News: Centre: Physics Centrehttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 28 Sep 2020 14:32:16 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/A-New-Spin-on-Topological-Quantum-Material.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/A-New-Spin-on-Topological-Quantum-Material.aspxA New Spin on Topological Quantum Material<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, with collaborators in Germany and China, have discovered a new spin polarization in Tungsten di-telluride (WTe2), a topological Weyl semimetal candidate. These experimental findings can pave the way for the utilization of spin currents in developing the next generation of faster and energy-efficient spintronic and quantum technologies. The results are recently published in the journal Advanced Materials.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Topological quantum materials have attracted significant attention in condensed matter physics and information technology because of their unique band structure with topologically protected electronic states. After the realization of graphene and topological insulators, recently, Weyl semimetals were discovered with topological electronic properties. In contrast to the Schrödinger equation used to describe the electronic behavior in conventional materials and the Dirac equation for graphene and surface states of topological insulators, in Weyl semimetals, they follow the Weyl principles, proposed by Herman Weyl in 1929.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In these Weyl semimetals, the conduction and valence bands cross at specific points in momentum space, known as Weyl nodes. These nodes are topologically secured with opposite chirality in bulk with linear band dispersions. The appealing revelation in a Weyl semimetal is the presence of nontrivial surface states that connect the projections of Weyl nodes on the surface, called Fermi-arc. It has been shown that such a Weyl semimetal candidate WTe2 hosts unique electronic transport phenomena such as chiral anomaly, unconventional quantum oscillations, colossal magnetoresistance, spin Hall effect, and quantum spin Hall states, which opens a new era for physics experiments. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/saroj_prasad_dash_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Saroj Dash." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />In the present experiment​, researchers at Chalmers detected an unconventional spin current in Weyl semimetal WTe2, which is parallel to the applied electric field. The generated spin polarization in WTe2 is found to be different from the <a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-Hall-effect-in-Weyl-semimetal-for-Energy-efficient-Information-Technology.aspx" target="_blank">already known​</a> conventional spin-Hall and Rashba-Edelstein effects. </div> <div>&quot;Such a new spin-polarization component can be possible due to its broken crystal symmetry combined with large Berry curvature, spin-orbit interaction, and novel spin-texture of WTe2,&quot; explains Associate Professor Saroj Prasad Dash (to the left), who leads the research group at the Quantum  Device Physics Laboratory (QDP), the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The spin polarization in WTe2 is electrically detected by using both direct and its inverse phenomenon, obeying Onsager reciprocity relation. A robust and practical method for electrical creation and detection of spin polarization is demonstrated and utilized for efficient spin injection and detection in a graphene channel up to room temperature. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/bing_zhao_2020_350x305.jpg" alt="Photo of Bing Zhao." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br />&quot;These findings open opportunities for utilizing topological Weyl materials as non-magnetic spin sources in all-electrical 2D spintronics&quot;, states Bing Zhao (to the right),  researcher at QDP, and the first author of the paper.</div> <div>He continues:</div> <div>&quot;Moreover, the findings have great potential for utilizing topological semimetals in spintronic circuits and quantum technologies. The electrical creation and detection of spin polarization in topological Weyl semimetal can be useful for switching magnetization of ferromagnets for its use in the spin-orbit torque effect in spintronic memory and logic technologies. Furthermore, such layered topological semimetal can be combined with superconductors and ferromagnets to use in topological quantum technologies&quot;.</div> <div> </div> <div>The devices were nanofabricated in the state-of-the-art  cleanroom facility at MC2, and measured at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory. Theoretical calculations were performed in collaboration with Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany, and University of Science and Technology Beijing, China. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Chalmers researchers acknowledge financial support from the European Union Graphene Flagship, Swedish Research Council, VINNOVA 2D Tech center, and AoA Materials and EI Nano program at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Illustration: Bing Zhao et al</div> <div>Photo of Saroj Prasad Dash: Oscar Mattsson</div> <div>Photo of Bing Zhao: Private</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For further information &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div>Saroj P. Dash, Associate Professor, Quantum Device Physics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, +46 31 772 5170, saroj.dash@chalmers.se</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read the full paper in Advanced Materials &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></span><br /></div> <div>Unconventional Charge–Spin Conversion in Weyl‐Semimetal WTe2, Bing Zhao, Bogdan Karpiak, Dmitrii Khokhriakov, Annika Johansson, Anamul Md Hoque, Xiaoguang Xu, Yong Jiang, Ingrid Mertig, Saroj P. Dash; Advanced Materials, 2000818 (2020). <br /><a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202000818" target="_blank">https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202000818​</a></div>Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Generating-an-ultrafast-train-of-promising-X-ray-pulses.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Generating-an-ultrafast-train-of-promising-X-ray-pulses.aspxGenerating an ultrafast train of promising X-ray pulses<p><b>​High-intensity X-ray sources are essential diagnostic tools for science, technology and medicine. Such X-ray sources can be produced in laser-plasma accelerators, where electrons emit short-wavelength radiation due to their betatron oscillations in the plasma wake of a laser pulse.</b></p><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://rdcu.be/b7G9o">In a recent paper, published in Scientific reports,​</a> Vojtěch Horný and Tünde Fülöp at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, present a way to generate an ultrafast “attosecond betatron radiation pulse train”. </span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><span></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/170x170px/170x170_VojtechHorny.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><span style="background-color:initial">​“It improves the resolution of diagnostics techniques based on betatron radiation by an order of magnitude. The promising applications include the X-ray absorption spectroscopy of warm dense matter or the scanning of fundamental processes such as chemical reactions and phase transitions occurring at the timescale of femtoseconds,” says researcher Vojtěch Horný at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.<br /><br /><div>Betatron radiation is the hard X-rays which are emitted by electrons accelerated at the plasma wave after the intense laser interaction with a gaseous target. The researchers modified such a scheme by adding another delayed laser pulse, which separates the accelerated electron bunch into a series of equidistant micro-bunches.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a result, the emitted betatron radiation is modulated as well and can thus be interpreted as a train of the attosecond X-ray pulses - separated by the half of the modulator pulse wavelength</div> <div>The new results are published in collaboration with colleagues in the Czech Republic and China. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial;font-weight:700">Text: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Mia Halleröd Palmgren​</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>For more information, please contact: </span></h2> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Vojtech-Horny.aspx">Vojtěch Horný</a> , Researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technolgy, <a href="mailto:vojtech.horny@chalmers.se">vojtech.horny@chalmers.se ​</a><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Tünde-Fülöp.aspx"><span>Tünde Fülöp,​</span> </a>Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, </span><a href="mailto:tunde.fulop@chalmers.se">tunde.fulop@chalmers.se</a></div></div></span></div></div>Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Controlling-ultrastrong-coupling-at-room-temperature.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Controlling-ultrastrong-coupling-at-room-temperature.aspxControlling ultrastrong coupling at room temperature<p><b>​Physicists at Chalmers, together with colleagues in Russia and Poland, have managed to achieve ultrastrong coupling between light and matter at room temperature. The discovery is of importance for fundamental research and might pave the way for advances within, for example, light sources, nanomachinery, and quantum technology.​​​​</b></p><div>A set of two coupled oscillators is one of the most fundamental and abundant systems in physics. It is a very general toy model that describes a plethora of systems ranging from guitar strings, acoustic resonators, and the physics of children’s swings, to molecules and chemical reactions, from gravitationally bound systems to quantum cavity electrodynamics. The degree of coupling between the two oscillators is an important parameter that mostly determines the behaviour of the coupled system. However, the question is rarely asked about the upper limit by which two pendula can couple to each other – and what consequences such coupling can have.<br /><br /></div> <div>The newly presented results, published in Nature Communications, offer a glimpse into the domain of the so called ultrastrong coupling, wherein the coupling strength becomes comparable to the resonant frequency of the oscillators. The coupling in this work is realised through interaction between light and electrons in a tiny system consisting of two gold mirrors separated by a small distance and plasmonic gold nanorods. On a surface that is a hundred times smaller than the end of a human hair, the researchers have shown that it is possible to create controllable ultrastrong interaction between light and matter at ambient conditions – that is, at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/DenisBaranov_port.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:135px;height:173px" /><br /></div> <div>” We are not the first ones to realise ultrastrong coupling. But generally, strong magnetic fields, high vacuum and extremely low temperatures are required to achieve such a degree of coupling. When you can perform it in an ordinary lab, it enables more researchers to work in this field and it provides valuable knowledge in the borderland between nanotechnology and quantum optics,” says Denis Baranov, a researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and the first author of the scientific paper. