News: Centre: Physics Centrehttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 29 May 2020 15:00:45 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Nasal_spray_could_deliver_a_future_mRNA_vaccine_against_COVID_19.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Nasal_spray_could_deliver_a_future_mRNA_vaccine_against_COVID_19.aspxNasal spray could deliver vaccine against COVID-19<p><b>​In the the global struggle against the coronavirus, scientists in a new pilot project led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have started a project to explore design principles for nasal immunization. If successful it might be useful in future vaccine developments versus viral infections including SARS-CoV-2. Through a broad collaboration between universities and external partners, the researchers are trying to find a new way to tackle both SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses that attack our cells.​</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/coronavaccin_pilotprojekt_Karin_labb_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:5px;margin-left:10px;height:249px;width:280px" /><div>“There are several benefits to administering a vaccine directly into the nasal mucosa. It mimics how many viruses often enter the body and can therefore more effectively trigger the immune defence at the point of entry,” says researcher Karin Norling at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Karin Norling recently defended her<a href="/en/centres/gpc/calendar/Pages/Disputation-Karin-Norling-200221.aspx"> PhD thesis in bioscience</a>, and is now in the process of coordinating and preparing the laboratory work for the new pilot project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>By combining several promising concepts developed at Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg, AstraZeneca and internationally, the researchers hope to be able to test a unique vaccination concept against COVID-19. </div> <div>​<br /></div> </div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A harmless particle that deceives the body's immune cells</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"><div>The researchers aim to design a biomimetic​ nanoparticle that deceives the body's immune cells to act as if they had encountered a true virus. In fact, they encounter something known as an mRNA, which is a precursor to a harmless element of the virus. In addition, the artificial particle has been provided with both immune enhancers and a targeting protein, which acts almost as a set of directions – allowing the vaccine to reach only a certain type of immune cell. When activated, the body will hopefully learn to recognise and defend itself against the virus in the future.</div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/350x305_Fredrik_Hook.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:132px;width:150px" /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"><div><br /></div></span><span style="background-color:initial"><div>&quot;We hope that this multidisciplinary approach will inform how future vaccine platforms for nasal mRNA delivery can be designed,&quot;  says Fredrik Höök, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and Project Coordinator of the centre <a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/Pages/default.aspx">Formulaex​</a>, where AstraZeneca is the leading industrial partner.</div></span></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span><span>&quot;</span></span>It will take years to develop a vaccine<span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">&quot;</span></h2></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Karin_Norling_280x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:177px" /><div>During the pilot project, the researchers will evaluate the prerequisites for a longer and more extensive project to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in nasal spray form. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It will take years to develop a vaccine but hopefully after this project we will be able to say whether the concept of a targeted nasal spray vaccine is promising enough to warrant further work,” says Karin Norling.​</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01221-y">When the scientific journal Nature recently described different types of vaccine concepts being tested, mRNA technology was included in the list.​</a></div> <div><br /></div></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>More on the interdisciplinary pilot project</span></h2></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/coronavaccin_pilotprojekt_provror350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:157px;width:180px" /><div><span></span><div>The new research collaboration also involves Elin Esbjörner Winters and Pernilla Wittung Stafshede from Chalmers, Nils Lycke from the Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Gothenburg and Lennart Lindfors from AstraZeneca.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project is funded by the Chalmers Innovation Office, Chalmers Area of Advance Health Engineering, The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, and the Swedish Research Council (VR). The project is partly performed within the framework of the SSF-funded Formulaex research center.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Fredrik Höök is also a Profile Leader of <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/about/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers’ new Area of Advance within Health Engineering​</a>, which addresses societal challenges by providing innovative technologies and solutions to the medical and health area in collaboration with regional, national and international partners.</div></div> <span></span><div><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Text and photo:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a> and Joshua Worth, <a href="mailto:joshua.worth@chalmers.se">joshua.worth@chalmers.se​</a><br /></div> <div><b>Portrait photos: </b>Helén Rosenfeldt (Karin Norling) and Johan Bodell (Fredrik Höök)</div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>For more information, contact: </span></h2></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Doctor <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/karinno.aspx">Karin Norling​</a>, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 73 045 03 60, </span><a href="mailto:karin.norling@chalmers.se">karin.norling@chalmers.se</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Professor <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Fredrik-Höök.aspx">Fredrik Höök​</a>, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 61 30, <a href="mailto:fredrik.hook@chalmers.se">fredrik.hook@chalmers.se</a></div>Thu, 28 May 2020 06:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-spreadable-way-to-stabilise-solid-state-batteries.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-spreadable-way-to-stabilise-solid-state-batteries.aspxA spreadable way to stabilise solid state batteries<p><b>Solid state batteries are of great interest to the electric vehicle industry. Scientists at Chalmers and Xi&#39;an Jiaotong University, China now present a new way of taking this promising concept closer to large-scale application. An interlayer, made of a spreadable, ‘butter-like’ material helps improve the current density tenfold, while also increasing performance and safety.​​​​​​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Shizhao_Xiong_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträtt av forskaren Shizhao Xiong " style="margin:5px;width:170px;height:150px" /><div>“This interlayer makes the battery cell significantly more stable, and therefore able to withstand much higher current density. What is also important is that it is very easy to apply the soft mass onto the lithium metal anode in the battery – like spreading butter on a sandwich,” says researcher Shizhao Xiong at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Alongside Chalmers Professor Aleksandar Matic and Professor Song's research group in Xi'an, Shizhao Xiong has been working for a long time on crafting a suitable interlayer to stabilise the interface for solid state battery. The new results were recently presented in the prestigious scientific journal Advanced Functional Materials.</div> <div><br /></div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/solidstatebatterilabb750x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Bild från batterilabbet på Fysik på Chalmers." style="margin-top:5px;margin-bottom:5px;margin-left:10px;height:263px;width:350px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><div>Solid state batteries could revolutionise electric transport. Unlike today's lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries have a solid electrolyte and therefore contain no environmentally harmful or flammable liquids.</div> <div>Simply put, a solid-state battery can be likened to a dry sandwich. A layer of the metal lithium acts as a slice of bread, and a ceramic substance is laid on top like a filling. This hard substance is the solid electrolyte of the battery, which transports lithium ions between the electrodes of the battery. But the ‘sandwich’ is so dry, it is difficult to keep it together – and there are also problems caused by the compatibility between the ‘bread’ and the ‘topping’. Many researchers around the world are working to develop suitable resolutions to address this problem.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The material which the researchers in Gothenburg and Xi'an are now working with is a soft, spreadable, ‘butter-like’ substance, made of nanoparticles of the ceramic electrolyte, LAGP, mixed with an ionic liquid. The liquid encapsulates the LAGP particles and makes the interlayer soft and protective. The material, which has a similar texture to butter from the fridge, fills several functions and can be spread easily.</div> <div>Although the potential of solid-state batteries is very well known, there is as yet no established way of making them sufficiently stable, especially at high current densities, when a lot of energy is extracted from a battery cell very quickly, that is at fast charge or discharge. The Chalmers researchers see great potential in the development of this new interlayer.</div></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/AleksandarMatic_200314_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Porträtt av professor Aleksandar Matic" style="margin:5px;height:150px;width:170px" /><span style="background-color:initial"><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;This is an important step on the road to being able to manufacture large-scale, cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly batteries that deliver high capacity and can be charged and discharged at a high rate,&quot; says Aleksandar Matic, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, who predicts that solid state batteries will be on the market within five years.