magnetic states such as skyrmions and control their quantum effects. The long-term objective is to obtain materials that could start a new revolution in the development of hi-tech industries.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I think this research project will push forward our understanding of the skyrmionics field and, in turn, help to develop energy-efficient and sustainable future memory and logic devices. It will give another approach to quantum computing.” says Yasmine Sassa. “The Wallenberg Academic Fellow is a very prestigious grant, and I am honored to receive it! The grant will allow me to explore challenging ideas and take some risks in the project. It will also allow me to compete internationally and establish the skyrmion research field in Sweden.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">For more information, please contact:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Yasmine-Sassa.aspx">Yasmine Sassa</a>, Assistant Professor at the division of Materials Physics, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href=""></a>, 031 772 60 88 <br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Four Wallenberg Academy Fellows to Chalmers 2021 </h2></div> <div>The research funding from the Wallenberg Academy Fellowship amounts to between SEK 5 and 15 million per researcher over five years, depending on the subject area. After the end of the first period, researchers have the opportunity to apply for another five years of funding. Read about the other appointments:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Kristina-Davis-becomes-new-Wallenberg-Academy-Fellow-.aspx">Kristina Davis, Microtechnology and Nanoscience</a></div> <a href="/en/departments/math/news/Pages/classifying-mathematical-objects.aspx">Hannes Thiel, Mathematical Sciences</a><div><a href="/en/departments/cse/news/Pages/new-method-for-software-verification.aspx">Niki Vazou, Computer Science and Engineering</a> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Knut and Alice Wallenberg stiftelse and Lisa Gahnertz</div> Thu, 02 Dec 2021 10:00:00 +0100 pair of gold flakes creates a self-assembled resonator<p><b>​F​or exploring materials right down to the nano-level, researchers often need to construct a complex structure to house the materials – a time-consuming and complicated process. But imagine if there was a way the structure could simply build itself? That is exactly what researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, now present in an article in the journal Nature. Their work opens up new research opportunities.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Investigating nano materials can make it possible to study completely new properties and interactions. To be able to do this, different types of ‘resonators’ are often needed – meaning, in this context, an object inside which light bounces around, much like the way sound bounces inside the body of a guitar. Now, researchers working at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, have discovered how a previously known form of resonator, made of two parallel mirrors, can be created and controlled in a much simpler way than previously realised.</span><div><br /></div> <div><a href="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Timur%20Shegai-webb_NY.jpg"></a><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Timur%20Shegai-webb_NY.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:135px;height:174px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Creating a high quality, stable resonator, such as we have done, is usually complicated and requires many </span><span style="background-color:initial">hours in the laboratory. But here, we saw it happen of its own accord, reacting to naturally occurring forces, and requiring no external energy input. You could practically make our resonator in your own kitchen – it is created at room temperature, with ordinary water, and a little salt,” explains research leader </span><strong style="background-color:initial">Timur Shegai</strong><span style="background-color:initial">, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Associate Professor at the Department of Physics, who was himself surprised by the nature of the discovery in the lab.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div style="font-size:20px">A self-assembling and growing system </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">What he and his colleagues observed is that when two tiny gold flakes – 5000 nanometres in diameter and only 30 nanometres thick – meet in a salty aqueous solution, an interaction arises that causes them to form a pair. The two gold flakes are both positively charged as the aqueous solution covers them with double layers of ions. This causes a repelling electrostatic force, but, due to the simultaneous influence of something called the ‘Casimir effect’, an attracting force is also created, and a stable balance arises, leaving a distance between the flakes of around 150 nanometres. The two nanoflakes orient themsel</span><span style="background-color:initial">ves facing each other, with a cavity formed between them, and they remain stably in this arrangement, for weeks of observations. The cavity then functions as an optical resonator, a device which provides many opportunities to explore various physical phenomena.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Once the gold flakes have formed a pair, they stay in place, and the researchers also observed that, if not actively separated, more and more pieces of gold seek out each other and form a larger grouping. This means that the structure, purely through naturally occurring forces, can grow and create more interesting opportunities for researchers.</div> <div>The structure can be further manipulated by adding more salt to the aqueous solution, changing the temperature, or by illuminating it with lasers, which can lead to some fascinating observations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“What is so interesting in this case is that there are colours which appear inside the resonator. What we’re seeing is basically self-assembled colour. This combines a lot of interesting and fundamental physics, but at the same time it’s very easy to make. Sometimes physics can be so surprising and so beautiful,” says Timur Shegai. </div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">Studying the meeting point between light and matter</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The structure can then be used as a chamber for investigating materials and their behaviour. By placing a two-dimensional material, which is only a few atomic layers thick, in the cavity or by making adjustments to the cavity, ‘polaritons’ can also be created – hybrid particles that make it possible to study the meeting point between light and matter.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/500_Battulga%20Munkhbat-200924.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:135px;height:179px" /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Our structure can now be added to the overall toolbox of self-assembly methods. Thanks to its versatility, this could be used to study both basic and applied physics,” says </span><strong style="background-color:initial">Battulga Munkhbat</strong><span style="background-color:initial">, Post Doc at the Department of Physics and first author of the article.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>According to the study's authors, there are no obstacles to the structure being scaled up to use larger gold flakes that can be seen with the naked eye, which could open up even more possibilities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In the future, I could see this platform being used to study polaritons in a simpler way than is possible today. Another area could be to take advantage of the colours created between the gold flakes, for example in pixels, to create different kinds of RGB values, where each colour could be checked for different combinations. There could also be applications in biosensors, optomechanics, or nanorobotics,” says Timur Shegai.</div> <div> </div> <div style="font-size:20px">More about the research</div> <span style="font-size:20px"> </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">The article </span><a href="" target="_blank">Tunable self-assembled Casimir microcavities and polaritons​</a><span style="background-color:initial"> has been published in Nature. The researchers behind the new results are Battulga Munkhbat, Adriana Canales, Betül Küçüköz, Denis G. Baranov and Timur O. Shegai. </span> </li> <li>The researchers are active at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, The Center for Photonics and 2D Materials in Moscow, and the Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudny, Russia. </li> <li>The research was funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Chalmers Excellence Initiative Nano. </li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div style="font-size:20px"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Karusellbild_Attraherade%20guldspeglar_350x305px_ENG.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:50px 0px" /><span style="background-color:initial">How it works: </span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">A self-assembled platform </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">When two tiny gold flakes meet in a salt</span><span style="background-color:initial">y aqueous solution, an interaction arises that causes them to form a pair. They are both positively charged as the aqueous solution covers them with double layers of ions (red and blue). This causes a repelling electrostatic force, but, due to the simultaneous influence of something called the ‘Casimir effect’, an attracting force is also created, and a stable balance arises. The two nanoflakes orient themselves facing each other, with a cavity between them formed, and they remain stable in this arrangement, for weeks of observations. This cavity then functions as an optical resonator, a device which offers a tunable system for studying combinations of light and matter known as polaritons.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial">To see a video from the experiment, where the gold flakes create a self-assembled platform,</span> copy and paste the following link in your web browser: </div> <div><a href="" style="font-size:10.5pt"></a></div></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="font-size:20px">For more information, contact:</span> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Timur-Shegai.aspx">Timur Shegai</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 31 23, </span><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial">timurs@chalm</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Battulga Munkhbat</strong>, Post Doc, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 73 995 34 79, <a href=""></a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Lisa Gahnertz and Mia Halleröd Palmgren<br />Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist (portrait pictures) <span style="background-color:initial">| Illustration: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Yen Strandqvist and </span><span style="background-color:initial">Denis Baranov</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <br />​Thu, 02 Dec 2021 07:00:00 +0100​Call for a proposal – hosting a WASP distinguished guest professor <p><b>​WASP is announcing funding for guest professors for a period of two years, expecting to stay at the host university approximately six months per year. The areas are: autonomous systems, software, AI/MLX and AI/math.