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A unique duet where light and matter intermix into a common object​</h2> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">To understand the system the authors have realised, one can imagine a resonator, in this case represented by two gold mirrors separated by a few hundred nanometers, as a single tone in music. The nanorods fabricated between the mirrors affect how light moves between the mirrors and change their resonance frequency. Instead of just sounding like a single tone, in the coupled system the tone splits into two: a lower pitch, and a higher pitch. The energy separation between the two new pitches represents the strength of interaction. Specifically, in the ultrastrong coupling case, the strength of interaction is so large that it becomes comparable to the frequency of the original resonator. This leads to a unique duet, where light and matter intermix into a common object, forming quasi-par</span><span style="background-color:initial">ticles called polaritons. The hybrid character of polaritons provides a set of intriguing optical and electronic properties.</span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The number of gold nanorods sandwiched between the mirrors controls how strong the interaction is. But at the same time, it controls the so-called zero-point energy of the system. By increasing or decreasing the number of rods, it is possible to supply or remove energy from the ground state of the system and thereby increase or decrease the energy stored in the resonator box. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The discovery allows researchers to play with the laws of nature</h2></div> <div>What makes this work particularly interesting is that the authors managed to indirectly measure how the number of nanorods changes the vacuum energy by “listening” to the tones of the coupled system (that is, looking at the light transmission spectra through the mirrors with the nanorods) and performing simple mathematics. The resulting values turned out to be comparable to the thermal energy, which may lead to observable phenomena in the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“A concept for creating controllable ultrastrong coupling at room temperature in relatively simple systems can offer a testbed for fundamental physics. The fact that this ultrastrong coupling “costs” energy could lead to observable effects, for example it could modify the reactivity of chemicals or tailor van der Waals interactions. Ultrastrong coupling enables a variety of intriguing physical phenomena,” says Timur Shegai, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and the last author of the scientific article. </div> <div>In other words, this discovery allows researchers to play with the laws of nature and to test the limits of coupling.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/TimurShegai_port.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:135px;height:173px" /><br /></div> <div>“As the topic is quite fundamental, potential applications may range. Our system allows for reaching even stronger levels of coupling, something known as deep strong coupling. We are still not entirely sure what is the limit of coupling in our system, but it is clearly much higher than we see now. Importantly, the platform that allows studying ultrastrong coupling is now accessible at room temperature,” says Timur Shegai.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren</div> <div><strong>Portrait photos by:</strong> Johan Bodell (Timur Shegai) and Helén Rosenfeldt (Denis Baranov)</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://news.cision.com/chalmers/r/controlling-ultrastrong-light-matter-coupling-at-room-temperature%2cc3195572"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high resolution images.​​</a><br /><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Denis-Baranov.aspx">Denis Baranov</a>, Post Doc, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 32 48, <a href="mailto:denisb@chalmers.se">denisb@chalmers.se</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a>Timur Shegai,</a> Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 31 23, <a href="mailto:timurs@chalmers.se">timurs@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div><div><br /></div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the research and the scientific paper</h2> <div><ul><li>​The article <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16524-x">Ultrastrong coupling between nanoparticle plasmons and cavity photons at ambient conditions ​</a>has been published in Nature Communications. It is written by Denis Baranov, Battulga Munkhbat, Elena Zhukova, Ankit Bisht, Adriana Canales, Benjamin Rousseaux, Göran Johansson, Tomasz Antosiewicz and Timur Shegai. </li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The researchers work at the Department of Physics and the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers, at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and at the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw.</span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The nanofabrication was performed at Chalmers. The interactions between light and matter were observed by using infrared microscopy. </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The research at Chalmers was funded by the Swedish Research Council. </span><br /></li></ul></div> Wed, 23 Sep 2020 06:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-new-way-to-search-for-dark-matter-reveals-hidden-materials-properties.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/A-new-way-to-search-for-dark-matter-reveals-hidden-materials-properties.aspxA new way to search for dark matter reveals hidden materials properties<p><b>New research from Chalmers, together with ETH Zürich, Switzerland, suggests a promising way to detect elusive dark matter particles through previously unexplored atomic responses occurring in the detector material.  ​​</b></p><div><div><span style="display:none"></span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/170x170px/RiccardoCatena_190219_profilbildNY170x170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​The new calculations enable theorists to make detailed predictions about the nature and strength of interactions between dark matter and electrons, which were not previously possible.</span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Our new research into these atomic responses reveals material properties that have until now remained hidden. They could not be investigated using any of the particles available to us today – only dark matter could reveal them,&quot; says Riccardo Catena, Associate Professor at the Department at Physics at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>For every star, galaxy or dust cloud visible in space, there exists five times more material which is invisible – dark matter. Discovering ways to detect these unknown particles which form such a significant part of the Milky Way is therefore a top priority in astroparticle physics. In the global search for dark matter, large detectors have been built deep underground to try to catch the particles as they bounce off atomic nuclei. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>So far, these mysterious particles have escaped detection. According to the Chalmers researchers, a possible explanation could be that dark matter particles are lighter than protons, and thereby do not cause the nuclei to recoil – imagine a ping pong ball colliding into a bowling ball. A promising way to overcome this problem could therefore be to shift focus from nuclei to electrons, which are much lighter. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In their recent paper, the researchers describe how dark matter particles can interact with the electrons in atoms. They suggest that the rate at which dark matter can kick electrons out of atoms depends on four independent atomic responses – three of which were previously unidentified. They have calculated the ways that electrons in argon and xenon atoms, used in today's largest detectors, should respond to dark matter. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The results were recently published in the journal Physical Review Research and performed within a new collaboration with condensed-matter physicist Nicola Spaldin and her group at ETH.  Their predictions can </div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/170x170px/170x170_Timon_Emken.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:170px;width:170px" /><span></span><div>now be tested in dark matter observatories around the globe.</div> <br /></div> <div><div>“We tried to remove as many access barriers as possible. The paper is published in a fully open access journal and the scientific code to compute the new atomic response functions is open source, for anyone who wants to take a look ‘under the hood’ of our paper,” says Timon Emken, a postdoctoral researcher in the dark matter group at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on dark matter</h2> <div>What is the Universe made of? This question has fascinated humankind for </div> <div>millennia. Still, it remains largely unanswered, with more than three quarters of the matter in our Universe believed to be made of particles so elusive that we don't know what they are. These particles are called dark matter and do not emit or absorb radiation at any observable wavelengths. Detecting the unknown particles is a top priority for scientists worldwide. To detect dark matter, the researchers search for rare dark matter-electron interactions in low-background deep underground detectors.</div> <div>There is incontrovertible evidence for the presence of dark matter in our Universe. Evidence is based on the observation of unexpected gravitational effects in extremely different physical systems, including galaxies, galaxy clusters, the Cosmic Microwave Background and the large-scale structure of the Universe. While the European space satellite Planck has conclusively shown that dark matter constitutes about 85 per cent of all matter in the Universe, its nature remains a mystery.</div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/darkmatter_riccardo_timon_paper.JPG" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;height:202px;background-color:initial;width:300px" /><a href="https://journals.aps.org/prresearch/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.033195"></a><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper</h2> <div>Read the article <a href="https://journals.aps.org/prresearch/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.2.033195">Atomic responses to general dark matter-electron interactions</a> in Physical Review Research. It is written by Riccardo Catena and Timon Emken at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and Nicola Spaldin, and Walter Tarantino at the Department of Materials at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.</div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 16 Sep 2020 06:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/She-dives-into-complex-materials-in-a-new-way.