</div> <div><br /></div></span></div> <div><a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific paper in </a><span style="font-size:10pt;background-color:initial"><a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444">Advanced Functional Materials.</a></span></div> <div><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/a-spreadable-interlayer-could-make-solid-state-batteries-more-stable-2999857"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and dowload high resolution images. ​</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><strong>Text and photo​: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Caption: </span><span style="background-color:initial">A large part of the experimental work on developing a multifunctional spreadable interlayer for the solid-state batteries of the future has been done in the battery lab at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper </h2> <div>The paper <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202001444">”Design of a Multifunctional Interlayer for NASCION‐Based Solid‐State Li Metal Batteries”</a>  has been published in Advanced Functional Materials. It is written by <span style="background-color:initial">Shizhao Xiong, Yangyang Liu, Piotr Jankowski, Qiao Liu, Florian Nitze, Kai Xie, Jiangxuan Song and Aleksandar Matic. </span></div> <div>The researchers are active at Chalmers University of Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, China, the Technical University of Denmark and the National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan, China.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Shizhao-Xiong.aspx">Shizhao Xiong</a></strong>, Post doc, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 62 84, <a href="mailto:shizhao.xiong@chalmers.se">shizhao.xiong@chalmers.se </a></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Aleksandar-Matic.aspx">Aleksandar Matic​</a></strong>, Professor, <span style="background-color:initial">Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 51 76, </span><a href="mailto:%20matic@chalmers.se">matic@chalmers.se ​</a></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Further battery research at Chalmers​</h2> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Testbed for electromobility gets 575 million SEK​​</a><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-new-concept-could-make-more-environmentally-friendly-batteries-possible-.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />A new concept for more sustainable batteries</a></div> <div><span></span><a href="/sv/institutioner/fysik/nyheter/Sidor/Grafensvamp-kan-gora-framtidens-batterier-mer-effektiva.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Graphene_sponge_paves_the_way_for_future_batteries.aspx">Graphene sponge paves the way for future batteries​</a></b></font></span></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf"><b><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx">Carbon fibre can store energy in the body of a vehicle</a></b></font></span></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Liquid-storage-of-solar-energy-–-more-effective-than-ever-before.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Liquid storage of solar energy – more effective than ever before</a></div>Tue, 19 May 2020 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Quantum-mechanical-phase-forms-a-crystal.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Quantum-mechanical-phase-forms-a-crystal.aspxQuantum mechanical phase forms a crystal<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Montana State University in the US have developed a theory that derives a so-called &quot;phase crystal&quot;, that elicits spontaneous magnetic fields and circulating currents. The theory predicts when a phase crystal can arise, explaining previous numerical results, and is presented in an article recently published in the scientific journal Physical Review Research.</b></p><div>Quantum mechanical states are described by a complex-valued wave function, which similar to a wave has both an amplitude and a phase. In contrast to a classical wave, the amplitude and phase of the wave function are related to purely quantum mechanical phenomena which lack an analogue in classical physics.</div> <div> </div> <div>“A perfect example is superconductivity, which is a quantum-mechanical state that arises in certain materials due to electron pairing. The pairs have a quantum-mechanical wave function with an amplitude corresponding to the pair density, and a phase which is related to the pair momentum. The pairs move like an inviscid fluid through the material, with zero electrical resistance”, explains Patric Holmvall (below to the left), researcher at the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory at MC2, and the lead author of the article.</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/pholmvall_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Patric Holmvall." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />The researchers’ study shows that in certain superconductors with pathological edges that destroy superconductivity, the kinetic energy can change sign and become favorable as it “heals” the destroyed superconductivity. </div> <div>“We find that the phase crystallizes and form a periodic pattern, which in turn creates a checker-board pattern of circulating currents and spontaneous magnetic fields”, says Patric Holmvall.</div> <div> </div> <div>Currents and magnetic fields usually only enter superconductors under external influence and perturbations, but now arise spontaneously. This is an example of spontaneous pattern-formation, where inhomogeneities which usually cost energy instead heal a destroyed system. </div> <div>“We have derived the conditions for phase crystallization and use a microscopic theory to show that these conditions are satisfied in for example the material YBCO. Our theory combines and explains a number of theoretical studies reaching all the way back to the 1990s, in particular our previous numerical results, which were recently published in Nature Physics and Nature Communications”, says Patric Holmvall.</div> <div> </div> <div>The researchers' studies show that phase crystals represent a unique class of inhomogeneous ground states. </div> <div>“To derive the conditions for phase crystallization, we had to generalize the commonly used Ginzburg-Landau theory, to take into account non-local interactions. Since this theory is used not just to study superconductivity, but also in, for instance, biological physics and liquid crystals, we think that new interesting phenomena might be discovered within these disciplines through a similar generalization”, says Patric Holmvall.</div> <div> </div> <div>The new study has several connections to previous research at Chalmers. Patric Holmvall gives examples of the beautiful patterns found in liquid crystals, the organization of cells and bacteria in thin films, or structural coloration and iridescence in plants and animals, the latter caused by so-called photonic structures. These exemplify how surface interactions can trigger spontaneous pattern formation.</div> <div> </div> <div>In addition to Patric Holmvall, the Chalmers professors Mikael Fogelström and Tomas Löfwander, as well as Anton Vorontsov at Montana State University in the US, have co-authored the article “Phase crystals”. It was highlighted as Editor's Suggestion, where extra interesting and well-written articles are selected.</div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Illustration: Patric Holmvall</div> <div>Photo of Patric Holmvall: Kevin Marc Seja</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Contact:</strong></div> <div>Patric Holmvall, Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, holmvall@chalmers.se </div> <div> </div> <div><a href="https://journals.aps.org/prresearch/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.013104">Read the article in Physical Review Research</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS ABOUT PHASE CRYSTALS</h3> <div>Phase crystals differ from other inhomogeneous superconducting states (e.g. Abrikosov-vortices and the Fulde-Ferell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov state), as they appear mainly at low temperatures even in the absence of external magnetic fields. Furthermore, an analysis of the free energy shows that it is mainly the phase rather than the amplitude which drives and characterizes the phase transition, in contrast to the traditional picture in superconductivity.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS ABOUT SUPERCONDUCTORS</h3> <div>The superconducting ground state is characterized by the pair wave function, with an amplitude proportional to the pair density, and where variations in the phase are proportional to both the pair momentum and the electromagnetic potential. For a given system, the wave function assumes the amplitude and phase with the lowest free energy. Since pairs with a finite momentum (i.e. finite variations in the phase) lead to a kinetic energy, the ground state normally assumes a uniform phase without variations. The ground state is thereby mainly characterized by the amplitude and has zero kinetic energy.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">RELATED CHALMERS RESEARCH</h3> <div><strong>Associate Professor Per Rudquist's Liquid Crystals Research:</strong></div> <div><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/person/?cid=cfppru">https://research.chalmers.se/en/person/?cid=cfppru</a> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Photonic Structures - research at the Photonics Laboratory, among others:</strong></div> <div><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/organization/?tab=publications&amp;query=photonic+structures">https://research.chalmers.se/en/organization/?tab=publications&amp;query=photonic+structures </a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>The conditions for the formation of phase crystals are fulfilled in, for example, superconductors of the material YBCO:</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>Gustafsson, D., Golubev, D., Fogelström, M. et al. Fully gapped superconductivity in a nanometre-size YBa2Cu3O7–δ island enhanced by a magnetic field. Nature Nanotech 8, 25–30 (2013). <br /><a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2012.214">https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2012.214 </a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>The theory combines and explains a number of theoretical studies since the 1990s, especially previous numerical results:</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong> </strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>High temperature superconductors can fulfill the hairy ball theorem</strong></div> <div>The hairy ball theorem in mathematics says that one cannot comb a hairy ball smoothly without forming a vortex. One consequence of this is that there must always be at least one cyclone somewhere on earth. In 2018, researchers at Chalmers conducted a theoretical study of high-temperature superconductors and concluded that there is a low-temperature phase at the edges of the material described by an order parameter, a two-dimensional vector field, which must also fulfill a variant of the hairy ball theorem.