​</b></p><div><b style="background-color:initial"><br /></b></div> <div><b style="background-color:initial">Deadline: Jan 15, 2022</b><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In total, <b>two positions will be founded</b>, and the WASP university partners can apply. The funding is valid for <b>all WASP areas</b> (autonomous systems, software, AI/MLX and AI/math).</div> <div>The main ranking criterium is the applicant's excellence, the probability of the realization, and finally, the program/aim of the visit. WASP also welcomes a combination with other initiatives or/and involvement of Swedish industry. </div> <div>Financial conditions are flexible and will match the levels of top-level researchers.  </div> <div>WASP is expecting to get the proposals during Q4 2021. Internal Chalmers deadline is Dec 20. A university can propose several candidates. </div> <div>During Q1 or Q2 2022, WASP will approve in total two proposals. A strict policy of gender balance (50/50) will be followed. </div> <div><b>The expected start of the visit</b> is Q3/Q4 2022, or Q1 2023. </div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Proposal Submission</h3> <div>Send a proposal to <b>Chalmers WASP</b> <b>representative</b> to <a href="">Ivica Crnkovic</a>, <b>l</b><b>atest Jan 15, 2022</b>.</div> <div>The proposal should include:</div> <div><ul><li>Name and affiliation of the distinguished guest professor, with a short motivation, overall preliminary schedule and activity plan for the visit.</li> <li>The hosting department and division/research group.</li> <li>If possible, a letter of interest from the potential distinguished guest professor or a statement that the professor has been contacted ad has expressed interest in the visit.</li> <li>CV of the proposed guest professor</li> <li>The head of the department must sign the application</li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The applications will be analyzed by Chalmers internal committee (to be defined) before sending to WASP.  Note that Chalmers will follow the recommendations from WASP and try to provide a balanced list of the candidates. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>For more information, contact please, <a href="">Ivica Crnkovic</a></div> <div><a href=""></a><br /></div> ​Thu, 25 Nov 2021 13:00:00 +0100 researchers receive 16 million in grants from the Swedish Research Council<p><b>Researchers at the Department of Physics received 16 million SEK from the Swedish Research Council, when the grants for natural sciences and engineering for the years 2021–2025 was recently presented. Here, you can learn more on the projects for which the grants were given.</b></p><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Mattias-Thuvander.aspx"><strong style="font-size:16px">​</strong><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:16px"><strong>Mattias Thuvander</strong></span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:16px"><strong> </strong></span><span style="font-size:16px"><strong>–</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:16px"><strong> </strong></span><strong style="font-size:16px">investigates traps for hydrogen in steel</strong><div><span></span><strong>Project &quot;Carbides as hydrogen traps in steel&quot;, a total granted amount of SEK 4,802,000</strong></div> <div>​<div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div>&quot;Carbides in steel can act as traps for hydrogen and thereby make the steel</div> <div>less susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement. The aim of the projet is to understand this phenomenon by performing atomistic modelling and atom probe tomography experiments. We will try to find out which positions, on the atomic scale, that are most effective in trapping hydrogen atoms, and how this depends on the type carbide.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Why is this research important?</strong></div> <div>&quot;Hydrogen embrittlement is limiting the use of high-strength steels, which have a great potential for weight-savings and thereby for reduced energy consumption in the transport sector. The understanding of hydrogen in solids is also of general interest, as well as the possibility to study hydrogen both experimentally and by modelling.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What does the funding mean to you?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The grant is very timely as we are getting a new atom probe during next year, which will have some accessories that will be useful for hydrogen experiments. The grant will also strengthen the cooperation between theory and experiment at the department. The grant is shared between me and <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Paul-Erhart.aspx">Paul Erhart</a>.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Istvan-Pusztai.aspx">Istvan Pusztai</a> </strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>– </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>studies the dynamics of magnetic fields and matter in the universe</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:16px"></div> <div><strong>Project &quot;Data-driven optimal models for kinetic dynamos&quot;, total amount granted SEK 3,440,000</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div>&quot;The project concerns the process, called dynamo, that generates magnetic fields in astrophysical systems. While stellar and planetary dynamos are well studied, our understanding of the dynamo in galaxy clusters is much more limited. The reason is that while the interior of stars can be modeled as a simple conducting fluid, the hot and tenuous plasma of galaxy clusters exhibits a much more complex dynamics. Within this project I will distill this complex behavior into accurate but still numerically tractable plasma models with the help of recent data-driven methods, then utilize these numerical models to study the intertwined dynamics of magnetic fields and matter on the largest scales of the universe.&quot;</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><strong>Why is this research important?</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div>&quot;The project will resolve the dynamo process on a micro-physical level with an unprecedented physics fidelity. This will allow a major step towards a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of the largest gravitationally bound systems in the universe. The modeling capabilities developed will also benefit the study of other turbulent magnetized plasma systems, such as our immediate space environment, will help the design and interpretation laboratory dynamo experiments in laser-produced plasmas, and have the potential to provide improved constraints on galaxy and star formation.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What does the funding mean to you?</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div>&quot;In this project I bring methods from kinetic plasma physics - where I have my main scientific background - to dynamo research, where I am relatively new. Crossing boundaries between research fields can be difficult, and requires freedom on multiple levels. This research grant gives me the freedom of pursuing an ambitious research idea involving non-standard approaches. That this research proposal got funded is also an encouragement that I greatly appreciate.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Forssen.aspx">Christian Forssén</a> </strong><span style="background-color:initial"><span><strong>–</strong></span></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong> </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>compares theoretical predictions with experimental observations</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:16px"></div> <div><strong>Project &quot;Theoretical nuclear physics with precision&quot;, a total granted amount of SEK 4,000,000</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The project &quot;Theoretical nuclear physics with precision&quot; is about developing new statistical methods for studying theoretical uncertainties. Specifically, we will combine effective field theories of the strong interaction with computational methods to solve the quantum many-body problem and make predictions for low-energy nuclear physics observables.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Why is this research important?</strong></div> <div>&quot;A basis for scientific progress is comparisons of theoretical predictions with experimental observations. To draw conclusions from such a comparison, we must be able to quantify existing uncertainties, both on the experimental and the theoretical side. In this borderland, our research can contribute. Specifically, the project is about testing our theoretical description of subatomic physics and the fundamental forces, but the statistical methodology can be very useful in many areas.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What does the funding mean to you?</strong></div> <div>&quot;That we can recruit a postdoc and continue to be an active driving research group in our field.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Mats-Halvarsson.aspx">Mats Halvarsson </a></strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>–</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong> </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>green electricity in an effective way</strong></span></div> <span style="font-size:16px"></span><div style="font-size:16px"></div> <div><strong>Project &quot;High-resolution in-situ study of the effect of reactive elements on alumina formation at high temperatures&quot;, total amount granted SEK 4,000,000</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div>&quot;The purpose of this project is to understand the formation and evolution of </div> <div>protective (and non-protective) alumina scales formed on FeCrAl alloys at elevated </div> <div>temperatures, by studying the oxidation “live” in microscopes with atomic or nanometre resolution. These alloys have the potential to be used in power plants, reducing problems with high temperature corrosion.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Why is this research important?</strong></div> <div>&quot;By acquiring dynamic microstructural data, including oxide nuclei growth, interaction with reactive element particles and phase development, we can formulate a model for alumina scale growth, from the first monolayers, via nanolayers, to thicker scales, including its protective character. The </div> <div>model can then be used as input to tailor-make materials with desired microstructures that </div> <div>give superior high temperature corrosion properties.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What does the funding mean to you?</strong></div> <div>&quot;This grant from VR means that we can continue to work with our long-term goal, which is to help with the transition to producing green electricity in an effective way.