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/She-dives-into-complex-materials-in-a-new-way.aspxShe dives into complex materials – in a new way<p><b>​​Is it possible to study the structure of a complex material without looking at it directly? The coming five years, Marianne Liebi will tackle that challenge together with colleagues at Chalmers and Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. ​​​​​​</b></p><div>The basic idea is to study the material’s interactions with electromagnetic waves. The researchers will use both visible light and X-rays in their work.</div> <div>Marianne Liebi is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and her new research programme “MUMOTT” recently received a prestigious starting grant of EUR 1,5 million from the European Research Council (ERC). </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This will enable us to study and apprehend the structure of complex hierarchical materials, for example human bones and tissues, but also composite materials. With the new methodology we could, for example, solve critical problems in materials and bioscience and shed light on the disruptive collagen network in liver fibrosis, ”says Marianne Liebi.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In her research so far, she has studied how, for example, the smallest building blocks in bone tissue, collagen fibrils organize. <span style="background-color:initial">At Chalmers the doctoral student Leonard Nielsen will perform work within the MUMOTT project, in particular related to tensor tomography code development. At Empa the activities will be conducted at the Department of “Materials meet Life”, where Marianne Liebi is the Scientific Group leader of &quot;Hierarchical Systems&quot;, which is part of the Center for X-ray Analytics.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren,<a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se"> mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se​</a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://erc.europa.eu/news/StG-recipients-2020"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release on the ERC Starting Grants 2020</a>  - for talented early-career scientists</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read an earlier news article about Marianne Liebi and her research:</div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Awarded-for-her-physics-research.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />“Awarded for her physics research”​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Abstract of Marianne Liebi’s project “MUMOTT”</h2> <div>&quot;Capture structures without looking at them directly, but rather by probing their interaction with electromagnetic waves - this is the basic principle for the new multi-modal tensor tomography developed in this research programme. It will enable to study the arrangement of nanostructures in macroscopic samples, six orders of magnitude larger than its building blocks, allowing to apprehend the structure of complex hierarchical materials. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I will use visible light observing change in their polarization state as well as the scattering of hard X-rays to probe nanostructure. Both modes capture alignment of nanostructure, while complementary in other aspects e.g. high penetration depth of synchrotron radiation and easy accessibility of laboratory polarimetric setups.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div>At the core of MUMOTT lays the development of the methodological framework implemented in an open-source software package allowing for the reconstruction of tensors in each sub-volume or voxel of the three-dimensional tomogram. Whereas in a first step I will work out a general approach, we will incorporate flexible modules to capture details of the different types of interaction. This approach includes method development pushing the boundaries of traditional synchrotron methods to make full use of the high brilliance and coherence of the new generation of synchrotrons coming online as well as the enabling of studies with lab-based equipment. It opens up for addressing new scientific problems by widening the range of materials as well as the user community. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Apart from the methodology framework we will implement the different modes to prove their capability to solve critical problems in materials and bio-science; to investigate the structure of light-weight composites based on cellulose nanofibrils, reveal how the arrangement of nanoparticles in a plasmonic composite is connected to its sensing capabilities, as well as shed light on the disruptive collagen network in liver fibrosis.&quot;</div>Thu, 03 Sep 2020 12:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Giant-atoms-merge-quantum-processing-and-communication.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Giant-atoms-merge-quantum-processing-and-communication.aspxGiant atoms merge quantum processing and communication<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and MIT in the US, among others, have demonstrated a new quantum-computing architecture that makes it possible to both perform quantum computations and communicate quantum information between distant parts of the quantum processor, all with low losses. The results were recently published in the renowned scientific journal Nature.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/anton_IMG_8889_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Anton Frisk Kockum." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />&quot;We showed that quantum bits can communicate through a waveguide without the quantum information being lost&quot;, says Anton Frisk Kockum (to the right), researcher at the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers, and one of the authors of the article.<br /><br />A challenge for scaling up quantum computers is to enable communication between quantum bits (qubits) that are far apart. Coupling qubits to a long waveguide is usually detrimental, since it provides a channel through which quantum information can leak out. The solution the researchers found was to use “giant atoms”, a new regime of light-matter interactions.<br /><br />“Natural atoms are usually much smaller than the wavelength of the light they interact with. However, an experiment in the group of Professor Per Delsing at Chalmers in 2014 showed that an artificial atom made from superconducting circuits can connect to a waveguide at multiple points spaced wavelengths apart. When calculating how two such giant atoms would behave, we found that interference effects due to emission from the multiple coupling points could prevent the atoms from decaying into the waveguide, but still allow them to talk to each other via the waveguide. This was now demonstrated in the experiment carried out at MIT”, explains Anton Frisk Kockum.<br /><br />The researchers used the interference effects of the giant atoms to demonstrate both that the individual atoms could be protected from losing quantum information into the waveguide and that the two atoms could be entangled, with 94% fidelity, through their protected interaction via the waveguide. <br /><br />This is the first time that anyone has even reported a number for the fidelity of a two-qubit operation with qubits strongly coupled to a waveguide, since the fidelity for such an operation would be low if the qubits were not giant. The ability to perform high-fidelity quantum-computing operations on qubits coupled to a waveguide creates exciting new opportunities. <br />“It is now possible to prepare a complex quantum state in the qubits, and then quickly adjust the interference effect in the giant atoms to turn on the coupling to the waveguide and emit this quantum state as photons that can travel a long distance”, says Anton Frisk Kockum.<br /><br />The study is a collaboration between scientists from Chalmers (the theoretical part), MIT, and the research institution RIKEN in Japan. From Chalmers, Anton Frisk Kockum contributed.<br /><br />The work was partly supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and The Swedish Research Council. The experiments were performed at the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT.<br /><br />Photo of Anton Frisk Kockum: Michael Nystås<br />Illustration: Philip Krantz, Krantz NanoArt<br /><br /><strong>Contact:</strong><br />Anton Frisk Kockum, Researcher, Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, anton.frisk.kockum@chalmers.se<br /><br /><strong>Read the article in Nature &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2529-9">Waveguide quantum electrodynamics with superconducting giant artificial atoms</a><br /><br /><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/en/project/?id=9216">Read more about the research project</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><strong>Further reading &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/346/6206/207">Propagating phonons coupled to an artificial atom</a>. Gustafsson et al., Science 346, 207 (2014)<br /><a href="https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.140404">Decoherence-Free Interaction between Giant Atoms in Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics</a>. Kockum et al., Physical Review Letters 120, 140404 (2018)<br /><br /><a href="https://news.mit.edu/2020/giant-atoms-quantum-processing-communication-0729">Press release from MIT</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;Wed, 02 Sep 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/New-understanding-of-how-magnetic-fields-evolved-in-the-early-universe-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/New-understanding-of-how-magnetic-fields-evolved-in-the-early-universe-.aspxThey shed light on how magnetic fields evolved in the early universe<p><b>​​The evolution of the magnetic fields in the universe is a major open question, as they have a profound effect on the formation of stars and galaxies, and on cosmic particle acceleration. Recently published results shed new ligth on the time before the universe became significantly magnetized.</b></p><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">István Pusztai at the Department of Physics at </span><span style="background-color:initial">Ch</span><span style="background-color:initial">almers </span><span style="background-color:initial">is the first author of the  paper, recently published in Physical Review Letters. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Together with PhD student Andréas Sundström and colleagues in Stockholm and in the US, he </span><span style="background-color:initial">has shed new light on the evolution of magnetic fields in the early universe. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers have studied the top candidate mechanism to generate magnetic fields permeating the universe – the dynamo <span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> applying a more accurate description of ionized matter than ever in this context. </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Divisions/Subatomic%20and%20Plasma%20Physics/Personnel/istvan_cropped-1.png" alt="Researcher István Pusztai" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px;height:129px;width:100px" /></div> <div>​<br />&quot;Our new results suggest that the dynamo might have been less effective before the universe became significantly magnetized. This, in turn, can impact how galaxies are formed and galaxy clusters evolved.” says Senior Research Scientist István Pusztai.<br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the scientific paper.