</div> <div> </div> <div>Holmvall, P., Vorontsov, A.B., Fogelström, M., and Löfwander, T., Broken translational symmetry at edges of high-temperature superconductors, Nature Communications 9, 2190 (2018).</div> <div><a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04531-y">https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04531-y</a> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>A necklace of fractional vortices</strong></div> <div>Researchers at Chalmers have arrived at how what is known as time-reversal symmetry can break in a class of superconducting materials. Small circulating currents and magnetic fields are created at their edges. Adjacent circulating currents have opposite circulation, which generates magnetic fields of opposite sign. This effect causes the material to appear to have been dressed with a necklace of small magnetic fluxes.</div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/A-necklace-of-fractional-vortices.aspx">https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/A-necklace-of-fractional-vortices.aspx </a></div> <div> </div> <div>Håkansson, M., Löfwander, T. and Fogelström, M. (2015) Spontaneously broken time-reversal symmetry in high-temperature superconductors, Nature Physics (1745-2473), Vol. 11 (2015), 9, pp. 755-760.</div> <div><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys3383">http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys3383</a></div>Fri, 08 May 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Second-online-thesis-defence-went-smoothly.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Second-online-thesis-defence-went-smoothly.aspxSecond online thesis defence went smoothly<p><b>​Andreas Bengtsson, PhD student at the Quantum Technology Laboratory, successfully defended his doctoral thesis on 24 April. It was the second defence arranged online at MC2 this spring.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/andreas_bengtsson_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Andreas Bengtsson." style="margin:5px" />Due to the virus outbreak, Andreas Bengtsson (to the right) had to defend his thesis &quot;Quantum information processing with tunable and low-loss superconducting circuits&quot; via the video conferencing system Zoom and in front of a very small audience in the lecture hall Kollektorn.</div> <div> </div> <div>We asked Andreas to summarize his experiences from the special day:</div> <div>&quot;Overall, I think it went well. The big disadvantage of defending online is that it is more difficult to interpret the body language of those who ask questions, which probably made my answers more drawn out. I probably wasn't as nervous as I think I would have been if it had been a hall full of people. Then of course it was sad to not be able to celebrate with loved ones after the defence&quot;, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>The grading committee and the opponent, Dr. Hanhee Paik from IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA, also participated via Zoom. Chairperson of the day was MC2 professor Åsa Haglund.</div> <div>&quot;Although I had obviously preferred a normal dissertation, I appreciated that it was broadcasted online so that friends and colleagues from other countries could follow it. So I strongly recommend to continue with live broadcasts in the future, but with the opponent, the grading committee and other interested parties present at Chalmers&quot;, says Andreas.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What is your thesis about?</h3> <div>&quot;I have worked with several topics, all related to quantum computing. First of all, I developed and qualified the fabrication processes in the cleanroom that we use to build superconducting circuits with low loss. It was a lot of work in the cleanroom and to build the measurement setup&quot;, Andreas explains.</div> <div> </div> <div>He continues:</div> <div>&quot;Then, I used these circuits to implement two quantum algorithms. Right now, the quantum computer is too small to do anything that a normal computer cannot. However, we showed that one of our algorithms can be used to solve certain problems with applications in, for instance, logistics. Hopefully we can now scale up the size of the quantum computer and tackle problems that a normal computer cannot solve.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>Andreas future plans is to continue his work abroad:</div> <div>&quot;Due to the current covid-19 situation, the job search has gone slower than normal. But the plan is to work on developing quantum computers, albeit in a more industrial role, in the United States. Until the borders open up, I continue as a postdoc researcher here at Chalmers&quot;, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Ulf Andersson, IT-coordinator, kept an eye on the technology, while Linda Brånell, administrator, watched over the Zoom system.</div> <div>&quot;I really want to thank them both for their efforts. The technology worked completely flawless&quot;, says Andreas.</div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Private</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/516196">Read Andreas Bengtsson's doctoral thesis</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div>Thu, 07 May 2020 11:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/New-insights-on-controlling-diesel-engine-exhaust.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/New-insights-on-controlling-diesel-engine-exhaust.aspxNew insights on controlling diesel engine exhaust<p><b>​​​Nitrogen monoxide (NO) is hazardous and catalytic techniques are used to reduce NO to molecular nitrogen and water using ammonia as a reducing agent. This is a challenging problem given that diesel exhaust contain only one NO molecule per 300 oxygen molecules.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Linchen_JPG.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:118px;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px;width:100px" /><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px">How can we make ammonia react only with NO and not with oxygen forming even more NO? </span><p style="margin-bottom:10px;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px;line-height:19.5px">Lin Chen, Department of Physics at Chalmers, has targeted this important environmental problem together with industrial and academic partners using first principles calculations. Their work, which just have appeared in ACS Catalysis, presents for the first time a complete catalytic cycle for the reaction when it occurs over zeolites functionalized with copper.     </p> <p style="margin-bottom:10px;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px;line-height:19.5px"><a href="https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.0c00440"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific paper in ACS Catalysis.​</a></p> Thu, 07 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Volunteers-produce-aprons-for-the-healthcare-system.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Volunteers-produce-aprons-for-the-healthcare-system.aspxVolunteers produce aprons for the healthcare system<p><b>​In a room at Johanneberg Science Park on Chalmers campus, volunteers are making protective aprons for the healthcare system. In two weeks, over 2000 aprons have been produced.“We can see that our initiative is helping,” says Carl Strandby, a student at Chalmers University of Technology.</b></p><div>​<span style="background-color:initial">Förklädeshjälpen (The Apron Help) started 17 April when a group of people came together to try to help the healthcare system during the corona crisis, by producing protective equipment other than visors. They quickly got the opportunity to house the initiative in a newly renovated room at Johanneberg Science Park, and just hours after they had gained access to the room, the production of protective aprons was up and running. One of the initiators is Carl Strandby, who is studying Engineering Physics at Chalmers.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <span></span><div>“Many people are worried and scared when everything feels uncertain, and we want to show how to turn that worry into something productive where we work together to find solutions. There is also a responsibility in this kind of situation, you cannot just rely on others to take care of everything, you need to think about how you can help,” says Carl Strandby.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Helps health centers and retirement homes</h2> <div>On the first day of production, Förklädeshjälpen produced 100 aprons, and just over two weeks later, they have produced over 2000. The aprons go to health centers and retirement homes that work with corona infected patients. The initiative consists of a core group of about 10 people and, in addition, about 100 people have done at least one shift at Förklädeshjälpen, and three or four new people come every day.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We can see that our initiative is helping. Some people who come here to collect aprons, for retirement homes for example, say that they do not have any aprons at all, so it shows that initiatives such as Förklädeshjälpen are needed,” says Carl Strandby.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Plastic aprons with &quot;welded&quot; seams</h2> <div>When the volunteers come to help produce aprons, they first have to prepare by washing their hands and using disinfectant. The actual production consists of cutting out patterns from a plastic roll according to a template. They have received the templates from their sister initiative in Stockholm. Heat guns and irons are used to fuse the sleeves in the plastic, and then the aprons are folded together and packed in boxes. They always wait three days before delivering the finished aprons to the health care, to avoid the spread of infection.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In a Facebook group, Förklädeshjälpen continuously shares information about the initiative and this is also where you sign up for shifts.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There is still a great need for aprons, and we will continue to produce them as long as there is a demand,” says Carl Strandby.</div> <div>​<br /></div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Sophia Kristensson</div> <strong><div><strong><br /></strong></div> Read more:</strong> <a href="/en/news/Pages/Students-supply-staff-in-the-west-with-visors.aspx" target="_blank">Students supply staff in the west with visors​</a>Wed, 06 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-FAIR-mission-and-an-extended-assignment-at-Physics.