2013 News

December 2013
Promotion to Associate Professor

The University of Basel has promoted Prof. Martino Poggio from Tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics to Associate Professor. The promotion came after 5 years as an Assistant Professor and was based on both internal and expert external evaluations of Prof. Poggio’s work. The promotion goes into effect on the 1st of January 2014. This favorable evaluation is the result of the hard work and dedication to excellence of all our group members and represents a success for the entire team.

Farewell Party for Dr. Fei Xue

Dr. Fei Xue has been an essential member of our group since December of 2009. On Sunday the 15th, Fei invited friends and colleagues to a farewell lunch in Lörrach. Fei’s early work in setting up the lab as well as his involvement in nearly every research project has been crucial to our success. While we are sad to lose such an important member, we wish Fei the best of luck in his new adventure as a Principal Investigator at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HMFL) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Hefei, China. There, he will be setting up and leading his own lab. We look forward to collaborating on research projects with Dr. Xue in the future. Thanks for everything, Fei, and congratulations on the new position!

Group in SNI News

This month SNI News, the monthly news magazine of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), features our group. Their cover story dicusses our group’s research and highlights our most recent results. They also run a short feature introducing our new SNI Ph.D. student, Davide Cadeddu. The SNI is a important supporter of our work and excellent scientific resource for our group.

QSIT Site Visit

The third site visit of the NCCR Quantum Science and Technology (QSIT) took place at ETH Zürich on December 2nd and 3rd. The presentations to an evaluation committee included a session of talks and posters by student researchers on the 2nd (program). From our lab post-doc Hari Solanki presented a poster on the last three years of our work in QSIT. Prof. Poggio gave the overview talk for the first project, entitled Quantum Sensing, of the four projects proposed for the second phase of QSIT. Thank you to the director of the NCCR Prof. Klaus Ensslin, to the co-director Prof. Richard Warburton, and to the chief administrator Ilona Blatter for their hard work organizing the review.

November 2013
Scanning Probe Workshop in Bad Honnef

Dr. Floris Braakman and Prof. Poggio attended the 544th Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminar at the Physik-Zentrum in Bad Honnef, Germany from the 11th until the 13th. The workshop was entitled, “Interactions with the Nanoworld: Local Probes with High Time, Energy and Force Resolution”, and included a special emphasis on scanning probe microscopy. Prof. Poggio gave an invited talk during the conference.

Conference at the Weizmann Institute

From the 11th to the 15th, Ph.D. students Davide Cadeddu, Andrea Mehlin, and Michele Montinaro attended the “Nanowires 2013” research workshop at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel. There the students learned about the latest developments in the growth, characterization, and study of nanowires. This rapidly growing research area is at the frontier of many developments in materials science, mesoscopic physics, and device applications.

Post-Doc Joins the Lab

Dr. Floris Braakman starts work in the lab in early November. Floris recently earned his Ph.D. with a thesis titled, “Coherent Coupling of Qubits in Small Quantum Dot Arrays,” under the supervision of Prof. Lieven Vandersypen at the Technical University of Delft. His position is funded by our new ERC Starting Grant.

October 2013
Workshop in Nice

Prof. Poggio attended and gave an invited talk at a workshop on “Wide-bandgap Semiconductor Nanostructures” organized by Prof. Andreas Wieck (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) at CRHEA Sophia Antipolis near Nice, France. Prof. Richard Warburton from Basel also attended and gave a talk.

September 2013
Fundamental Analog Electronics Begins

Prof. Poggio’s course entitled Fundamental Analog Electronics is now underway. Lectures are on Tuesdays, 10.00-12.00 in Neuer Hörsaal 1. On weeks requiring practical labs, there are be lab sessions Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:00-12:00 in Seminarzimmer 2.04. On weeks requiring written exercises, there is an exercise session Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 in 3.12.

Nature Physics Letter in the News

On September 10th, a story on our Nature Physics letter entitled, Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire, appeared in the German physics site, pro-physik.de. The piece entitled, 3D-Aufnahmen von der Nanowelt (3D-images of the nanoworld), describes our results.

August 2013
Paper Highlighted in PRB

On August 29th, Physical Review B published our paper, Nanoscale multifunctional sensor formed by a Ni nanotube and a scanning Nb nanoSQUID. The publication was selected as an Editors’ Suggestion and appears in the Magnetism section of the journal. Editors’ Suggestions are described as a small number of papers “that the editors and referees find of particular interest, importance, or clarity”. This is the second publication resulting from the collaboration between our group, the group of Profs. Dieter Koelle and Reinhold Kleiner, the group of Prof. Dirk Grundler, and the group of Prof. Anna Fontcuberta i Morral. Ph.D. student Joachim Nagel from Tübingen led the effort and Ph.D. student Arne Buchter and post doctoral researcher Dr. Fei Xue contributed from our group.

Our Publication in the News

On August 26th, our Nature Physics letter entitled, Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire, attracted coverage as the first report of real-time manipulation and control of nuclear spin noise. Stories were posted on the University of Basel’s Uni News site, the news of the NCCR QSITEurekaAlertPhys.orgInnovations Report, and Nanowerk.

