The team grinds up samples of rocks and other materials to nano-sized particles, such as iron ore (photo). They can be used as reference materials for precise calibration of measuring devices. Simon Nordstad / Kiel University

Young start-up team from Kiel University develops new reference materials for direct microanalysis of solids. How badly plants are affected by contaminated soil, what the sea floor can reveal about past climate periods, or what yield an ore mine could deliver in future - an analysis of the chemical composition of minerals and rocks can often provide valuable information. For accurate results, not only are high-quality measuring devices required, but also first-class reference materials, in order to be able to accurately calibrate the instruments.

NRW nanoconference 2018

The NRW Nano Conference is Germany’s largest conference with international appeal in the field of nanotechnologies. It takes place every two years at changing locations. More than 700 experts from science, industry and politics meet for two days to promote research and application of the key technology at the network meeting.

Visualization of a current through an OLED, flowing via a thin molecular layer (center) from an electrode (left) to an organic semiconductor (right). Copyright: Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, have received an unexpected result: They have discovered a new method to improve contacts in OLEDs. This new approach leads to a higher energy efficiency and can be used in almost any organic semiconductor element.

Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy makes the binding principle of unstructured proteins visible. Christoph Schumacher, dunkelweiss

UZH researchers have discovered a previously unknown way in which proteins interact with one another and cells organize themselves. This new mechanism involves two fully unstructured proteins forming an ultra-high-affinity complex due to their opposite net charge. Proteins usually bind one another as a result of perfectly matching shapes in their three-dimensional structures.