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more:</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/Prestigious-funding-to-researchers-at-Chalmers.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />List of all researchers at Chalmers University of Technology receiving grants from the Swedish Research Council 2021​</a></div> <div><br /></div></div>Wed, 10 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0100 technology finds disturbances in nuclear reactors<p><b>​For the past four years, Chalmers has coordinated the EU-funded research project Cortex, with the purpose of finding methods to improve nuclear safety. Now the result is here – a technology that with good accuracy can detect disturbances in a nuclear power reactor in operation.</b></p><strong>​</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Christophe Demazière</strong> and <strong>Paolo Vinai</strong>, both at the Department of Physics, have coordinated the Cortex research project, in which the European Commission has invested 5,1 million euros. Over 70 researchers from various organizations, primarily in Europe, but also from the USA and Japan, have participated in the project during a four-year period, which ended in the summer of 2021.</span><div><br /><div>The project team has consisted of experts from several different research areas: from reactor physics and artificial intelligence, to computational physics and experimental reactor physics. An advisory group of end users has ensured that the research has been carried out in line with the needs of the nuclear power industry and that the benefits of the innovations can be used in the industry.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The team's collaboration has led to the development and testing of a technology that can detect disturbances in nuclear power reactors.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:16px">Combines nuclear reactor modelling and artificial intelligence</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“By our combined expertise, we have achieved a technology that combines nuclear reactor modelling and artificial intelligence by which you can detect if there is an anomaly in a reactor core. The technology can also detect what kind of disturbance there is and where in the system it is located,” says Christophe Demazière.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The fundamental of the technology is to teach an artificial intelligence algorithm how a nuclear reactor behaves in the presence of different types of disturbances and their positions. These disturbances lead to fluctuations in the neutron flux, the so-called neutron noise, and they are measured by neutron detectors in the reactor. The algorithm needs to be fed with a lot of data of different types of disturbances and corresponding responses from the reactor.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“To build such a database, we have developed advanced modelling tools. The algorithm then compares the measurements from the reactor with simulations from these modelling tools. From all these simulations, the algorithm can thus identify in a given measurement if there is a disturbance, of what type it is and where it is located. A reactor core is around three to four meters in diameter and height. Using a few neutron detectors in the core, we can detect where there is a disturbance with a margin of five to ten centimetres. Previous research has shown that this is something that could be done, but no technology has been developed to do so in such a systematic way and to such an extent as in the Cortex project,” says Christophe Demazière.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">Keeps track of disturbances</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The technology can, for example, be used during operation to see what is happening in the reactor, the so-called core monitoring. By keeping track of disturbances, you can also better plan for how to handle possible problems when closing a reactor for inspection, maintenance, and fuel reloading.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Further development of the technology will be required before it can be used on an industrial scale. How or in what form the research project will continue remains to be seen.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>How has it been then, to coordinate such a large project, with so many participants?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In the beginning, we spent a lot of time getting to know each other's different research fields, in order to work towards the same goal. We have had close contacts with each othereach other, and everyone has been very motivated in this collaboration. It has been a great job to contribute to the project and see that you do something useful,” says Christophe Demazière.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />See more about how the technology works in a film about the project</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts about the research project:</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Cortex (CORTEX) stands for &quot;core monitoring techniques and experimental validation and demonstration.&quot; The project aimed to develop innovative methods that can be used to detect and categorize disturbances in commercial nuclear reactors during operation. The method is non-intrusive. Cortex is a research and innovation project (RIA) within the <a href="">EU program Euratom in Horizon 2020</a>. Read more about the project on <a href="">Cortex's website</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project has been coordinated by Professor <strong>Christophe Demazière</strong> and Associate Professor <strong>Paolo Vinai</strong>, and also involved Dr. <strong>Antonios Mylonakis</strong> and PhD student <strong>Huaiqian Yi</strong>, all from the division of Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology. The researchers have contributed with knowledge in the field of reactor modelling and core monitoring, within which there is a long research tradition at Chalmers where Professor <strong>Imre Pázsit’s</strong> contributions and influence have been crucial.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Lisa Gahnertz<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><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></div> <div><br /></div> <div><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=""></a></div></div> ​Wed, 03 Nov 2021 13:00:00 +0100 professor receives Gold Medal by IVA<p><b>​Lars Börjesson, professor at the Department of Physics, is receiving the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences’ Gold Medal. The medals are presented by H.M. The King during IVA's Annual Meeting of the Academy.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA, has for a hundred years rewarded outstanding initiatives in technology, economics, business, and society. <strong>Lars Börjesson</strong>, Professor in Materials Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, is now receiving IVA’s Gold Medal for his efforts to improve society.</span><div><br /></div> <div>IVA's motivation is:</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>&quot;Professor Lars Börjesson is awarded the Gold Medal for his outstanding, innovative research in the physics of condensed materials and his innovative and dedicated leadership that has resulted in groundbreaking research infrastructure – in particular MAX IV and ESS – offering exceptional opportunities to learn about material properties that will be of great significance in future research and industry.&quot;</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>“It is a fantastic honour to receive this medal and that the work I have done, together with many others, for a long time garners attention,” says Lars Börjesson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It also means that more people may notice what unique and outstanding investments the ESS and MAX IV facilities are for Sweden and Europe. The facilities are important for basic research in physics, chemistry, life sciences and more, and for a variety of applications for a sustainable society, for example for new materials for sustainable energy technology, recyclable materials for the manufacturing industry, development of new medicines and medical technology for better health. And not least because they attract talented researchers with new research projects.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Gold Medals will be presented in connection with the Annual Meeting of the Academy on October 29 2021 in the presence of T.M. The King and Queen. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about IVA's Gold Medals 2021</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">About Lars Börjesson</div> <div>Lars Börjesson defended his dissertation at Chalmers University of Technology in 1987, and has since been active here as an Associate Professor (1990) and Professor of Materials Physics (1995). He has also been a Professor at KTH (1993–1995).</div> <div>During the years 2012–2016, Lars Börjesson was active as Vice-Chancellor at Chalmers with responsibility for the Areas of Advance. He has extensive experience in the management of large-scale research facilities: from 2010 to 2013, he was chairman of the MAX IV laboratory in Lund and he is one of the founders of the European Spallation Source (ESS). In 2011, Lars Börjesson was elected a member of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">For more information, please contact:</span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Lars-Börjesson.aspx">Lars Börjesson​</a>, <a href=""></a> , +46(0)31-772 33 07</div></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 29 Oct 2021 00:00:00 +0200' Physics' Professor Elected as 2021 APS Fellow<p><b>​Christian Forssén, Professor at the Department of Physics, has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.</b></p><strong>​</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Christian Forssén</strong> has been elected a 2021 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) as recognition of his outstanding contributions to physics. Christian Forssén is Professor in theoretical physics and Head of the division of Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Each year, no more than one half of one percent of the Society’s membership is recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow of the American Physical Society. APS’ citation for electing Christian Forssén is as follows: </span></div> <div><br /><div><div><strong>“For first-principles calculations of the structure of nuclei, especially near the drip-lines, and for the development of precision nuclear forces through innovative uses of statistical methods.”