</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The paper </span><a href="https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.255102">Dynamo in Weakly Collisional Nonmagnetized Plasmas Impeded by Landau Damping of Magnetic Fields</a><span style="background-color:initial"> has been published in Physical Review Letters. </span><br /></div> <div> <div>The article is written by István Pusztai, James Juno, Axel Brandenburg, Jason M. TenBarge, Ammar Hakim, Manaure Francisquez, and Andréas Sundström. </div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Istvan-Pusztai.aspx">István Pusztai, </a></span><span style="background-color:initial">Senior Research Scientist</span><span style="background-color:initial">​, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Department of Physics, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Ch</span><span style="background-color:initial">almers University of Technology,</span><a href="mailto:%20pusztai@chalmers.se"><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">pusztai@chalmers.se</span>​</a><span style="background-color:initial">, +46 31 772 32 36 </span></div>Tue, 01 Sep 2020 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-galvanic-effect-in-graphene-with-topological-topping-demonstrated.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-galvanic-effect-in-graphene-with-topological-topping-demonstrated.aspxSpin-galvanic effect in graphene with topological topping demonstrated<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have demonstrated the spin-galvanic effect, which allows for the conversion of non-equilibrium spin density into a charge current. Here, by combining graphene with a topological insulator, the authors realize a gate-tunable spin-galvanic effect at room temperature. The findings were published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.</b></p>“We believe that this experimental realization will attract a lot of scientific attention and put topological insulators and graphene on the map for applications in spintronic and quantum technologies,” says Associate Professor Saroj Prasad Dash, who leads the research group at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory (QDP), the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2.<br /><br />Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms, has extraordinary electronic and spin transport properties. However, electrons in this material experience low interaction of their spin and orbital angular moments, called spin-orbit coupling, which does not allow to achieve tunable spintronic functionality in pristine graphene. On the other hand, unique electronic spin textures and the spin-momentum locking phenomenon in topological insulators are promising for emerging spin-orbit driven spintronics and quantum technologies. <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/dmitrii_2020_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Dmitrii Khokriakov." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br />However, the utilization of topological insulators poses several challenges related to their lack of electrical gate-tunability, interference from trivial bulk states, and destruction of topological properties at heterostructure interfaces. <br />“Here, we address some of these challenges by integrating two-dimensional graphene with a three-dimensional topological insulator in van der Waals heterostructures to take advantage of their remarkable spintronic properties and engineer a proximity-induced spin-galvanic effect at room temperature,” says Dmitrii Khokhriakov (to the right), PhD Student at QDP, and first author of the article.<br /><br />Since graphene is atomically thin, its properties can be drastically changed when other functional materials are brought in contact with it, which is known as the proximity effect. Therefore, graphene-based heterostructures are an exciting device concept since they exhibit strong gate-tunability of proximity effects arising from its hybridization with other functional materials. Previously, combining graphene with topological insulators in van der Waals heterostructures, the researchers have shown that a strong proximity-induced spin-orbit coupling could be induced, which is expected to produce a Rashba spin-splitting in the graphene bands. As a consequence, the proximitized graphene is expected to host the spin-galvanic effect, with the anticipated gate-tunability of its magnitude and sign. However, this phenomenon has not been observed in these heterostructures previously.<br />“To realize this spin-galvanic effect, we developed a special Hall-bar-like device of graphene-topological insulator heterostructures,” says Dmitrii Khokhriakov. <br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/saroj_prasad_dash_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Saroj Dash." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />The devices were nanofabricated in the state-of-the-art cleanroom at MC2 and measured at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory. The novel device concept allowed the researchers to perform complementary measurements in various configurations via spin switch and Hanle spin precession experiments, giving an unambiguous evidence of the spin-galvanic effect at room temperature. <br />“Moreover, we were able to demonstrate a strong tunability and a sign change of the spin galvanic effect by the gate electric field, which makes such heterostructures promising for the realization of all-electrical and gate-tunable spintronic devices,” concludes Saroj Prasad Dash (to the left).<br /><br />The researchers acknowledge financial support from the European Union Graphene Flagship, Swedish Research Council, VINNOVA 2D Tech Center, FlagEra, and AoA Materials and EI Nano program at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><br />Illustration: Dmitrii Khokhriakov<br />Photo of Saroj Prasad Dash: Oscar Mattsson<br />Photo of Dmitrii Khokhriakov: Private<br /><br /><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17481-1">Read the full paper in Nature Communications</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br />References<br />1. D. Khokhriakov, A.M. Hoque, B. Karpiak, &amp; S.P. Dash, Gate-tunable spin-galvanic effect in graphene-topological insulator van der Waals heterostructures at room temperature, Nature Communications. 11, 3657 (2020).<br />2. A. Dankert, P. Bhaskar, D. Khokhriakov, I. H. Rodrigues, B. Karpiak, M. V. Kamalakar, S. Charpentier, I. Garate, S.P. Dash. Origin and evolution of surface spin current in topological insulators. Phys. Rev. B 97, 125414 (2018).<br />3. A. Dankert, J. Geurs, M. V. Kamalakar, S. Charpentier, &amp; S.P. Dash, Room Temperature Electrical Detection of Spin Polarized Currents in Topological Insulators. Nano Letters 15, 7976–7981 (2015).<br />4. D. Khokhriakov, A. W. Cummings, K. Song, M. Vila, B. Karpiak, A. Dankert, S. Roche, S. P. Dash, Tailoring emergent spin phenomena in Dirac material heterostructures. Science Advances. 4, eaat9349 (2018).<br />Thu, 27 Aug 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Driven-by-curiosity-after-50-years-at-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Driven-by-curiosity-after-50-years-at-Chalmers.aspxDriven by curiosity after 50 years<p><b>​Kjell Jeppson rather looks forward than back in time. It is now 50 years since he stepped in through the gates as a doctoral student at Chalmers. As a pensioner, he keeps up with orienteering and supervision. &quot;I&#39;m still driven by curiosity,&quot; he says.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/kjeppson_IMG_8794_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Kjell Jeppson." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />We meet at Kemigården on a June day which will prove to be one of the hottest of the year. Some seagulls are screaming around above us. Kjell Jeppson is comfortably dressed in cotton trousers, short-sleeved shirt, vest and a straw hat. He looks relaxed. <div>&quot;An advantage of being a professor emeritus is that you have no other duties, but can sit for a whole day and talk to a doctoral student,&quot; he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>The Corona pandemic has of course affected Kjell Jeppson just like everyone else this spring. He tries to be careful to pay attention to the authorities' recommendations. Recently, he celebrated his 73rd birthday. It was a different celebration:</div> <div>&quot;When the children come with their partners, I say: Strict rules! No one enters! We keep our distance! But just like that, everyone is indoors anyway, it's hard to be careful! But we have a large terrace where we could be in the end,&quot; says Kjell.</div> <div> </div> <div>He and the family have stayed healthy during the crisis.</div> <div>&quot;When you see the reports on TV with those who have been really sick, you think that &quot;you do not want to be in that situation&quot;.&quot;</div> <div>Kjell has stayed away from Chalmers, where he has a workplace in the Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory in the MC2 building.</div> <div>&quot;It feels a bit empty inside, but I have had very close contact with one of the doctoral students. We have spent over three months full time writing an article on three pages! Now it is submitted for evaluation,&quot; Kjell says.</div> <div> </div> <div>He is a man who lives in the present and does not want to dwell too much in the past, but he offers some puzzle pieces during our conversation. Born in 1947, grew up in Guldheden with parents and younger sister, then a student at Landalaskolan, then high school followed by a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering at Chalmers from 1966. An obvious choice.</div> <div>&quot;We went by tram or walked past Chalmers every day. &quot;That's where I should start,&quot; I thought. It was always Chalmers that it came to. There was a small meetinghouse where my sister attended a dance school at the same spot where the student union building lies today.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>Chalmers was an important part of Kjell's everyday life, in fact throughout his entire childhood. In high school he attended a class where 26 students out of 29 started at Chalmers eventually.</div> <div>&quot;It was quite purposeful,&quot; he says with a smile.</div> <div> </div> <div>He describes Guldheden as a nice area to grow up in and praises the city planners:</div> <div>&quot;It was a valley with buildings on both sides, a small school, a football field that was washed every winter so we could go skating, and completely car-free,&quot; he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Mom was a housewife and sewed all the family's clothes. Kjell remembers how all the women in the area queued at the convenience store when the new style patterns were released every spring. New fabrics were bought, summer dresses were sewn.</div> <div>&quot;It was a little fuss. Large fabrics were laid on the table and the tissue paper was fixed on them with needles. It was a different life and a small world.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Where does your technology interest come from?</h3> <div>&quot;It's probably from my father. He had trained as a high school engineer at &quot;Chalmers lägre&quot;, and was in charge of a mechanical workshop at SKF. Dad was a pure practitioner who always built small useful things from different parts. Suddenly he had built a screwdriver! He did so with everything. There was no doubt that we would replace silencers and water pumps in the car itself. But I probably never became as practical as he,&quot; says Kjell.