Paper Published in Nature Physics

On August 25th, Nature Physics published our letter entitled, Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire. In it, we demonstrate a new method for polarizing nuclear spins in extremely small samples. The scheme may provide a route for enhancing the sensitivity of nanometer-scale magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or possibly for the implementation of solid-state quantum computers. The work resulted from a collaboration with the group of Prof. Erik Bakkers of the Eindhoven and Delft Universities of Technology. Former Ph.D. student Phani Peddibhotla and post doctoral researcher Fei Xue from our group were involved in the project.

Machine Shop / Poggio Lab Summer Barbeque

On August 9th along with our colleagues in the Physics Department Machine Shop our group organized a summer barbeque here in the department. Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success. The weather was beautiful and lots of fun was had by all. See you again next year!

Paper Appears in Physical Review Letters

On August 8th, our paper entitled, Reversal mechanism of an individual Ni nanotube simultaneously studied by torque and SQUID magnetometry, appeared in Physical Review Letters. The paper describes measurements of the magnetic reversal of a single ferromagnetic nanotube using a combined torque and SQUID magnetometer. The work is the result of fruitful collaborations between our group, the group of Prof. Dirk Grundler, the group of Profs. Dieter Koelle and Reinhold Kleiner, and the group of Prof. Anna
Fontcuberta i Morral
. Ph.D. students Arne Buchter and Dennis Weber and post doctoral researcher Dr. Fei Xue from our group were involved in the project.

Group in the News

On August 7th a pair of stories appeared in the Uni News and the Basler Zeitung on our group’s success in winning an ERC Starting Grant. The grant from the European Commission will provide funding for students, equipment, and consumables for a project entitled, “Bottom-up Nanowires as Scanning Multifunctional Sensors”, or NWScan for short. NWScan is set to start on the 1st of November, 2013 and is planned to run for 5 years.

Group at Spintronics Conference

Dr. Fei Xue and Prof. Poggio attended the 7th International School and Conference on Spintronics and Quantum Information Technology from July 29th to August 2nd in Chicago, USA. The conference highlighted fundamental physical phenomena related to spin-dependent effects in condensed matter and advances in the development of new spintronic materials, structures, and devices, including quantum information science and concepts. On Thursday August 1st, Prof. Poggio gave a talk entitled, “Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire”.

July 2013
Warburton Group Nature Physics Article

On July 28th, our colleagues from the Warburton Group here in Basel published an article in Nature Physics entitled, Charge noise and spin noise in a semiconductor quantum device. The work, led by Ph.D. student Andreas Kuhlmann and Prof. Richard Warburton, unravels the nature of noise in single self-assembled semiconductor quantum dots. Prof. Poggio contributed to the project by providing electronics and software expertise. A associated “News and Views” piece in the same issue entitled, Quantum dots: To the source of the noise, highlights the results.

Nano- and Micromechanics in Monte Verità

Prof. Tobias Kippenberg (EPFL) organized a workshop entitled Quantum Nano- and Micromechanics in Monte Verità, Switzerland from July 21st to 25th. Prof. Markus Aspelmeyer (Vienna) and Prof. Poggio served as co-organizers. The event brought toegether leading researchers and students from all around the world and showcased the great progress made in the field of micro- and nanomechanics in the past few years. On Wednesday July 24th, Prof. Poggio gave a talk entitled, “Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire”.

Third Annual Swiss MRFM Gathering

On Friday July 12th, our group attended the third informal gathering of research groups working on magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) here in Switzerland. The meeting was held at the ETH in Zürich and organized by Prof. Christian Degen (ETH Physics). About 20 students, post-docs, and professors from our group, the group of Prof. Degen, and the group of Prof. Beat Meier (ETH Chemistry) were in attendance. The proceedings included talks on MRFM by Ivan Tomka (ETH Chemistry), Dr. Fei Xue (Basel), Ben Herzog (Basel), and Sebastian Schnoz (ETH Chemistry); on synthesis of labeled nano-biological samples by Dr. Romana Schirhagl (ETH Physics); on surface dissipation in cantilevers by Ye Tao (ETH Physics); and on nanoscale sensing with nanowire devices by Prof. Poggio (Basel). An excellent dinner with a wonderful view of Zürich concluded the proceedings. Thanks to all participants and especially to the Degen Group for a successful event. See you next year!

Prof. Poggio wins ERC Starting Grant

On July 11th, the European Research Council Executive Agency signed a grant agreement for Prof. Poggio’s new ERC Starting Grant entitled, “Bottom-up Nanowires as Scanning Multifunctional Sensors”, or NWScan for short. The project will officially start on November 1st, 2013 with a duration of 5 years. ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are establishing a research team in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have proven the potential to become independent research leaders. The evaluation criteria for these grants is scientific excellence and the available funding is up to 1.5M EUR.

Workshop in Cluj

Prof. Poggio attended the 3rd Workshop on Nanoscale Spin and Charge Dynamics in Cluj, Romania from July 8th to 12th. The workshop brought together experts in the theory and experiment of nanoscaole spin and charge systems with a format aimed at allowing for considerable discussion. Prof. Poggio gave a talk entitled, “Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire” on Thursday July 11th.