</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">Recognizes advances in physics</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I am very honoured that my peers have elected me to join the exclusive company of APS fellows, which indeed includes many international celebrities in physics research. Hopefully this will further strengthen our ties with scientists in the United States,” says Christian Forssén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The addition of Christian Forssén to the APS Fellowship Program, brings the total count of APS Fellows from Chalmers University of Technology to five. </div> <div><br /></div> <a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /> </a><a href="" target="_blank"><div style="display:inline !important">Read more about the APS fellowship program</div></a><div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Christian-Forssen.aspx">Christian Forssén</a>, +46317723261,  <a href="">​</a> </div></div></div>Wed, 13 Oct 2021 16:00:00 +0200 vehicles powered by nothing but light<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in creating tiny vehicles powered by nothing but light. By layering an optical metasurface onto a microscopic particle, and then using a light source to control it, they succeeded in moving the tiny vehicles in a variety of complex and precise ways – and even using them to transport other objects.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Lig</span><span style="background-color:initial">ht has an inherent power to move microscopic objects – a property previously used to develop the Nobel prize winning research idea of ‘optical tweezers’, which use a highly focused laser beam to control and manoeuvre tiny particles with incredible precision.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">N</span><span style="background-color:initial">ow, a research group at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg has shown how even an unfocused light can be used to manoeuvre microscopic particles in a controlled manner. <a href="">Their research was recently published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. ​</a> </span><div><div><br /></div> <div>The researchers manufactured vehicles at a scale of 10 micrometres wide and 1 micrometre thick – one thousandth of a millimetre. The vehicles consisted of a tiny particle, coated with something known as a ‘metasurface’. Metasurfaces are ultra-thin arrangements of carefully designed and ordered nanoparticles, tailored to direct light in interesting and unusual ways. They offer fascinating possibilities for use in advanced components for optical applications such as cameras, microscopes and electronic displays. Usually, they tend to be thought of as stationary objects, with their use being seen as the ability to control and affect light. But here, the researchers looked at it the other way around, investigating how the forces resulting from the light’s change in momentum could be used to control the meta-surface. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">L</span><span style="background-color:initial">ike two pool balls colliding </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Th</span><span style="background-color:initial">e researchers took their microscopic vehicles, which they termed ‘metavehicles’, and placed them on the bottom of a water dish, then used a loosely focused laser to direct a plane wave of light onto them. By a purely mechanical process – the heat generated by the light plays no part in the effect – the vehicles could then be moved in a variety of patterns. By adjusting the intensity and polarisation of the light, the researchers succeeding in controlling the vehicles’ movement and speed with a high level of precision, navigating them in different directions and complex patterns, such as figures of eight.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Mikael_Käll_180x224_Anna-Lena_Lundquist.jpg" alt="Mikael Käll" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">According to Newton’s third law, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – this means that when the light hits the meta-surface, and is deflected in a new direction, the meta-surface is also pushed away in the other direction. Imagine playing pool, when two balls hit each other and bounce off in different directions. In this case, the photons and the meta surface are like those two pool balls,” explains <strong>Mikael Käll</strong>, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, co-author of the article and leader of the research project.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">Transporting other small objects</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Daniel_Andren_%20180x224.jpg" alt="Daniel Andrén" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />“</span><span style="background-color:initial">The metavehicles were stable, and their navigation was highly predictable and controllable. With advanced automated feedback systems, and more sophisticated control of the intensity and polarisation of the source light, even more complex navigation would be possible,” explains <strong>Daniel Andrén</strong>, formerly of the Department of Physics at Chalmers and lead author of the study.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he researchers also experimented with using the metavehicles as transporters, to push small particles around the tank. The metavehicles proved capable of transporting objects including a microscopic pol</span><span style="background-color:initial">ystyrene bead and a yeast particle through the water with ease. They even succeeded in pushing a dust particle 15 times the size of the metavehicle itself.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">A</span><span style="background-color:initial">t the moment, the practical applications of this discovery may be a way off. But the fundamental nature of the research means that its value may not yet be evident.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“In the exploration of optical forces, there are many interesting effects that are not yet fully understood. It is not applications that drive this type of research, but exploration of the different possibilities. In a number of different stages ahead, you never know what will happen. But the fact that we showed how the metavehicles can be used as transporters is the most initially promising potential application, for example to move particles through cell solutions,” explains Mikael Käll.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#1166aa"><b>Click here to watch a video of the metavehicles in action (Youtube)</b></font></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">M</span><span style="background-color:initial">ore information about the research</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he research is presented in the article </span><a href="" target="_blank">Microscopic Metavehicles Powered and Steered by Embedded Optical Metasurfaces</a><span style="background-color:initial"> in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The article was written by physicists Daniel Andrén, Denis G. Baranov, Steven Jones, Giovanni Volpe, Ruggero Verre and Mikael Käll, active at Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg and the Moscow Insitute of Physics and Technology.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he project was funded by the Excellence Initiative Nano at Chalmers University of Technology, the Swedish Research Council and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. For the project, nanotreatment was carried out at Myfab. The microscopic vehicles were manufactured at Chalmers.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">For further information, contact: </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Daniel Andrén</strong>, former PhD student at the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology and lead author of the study</span></div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div>+46 73 516 65 18</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Mikael-Käll.aspx" target="_blank">Mikael Käll</a><span style="background-color:initial">, Professor at the Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology</span></div> <div><a href="">​​</a></div> <div>+46 31 772 31 19 <br /></div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Lisa Gahnertz and Joshua Worth<br />Photo: Anna-Lena Lundquist (Mikael Käll) and Carolina Harvonen (Daniel Andrén) | ​Illustration: Denis Baranov<br /></div> ​​​Tue, 28 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0200 a mind set on nano<p><b>​She’s a professor of applied quantum physics, a mother of three and speaks five languages. As the leader of the interdisciplinary Nano Excellence Initiative, Janine Splettstoesser now wants to create one of Europe's top nano-centers with the goal of addressing the biggest challenges facing the society. But when it comes to the proudest career moments, she’d rather speak about her students. &quot;When a PhD student gives a really good defense on their dissertation and can continue to work on what they really like and subsequently grow as a researcher. That makes me really proud.”​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">We meet in the department’s family room. It's Easter break and Janine’s 6-year-old son Paolo has come along. He immediately starts pulling out building kits and tricky games from the shelves while Janine takes a seat at a destinated workplace across the room. An empty desk and an ordinary laptop. A mind-blowing thought to an outsider that this is all that is needed for a professor of applied quantum physics when trying to juggle lectures, seminars, conferences and supervision of PhD students. Not to mention her own research.<br /><br /></span><div>Right now, it's all about the relationships between thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, what is normally referred to as quantum thermodynamics. Because, as Janine puts it, &quot;if you want to make new nanotechnology, it’s really good to know the underlying dynamics. And if you want a quantum computer that works well, you need to know what the energy consumption looks like and how best keep it cold during operation.&quot;  </div> <div><br /><strong>Janine’s many engagements at the department</strong> of Microtechnology and Nanoscience become clear within minutes. We’ve already touched on her teaching, PhD supervision and research. But as of 2021 she’s also the new Director of the Nano Excellence Initiative, a government-funded and interdisciplinary initiative, that includes three other departments besides her own - chemistry, physics, biology - with the joint ambition to promote research and development of nanotechnology at the university.<br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;My goal is to create a meeting place for nano-researchers at all levels, junior as well as senior. A kind of incubator for building collaborations, sharing ideas and networking,&quot; Janine explains. </div> <div><br />But that’s not all. Janine is also one of the initiators behind the family room we’re currently in. Why so? To enable researchers to combine a successful research career with family life. An important topic to Janine. <br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;If you have small kids and you need to go to a conference or perhaps to a meeting with collaborators, and you haven’t managed to solve childcare, you might face logistical problems. Which tends to lead to researchers having to limit their work, especially female researchers. A room like this can solve that sort of problem,&quot; Janine explains.<br /><br /></div> <div>And when asked if they’ve used the family room frequently, Paolo anticipates his mum: &quot;Hundreds of times!&quot;, he proclaims contentedly and continues to build on his maze.