</div> <div> </div> <div>In May, 50 years ago, he began his doctoral studies at the then Department of Electron Physics, more or less hand-picked by the legendary professor Torkel Wallmark. During his doctoral studies, he spent a year at Rockwell International in Los Angeles. The dissertation took place in 1977 with the thesis &quot;Design and characterization of MIS devices&quot;. As a curiosity, it can be mentioned that the thesis's main article is still cited by other researchers 30-40 times a year.</div> <div>&quot;We speculated a little about instability in mos circuits, and were a bit out on the limb, but it turned out to be pretty good. We must have been at the forefront!&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/kjeppson_IMG_8788_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Kjell Jeppson." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />Kjell Jeppson remained at Chalmers, now as an assistant professor, and later a senior lecturer and associate professor before being promoted to professor of microelectronics in 1996.</div> <div>&quot;Microelectronics was on the rise then, and national microelectronics programs were started. We received a large grant and were able to build an education lab, &quot;kretslabbet&quot;. It was a milestone that allowed us to start training and get real circuits made in a technology that had been inaccessible before.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>Retiring was also a milestone for Kjell. Contrary to all expectations, he was invited to be a visiting professor at Shanghai University in China.</div> <div>&quot;I spent four shorter periods in Shanghai and managed to supervise a doctoral student both on site and then remotely for a Chinese PhD. Her name is Bao Jie and she is currently a postdoc in Canada. It was a new experience to connect with young people in China,&quot; says Kjell.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What's your driving force?</h3> <div>&quot;Curiosity. I was also given the opportunity to change research fields from silicon components to carbon nanotubes and graphene. Graphene has such good heat-equalizing properties. We used it to spread heat on chip surfaces and in this way get better circuits. When we had done that, we thought that you can actually make transistors of graphene. That means I'm really back to where I started, and doing the same things we did then but with significantly better tools, like laser printers instead of inky xy printers and graphs hand drawn with ruler and curve template on millimeter paper. The circle is closed.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>The great leisure interest since 30 years is orienteering. Kjell and his wife travel around the world and let the locations of the races control where they end up. Some recent examples are New Zealand, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Hungary and Croatia. In February every year there are training camps in Portugal.</div> <div>&quot;Last year I ran 97 competitions! Now it is less races to run. We just got home from Portugal before the big shutdowns.&quot;</div> <div>&quot;The travel destinations is a little different. We do not go to the big cities but end up in Castelo de Vide or some other small border village where you can get a cup of coffee for ten crowns at a cozy café, or a glass of wine for a euro,&quot; Kjell says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div>Wed, 08 Jul 2020 06:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Organizes-exclusive-student-conference-in-quantum-technology.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Organizes-exclusive-student-conference-in-quantum-technology.aspxOrganizes exclusive student conference in quantum technology<p><b>​Participants from some 30 countries are expected to attend Berlin when the Quantum Future Academy 2020 (QFA2020) is organized on 1-7 November. The event is coordinated from Chalmers with Professor Göran Wendin at the forefront. Now he is chasing top Swedish students for the conference.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/GoranWendin_171101_01_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Göran Wendin" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Göran Wendin, to the right, is one of the driving forces within the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), which is led by Chalmers and aims to build a Swedish quantum computer within twelve years. At the moment, however, he is fully busy with the QFA2020 management.<br />&quot;It is an extensive job with a lot of work, but also a lot of fun,&quot; he says in a pause.<br /><br />The assignment comes directly from the German research institute VDI Technologiezentrum [VDITZ] in Düsseldorf, which is the headquarters of the EU's research flagship on quantum technology, worth one billion euros, launched in autumn 2018.<br /><br />The idea of ​​QFA2020 is to offer European top students in the field of quantum technology an opportunity to gain new knowledge and new contacts in order to develop future commercial applications of the technology.<br />Similar events have been held four times before, then at the national level in Germany and France. Now, QFA is opening up and turning it into a major European education conference with participants from 30 countries.<br />&quot;One of the aims is to raise the understanding of quantum technology as a matter for Europe as a whole. We want to help create a sustainable network of young researchers,&quot; says Göran Wendin.<br /><br />Each participating country selects two students during the late summer who can travel to Germany completely free of charge in November. Travel, accommodation and living are fully reimbursed.<br /><br />QFA2020 will take place in Berlin. However, Göran Wendin points out that the organizers are closely following the development of the corona pandemic, and that all safety procedures will be followed.<br />&quot;All participants will receive detailed information in good time about any changes,&quot; he says.<br /><br />The application is open until 24 July for all interested students at the bachelor's or master's level with basic knowledge in quantum mechanics. In Sweden, the winners will be presented at a digital workshop at Chalmers in mid-September, where all applicants will present their ideas.<br /><br />The conference week in Berlin in November has a packed content. It will include study visits to companies and research laboratories, lectures, meetings with researchers, politicians and entrepreneurs, workshops and even cultural activities.<br />&quot;We can promise an exciting and exclusive week in Berlin,&quot; concludes Göran Wendin.<br /><br />Text: Michael Nystås<br />Photo: Johan Bodell<br /><br /><strong>Contact:</strong><br />Göran Wendin, Professor, Quantum Technology Laboratory, Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience <span>–<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> MC2, Chalmers, goran.wendin@chalmers.se<br /><br /><div><span><strong>Read more about Quantum Future Academy 2020 (QFA2020) &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/qfa2020">www.chalmers.se/en/centres/wacqt/qfa2020</a> and also<br /><a href="https://www.quantentechnologien.de/event/quantum-future-academy-2020.html">www.quantentechnologien.de/event/quantum-future-academy-2020.html</a> <br /><br /><strong><a href="/en/centres/wacqt">Read more about Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT)</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><br /><a href="https://qt.eu/">Läs mer om Read more about the EU flagship in quantum technology </a>&gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /></div>Fri, 03 Jul 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ski-star-sharpens-her-skiing-with-technology-from-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ski-star-sharpens-her-skiing-with-technology-from-Chalmers.aspxSki star sharpens her skiing with technology from Chalmers<p><b>​Power meters integrated in a ski-pole handle from Chalmers will contribute to skier Lina Korsgren&#39;s third victory in Vasaloppet. &quot;The pole and the power measurement can help me improve one more step,&quot; she says in a news feature on SVT Sport on 16 June.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/johan_lina_375x500.jpg" alt="Picture of Johan and Lina." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />The new handle has sensors that measure the power while poling and can be mounted on any pole. Lina Korsgren has now started to use the invention in her training:<br />&quot;The handle is a little thicker than a regular handle, but I just see it as an advantage because then you do not have to hold the pole as hard. It is positive with less strain on the elbows, but otherwise it feels just as usual&quot;, she tells SVT Sport.<br /><br />The data from the handles is sent to software for analysis down to fractions of a single poling. It makes it possible to adjust the really small details of the ride. Lina Korsgren's trainer, former elite cyclist Mattias Reck, says on SVT Sport:<br /><div>&quot;Lina is already incredibly good, but that means if she is to get even better, there are little things you can work on. Power measurement is really such a next step. I am absolutely convinced that we will make her even stronger.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /><br /></div> <div><span><em><br />Johan Högstrand, CEO of Skisens AB, and skier Lina Korsgren </em><br /><em>with the ski poles whose handle is based on Chalmers </em><br /><em>technology. Photo: Mattias Reck</em></span><br /></div> <br />The background to the handle is a master's thesis, which was supervised in 2016 by Dan Kuylenstierna, associate professor at the Microwave Electronics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2 – at Chalmers, and postdoctoral student Szhau Lai at the same department.<br />&quot;Szhau Lai, who had recently defended his thesis, showed a keen interest in sensors and embedded electronics. Through the Area of Advance Materials Science and Chalmers Sports &amp; Technology he was given the opportunity to work with sensor solutions and underwater communication for swimming. The idea behind the ski power meter came as a spin-off from this work&quot;, says Dan Kuylenstierna.<br /><br />Johan Högstrand, who studied automation and mechatronics, was one of the students. The group ou students also included Henrik Gingsjö, Jeanette Malm, Theo Berglin, Mathias Tengström and Marcus Bengths.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/dan_2015_350x305.jpg" alt="Photo of Dan Kuylenstierna." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />After the end of the thesis work, the students continued to develop the handle with support from Vinnova. In 2017, they took the victory in the business development competition Chalmers Ventures Startup Camp. This helped them to establish the company Skisens AB, with Johan Högstrand as CEO. Dan Kuylenstierna is co-owner and co-founder:<br />&quot;With the large variations in the skiing conditions, power measurement is necessary to estimate performance. It is our conviction that in the long term it will be more important for skiiing than it currently is in cycling. The great importance of technical skills in cross-country skiing also makes it important to measure in the field under realistic conditions&quot;, says Dan (picture to the right).