Light hits the 3D-printed nanostructures from below. After it is transmitted through, the viewer sees only green light—the remaining colors are redirected. Thomas Auzinger

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and certain color effects are impossible to achieve. The natural world, however, also exhibits structural coloration, where the microstructure of an object causes various colors to appear. Peacock feathers, for instance, are pigmented brown, but—because of long hollows within the feathers—reflect the gorgeous, iridescent blues and greens we see and admire.

The luminescent atoms in the image show a nanocrystal which is characterized with atomistic resolution, including its interface chemistry. experimental and theoretical approaches. Published with permission by Nature Publishing Group. Copyright: Peter Allen


New artificial materials for semiconductors used in solar cells or photoelectrochemical cells that are designed from scratch with totally new and tailored properties: this is the latest research topic of Stefan Wippermann, head of the group “Atomistic Modelling“ at the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung), and his team. They characterized for the first time with atomic resolution a typical material system and are able to set design principles.

Matter and antimatter in the nanoscale magnetic universe: a gas of skyrmions (purple) and antiskyrmions (green) generated from the trochoidal dynamics of a single antiskyrmion seed. Ill./©: Joo-Von Kim


Nanosized magnetic particles called skyrmions are considered highly promising candidates for new data storage and information technologies. Now, physicists have revealed new behavior involving the antiparticle equivalent of skyrmions in a ferromagnetic material. The researchers demonstrated their findings using advanced computer simulations that can accurately model magnetic properties of nanometer-thick materials.

The electron kinetic energy spectrum from Ar clusters interacting with intense laser pulses is dominated by a low-energy structure (orange area). Bernd Schütte

For the past 30 years intense laser cluster interactions have been seen primarily as a way to generate energetic ions and electrons. In surprising contrast with the hitherto prevailing paradigm, a team of researchers has now found that copious amounts of relatively slow electrons are also produced in intense laser cluster interactions.

When graphene nanoribbons contain sections of varying width, very robust new quantum states can be created in the transition zone. Empa

Empa researchers, together with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and other partners, have achieved a breakthrough that could in future be used for precise nanotransistors or - in the distant future - possibly even quantum computers, as the team reports in the current issue of the scientific journal «Nature».

Signal receptor-containing vesicles (red) form on the inside of the cell membrane (brown) and bud off into the cell. Visualization: Thomas Splettstößer

If certain signaling cascades are misregulated, diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes may occur. A mechanism recently discovered by scientists at the Leibniz- Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and at the University of Geneva has a crucial influence on such signaling cascades and may be an important key for the future development of therapies against these diseases. The results of the study have just been published in the prestigious scientific journal 'Molecular Cell'.

The oscillating cantilever influences the spin of the electrons in the nitrogen-vacancy centers (red arrows). The phase of the oscillator determined in which direction the spin rotates. Illustration: University of Basel / Swiss Nanoscience Institute

For the first time, researchers were able to study quantum interference in a three-level quantum system and thereby control the behavior of individual electron spins. To this end, they used a novel nanostructure, in which a quantum system is integrated into a nanoscale mechanical oscillator in form of a diamond cantilever. Nature Physics has published the study that was conducted at the University of Basel and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute.

Probe station with patterned OLEDs in the clean room of Fraunhofer FEP. © Fraunhofer FEP

OLED microdisplays are increasingly establishing themselves in wearables and data glasses. In order to meet the requirements for higher efficiency, higher contrast, and higher resolutions in these applications, Fraunhofer FEP scientists have developed a new micropatterning approach for OLEDs on silicon substrates. This might eliminate the use of color filters and shadow masks in the future and allow full-color displays to be developed by means of a new process.

Configuration of a switchable plasmonic router consisting of a T-shaped metallic waveguide surrounded by a ferromagnetic dielectric material and under the action of an external magnetic field. Fig. MBI


Plasmonic waveguides open the possibility to develop dramatically miniaturized optical devices and provide a promising route towards the next-generation of integrated nanophotonic circuits for information processing, optical computing and others. Key elements of nanophotonic circuits are switchable plasmonic routers and plasmonic modulators.

Molecular capsule: on the left, the around 1.4 cubic nanometer-large cavity is highlighted in blue. On the right, the cohesion of the capsule via hydrogen bonds (green dashed lines) is visible. University of Basel, Department of Chemistry

Terpenes are natural products that are often very difficult to synthesize in the laboratory. Chemists from the University of Basel have now developed a synthesis method that mimics nature. The decisive step takes place inside a molecular capsule, which enables the reaction. The findings were recently published in the journal Nature Catalysis.

24-channel microscope "zenCELL owl”. InnoME GmbH

From August 29 to 31, 2018, the Medical Manufacturing Asia (MMA) takes place as a supplier trade fair in Singapore. The IVAM Microtechnology Network presents a joint pavilion at the fair. Here, international developers and manufacturers of medical device components present current technologies and products. The fair will be accompanied by a presentation forum, B2B meetings and a company visit.

Neoplastic cerebral organoid with GFP-positive tumor regions (green), which demonstrates glioblastoma-like cellularity. IMBA

For the first-time, researchers at IMBA- Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences – develop organoids, that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.


One of the silicon building blocks that permits to design silicones for a variety of applications. Wagner group, Goethe-University

Silicones are synthetic materials used in a broad range of applications. Thanks to the stability of the silicon-oxygen bond, they are resistant to chemicals and environmental influences and also harmless from a physiological point of view. As a result, silicones contribute to making everyday life easier in almost all areas.

Dr. James Birrell & Dr. Patricia Rodríguez Maciá. MPI CEC

A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and the MPI für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr have succeeded in optimizing naturally occurring catalysts (hydrogenases) for application. Hydrogen gas (H2) has been proposed as an ideal energy vector. It can be produced from water, ideally using renewable energy sources and using an efficient catalyst to split water into H2 and oxygen (O2).

Combining a tiny drug capsule with antibodies under acidic conditions results in the antibodies attaching to the drug carrier in a stable way. This makes targeting for nanocarriers possible. Stefan Schuhmacher

Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have developed a new method to enable miniature drug-filled nanocarriers to dock on to immune cells, which in turn attack tumors. In the future, this may lead to targeted treatment that can largely eliminate damage to healthy tissue.

Graphic: Wilfried Weber


Scientists from the University of Freiburg have developed materials systems that are composed of biological components and polymer materials and are capable of perceiving and processing information. These biohybrid systems were engineered to perform certain functions, such as the counting signal pulses in order to release bioactive molecules or drugs at the correct time, or to detect enzymes and small molecules such as antibiotics in milk. The interdisciplinary team presented their results in some of the leading journals in the field, including Advanced Materials and Materials Today.