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The (un)obvious researcher </h3> <div>Janine somehow feels natural in her research role and in her field. She talks enthusiastically and joyfully about her research and her students. And as the oldest in a sibling group of five and with two researching parents, a mother in physics and a father in mathematics, it may seem strange that it was never self-evident to Janine to choose a research career. However, there were never any ruling expectations in terms of career paths. It was more a matter of a family culture that said you can become what you want to be. Nevertheless, the subject of physics did come up every once in a while at the dinner table, albeit in a discouraging way. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“During high school, I had many different ideas about what I should study - architecture, design or medicine perhaps. And right after high school, I got involved in social work for a few years before I continued my studies. But I have always been into math and physics and solving problems. At the same time, I’ve also been interested in languages. As a matter of fact, my mum actually used to warn me: behave or else I’ll make you study physics &quot;, says Janine and laughs.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Perhaps a classic example of reverse</strong> psychology. Either way, it seems to have worked.<br /></div> <div>And in addition to her academic merits in physics, Janine also speaks five languages. No wonder if you take a look at her academic journey. A tour that has gone all over the European continent. <br /><br /></div> <div>She grew up near Düsseldorf and moved as a 20-year-old to Karlsruhe in southern Germany to study physics. During her master's studies, she did an exchange year in Grenoble, France, after which she returns to Germany to complete her master's studies. After that, straight to Italy to do her PhD at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, on &quot;Adiabatic pumping in interacting quantum dots&quot;. It’s during her PhD studies in Pisa that Janine's fascination for quantum physics really takes off. This is also where she meets her future husband, who at the time did his PhD in astrophysics. After that: post-doc at the University of Geneva while her boyfriend heads off to Hamburg. Then back to Germany to take on the position as professor of physics at the University of Aachen. In Aachen, Janine also receives a large research grant. A turn of events that in retrospect is looked upon as a significant milestone. <br /><br /></div> <div>“This is when I got to lead my own research group for the first time. I was able to recruit PhD students and post-docs and shape my own lectures. Freedom to do it my way, as it were. That’s when the idea that I could become an independent researcher was really brought to life.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Janine%202.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:226px" /><br /><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Gothenburg calling</span><br /></div> <div>It’s easy to see life as a research couple travelling all over Europe through rose-tinted glasses.</div> <div>If she misses life as a round-the-clock researcher on the continent? Well, not really. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;You get fed up in the end. My husband and I had a long-distance relationship for ten years, it’s not something I recommend. Of course, it’s really fun and interesting to move around and constantly getting to know new cultures and learn new languages, but eventually it gets really hard to keep having to split up from friends and work just when you start to feel at home. Now, I’ve been in Sweden for a while, but I still feel like the dumbest parent at kindergarten. It still takes me forever to fill in even the simplest forms &quot;, she says and laughs.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>So just over seven years ago</strong>, she finally settled down in Gothenburg and at Chalmers, at the time pregnant with the family's first child. Her significant other, who had a research position at Göttingen in Germany, was able to join up as a position opened up at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, just a stone's throw away.</div> <div>It wasn’t just coincidence that the choice fell on Chalmers. The five-year research project at RWTH Aachen had been completed and Janine and her husband had decided to stay in Europe. After some brief exploration of alternatives, she realized that Chalmers seemed to be a good place to conduct the kind of research she was particularly interested in. At the same time, she was approached by one of the professors of applied quantum physics at Chalmers at a conference, who suggested that Janine should come work with them. Said and done, Janine applied for a position as an Assistant Professor in Nanoscience at Chalmers. But she also applied for a research grant through Wallenberg Academy Fellows - Sweden's largest private career program for young researchers. It all ends up with Janine getting the position as well as the grant. And subsequently research funding for a five-year period, which since then has been extended through the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The Wallenberg's research grant has been really good for me in several ways. Besides funding my research, it has helped me build a good network as well as introducing me to the Swedish research environment.”<br /><br /></div> <div>But it turns out that life as a researcher at a Swedish university comes with even more perks. </div> <div><br />“Something I really liked from the beginning was that the culture here is much more equal and relaxed if you compare with, for example, some of the German universities. There, the hierarchies are very strong and the elbows sharper &quot;, says Janine.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The importance of good role models</h3> <div>And speaking of equality, it's almost hard not to mention the fact that Janine, as a female professor of quantum physics, stands out in the group. As a master's student, she was the only woman at the institute and at seminars. And when Janine first made her entrance into the Department of Applied Quantum Physics at Chalmers, she was once again the only woman. Today, six years later, she’s pleased to find that a third of the workforce is made up of women.<br /><br /></div> <div>There’s no doubt that academia needs good role models. Janine mentions times when female PhD students have approached her after speaks or lectures to express how much it means to see a woman – quite often with a baby under her arm - be an expert on the subject.</div> <div><br /><strong>Janine too has her own role models</strong>. She especially remembers her post-doc supervisor at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Geneva, Professor M. Büttiker. A familiar name to many physicists. Through his humble and unpretentious style and his way of taking everyone's work seriously, regardless of position or academic rank, he has become a strong influence.<br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;To him, it didn’t matter if he was talking to a master's student or a Nobel Prize winner. He would invite his friends, people with names that we knew from our physics books. And he would introduce us as experts even though we were just post-docs. He simply took us all equally seriously. I was really inspired by him.”</div> <div><br />In that sense, it’s not very surprising that when Janine is asked to highlight her proudest moments in her career, she refers from listing academic advancements, professorships or publications. <br /><br /></div> <div>“I can’t deny that I was really proud when I finished my dissertation. But the proudest moments are probably when someone in my research group does a really good job. When a PhD student gives a really good defense on their dissertation and can continue to work on what they really like and grow as a researcher. That makes me really proud.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Janine%20och%20Paolo.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:225px" /><br /><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">From self-do</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">ubt to pure grit</span><br /></div> <div>We decide to relocate to Janine’s office, a few stairs up. Paolo shows the way by skipping through the corridors. Janine’s years in Pisa seems to have made an impression. Under the office shelves filled with binders, books and paper is a well-used, coffee stained Italian espresso pot. Across the room hangs a large blackboard covered with never-ending calculations in white chalk. Just as one would expect from a professor of quantum physics.<br /><br /></div> <div>But has it always been easy? Have there never been any doubts?</div> <div><br />“When I did my PhD, I really had my doubts. Will I be able to do this? Am I smart enough? I was actually very close to giving up.”<br /><br /></div> <div>But Janine's plans to throw in the towel would soon be stopped. An old friend from school came to visit and changed her outlook on things completely.</div> <div><br />“She didn’t understand why I had doubts when I always had such good grades in school.  She told me that if I had doubts about being smart enough, just keep pretending to be clever for another two years and then, once that’s done, decide what I want to do,” Janine explains and laughs.<br /><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>Whether the argument worked</strong> is unclear, but Janine rode through the storm and came out on the other side. With honors. Since then, Janine has become quite used to dealing with tricky problems. </div> <div>So, what’s her driving force? <br /><br /></div> <div>“Definitely my curiosity. I face problems that I don’t understand almost every day. But then, you talk about the problem with colleagues and do some more reading and calculating until you get it. I’ve always liked to figure things out.”</div> <div><br />It’s obvious that Janine really likes her job. That she's in the right place. To her it’s all about making choices that feel right at the moment and trusting that you somehow end up in the right place. Like many physicists at the beginning of their career, Janine too thought she would focus solely on theoretical particle physics. But over time, the plan was revised.</div> <div><br />“I really like that I can do both fundamental research with heavy theoretical method development and at the same time think about exciting technical applications. It’s really cool to be able to sit and work theoretically and have the option to just go to the lab next door and talk to people to see if my calculations are correct.”<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>From the office window you </strong>can just barely see parts of the kindergarten yard. Janine lifts Paolo to make sure he gets the same view. Is it his baby brothers they can see from a distance, jumping around on the playground? They both agree; it’s Fabian and Mattia they spot. Perhaps it's the window view that makes Janine resume the topic of proud career moments. </div> <div><br />&quot;I just have to say that I’m incredibly proud that me and my husband actually managed to make this work in the end. That we can do what we are passionate about at work and, at the same time, have a fantastic family.”