<br /><br />One who early snatched up the rumor about the company is the former coach of the Swedish national biathlon team (Svenska Skidskytteförbundet), Wolfgang Pichler. Pichler immediately said that &quot;power measurement is a revolution for skiing&quot; and got the team to invest in a collaboration with Skisens. Dan Kuylenstierna emphasizes the importance of this work and sees it as crucial for the company’s position today.<br />&quot;People like Wolfgang, who dare to invest in what is new even if the benefit lies several years into the future, are extremely valuable&quot;, he says.<br /><br />Now the company has arrived at a product that opens to a wider market with more partners. Recently, they have thus started to collaborate with Lina Korsgren's team, Team Ramudden, where Mattias Reck is hired as head coach via the company Guided Heroes.<br />&quot;It's very exciting to have the opportunity to apply my experience and knowledge in a new sport. In ski sports you often only have heart rate monitors, but with power meters in the sticks you can see how hard you press in every second, it gives completely new opportunities&quot;, says Mattias Reck in a press release.<br /><br />Dan Kuylenstierna is also Deputy Director of <a href="/en/centres/sportstechnology">Chalmers Sports &amp; Technology</a>, a venture that links academic research and sport in a number of projects. In the fall, he will lead the new course &quot;Digitalization in Sports&quot; within the framework of Chalmers new training venture <a href="https://student.portal.chalmers.se/en/chalmersstudies/tracks">Tracks</a>, together with Moa Johansson at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.<br />&quot;We have got 22 applicants who will work in groups of five on different challenges from the world of sports&quot;, concludes Dan Kuylenstierna.<br /><br />Text: Michael Nystås<br />Photo of Johan Högstrand and Lina Korsgren: Mattias Reck<br />Photo of Dan Kuylenstierna: Michael Nystås<br /><br /><strong>Contact:</strong><br />Dan Kuylenstierna, Associate Professor, Microwave Electronics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, dan.kuylenstierna@chalmers.se <br /><br /><a href="https://www.svt.se/sport/langdskidor/vasaloppsvinnaren-tar-hjalp-av-ny-teknik">See the feature on SVT Sport</a> (in Swedish) &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><a href="https://skisens.se/en-produkten">Read more about powermeters for cross-country skiing</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;Thu, 02 Jul 2020 10:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/New-method-reveals-how-the-Parkinson's-disease-protein-damages-cell-membranes-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/New-method-reveals-how-the-Parkinson's-disease-protein-damages-cell-membranes-.aspxNew method shows how Parkinson&#39;s protein damages cells<p><b>​In sufferers of Parkinson&#39;s disease, clumps of α-synuclein (alpha-synuclein), sometimes known as the ‘Parkinson’s protein’, are found in the brain. These destroy cell membranes, eventually resulting in cell death. Now, a new method developed at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, reveals how the composition of cell membranes seems to be a decisive factor for how small quantities of α-synuclein cause damage.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>Parkinson's disease is an incurable condition in which neurons, the brain's nerve cells, gradually break down and brain functions become disrupted. Symptoms can include involuntary shaking of the body, and the disease can cause great suffering. To develop drugs to slow down or stop the disease, researchers try to understand the molecular mechanisms behind how α-synuclein contributes to the degeneration of neurons.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">It is known that mitochondria, the energy-producing compartments in cells, are damaged in Parkinson's disease, possibly due to ‘amyloids’ of α-synuclein. Amyloids are clumps of proteins arranged into long fibres with a well-ordered core structure, and their formation underlies many neurodegenerative disorders. Amyloids or even smaller clumps of α-synuclein may bind to and destroy mitochondrial membranes, but the precise mechanisms are still unknown.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New method reveals structural damage to mitrochondrial membranes​</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The new study, recently published in the journal <em>PNAS</em>, focuses on two different types of membrane-like vesicles. One of them is made of lipids that are often found in synaptic vesicles, the other contained lipids related to mitochondrial membranes. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The researchers found that the Parkinson’s protein would bind to both vesicle types, but only caused structural changes to the mitochondrial-like vesicles, which deformed asymmetrically and leaked their contents.</span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “Now we have developed a method which is sensitive enough to observe how α-synuclein interacts with individual model vesicles, which are ‘capsules’ of lipids that can be used as mimics of the membranes found in cells. In our study, we observed that α-synuclein binds to – and destroys – mitochondrial-like membranes, but there was no destruction of the membranes of synaptic-like vesicles. The damage occurs at very low, nanomolar concentration, where the protein is only present as monomers – non-aggregated proteins. Such low protein concentration has been hard to study before but the reactions we have detected now could be a crucial step in the course of the disease,” says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Professor of Chemical Biology at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;Dramatic ​differences in how the protein affects membranes&quot;</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The new method from the researchers at Chalmers University of Technology makes it possible to study tiny quantities of biological molecules without using fluorescent markers. This is a great advantage when tracking natural reactions, since the markers often affect the reactions you want to observe, especially when working with small proteins such as α-synuclein.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “The chemical differences between the two lipids used are very small, but still we observed dramatic differences in how α-synuclein affected the different vesicles,” says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We believe that lipid chemistry is not the only determining factor, but also that there are macroscopic differences between the two membranes – such as the dynamics and interactions between the lipids. No one has really looked closely at what happens to the membrane itself when α-synuclein binds to it, and never at these low concentrations.” </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Next step: Investigate proteins with mutations and cellular membranes</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The next step for the researchers is to investigate variants of the α-synuclein protein with mutations associated with Parkinson's disease, and to investigate lipid vesicles which are more similar to cellular membranes.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “We also want to perform quantitative analyses to understand, at a mechanistic level, how individual proteins gathering on the surface of the membrane can cause damage” says Fredrik Höök, Professor at the Department of Physics, who was also involved in the research.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Our vision is to further refine the method so that we can study not only individual, small – 100 nanometres – lipid vesicles, but also track each protein one by one, even though they are only 1-2 nanometres in size. That would help us reveal how small variations in properties of lipid membranes contribute to such a different response to protein binding as we now observed.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh and Joshua Worth<br /><strong>Illustration:</strong> Fredrik Höök</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div><strong>More information on the method</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li>Vesicle membranes were observed by measuring light scattering and fluorescence from vesicles which were bound to a surface – and monitoring the changes when low concentrations of α-synuclein were added.</li> <li>Using high spatiotemporal resolution, protein binding and the resulting consequences on the structure of the vesicles, could be followed in real time. By means of a new theory, the structural changes in the membranes could be explained geometrically.</li> <li>The method used in the study was developed by Björn Agnarsson in Fredrik Höök's group and utilises an optical-waveguide sensor constructed with a combination of polymer and glass. The glass provides good conditions for directing light to the sensor surface, while the polymer ensures the light does not scatter and cause unwanted background signals.</li> <li>The combination of good light conduction and low background interference makes it possible to identify individual lipid vesicles and microscopically monitor their dynamics as they interact with the environment – in this case, the added protein. Sandra Rocha in Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede's group provided α-synuclein expertise, which is a complicated protein to work with.</li> <li>The research project is mainly funded by the Area of Advance for Health Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, and scholar grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The researchers’ complementary expertise around proteins, lipid membranes, optical microscopy, theoretical analysis and sensor design from Chalmers’ clean room has been crucial for this project.</li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Read the full study in <em>PNAS</em>: </strong></div> <div><a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/04/1914670117"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#5b97bf">Single-vesicle imaging reveals lipid-selective and stepwise membrane disruption by monomeric α-synuclein</font></span>​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more about the researchers:</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/bio/research/chemical_biology/Wittung-Stafshede-Lab/Pages/default.aspx" title="Link to Pernilla Wittungs reserch group"><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></span> Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede</a><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Fredrik-Höök.aspx" title="Link to Fredrik Höök's bio"><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></span> Fredrik Höök</a><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> ​Thu, 02 Jul 2020 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Experimental-platform-for-shaping-the-interaction-between-micromechanical-motion-and-light.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Experimental-platform-for-shaping-the-interaction-between-micromechanical-motion-and-light.aspxExperimental platform for shaping the interaction between micromechanical motion and light<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have developed a novel experimental platform for the field of cavity optomechanics. The findings are a crucial step towards increasing light-matter interactions further in order to access new possibilities in the field of quantum technology. The work also shows the ability to fabricate two mechanical resonators on top of each other with a gap smaller than one micrometer. &quot;This ability is an important ingredient for the next step of the project&quot;, says Witlef Wieczorek, head of the group at MC2.