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-FAIR-mission-and-an-extended-assignment-at-Physics.aspxA FAIR mission – and an extended assignment at Physics<p><b></b></p><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Thomas-Nilsson-350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:220px;height:193px" />It will become one of the world’s largest research infrastructures. </span><span style="background-color:initial">FAIR – Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research –  is under construction at the site of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>Now, Professor <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Thomas-Nilsson.aspx">Thomas Nilsson,</a> Head of the Department  of Physics at Chalmers, will join the FAIR and GSI Joint Scientific Council (JSC) as Vice Chair. <span style="background-color:initial">The position also entails being a member of the GSI Supervisory Board. In that role, Thomas Nilsson will give advice in scientific and technical matters of fundamental importance.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new mission is a sideline to Nilsson's regular service as Head of Department. As of 1 May his appointment at Physics was extended by three years.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren,<a href="mailto:%20mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se"> mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <a href="https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details/2020/04/28/auftragsvergabe_baufeld_sued0.htm"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://www.gsi.de/en/start/news/details/2020/04/28/auftragsvergabe_baufeld_sued0.htm"><div style="display:inline !important">Read more on FAIR.</div></a><br /> ​<div><a href="https://youtu.be/U6WuXJ5lj6E"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Check out FAIR’s construction site from</a><a href="https://youtu.be/U6WuXJ5lj6E"><span> </span>above.​​</a></div> </div>Mon, 04 May 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Testbed-for-electromobility-gets-575-million-SEK.aspxTestbed for electromobility gets 575 million SEK<p><b>​One of Europe’s leading testbeds for electric and charging vehicles is now one step closer to realisation. The Swedish Energy Agency grants SEEL, Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, 575 million SEK in support.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The important development of electrified vehicles, vessels and aircraft is in full progress. But there are knowledge gaps in the area of electric and charging vehicles, at both industrial and societal levels. New experience is needed, and innovative concepts are tested and evaluated.<br /></span><div>Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, SEEL, is a comprehensive investment in a testbed for electric and charging vehicles. The corporation Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory AB is founded by Chalmers University of Technology and RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), and a wide range of players will operate within the SEEL testbed.</div> <div><div> “It is very positive news to now have another piece of this puzzle in place. In order to deliver world-leading expertise within electrified transportation, we now also need to secure the conditions for academic research and education of the highest international standard. This requires new public research resources within SEEL’s field of activity”, says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;A big step towards a more sustainable society&quot;</h2></div> <div>Robert Andrén, Director General at the Swedish Energy Agency, is counting on the project to help fight climate change as it focuses on batteries and electromobility.</div> <div>“Also, it is a big step towards a more sustainable society and more green jobs. In these Corona times, it is especially important that we support this type of forward-looking efforts that contribute to a climate-smart restart of society”, he says.</div> <div>Advanced knowledge development is required in the field of electromobility, and in the conditions for translating new insights into innovative solutions. In order to achieve this, close cooperation between academia, research institutes and industry is required.</div> <div> “SEEL has the right conditions to become a world-leading test facility for electromobility and thus very important for the vehicle industry’s conversion. SEEL will strengthen the competitiveness of the Swedish automotive industry, and help Sweden to remain at the forefront of innovations in the transport sector”, says RISE CEO Pia Sandvik.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FACTS: SEEL</h2> <div>Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory, SEEL, is an electromobility testbed for electric and charging vehicles. The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the conditions for cooperation within electromobility. Actors in small and medium-sized companies in the automotive industry, the aviation industry and the maritime sector, as well as other companies that develop technology in relevant areas, will have a common platform at SEEL. Researchers at universities and research institutes will also have access to an advanced research infrastructure. SEEL is expected to be operational by 2023.</div> <div>In the summer of 2018, the Swedish Energy Agency was commissioned by the Swedish Government to provide funding of 575 million SEK for the construction of a test center for electromobility. In December 2019, the European Commission approved state support for SEEL within the framework of an IPCEI, i.e. an important project of common European interest, to build a European battery value chain.<br /><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.energimyndigheten.se/nyhetsarkiv/2020/575-miljoner-kronor-till-testcenter-for-el--och-laddfordon/">Read the full text in Swedish at the Swedish Energy Agency.​</a></div> Wed, 29 Apr 2020 16:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Awarded-efforts-to-save-energy-and-provide-clean-air.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Awarded-efforts-to-save-energy-and-provide-clean-air.aspxAwarded efforts to save energy and provide clean air<p><b>Nanoparticles play a key role in catalysis, which for example is used to clean exhaust gases from our cars. To save energy and provide clean air, it is desirable to understand how the catalytic reactions proceed over the nanoparticles.  In his PhD thesis, Mikkel Jørgensen has developed simulation methods to do so.  Now he receives the Best Thesis Award for his efforts.</b></p>​​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/750x340_jacs.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:350px;height:159px" /><span style="background-color:initial">Catalysts are composed of nanoparticles that can be used to transform toxic gases into less harmful chemicals. Such a transformation takes place on the surface of the nanoparticle. Since catalysts often are composed of scarce metals, such as platinum, palladium, and gold; even small improvements in efficiency can have huge impacts on a global scale. </span><div><div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div>“Therefore, understanding how chemical reactions proceed over nanoparticles is an achievement that can have tremendous consequences for global pollution control and chemical technology. Nanoparticles are used in about 90 percent of the chemical industry,” says Doctor Mikkel Jørgensen.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Today, computers are so powerful that it is possible to perform catalytic experiments solely on the screen. Computer simulations enable researchers to study how different parameters influence the reactions. Such insights may help answer questions on how to arrange and combine the atoms in nanoparticles to design a cheap, efficient, and sustainable catalyst.</div> <div> </div> <div><br />&quot;Mikkel has pushed the boundaries of computational catalysis by making several important contributions. The thesis is a solid and comprehensive piece of work that would not have been possible without his focus and genuine interest to solve difficult problems. I am very happy that it is recognized, “says his supervisor, Professor Henrik Grönbeck at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Mikkel Jørgensen thinks that his work was appreciated because it offers a new approach. </div> <div> </div> <div> “For the first time reaction kinetics is simulated on a full model nanoparticle with realistic parameters, derived from first principles. Moreover, the results show that a systems theory is necessary to understand the nanoparticle catalysts, which is often neglected when modelling such systems.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What was the hardest part of the work?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>“The hardest part of the work was the many hours of tuning simulation parameters and analyzing the many hundreds of gigabytes of data that was generated.  </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>… and the best part?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>“The best part was every time we finally got these &quot;aha moments&quot; from all the data analysis. Another great part was the feeling of everything coming together at the doctoral defense. That day I will always remember, and I feel very grateful for all the people that made it special; in particular my supervisor, Henrik.” </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What piece of advice could you give to future doctoral students?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>“Rome was not built in one day, but they likely built something every day.” </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What are you up to now?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>“I currently work with data science and software development in Nordea. That is a super exciting business to be in if you enjoy mathematics and programming, which are some of my favourite topics. I am currently developing software for automatic cash management and forecasting of corporate earnings.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Mikkel Jørgensen defended his doctoral thesis at the Department of Physics at Chalmers on 29 March 2019. The title of his thesis is <a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/508826">Kinetic Simulations of Nanoparticle Catalysis from First Principles.</a> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The award committee selected his work for several reasons, not least for Mikkel Jørgensen’s pedagogical skills and the impact of his results. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The thesis is written in a very pedagogical way, such that a person outside of the catalysis and physical chemistry field could follow and understand both basic and advanced concepts. Moreover, Mikkel’s work has generated a considerable impact due to the substantial amount of high-profile peer-reviewed publications on which the thesis is based,” says Professor Timur Shegai, Chair of the award committee at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Illustration: </strong><span style="background-color:initial">Mikkel Jørgensen​</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/508826"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read Mikkel Jørgensen’s thesis. ​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The Best Thesis Award at the Department of Physics  </h2> <div> </div> <div>The prize was founded in 2013 and is awarded annually to one or several doctoral students who have defended their thesis during that year. The awarded theses can serve as good examples for doctoral students in the early stages of their own thesis writing.</div> <div> </div> <div>Besides the honor, the winner also gets a diploma and a monetary prize of SEK 10.000. The prize committee consists of researchers from every division within the department. </div> <div> </div> <div>This year's committee consisted of Paolo Vinai, Riccardo Catena, Björn Wickman, Julia Wiktor, Philippe Tassin, and Timur Shegai (Chair).</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">The committee’s full motivation for the award 2019:</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“This year the committee has decided to award Mikkel Jørgensen. He did a great job on studying kinetics of nanoparticle catalysis from first principles. His thesis is well written, there is a coherent flow of information throughout the whole work. The thesis is also written in a very pedagogical way, so that a person outside of the catalysis and physical chemistry field could follow and understand both basic and advanced concepts. Moreover, Mikkel's work has generated a considerable impact due to the substantial amount of high-profile peer-reviewed publications on which the thesis is based. We were particularly impressed by Mikkel's outstanding contributions to these publications (the thesis is based on ten publications, out of which Mikkel is the first author of nine. Eight of the articles are written by only him and his supervisor). Altogether, this made us to choose Mikkel for the best PhD thesis award in 2019. The prize committee sincerely congratulates Mikkel and his supervisor Henrik Grönbeck on this achievement and wishes them success in the future.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><p style="line-height:28px;word-break:break-word;margin-bottom:32px;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, -apple-system, blinkmacsystemfont, &quot;segoe ui&quot;, roboto, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, &quot;apple color emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui symbol&quot;;font-size:16px"></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Previous award winners</span></h2> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Academic year 2017-2018</span></h3> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Ferry Nugroho</strong><br /></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/502828" target="_blank" title="Research" style="margin-bottom:0px">“Nanoplasmonic Alloy Hydrogen Sensors”</a></div> <div><strong style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial">Sophie Viaene</strong><br /></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/503714" target="_blank" title="Research" style="margin-bottom:0px">&quot;Exploring metamaterial horizons: New concepts and geometrical tools for the description of advanced electromagnetic phenomena&quot;</a></div> <p></p> <p style="line-height:28px;word-break:break-word;margin-bottom:32px;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, -apple-system, blinkmacsystemfont, &quot;segoe ui&quot;, roboto, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, &quot;apple color emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui symbol&quot;;font-size:16px"></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Academic year 2016-2017</span></h3> <div><strong>Maxime van den Bossche</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/248266" target="_blank" title="Research" style="margin-bottom:0px">&quot;Methane oxidation over palladium oxide. From electronic structure to catalytic conversion&quot;</a></div> <p></p> <p style="line-height:28px;word-break:break-word;margin-bottom:32px;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, -apple-system, blinkmacsystemfont, &quot;segoe ui&quot;, roboto, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, &quot;apple color emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui symbol&quot;;font-size:16px"></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Academic year 2015-2016</span></h3> <div><strong>Greger Torgrimsson</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/231389" target="_blank" title="Research">”Pair production, vacuum birefringence and radiation reaction in strong field QED”</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Acad</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">emic year 2014-2015</span></div> <div><strong>Carl Wadell</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/214548" target="_blank" title="Research">”Plasmonic Nanostructures for Optical Absorption Engineering and Hydrogen Sensing”</a></div> <div> </div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>Klara Insulander Björk</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/214924" target="_blank" title="Research" style="margin-bottom:0px">“Thorium fuels for light water reactors - steps towards commercialization”</a></div> <p></p> <p style="line-height:28px;word-break:break-word;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, -apple-system, blinkmacsystemfont, &quot;segoe ui&quot;, roboto, helvetica, arial, sans-serif, &quot;apple color emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui emoji&quot;, &quot;segoe ui symbol&quot;;font-size:16px"></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Academic year 2013-2014</span></h3> <div><strong>Erlendur Jonsson</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/192854" target="_blank" title="Research">“Ab initio modelling of alkali-ion battery electrolyte properties”</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Daniel Midtvedt</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/publication/185848" target="_blank" title="Research">“Nonlinear electromechanics of nanomembranes and nanotubes”</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Mikael Svedendahl</strong></div> <div><a rel="noopener" href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/197054" target="_blank" title="Research" style="margin-bottom:0px">“Tinkering with Light at the Nanoscale using Plasmonic Metasurfaces and Antennas: From Fano to Function”​</a></div> <p></p></div> <div><div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read articles about the winners in recent years​:</h2></div> <div></div> <div><span></span></div> <div></div> <div><span></span><span></span><div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/They-know-how-to-write-a-doctoral-thesis-with-flow.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />2018: Sophie Viaene and Ferry Nugroh​o: </a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/They-know-how-to-write-a-doctoral-thesis-with-flow.aspx">Writing a successful PhD thesis: They know how to find the flow</a></span></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Awarded-for-his-work-on-engine-pollution-control.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />2017: Maxime Van den Bossche: Awarded for his work on engine pollution control </a><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Best-Thesis-Award-2016-.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />2016: Greger Torgrimsson​: Greger Torgrimsson wrote the best doctoral thesis​</a></div></div></div> <div> </div></div>Tue, 28 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/She-made-her-way-to-space.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/She-made-her-way-to-space.aspxShe made her way to space<p><b>​As a child, she never dreamed of working on space exploration, but the goal was always to study at Chalmers. Following her studies in Engineering Physics and her PhD at MC2, Sofia Rahiminejad got a top job at NASA&#39;s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, USA. &quot;Now that I&#39;m there, I think everything that has to do with space is super cool&quot;, she says.</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Why did you choose Engineering Physics at Chalmers?</h3> <div>&quot;I had read that it was the least practical education of all and thought “What a great thing! Then nothing can go wrong.” I had joined the Electrical Program at the upper secondary school which was a very practical education where things always broke down. I had it easy for math when I was younger and physics was really an extension of math for me. But the program turned out to be much more demanding than I thought. My trick was to always write my own summaries after reading the texts in the books, so that I actually understood what it was that we learned.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How would you describe your student life?</h3> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/Sofia_bild2.jpg" alt="Picture of Sofia Rahiminejad." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />&quot;It was almost more hectic than the studies because I wanted to be part of everything, but for me it was also a prerequisite for being able to do the studies. I was in the F-Spexet where I learned to be a good speaker. I have great use for that now when I give presentations. I was also in a public relations association at Chalmers and it was a lot of fun, but also a lot of effort. There I learned how to organize my time in a good way.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What are you working on at Nasa?</h3> <div>&quot;We want to find water and life on other planets. Often, water is an indication of life, but also a sign that we may be able to visit other planets and settle there in the future. One method used to look for these things is to send out spacecrafts that look at other planets, moons and asteroids with radar. When you do this today, the entire vehicle has to move in order to map a surface. It runs slowly and requires a lot of energy. My work is to try to streamline the process of phase shifters controlled by micromotors, which in turn can be used to design electrically controllable antennas that do not need to move when mapping a surface.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What was the best thing you got from your education?</h3> <div>&quot;Learning to learn, the ability to get into a subject or process quickly and having methods to do it. I am also happy for all the friends I made for life. We are a great gang of girls from Engineering Physics who all chose to work with very different things and we meet as often as we can!