<br /><br />Text by: Lovisa Håkansson</div> Thu, 24 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200 researcher awarded with Royal Society of Chemistry-prize<p><b>A collaboration of scientists from around the world have been named the winners of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s new Horizon Prize. Björn Wickman, Associate professor at the Department of Physics, was part of the research group that made the discovery that is now being awarded; a breakthrough in hydrogen peroxide production. </b></p><div><div>Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical with a short shelf life that is used, among other things, as a bleaching agent in industry, but also for disinfection and purification of water. The production is often large-scale and energy intensive. In addition, transports of the substance from large factories are often required.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Eight years ago, a research group at the Technical University of Denmark made a discovery in how to produce hydrogen peroxide locally and on a smaller scale. The Royal Society of Chemistry is now naming the research group as the winners of the new <em>Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Horizon Prize: John Jeyes Award</em>, which aims to draw attention to research that contributes to a better world.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong><span>Björn Wickman part of the research group</span></strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers researcher Björn Wickman, who at the time had a postdoctoral position at the Technical University of Denmark, was a part of the research group. That the discovery that is now being praised was even made was, however, a bit of a coincidence, he says:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I was working on a project on reduction of carbon dioxide, but the experiments did not work as intended. At the same time, in another group, research on hydrogen peroxide was underway with calculations for how to produce hydrogen peroxide on a small scale and locally. We started talking and the idea arose that our concept might work for them. And it turned out to work great!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong>C</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>o</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>uld achieve close to one hundred percent yield of hydrogen peroxide</strong></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Oxygen can be reduced by means of electrochemistry on a catalyst surface of, for example, platinum or palladium, so that hydrogen peroxide is obtained. The problem is that hydrogen peroxide then rapidly continues to reduce and form water. For the final step to take place, it is required that there are at least two atoms of the active catalyst material next to each other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers made a surface where there are no atoms of the catalyst material sitting next to each other. This was done with the help of an ordered alloy where the atoms are arranged without the active atoms bordering each other. The process could then achieve close to one hundred percent yield of hydrogen peroxide.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research results showed how one could produce hydrogen peroxide in smaller volumes, and formed the basis of an article published in Nature Materials 2013.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong>Small-scale manufacturing is a reality today</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Since then, the article has been cited over 400 times, laid the foundation for further research on the subject and led to small-scale hydrogen peroxide production becoming a reality. The project resulted in the company <a href="" target="_blank">HPNow​</a>, whose device known as an electrolyser, makes it possible to produce hydrogen peroxide on-site and on demand using solely water, electricity, and air as inputs. They now have installations in over 15 countries around the world, treating water at both hospitals and agricultural sites. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This is what the Royal Society of Chemistry is now awarding with the Horizon Prize in the category Environment, Sustainability and Energy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is now clear that our research has had impact. I feel honoured and I’m delighted that the Royal Society of Chemistry pays attention to our work and finds our research of importance”, says Björn Wickman.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><strong>About the Horizon Prize</strong></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">United Kingdom-based Royal Society of Chemistry has the goal of advancing the chemical sciences. Their Horizon Prizes – new this year – highlight the most exciting, contemporary chemical science at the cutting edge of research and innovation. These prizes are for teams or collaborations who are opening up new directions and possibilities in their field, through ground-breaking scientific developments.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="background-color:initial"><br /></em></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em style="background-color:initial">The Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Horizon Prize 2021: John Jeyes Award</em><span style="background-color:initial"> is given to the research group consisting of the following researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Imperial College London, University of Copenhagen, Technical University of Denmark, University of Calgary and BASE Life Science: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Debasish Chakraborty, Ib Chorkendorff (<a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/Jubilee-Professors.aspx" target="_blank">Jubilee Professor at Chalmers, 2012</a>), Davide Deiana, Maria Escudero-Escribano, Rasmus Frydendal, Ziv Gottesfeld, Thomas W. Hansen, Mohammadreza Karamad, Paolo Malacrida, Jan Rossmeisl, Samira Siarhostami, Ifan E.L. Stephens, Arnau Verdaguer-Casedevall and Björn Wickman.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <div><span style="font-weight:700">For more information, please contact:</span></div> <div><a href="/sv/Personal/Sidor/Björn-Wickman.aspx" target="_blank">Björn Wickman</a>, Associate professor, Department of Physics<br />+46 (0)31-772 51 79<br /><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Read more:</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>For more information about the prize, see the <a href="" target="_blank"><div style="display:inline !important">Royal Society of Chemistry's award page</div></a></div> <a href="" target="_blank"> ​</a><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <div>The article <a href="" target="_blank">Enabling direct H2O2 production through rational electrocatalyst design </a>was published in Nature Materials. ​</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 08 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0200 won the Best Thesis Award<p><b>​Doctoral theses that impress – Vanessa Zema and Samuel Brem know how to write them. They are the winners of the Department of Physics' annual Best Thesis Award. Here they share their best tricks for writing a winning thesis.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The Best Thesis Award was founded in 2013 and is awarded annually to one or several doctoral students. With this award, the department wants to motivate students and at the same time show appreciation for their hard work. Two former doctoral students are awarded the prize for the Academic year 2019–2020: <strong>Vanessa Zema</strong> and <strong>Samuel Brem</strong>.</span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>The committee's motivation is as follows:</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The award committee has decided to share this year's award for the best PhD thesis between Dr. Samuel Brem and Dr. Vanessa Zema. Their PhD theses display the high quality that we seek in doctoral research at Chalmers. <span style="background-color:initial">D</span><span style="background-color:initial">r. Brem is awarded for the impressive scientific impact of his work; the committee appreciated also his well-structured thesis and felt it was easy to understand the results of his doctoral research and how these results connect to the challenges of his field. </span><span style="background-color:initial">D</span><span style="background-color:initial">r. Zema delivered a beautifully written thesis detailing a unique combination of both experimental and theoretical work in astroparticle physics; the committee enjoyed reading her thesis, in which she managed to explain a complex subject in a very pedagogical way.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>We spoke with the two proud winners, to learn more about their research and their thoughts on how to write a winning thesis.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong>Vanessa Zema:</strong></div> <div style="font-size:20px">&quot;<span style="background-color:initial">Write it in a way that is useful for your future research</span><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;</span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/750x340_VanessaZema.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In her thesis titled <a href="">Unveiling the Nature of Dark Matter with Direct Detection Experiments</a>, Vanessa Zema searches for galactic dark matter particles by using detectors located deep underground, and develops particle and solid state physics models to interpret the collected data.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The subject of dark matter was something she started working on during her master's studies in the University of Rome, La Sapienza. Her dissertation was developed and supported by an agreement between the Department of Physics at Chalmers and the Italian Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), a doctoral school in astroparticle physics, located close to the National Laboratory of Gran Sasso, where many important dark matter experiments are located. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How does it feel to win this award?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;I</span><span style="background-color:initial">’</span><span style="background-color:initial">m honoured and proud. After all these years of studies this was an unexpected culmination of that path, a further satisfaction. I’m happy that my project was considered at the level of an award and that this new type of research in Chalmers is considered valuable and promising. I also wish to thank Professor </span><strong style="background-color:initial">Riccardo Catena</strong><span style="background-color:initial">, my main supervisor at Chalmers.”