</b></p><div><span><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/figure_2_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of device" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /></span></span>How can light interact with matter? A rather evident way is via the radiation pressure force. However, this force is tiny. Or, have you already been pushed back by a laser pointer hitting you? But when we consider much smaller systems in the micro- and nano world, this force becomes appreciable and can actually be used to manipulate tiny objects. The radiation pressure force can even be enhanced in so-called cavity optomechanical devices. These devices exploit the interaction between light and micro- or nanomechanical resonators to alter the dynamical properties of either of the two systems. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span><em>The figure above shows a </em><span></span><span><em>scanning electron microscope image<br />of a fabricated device: a 100 nanometer thin slab of GaAs is <br />freely suspended and hold by four strings above a GaAs substrate. <br />The holes in the device are a photonic crystal pattern that yield <br />high optical reflectivity at telecom wavelengths. <br />Image: Sushanth Kini Manjeshwar</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Cavity optomechanical devices open the door to a world of possibilities such as studying quantum mechanical behavior on larger scales or as transducing microwave to optical photons, which could prove invaluable in superconducting-based quantum computing&quot;, says Witlef Wieczorek.</div> <div><br /></div> In Witlef Wieczorek’s research group, the cavity optomechanics project deals with increasing the light-matter interaction even further to access novel possibilities for the field of quantum technology. The present work reports a crucial step in this direction and presents a novel experimental platform based on specifically tailored AlGaAs heterostructures. <br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/figure3_sushanth_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Sushanth Kini" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Sushanth Kini Manjeshwar (to the right), PhD student in the lab of Witlef Wieczorek at MC2 and the lead author of the article, fabricated high-reflectivity mechanical resonators in AlGaAs heterostructures in the world-class nanofabrication cleanroom at MC2. The raw material, an epitaxially grown heterostructure on a GaAs wafer, was supplied by the group of professor Shu Min Wang at the Photonics Laboratory at MC2. <br />&quot;We patterned the mechanical resonators with a so-called photonic crystal, which can alter the behavior of light. Here, the photonic crystal enables an increase of the optical reflectivity of the mechanical resonator, which is a crucial requirement for the project&quot;, explains Sushanth Kini Manjeshwar.<br />The design of the photonic crystal pattern was developed by the group of associate professor Philippe Tassin at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.<br /> <br />The work also shows the ability to fabricate two mechanical resonators on top of each other with a gap smaller than one micrometer. This ability is an important ingredient for the next step of the project, where the researchers plan to integrate the presented devices in a chip-based optomechanical cavity. Their grand goal is then to access the elusive regime of strong interaction between a single photon and a single phonon, which is indispensable for realizing novel hardware for the field of quantum technology.<br /><br />This is the first experimental work from the Wieczorek Lab at the Quantum Technology Laboratory at MC2, and it has been published as Editor’s Pick in the special topic on Hybrid Quantum Devices in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters.<br /><br /><div>The research was driven by a newly established collaboration amongst researchers from Chalmers comprising the groups of Witlef Wieczorek and Shu Min Wang, both at MC2, and of Philippe Tassin at the <span>Department of Physics<span style="display:inline-block">.</span></span></div> <br /><div>The work was jointly supported by Chalmers Excellence Initiative Nano, the Swedish Research Council (VR), the European QuantERA project C’MON-QSENS! and the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT).</div> <br />Text: Witlef Wieczorek and Michael Nystås<br />Illustration: Alexander Ericson, Swirly Pop AB<br />Image of device: Sushanth Kini Manjeshwar<br />Photo of Sushanth Kini Manjeshwar: Michael Nystås<br /><br /><strong>Contact:</strong><strong> </strong><br />Witlef Wieczorek, Assistant Professor, Quantum Technology Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, witlef.wieczorek@chalmers.se, <a href="http://wieczorek-lab.com/"><span>wiecz</span><span>orek-lab.com</span></a><br /><br /><strong>Read the article in Applied Physics Letters &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href="https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0012667">Suspended photonic crystal membranes in AlGaAs heterostructures for integrated multi-element optomechanics</a><br />Tue, 30 Jun 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ten-million-for-increased-exchange-with-Taiwan.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ten-million-for-increased-exchange-with-Taiwan.aspxTen million to develop communication systems of the future<p><b>​Niklas Rorsman, research professor at the Microwave Electronics Laboratory at MC2, receives 10 MSEK in research grant from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF). Now, he has the opportunity to develop his cooperation with Taiwan.</b></p>&quot;We are very happy! You are always pleasantly surprised when applications are granted. This is especially true of SSF's calls where competition is always hard. In this call, there were many applicants, so the chance that our application would be welcomed so positively was relatively small&quot;, says Niklas Rorsman.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/nrorsman_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Niklas Rorsman." style="margin:5px" />He is funded with SEK 10 million for the new project &quot;Advanced GaN Devices for mm and sub-mm-wave communication&quot;.<br />&quot;We will try to optimize GaN transistors to operate at very high frequencies with the goal of being able to deliver enough output for the communication systems of the future. In the project, we will develop new materials and explore new component concepts to achieve this goal. We will be very dependent on the clean room and our measuring laboratory to be able to try and evaluate new ideas&quot;, explains Niklas.<br /><br />SSF awards a total of SEK 60 million to strengthen research collaboration with Taiwan in various projects. It is a new venture that complements the cooperation that SSF already has with Japan and South Korea.<br />&quot;I look forward to the fruition of this massively expanded collaboration between Swedish and Taiwanese researchers, including benefits to interacting industry with market opportunities stemming from innovations and scientific advances made in the projects&quot;, says professor and SSF CEO Lars Hultman in a press release.<br /><br />For Niklas Rorsman's part, a golden opportunity now arises to extend his existing exchange with Taiwan, by means of personnel, materials and knowledge:<br />&quot;We have long had a relatively close relationship with a group at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Taiwan. So far, it has resulted in some &quot;dual-degree&quot; dissertations and we have had several guest doctoral students, who have been at Chalmers for about a year and worked with us in our projects&quot;, says Niklas.<br /><br />The hope is that doctoral students and researchers will be able to periodically spend time as guest researchers in Taiwan.<br />&quot;Taiwan is an interesting country to work with. They are one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor technology&quot;, says Niklas.<br /><br />He describes himself as a country guy and a research professor who is most comfortable with lab work.<br />&quot;I am not so fond of air travel, but it might be necessary to travel to Taiwan now...&quot;<br /><br />Niklas Rorsman is one of only two Chalmers researchers to get support in this call, which received a total of 49 applications, of which six were granted. His happy colleague is Marianna Ivashina, professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering. She receives 10 million SEK for her project &quot;Antenna Technologies for Beyond-5G Wireless Communication&quot;.<br /><br />Text: Michael Nystås<br />Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist<br /><br /><div><a href="https://strategiska.se/en/press-release/60-million-for-swedish-taiwanese-research-collaboration">Read press release from SSF</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/10-million-grant-to-antenna-research.aspx">Read more about Marianna Ivashina's grant</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /></div>Thu, 25 Jun 2020 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/five-years-with-the-chalmers-fence.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/five-years-with-the-chalmers-fence.aspxThe Chalmers fence – five years of innovation<p><b>In a short time, Chalmers has become a leading part of the field of equestrian sports technology. In 2016, the Chalmers fence was launched during the annual Gothenburg Horse Show. Chalmers’ collaboration with the show has since then been about bringing theory and practice together, to decode the optimal jumping kinematics, and contribute with more sustainable horses and training methods.</b></p><div>Chalmers investment in equestrian sports technology has proven to be successful. The world of sport is always looking for new ideas and serves well as a testing arena for developing new technical solutions and materials. This research field is also giving Chalmers students the opportunity to combine leisure interests with studies.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The Chalmers fence is something the students work with in addition to their own studies, it is an opportunity to participate in a project that really makes a mark outside campus,” says Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson, Vice President of Education and Lifelong Learning at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​​​<span>From idea to crowded arena</span></h2> <div> </div> <div>The Chalmers fence is a &quot;smart showjumping fence&quot; and every year a new technical solution is created to measure another kinematic aspect of the jumps. The results are presented to the large audience in Scandinavium on the jumbotron during the ongoing competition at the Gothenburg Horse Show.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200101-20200701/Chalmershindret%202016-2020/MagnusKarlsteen_textbild200x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="magnus karlsteen" style="margin:5px;width:150px;height:186px" />“I really want to point out that this project is the result of many enthusiasts' ideas and struggles. Many people at Chalmers have been involved over the years, not least horse-interested students,” says Magnus Karlsteen, adding that it is not only equestrian people involved in the projects. Many do it for the technical challenge and the community around it, says Magnus Karlsteen, who is responsible for the Chalmers Fence and Chalmers Equestrian sports projects.