&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Vedrana Sivac</div> <div>Photo: Private</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Footnote: After graduating with a degree in engineering physics, Sofia Rahiminejad began a research career in the Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience - MC2, Chalmers. She completed her PhD in December 2016. She continued as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2017, with the help of the Wenner-Gren foundation fellowship award, as well as additional funding from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. </div>Mon, 20 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Students-supply-staff-in-the-west-with-visors.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Students-supply-staff-in-the-west-with-visors.aspxStudents supply staff in the west with visors<p><b>​Companies and private individuals are joining forces to meet the urgent need for personal protective equipment in the healthcare system and in care for the elderly provided by the municipalities. Right now students at Chalmers are coordinating the supply of extra face visors for all of Western Sweden. In the first week the healthcare assistance group at Chalmers, Sjukvårdshjälpen, supplied 2,500 face visors. More are being made this week.</b></p>​​<span style="background-color:initial">Two weeks ago Isak Jonsson, a research engineer at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, saw how 3DVerkstan in Stockholm had produced drawings of printed frames. Combining this with standard overhead film, they created a face visor approved for use in healthcare. </span><div><br /><div>Jonsson contacted 3Dteamet, the 3D printing team in the Physics Building – twelve students with the ability to put them into rapid production. Edward Hadziavdic and Marcus Toftås got their group in the Physics laboratory going, with the full support of Lars Hellberg, who is responsible for the Physics Department’s experimental laboratory where much of the equipment is located. Meanwhile Jonsson adjusted the design, making it more robust and more suitable for manufacture and added a support so that it would fit staff with different head sizes. 3Dteamet rewrote the code that everyone is now using.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>On Sunday 29 March Chalmers made an initial test shipment of 230 visors to hospitals in Western Sweden.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The region got in touch on Monday and asked us to continue with production of the approved design. We don’t have the capacity to manufacture 100,000, which is what they really need, according to Region Västra Götaland (VGR),” says Hadziavdic, who is now VGR’s contact for the visors and who is coordinating all the new volunteers that offer their services to help tackle the lack of visors in the short term. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>VGR uploaded a direct link to the Chalmers’ team on its website, for anyone who was interested in contributing via their own production. Every day has brought streams of new producers. Toftås rapidly became the ‘production manager’ and is handling the logistics from private producers, other workshops at Chalmers and large industrial companies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Right now we are gathering everything in our laboratory in the Physics Building which is where VGR brings trucks to make collections several times a week,” says Toftås.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now on the ninth delivery day, VGR has received a total of 2,500 visors from Chalmers, and just as many are in progress or already completed and awaiting collection.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are incredibly grateful for all the hard work that all the volunteers have put in. It is very much appreciated,” says Jonas Anselmby who is coordinating external suppliers in Region Västra Götaland during the COVID-19 outbreak. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers appointed a contact for VGR early on in order to help coordinate donations of the personal protective equipment that may be required. In addition to visors, Chalmers has sent lab coats and produced hand sanitiser, mainly from the Chemistry Department. So far several hundred litres of hand sanitiser have been dispatched. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“A dialogue in currently under way to find out how we can help with other items. I am convinced we can do a lot more than visors,” says Jan Froitzheim, Associate Professor of Chemistry, who is coordinating Sjukvårdshjälpen from Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>But visors are what VGR has asked Chalmers to address urgently at the moment, and that is what is being delivered.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The last few days have been devoted to making contact with and coordinating across producers. We’re currently working with the majority of manufacturers in Västra Götaland and there are around 250 different producers involved, 50 of which are companies. In addition, we have numerous collaborations under way with further interested parties. This includes everything from the labs here at Chalmers, private individuals and laid-off workers, small companies and larger ones such as both Volvo companies,” says Haziavdic.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Last Thursday a link was established with the group Visor Aid Göteborg, launched by Fredrik Säfsten, which focuses on deliveries to the City of Gothenburg. All production is now being channelled though VGR which has overall regional responsibility for coordinating resources for the municipalities of Western Sweden in connection with the epidemic. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>VGR is of course responsible for the cleanliness of the equipment used, but Sjukvårdshjälpen is trying to assist by adopting strict procedures, cleaning and disinfection, and using sealed packages, before delivering the items.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“So many people are currently making a heroic effort in a short time frame. But, in parallel with this, we have passed on contacts to VGR to get started with the industrial production of larger volumes in the near future, by working with suitable companies,” says Froitzheim.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Christian Borg</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The following are currently providing assistance in producing visors</h3> <div>Around 250 companies and home-based manufacturers are currently involved. At Chalmers the following producers have been mobilised:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://3dteamet.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />3Dteamet in the Physics Section and GU Physics</a></div> <div><a href="https://x-p.nu/en/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />XP, the Mechanical Engineering Section’s Workshop Association</a></div> <div><a href="http://tekniskdesign.se/om/resurser/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />CreaTD, Industrial Design Engineering</a></div> <div><a href="https://chalmersrobotics.se/en/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Chalmers Robotics Society</a></div> <div><a href="https://www.caselabbet.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />CASE Lab, Department E2</a></div> <div><a href="http://eta.chalmers.se/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />ETA (E-Sektionens teletekniska avdelning), the electronics and ham radio community​</a></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Would you also like to help?</h3> <div>Region Västra Götaland provides a comprehensive Help page setting out how they can accept help here:</div> <div><a href="https://www.vgregion.se/covid-19-corona/vill-du-hjalpa-till/" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Region Västra Götaland: Would you like to help?</a></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Läs mer</h3> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/Volunteers-produce-aprons-for-the-healthcare-system.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Volunteers produce aprons for the healthcare system​​</a><br /></div> </div>Thu, 09 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/New-head-of-the-Microwave-Electronics-Laboratory.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/New-head-of-the-Microwave-Electronics-Laboratory.aspxNew head of the Microwave Electronics Laboratory<p><b>​Professor Christian Fager is new head of the Microwave Electronics Laboratory (MEL) at MC2 from 1 April. &quot;It will be very exciting and important to continue develop the microwave research at Chalmers, together with all the staff at MEL&quot;, he says.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/christian_fager_IMG_7373_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Christian Fager." style="margin:5px" />Christian Fager, to the right, is succeeding professor Herbert Zirath, who has been head ever since the beginning in 2001. Now, he's looking forward to continue and further develop Zirath's work.<br />&quot;Like Herbert, I am very passionate about our collaborations with industry. I find it a great satisfaction to see how our research benefits, both through the people we educate, but also in the added value created when we work to find new and better solutions to relevant challenges&quot;, says Christian.<br /><br />He doesn't think there are any lack of relevant challenges:<br />&quot;The number of wireless applications is increasing all the time. This is where our unique breadth comes in - our research actually ranges from semiconductor material to the whole radio system.&quot;<br /><br />Christian Fager has over the years profiled himself as a successful researcher with focus on investigating and developing new types of radio transmitters for mobile communication. He has received a number of awards. To mention a few, as recent as 2019 he got a scholarship from the donor fund Barbro Osher Endowment, which supports Chalmers researchers' visits at US universities. It gave him the opportunity to spend two weeks as a visiting researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA. In 2018 he was appointed ​Chalmers Research Supervisor of the Year, and in 2010 he got the Areas of Advance Award.<br /><br />Herbert Zirath remains as manager of one of the two units at MEL. Fager will act as both unit manager and head of laboratory.<br /><br />Text and photo: Michael NyståsThu, 02 Apr 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/He-is-one-of-Sweden’s-most-innovative-entrepreneurs.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/He-is-one-of-Sweden%E2%80%99s-most-innovative-entrepreneurs.aspxHe is one of Sweden’s most innovative entrepreneurs<p><b>Simon Isaksson, researcher at Department of Physics at Chalmers, has received ÅForsk’s annual scholarship for entrepreneurs. ​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Simon%20Isaksson_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:280px;height:280px" /><div><span style="background-color:initial">He is one of ten Swedish entrepreneurs selected, and the innovation is named Aquammodate. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The concept is based on a water purification filter with high selectivity and 100 times lower energy consumption. The scholarship of SEK 200,000 aims to support the entrepreneur to realise the business concept. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>“This is really encouraging. Our water treatment membrane will be able to remove even small molecules like pharmaceutical waste and hormone-like substances from the water to be treated,” says Simon Isaksson who is also part of a Chalmers Ventures collaboration. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among the ten selected entrepreneurs, <strong>Johanna Nissén Karlsson </strong>and <strong>Wissam Aoudi </strong>also represent Chalmers and Chalmers Ventures. </div> <div><br /></div> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/sisp/pressreleases/de-aer-sveriges-10-mest-innovativa-entreprenoerer-2020-2987712"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release about the ten most innovative entrepreneurs 2020.  (In Swedish)</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.aquammodate.com/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more on Aquammodate and the team behind the concept</a>.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div></span></div> <div><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/isakssos.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />For more information, please contact Simon Isaksson, researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers.</a><br /></div>Thu, 02 Apr 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-Hall-effect-in-Weyl-semimetal-for-Energy-efficient-Information-Technology.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-Hall-effect-in-Weyl-semimetal-for-Energy-efficient-Information-Technology.aspxSpin Hall effect in Weyl semimetal for Energy-efficient Information Technology<p><b>​The discovery of topological Weyl semimetals in 2017 has revealed opportunities to realize several extraordinary physical phenomena in condensed matter physics. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated the direct electrical detection of a large spin Hall effect in this topological quantum material. Weyl semimetal takes advantage of its strong spin-orbit coupling and novel topological spin-polarized electronic states in its band structure. These experimental findings can pave the way for the utilization of spin-orbit induced phenomena in developing next-generation of faster and energy-efficient information technology, and were recently published in the scientific journal Physical Review Research.</b></p>As our society is becoming more integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT), the demand for low-power, nanoscale, and high-performance electronic devices have been increasing. Spintronic devices are promising for the next generation of information technology in order to lower the power consumption while increasing the performance and non-volatile properties. Recently, the current induced magnetization switching by spin-orbit torque (SOT) using the basic spin Hall effect is identified as a vital ingredient for non-volatile spintronic memory and logic devices. The SOT mechanism is specifically useful, as a spin current can be generated by just passing a charge current in heavy metals due to the spin Hall effect, without the use of an external magnetic field. However, there are several challenges related to the limited switching speed and high-power consumption in these devices.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/saroj_prasad_dash_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Saroj Dash." style="margin:5px" />A group led by Saroj Dash (to the left), Associate Professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory at Chalmers,  used electronic devices made from novel topological quantum material, called Weyl semimetals, which is like a three-dimensional version of graphene but have a strong spin-orbit interaction and novel spin-polarized surface and bulk electronic states in their band structure. <br />&quot;Weyl semimetals hold Weyl fermionic states, which are characterized by a linear dispersion of Weyl cones and Fermi arc surface states. Due to the monopole like Berry curvature in the momentum space and strong spin-orbit interaction, a unique spin texture in Weyl cones and Fermi arc surface states are predicted to exist in such novel materials&quot;, says Saroj Dash. <br /><br />The researchers at Chalmers take advantage of such novel properties to electrically detect a large charge-to-spin conversion, i.e. the spin Hall effect, in such a Weyl semimetal candidate WTe2 at room temperature. <br />&quot;The detection of the spin current generated by spin Hall effect in WTe2 was realized by making devices of van der Waals heterostructure with graphene, taking advantage of its layered structures and long spin coherence length in graphene and spin transmission at the heterostructure interface&quot;, explains PhD student Bing Zhao who is supervised by Saroj Dash at MC2, Chalmers. <br /> <br />Saroj Dash continues:<br />&quot;Our detailed spin sensitive electronic measurements, both in spin transport and Hanle precession geometries, its angle and gate dependent studies, and theoretical calculations manifest the existence of the large and gate-tunable spin Hall phenomena in WTe2 devices at room temperature. The demonstration of an efficient charge-to-spin conversion process in Weyl semimetal candidate WTe2 at room temperature can pave the way for its utilization in spintronics and quantum technologies.&quot;<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/fig_2_SHE_Dev_and_Hanle_300px_665x330.jpg" alt="Illustration to article." style="margin:5px" /><br /><span><em>Fig 2, left part: Schematics of a measured device showing the heterostructure of WTe2 with graphene (Gr) and a ferromagnetic contact (FM) for the measurement of spin Hall effect in WTe2. The insets in the schematics show the band structures of the WTe2, graphene and the structure at the interface. </em><span><em>Illustration: Bing Zhao</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><br /><em>Fig 2, right part: The electrical resistance signal (Rs) is measured due to the spin Hall effect in WTe2. The spin polarization can be created by passing a current in WTe2 and precession is created by sweeping a perpendicular magnetic field, while the injected spins diffuse in the graphene channel. Illustration: Bing Zhao</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><br />The advantages of topological semimetals 1T’ WTe2 is that it has a multitude of interesting properties, such as it is a van der Waals layered materials, a Weyl semimetal in bulk with a chiral anomalous (negative magnetoresistance) behavior, presence of quantum spin Hall states in monolayers, and novel spin-texture of surface and bulk electronic state providing a large current-induced spin polarization.<br /> <br />Saroj Dash group further aims to utilize such topological quantum materials for energy-efficient spintronic and quantum technologies by exploiting their electronic band structure through Berry curvature design and their novel spin topologies. <br />&quot;Such developments have a great potential for realizing ultra-fast and low-power electronics for the next generation of memory, logic, communication, and quantum technologies&quot;, he says.<br /><br />The research work is done in a multi-national collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; University of Science and Technology Beijing, China; Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel; and Max Planck Institute at Dresden, Germany. <br /><br />The research at Chalmers is funded by the EU Graphene Flagship and the Swedish Research Council (VR).<br /><br />Illustrations: Bing Zhao<br />Photo of Saroj Prasad Dash: Oscar Mattsson<br /><br /><strong>Read the article in Physics Review Research &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><div><a href="https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.013286">B. Zhao et al., Observation of Charge to Spin Conversion in Weyl Semimetal WTe2 at Room Temperature; Physics Review Research 2, 013286 (2020)</a></div> <br /><strong>More information &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><strong>Spin Hall effect</strong><br />The spin Hall effect is an electronic transport phenomenon giving rise to the accumulation of spin-polarized electrons on the surfaces of a sample carrying electric current. Such a charge-to-spin conversion process originates in materials with a large spin-orbit interaction, which is an interaction of an electron's spin with its motion. The spin Hall effect was first predicted in 1971 and experimentally demonstrated in 2004 using semiconductors and metals. The origin of the spin Hall effect found to be due to the spin-dependent scattering of carriers from heavy elements or the presence of special spin-texture of the electronic bands in the material. Such a phenomenon gives rise to the accumulation of the spins of opposite sign (up and down) at opposing surface boundaries of the solid. Spin Hall effect has lots of application potential as it is a purely current-induced spin-based phenomenon and no external magnetic field is needed.Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Online-educational-efforts-to-ensure-nuclear-safety.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Online-educational-efforts-to-ensure-nuclear-safety.aspxOnline educational efforts to ensure nuclear safety<p><b>Europe faces a serious shortage of expertise within nuclear safety. Several authorities and organisations have already sounded the alarm about the dangerous lack of competence in this area. Now, the EU programme Euratom is investing around 5 million euros in educating a new generation of researchers and specialists in nuclear technology. Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology are at the heart of the initiative - based on online education.​​​​</b></p><div><div>The programme covers two major educational projects, of which Chalmers will coordinate one and participate as a partner in the other. Both aim to maintain competence in, respectively, reactor physics and nuclear chemistry.</div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/ChristopheDemazière_20190614_beskuren_200x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>“If we do not maintain a sufficient level of knowledge and expertise, this could be a safety and security risk. There are more than a hundred nuclear reactors currently operating across Europe, which account for more than 25 percent of all electricity generation,” says Christophe Demazière, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and coordinator of the EU project Great Pioneer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As nuclear power plants are decommissioned, so interest in nuclear technology education has diminished throughout Europe. This has led several authorities and organisations, including the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to sound the alarm that a new generation of qualified researchers and specialists is needed to ensure nuclear safety. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and the Swedish National Council for Nuclear Waste have voiced similar concerns.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A report from SSM makes clear the nuclear industry’s great need for more experts in the next fifteen years. There is also a growing need for radiation science specialists, within areas such as healthcare. Within the Swedish nuclear industry and healthcare, a growing proportion of the expert workforce is expected to retire within a few years.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The same trend is evident throughout Europe. As early as 2012 the Joint Research Center (JRC) warned the European Commission that there would be a shortage of around 7000 reactor physics and nuclear safety specialists by 2020. Since the report was written, several training programmes in the area have disappeared, which has contributed to increasing the shortfall further still.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Modelling%20algorithms_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="background-color:initial" />The teaching of the three-year EU project Great Pioneer is based on innovative and successful methods in active and distance learning. Coordinator Christophe Demazière has developed these methods for many years, in close collaboration with two pedagogical researchers at Chalmers University of Technology’s Department of Communication and Learning in Science: Associate Professors Christian Stöhr and Professor Tom Adawi. Recently, the researchers presented the results of their extensive collaboration in the scientific journal<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103789"> Computers &amp; Education​</a>. Work will continue within the framework of the new EU project as the education models are now being exported.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the coming years, approximately 600 students at universities across Europe will be able to take courses in reactor physics and reactor safety, looking at both theory and practice, programming principles in nuclear safety and using training reactors. The concept is based on the students preparing outside of lectures, so that the teaching time can then be used for joint activities with the students at the centre – whether they are on site or at a distance. A total of nine courses are planned through Great Pioneer, of which Chalmers will produce six.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The opportunity for distance education is also an important component of the second EU project, in which Chalmers acts a partner.</div> <div><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/Teodora_200221_beskuren200x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;background-color:initial" /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>“Nuclear engineering programmes are being phased out across Europe, as there are not enough students. Instead of each educational institution trying to offer its own programmes, we will merge and create a sustainable, long-term educational network across Europe,” says Teodora Retegan Vollmer, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and Chalmers representative for the EU project A-Cinch.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>She has been working on educational projects in the EU since 2010, when she was one of the initiators of the Cinch concept. The new project includes developments such as virtual laboratory exercises that students can perform remotely. Chalmers also offers unique educational opportunities in the safe handling of meaningful quantities of radioactive materials.  ​</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Whether you are building or decommissioning nuclear reactors, this training is crucial for being able to do it safely,” says Teodora Retegan Vollmer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There has not been a master's degree in nuclear engineering at Chalmers in the last few years, but the two new EU projects evidence how the expertise is in international demand.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The goal of the educational projects is to create long-term sustainable education, where we can share both teachers and students, and work with pedagogical methods to improve learning. This is crucial in attracting students and ensuring that the reactors currently in operation can continue to operate safely in the long-term,” says Christophe Demazière.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EU decisions on the funded education projects become official once all participants have signed the agreement, which they have already begun to do.</div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Text: </strong><span style="background-color:initial">Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a><br /></div> <div><b>Image</b>: Henrik Sandsjö (Christophe Demazière) och Mia Halleröd Palmgren (Teodora Retegan Vollmer).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The new education projects within the EU: Great Pioneer and A-Cinch​</h2> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">The training project &quot;GRE @ T-PIONEeR&quot; (Graduate Education Alliance for Teaching the Physics and Safety of Nuclear Reactors) is aimed at master’s students, doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and nuclear engineers. The concept is based on active learning and the course elements can be followed either on site or at a distance. It is coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology and Professor Christophe Demazière, who since 2017 has also led <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Chalmers-gets-5%2c1-M%e2%82%ac-to-improve-nuclear-safety.aspx">the EU project Cortex</a>.</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial"></span>A-Cinch (A-CINCH: Augmented cooperation in education and training in nuclear and radiochemistry) will train about a hundred European students and specialists. The project is coordinated by the Czech Technical University in Prague.</li> <li>Both educational programmes run for three years, and consist of theory, practical elements and distance education.</li> <li>The projects have received EU funding under the Euratom work programme 2019-2020 and are part of the Horizon 2020 framework. The consortium of the projects has been granted EUR 2.3 million each for three years (a total of approximately SEK 50 million). Chalmers is awarded SEK 6.3 million for Great Pioneer and just under SEK 3 million for A-Cinch.</li> <li>Ten European partners from seven different countries will participate in Great Pioneer, and eleven countries will participate in A-Cinch.<br /></li></ul></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contakt:</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Christophe-Demazière.aspx">Christophe Demazière</a></strong>, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 30 82, <a href="mailto:demaz@chalmers.se">demaz@chalmers.se</a></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/tretegan.aspx">Teodora Retegan Vollmer​</a></strong>, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers University of Technology</span><span style="background-color:initial">, +46 </span><span style="background-color:initial">31 772 28 81, </span><a href="mailto:tretegan@chalmers.se">tretegan@chalmers.se​</a></div> <span></span><div></div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Further reading: <span>Reports and educational initiatives</span></h2> <div><ul><li>The Swedish Radiation Protection Authority's investigation <a href="https://www.stralsakerhetsmyndigheten.se/globalassets/forskningsfinansiering/grunden-for-en-langsiktig-kompetensforsorjning-inom-stralsakerhetsomradet.pdf">&quot;The basis for a long-term supply of expertise in the field of radiation safety&quot;</a> (In Swedish, 2018)</li> <li><a href="https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/euratom/h2020-wp1920-euratom_en.pdf">T<span style="background-color:initial">he Euratom programme for 2019-2020.</span></a></li> <li> The Swedish National Council for Nuclear Waste’s report <a href="https://www.karnavfallsradet.se/sou-20209-kunskapslaget-pa-karnavfallsomradet-2020-steg-for-steg-var-star-vi-vart-gar-vi">“The state of knowledge in the nuclear waste area 2020. Step by step. Where are we? Where are we going?”​</a> (In Swedish)<br /></li> <li>The European Commission's report ” <a href="https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/putting-perspective-supply-and-demand-nuclear-experts-2020-within-eu-27-nuclear-energy">Putting into Perspective the Supply of and Demand for Nuclear Experts by 2020 within the EU-27 Nuclear Energy Sector</a><span style="background-color:initial">” (2012)</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The FORATOM-ordered report</span> ”<a href="https://www.foratom.org/downloads/nuclear-energy-powering-the-economy-full-study/?wpdmdl=42758&amp;refresh=5cc15b9cd1ec31556175772">Economic and Social Impact Report</a><span style="background-color:initial">” (2019).   </span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers Professor Christophe Demazière has recently<a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Teaching-the-algorithms-that-are-crucial-for-nuclear-reactor-modelling.aspx"> written a book ​</a>aimed at both future and current engineers in nuclear technology and nuclear safety.​</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about the pedagogical methods on which Great Pioneer is based, in the scientific article ”<a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103789"> The polarizing effect of the online flipped classroom</a>” I tidskriften Computers &amp; Education (2020).</span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers has taken the initiative for a knowledge package aimed at secondary schools: <a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheter/Sidor/satsning-pa-unga-ska-hejda-kompetenskrisen-inom-framtidsbransch.aspx">&quot;Radiation science for the curious&quot;</a>. The training package has been developed in collaboration with an academic competence center for radiation science, SAINT, and led by nuclear energy researcher <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/klaraib.aspx">Klara Insulander Björk ​</a>at Chalmers’ Department of Physics. Read more about the education initiative here. <a href="https://saint.nu/nyfiken/">Read more about the education initiative here. </a></span></li></ul></div>Thu, 26 Mar 2020 06:00:00 +0100