</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Tell us more about the subject of your thesis. </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">The topic of my project was the search for hypothetical particles in space of unknown nature that are expected to constitute most of the non-luminous matter in the universe – dark matter. The approach I adopted is known as dark matter direct detection, an experimental technique using detectors located underground that search for these particles directly reaching the target material of our detectors. We aim to detect dark matter looking at its interactions happening inside of our detectors, a different technique with respect to observing the products and effects of its interactions in space, a method used by telescopes and satellites.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The committee found your thesis to be beautifully written – what can you tell us about your writing process?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">In general, I like to understand things in depth and learn from what has already been studied, but also to elaborate on it and explain things in simple words. I try to write in a way, so that by reading you already have all the material and information you need to understand the subject. The effort of explaining something to others has the counter effect that you are also explaining it to yourself. It is an iterative process which clarifies and simplifies concepts. I had a group of people I collaborated with sending me comments and suggestions. I’m grateful for the long review which definitely contributed to the appreciated final result.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What was the hardest part?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">That must’ve been organizing all the different topics and chapters and coming to an understanding of the best way to explain my work and to motivate and clarify why I choose the projects I did.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>To someone about to write a thesis of their own – what is your best advice?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“In</span><span style="background-color:initial"> general, it’s easier to do things you find fun. Writing something down that you’ve already done may not be as interesting as doing research. Therefore, one suggestion I give is to always take notes of the research you’re doing. If you write it down in that very moment, instead of waiting years, then the process of writing the thesis is just collecting all the notes and details and writing down the stories. Write it in a way that is useful for yourself, and for your future research. Also, do not wait until the project is perfect before you send it to your advisor for feedback.” </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>You were recently on Forbes Italia’s list of future leaders. What's the story behind this?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">This was another great surprise. The editors of Forbes met me because they were interested in the Asimov prize organised by Francesco Vissani, a professor at GSSI, who involved me and other GSSI students as members of the scientific committee. Together we had the idea of starting a channel on the Asimov prize and on what a PhD career really is, to address in particular young people interested in science. On this occasion, they considered and collected information on my career and they shortlisted me for the Forbes list. I am still astonished.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>You’re now a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich. What are you currently working on?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">As a result of my PhD, we reached a better understanding on how Cosinus detectors work. Now I’m working here given the result of my PhD thesis and we are optimizing the detector, using the knowledge we collected and the results we obtained. My project here is a continuation of my PhD research, I’m still searching for dark matter using direct detection technique and it is a great pleasure to still collaborate with the same people as I did during my PhD.”</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div style="font-size:16px"><strong>Samuel Brem:</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:20px">&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:20px">I</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:20px">nvest in thinking about a good structure for the thesis</span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:20px">&quot;</span></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/750x340Samuel_Brem.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I</span><span style="background-color:initial">n his thesis titled <a href="">Microscopic Theory of Exciton Dynamics in Two-Dimensional Materials​</a>, Samuel Brem uses theoretical models and computer simulations to explore the properties and dynamics of excitations in two-dimensional quantum materials. He encountered the subject during his bachelor's and master's studies at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How does it feel to win this award?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">It</span><span style="background-color:initial"> feels great, of course. It’s always difficult as a theoretical physicist to share your advances with people from other fields, but an award is something everyone understands.  It’s a good feeling to be appreciated.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How come you choose this subject for your thesis? </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">I was working with Professor <strong>Ermin Malic</strong> before my PhD, on my bachelor’s and master’s. Excitons and two-dimensional materials are the research focus of Professor Malic and during my time as a student I got very fascinated by this branch of theoretical physics. That’s why I chose to work with him also during my PhD. Condensed matter physics is a field where you can observe very interesting physics, including phenomena from all branches of physics like electromagnetism, thermodynimcs and of course quantummechanics. On top of that the relatively new field of nanomaterials offers a lot of interesting physical effects yet to be discovered.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Tell us more – what are excitons?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">”</span><span style="background-color:initial">Excitons are particles that are created when a material is excited with light. There are different classes of materials; metals, insulating materials that don’t conduct electricity, and then there’s something in between called semiconductors. When you excite these semiconductors with light, you can lift electrons into a conducting state and the material becomes conducting. The exciton is an electron paired with the hole it leaves behind when it is excited; a bound pair of a positively and a negatively charged particle. In normal materials these pairs are only stable at very low temperatures, but when you excite quantum materials -extremely thin films of material-, excitons are created that are stable even at room temperature.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>The idea is that excitons could be used to build new types of electronics, called excitonics. So instead of using electrons for information processing and storage, one could instead use excitons. With that comes a lot of opportunities to improve the performance and efficiency of electronic devices.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What do you think made your thesis appreciated by the committee?</strong></div> <div>“They said they chose my thesis because of the large scientific impact it had, I think I had something like thirty publications which I think only very few PhD students have.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The committee also said your thesis was well-structured and easy to understand. What are your tricks?</strong></div> <div>“When writing a text, I always try to imagine explaining something to a study colleague who understands physics but maybe hasn’t worked in my field. I did a lot of teaching during my bachelor and master’s times, and during my time at the university of Berlin I was a tutor in theoretical physics, so I guess I had some practice in explaining.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>To someone about to write a thesis of their own – what is your best advice?</strong></div> <div>“Take your time and invest in thinking about a good structure for the thesis. It’s much easier to write when the structure makes sense didactically. It’s always good to make lots of figures, not only graphs but also small sketches showing the concept you’re trying to explain.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What was the most difficult part?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Trying to make things short, but at the same time trying to say everything you want to say. To condense four years of work to the most important thing in a concise way is the most difficult.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What are you doing now?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">I’m a post doc at the University of Marburg. Ermin Malic, the professor I made my PhD with, moved here and I moved to. I continue to do my research in a similar field, and I’m now doing my best on becoming a professor!”</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: Lisa Gahnertz</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">About the Best Thesis Award</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Best Thesis Award was founded in 2013, as one among several initiatives at the Department of Physics, to maintain and improve the research quality, as well as to show appreciation for the PhD students' hard work.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The management of the departm</span><span style="background-color:initial">ent also hopes that this award can help doctoral students receive an extra boost in their careers after the defense. These particular theses can serve as good examples for doctoral students in the early stages of their own thesis writing. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Besides the honor, the award consists of a diploma and a monetary prize of SEK 10.000.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>​Prize committee for this year’s award</strong>: Yasmine Sassa, Timur Shegai, Philippe Tassin (chairman), Mattias Thuvander, Paolo Vinai, Björn Wickman and Julia Wiktor.</div>Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0200 generation battery makes it to IVA 100 List<p><b>​A research project on calcium batteries places Physics’ Professor Patrik Johansson on IVA’s 100 List 2021. Sustainable preparedness for future crises is in the spotlight of this year’s list.“Our research primarily connects to the energy issue and how you can store energy efficiently without compromising on resource sustainability,” says Patrik Johansson.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Research that contributes to sustainable preparedness for future crises is in focus when The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) now presents its third annual 100 List. The purpose of the list is to present current research with business potential from Sweden's higher education institutions. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">This year, the Department of Physics at Chalmers takes place on the list with the research project </span><a href="">Carbat </a><span style="background-color:initial">(Calcium Rechargeable Battery Technology), which explores the concept of rechargeable calcium batteries.