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Magnus Karlsteen went to riding school for one summer as a 6-year-old, but he &quot;has hardly ever seen a horse since then&quot;. Nevertheless, Chalmers’ research into equestrian sports has attracted considerable attention in the equestrian world, which is much larger than most people can imagine. According to the Swedish Equestrian Federation, half a million Swedes are involved in the sport and it is Sweden's third largest youth sport (for 7–25-year olds). There is a significant equestrian sports industry with everything from suppliers of horse feed and veterinarians to product developers and trainers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Chalmers often organises public seminars, where different stakeholders are invited to share the latest in different research areas. When the first meeting regarding equestrian sports was organised in 2012, it turned out that the demand for research within the field was enormous.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“At a certain equestrian technology meeting we received several hundred interested people. The interest was almost as great as when the Nobel laureates visits campus,” says Magnus Karlsteen.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>A few years later, in 2015, Chalmers met representatives from Gothenburg Horse Show for the first time and the Chalmers fence, which was originally initiated by the former Vice President Maria Knutson-Wedel, began to grow from idea to reality.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The collaboration with Chalmers is part of Gothenburg Horse Show's work to support development. Equestrian sport has been given new scientific information which supports our work on horse training and competition”, says Tomas Torgersen, director for the Gothenburg Horse Show.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Opportunity to combine interests with studies</h2> <div> </div> <div>Although the investment has only been going for five years, there are already examples of horse-interested Chalmers students who have gained interest in the engineering profession after seeing the Chalmers fence and visiting Chalmers’ booth during the competition in Scandinavium.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Chalmers student Anna Skötte, project manager for the fence group 2020, is interested in both horses and technology and thinks that the Chalmers fence shows how well it works to combine these two interests.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200101-20200701/Chalmershindret%202016-2020/Annaskotte_textbild_hinder.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:196px" /><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">The days we spent in Scandinavium were extremely exciting, even though they also were very busy. The most fun thing was that everyone involved and even the audience experienced the fence measurements as interesting and successful! Also, the fact that I got to know so many different people both from Chalmers and the outside world has been very valuable,” says Anna Skötte.</span></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​&quot;We forgot that horses have tails”</h2> <div> </div> <div>Technical problems and time issues are a part of the everyday life of an engineer, something that the Chalmers students who have been involved in the Chalmers fence have gained practical experience of. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Magnus Karlsteen talks about one of the most memorable incidents over the years. During a test run a few days before the show, the participating horse had an unusually long tail. The fence had been jumped before and everything had worked well, but now the technology caught the lowest point of the tail, instead of the hooves, as the measuring point over the fence. In the computer, it looked like every bar was falling down, when in reality it was only hairs from the tail that rubbed the bars.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“It was eventually solved by having students manually reviewing each point of the kinematics before the results were posted on the jumbotron in the arena. It is an example of what a good training in problem-solving the project gives the students – they get an invaluable experience of real working life,” says Magnus Karlsteen.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Old truths questioned through new knowledge</h2> <div> </div> <div>The Chalmers fence has questioned a long-lived myth in the world of equestrian sport. The old truth says that the horse's takeoff point  is as far ahead of the fence as the fence is high. But when the students' results of the Chalmers fence in 2017 were analysed by Chalmers researcher Kristina Wärmefjord, it was confirmed that the horses jump off considerably further away than that. There is even a formula for this, which reads &quot;1.3x obstacle height + 0.2&quot;. The measurements showed that on a 1.50 fence, the horse's hooves are on average 2.15 meters from the fence in the take-off.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200101-20200701/Chalmershindret%202016-2020/Chalmershindret_200x250px.jpg" alt="showjumping" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />The results from Gothenburg Horse Show have over the years also confirmed knowledge that previously was mostly based on the riders' gut feeling, for example that more experienced horses and riders manage to maintain a more even rhythm and speed – before, over and after the fence. In classes with young riders or young horses, the numbers were much more varied than in the world elite jumping classes.</div> <div> </div> <div>Worldwide interest </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Chalmers has collaborations with several stakeholders both in Sweden and abroad regarding equestrian sport technology. There are collaborations with the Swedish breeding association SWB, and research applications are in progress together with the International equestrian committee, Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI). There is also a collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital and with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). During the European Championships in Gothenburg 2017, Chalmers students also participated in the production of obstacles for the competitions in driving, and through a design competition Chalmers students developed no less than four of the jump fences at the Ullevi stadium. There are also examples of Chalmers projects in trotting and horse racing.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>A collaboration with the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås has resulted in development of the possibility to measure ECG, heart rate and breathing with smart textiles through the horses’ fur – the list of impacts in different areas can be long. Chalmers’ equestrian technology has established contacts within equine research in Australia. Among other things, several students were invited to present their horse racing project in the Australian city of Wagga Wagga in 2018.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The students are given a unique opportunity to create a network – internally at Chalmers, in the corporate world, in the horse sector and in various research areas around the world. We are constantly contacted by new stakeholders,” says Magnus Karlsteen.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Ireland is another great horse nation that has shown interest in Chalmers’ equestrian technology. During Gothenburg Horse Show this year, the fence group was contacted by the head of the Ireland national team. The Chal​mers students received an invitation to visit Ireland and set up the Chalmers fence at the prestigious Dublin Horse Show in the summer of 2020 – though the collaboration has unfortunately been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. <span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(51, 51, 51)"> </span></p> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>The next step: </span><span>comme</span><span>rcialisation</span><span></span><span> and entrepreneurship</span></h2></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The work of taking the technology from the Chalmers fence to the next step in a commercialisation process is done in various ways, including, in the spring of 2020, a master’s thesis titled &quot;Development and testing of a concept for analyzing kinematics in show jumping&quot;.</p> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“We believe that video analysis is a way forward for equestrian sport technology. We want to be able to offer riders and trainers a static tool that with the help of collected data, could detect a downward trend in the horse's performance at an early stage, which could be an indication of an injury for example. By quickly identifying a negative signal, the horse's well-being and a possible veterinary cost can be positively affected,” says Elin Lorin, one of the students behind the study.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>She and her fellow student Niklas Westman are now getting help from Chalmers Innovation Office to develop the Master thesis into an eventual Startup. Several students who have been active in the Chalmers fence group are today entrepreneurs within the field.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The technical aspects of the Chalmers fence are also being developed within the Chalmers educational investment Tracks. The work is run in collaboration with the Riding School at Strömsholm, one of the Swedish Equestrian Federation´s educational facilities, where the national teams have their base.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>This year, the participants in the Tracks course about the fence were tasked on the demand from Strömsholm to develop a system for measuring and analysing equipage that is jumping at their riding arena. Anna Skötte, project manager for the Chalmers fence 2020, also participates in this venture:</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200101-20200701/Chalmershindret%202016-2020/ridhus%20kamera_tracks.JPG" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="students" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:133px" />“We have chosen to continue with the same technology as in Scandinavium, through a camera which records the kinematic data when the horses jump, something we hope can support the training of both horses and riders at Strömsholm in the future”, she says.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Magnus Karlsteen says that the collaboration with Strömsholm is an opportunity to quickly reach out with the technology into the wider horse world, for example during the annual testing of young horses that is arranged at the facility.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“Through the collaboration, we get the opportunity to participate in and develop equestrian sport at the highest level, and in the longer term we can also make the technology available to the market and to the ordinary rider,” says Magnus Karlsteen.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 17 Jun 2020 17:00:00 +0200