</span><div>Carbat started as a Future Emerging Technologies project within the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, with Chalmers as one of four partners via Professor Patrik Johansson's research group at the division of Materials Physics. Parts of the research, primarily on new electrolytes, now continue with funding from the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish Energy Agency.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>C</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>alcium batteries – a potential solution for various major energy storage</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">A global societal challenge of today is how to store renewable energy, preferably in the form of high-quality energy such as electricity. Furthermore, the Earth's resources are finite.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The rechargeable calcium battery has the potential to be a partial solution for large-scale storage of renewable energy from, for example, solar and wind power. The reason is mainly two-fold; it can have an almost doubled energy density compared to the currently dominant lithium-ion battery, and calcium is the fifth most common element in the Earth's crust, which provides a long-term sustainable technology and also a cost advantage.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We have found promising combinations at the materials and concept level. We can now construct functioning cells in the lab, but it is of course a completely different thing to develop a commercially viable product. If you can construct calcium batteries based on the materials we have today or similar, they will most likely have a significantly lower environmental impact,” says Patrik Johansson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px"><strong>I</strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>mp</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>ortant to convey knowledge</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Pa</span><span style="background-color:initial">trik</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Johansson sees the placement on IVA’s 100 list as an important step in conveying knowledge about the research conducted at the universities. It is also a way of showing research's relevance for solving real problems.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Knowledge building is in itself an extremely important task for a university researcher, but if we do not present the potential solutions we might have to the great problems facing humanity, we have somehow betrayed our trust. Seeing how ideas and reality match while facing a challenge – that’s the real fun.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Lisa Gahnertz</div> <div>Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist​</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">For more information, please contact</span>:</div> <div><a href="">Patrik Johansson​</a><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more:</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="">Carbat's website</a>, where you can also watch a film about the research.</div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Patrik-Johansson.aspx">Battery researcher who will happily challenge fake news​</a> <span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">read a </span><span style="background-color:initial">portrait of Patrik Johansson.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/news/Pages/Many-Chalmers-research-projects-in-IVA%27s-100-list-2021.aspx">Chalmers research projects well represented in IVA's 100 list 2021​</a><br /></span></div> <div></div> <div><span></span><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial">The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences'</span> </a>website</div></div></div>Mon, 10 May 2021 10:00:00 +0200 project for future supercomputers<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers will now take part in launching an international research project to create an interface between superconductors and semiconductors for future supercomputers. - This project will shed some light on a physical effect that we do not fully understand, and, at the same time, provide a clear pathway to utilization, says Simone Gasparinetti, project leader of the research team from Chalmers University of Technology. </b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Supercomputers are playing an increasingly important role for our society by performing calculations with a variety of implications ranging from weather forecasting to genetic material sequencing to testing of drugs for new diseases. Enhancing the performance of modern supercomputers, whilst minimizing their energy losses, represent two contrasting but major needs that the information technology industry will have to address in the future.</span><div><br /></div> <div>As a participant of the international research network SuperGate (Gate Tuneable Superconducting Quantum Electronics), researchers from Chalmers are now taking part in an EU-funded project to create a new basis for the super-computers of tomorrow: to develop a bridging technology that combines superconductor technology with semiconductor technology, using an approach that was considered physically impossible until just a few years ago. The two technology systems have up till then been considered incompatible in the sense that semiconductors are controlled by voltage and operate at room temperature, while superconductors, on the other hand, are based on current and operate at temperatures of around minus 270 degree Celsius, near absolute zero. Combining the more powerful and more energy-efficient superconductor technology with existing semiconductor technology is of great interest in high-performance computer development. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/SimoneGasparinetti_350x305px%20NY.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 15px;width:180px;height:157px" /><br />– This project will shed some light on a physical effect that we do not fully understand, and, at the same, it provides a clear pathway to utilization, says Simone Gasparinetti, project leader of the research team from the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers University of Technology. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A path-breaking discovery</h2> <div>The SuperGate research project is coordinated by the University of Konstanz and funded with around 3 million euros through an FET Open Grant (FET: Future and Emerging Technologies) of the European Union. The idea behind the project stems from a path-breaking discovery made by physicists at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Pisa (Italy). They managed to demonstrate that superconductivity in a weak link can be controlled by applying voltages to electrostatic gates, in a similar way as semiconducting transistors are controlled by the field effect. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize the world of supercomputing, leading to a technology that would combine the advantages offered by semiconductors and superconductors. A discovery that didn’t go unnoticed by the researchers at the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span> Back a few years ago, after seeing the first results of Pisa group, I got curious about them and started to run some experiments in our lab. However, it was a sideline project, run on very limited resources, and progress has been slow. With SuperGate, we finally have a chance to give it a real shot, says Simone. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Paving the way for supercomputers of tomorrow</h2> <div>However, despite its potential for applications, the underlying physical mechanism behind gated superconductivity is still unclear. In addition, the control has been demonstrated only at low frequencies (dc and audio band), while the prospected applications require switching at much higher frequencies (GHz and above). The main task for the Chalmers research team is to investigate the origin of the effect and test the response at high frequencies. In order to optimize speed and performance the Chalmers team will try out different materials and geometries and finally develop a range of logic circuits and combine them with conventional semiconductor technology. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span> Our task will be to investigate the gated superconducting weak links at high frequencies. Thanks to our background in rf and microwave measurements of superconducting circuits, our team are uniquely suited for this challenge, says Simone. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The SuperGate research network consists of a consortium of four universities, one research institute and a world-leading company in superconducting electronics – representing a diversity in backgrounds, bringing together complementary knowledge. And if successful, the research project might contribute to the development of both future supercomputers as well as quantum computers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span> If these devices can be operated at high frequencies, I see applications in the context of quantum information processing that go beyond the scope of the project, and my team will be in an ideal position to explore them.  Even if we are looking at a “classical” supercomputer, the materials that we will investigate are compatible with the technology that WACQT is using to build a quantum computer. Many of the things we will learn can be of interest for our quantum technology division and for the full MC2 department, which has a long and successful tradition in material science, concludes Simone.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Key</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"> facts abo</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">ut SuperGate research project</span><br /></div> <div> <div>The international research network “Gate Tuneable Superconducting Quantum Electronics” (SuperGate) is funded through an FET Open Grant of the European Union.</div> <div><strong>Funding sum:</strong> 3 million euros</div> <div><strong>Funding period</strong>: March 2021 to August 2024</div> <div><strong>Project partners:</strong> University of Konstanz, CNR laboratories at Pisa and Salerno, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Delft University of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology at Gothenburg, SeeQC-EU (Italy)</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about: </strong><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx">The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology​</a></div> <div>The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology​, WACQT​, is a 12 year research center that aims to take Sweden to the forefront of quantum technology. The main project is to develop an advanced quantum computer. WACQT is coordinated from Chalmers University of Technology, and has activities also at the Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Stockholm University, Linköping University and Göteborg University. </div></div>Wed, 31 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0200