News and Views appears in Nature Nanotech.

A “News and Views” piece by Prof. Poggio entitled, Sensing from the bottom up, appeared in Nature Nanotechnology on July 3rd. The contribution highlights recent results by the Bachtold Group on carbon nanotube force transducers and discusses possible future trends in force sensing.

June 2013
First Ph.D. Graduates

Ph.D. student Phani Peddibhotla defended his thesis on the 21st of June earning his physics doctorate magna cum laude. Prof. Daniel Loss presided over the examination with Prof. Poggio and Prof. Christian Degen (ETH) making up the committee. Phani is the first student from the Poggio Lab to complete his Ph.D. having joined the group in April 2009 when the lab was still empty. Despite the challenges of building a lab, Phani was able to successfully complete a very challenging research project authoring a number of publications along the way. Phani will be joining the prestigious Jelezko Group at Ulm University as a post doctoral researcher in mid-July. Congratulations to Dr. Peddibhotla and good luck to him in his future pursuits from everyone in the lab!

Bruker BioSpin AG Visit

On June 13th, Prof. Poggio visited Bruker BioSpin AG in Fällanden, Switzerland, just outside Zürich. Prof. Poggio gave a talk and was given a full tour of the facilities. Thanks very much to Dr. Roberto Seydoux, Dr. Markus Häberli, and Dr. Michele Zaffalon of the Cryo-probe Research and Development team for the kind invitation and the hospitality.

Ph.D. Student on QSIT Mini-sabatical

Ph.D. student Dennis Weber went on a QSIT mini-sabatical for the week of June 10th and worked in the lab of Dr. Gian Salis at IBM Rüschlikon outside of Zürich. As part of the NCCR QSIT, both our group and the group of Dr. Salis were using the exchange to promote collaboration, especially in the area of nanomagnetism.

May 2013
Ph.D. Student Starts in the Lab

On May 16th, Davide Cadeddu started work as a Ph.D. student in our group. Davide received both his Bachelor and Masters degree in Engineering Physics from the Politecnico di Milano.

Magnetic Nanowire Workshop in Kaub

From May 12th to 15th, Ph.D. students Arne Buchter, Dennis Weber, and Prof. Poggio took part in the International Workshop on Magnetic Nanowires and Nanotubes in Kaub, Germany. Dennis and Arne gave a talk and a poster presentation respectively, while Prof. Poggio gave an invited talk. In addtion to learning about magnetic nanostructures, the workshop provided an oppurtunity to discuss with our collaborator in the Fontcuberta Group (EPFL), Ph.D. student Daniel Rüffer.

QSIT Lunch Seminar

On May 5th, Ph.D. student Phani Peddibhotla was invited to give a talk at the QSIT Lunch Seminar as part of our group’s participation in the NCCR QSIT. Phani’s presentation was entitled Harnessing nuclear spin polarization fluctuations in a semiconductor nanowire.

April 2013
Prof. Jiangfeng Du Visits

Prof. Jiangfeng Du from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) visited our group from the 15th to the 19th of April. The visit is part of a joint research project between our two groups funded by the Sino Swiss Science and Technology Cooperation (SSSTC).

March 2013
Dr. Fei Xue at Analytix 2013

Dr. Fei Xue represented our group at the Analytix 2013 conference in Suzhou, China from March 21st to 23rd. There, Dr. Xue gave a talk entitled, Nano Magnetic Resonance of Semiconducting Structures in the Advanced Microscopy Technology session. The conference program can be found here.

Students at Bad Honnef Seminar

From the 4th to the 6th, Ph.D. students Dennis Weber and Arne Buchter were at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef, Germany for the 526th Wilhelm und Else Heraus-Seminar on Functional Magnetic Nanomembranes. Dennis gave an invited talk on dynamic torque magnetometry of Ni nanotubes and Arne presented a poster on experiments with a hybrid torque/nanoSQUID magnetometer.

February 2013
Fundamental Digital Electronics Begins

Prof. Poggio’s course entitled Fundamental Digital Electronics is now underway. Lectures will be Tuesdays, 10.00-12.00 in Neuer Hörsaal 1. On weeks requiring practical labs, there will be a lab session Wednesdays 12:00-14:00 in Seminarzimmer 2.04. On weeks requiring written exercises, there will be an exercise session Wednesdays, 12:00-13:00 in 4.1.

January 2013
QSIT Meeting in Arosa

During the last week of January, members of our group took part in the 3rd NCCR QSIT General Meeting in Arosa, Switzerland. Prof. Poggio and Ph.D. students Dennis Weber, Arne Buchter, Benedikt Herzog, and Andrea Mehlin attended the meeting. Andrea also participated in the QSIT school before the meeting and Arne gave a talk at the meeting entitled, A hybrid nanoscale magnetometer. Many thanks to QSIT director Prof. Klaus Ensslin, co-director Prof. Richard Warburton, and especially QSIT coordinator Ilona Blatter for putting on a great conference!

Talk in Leeds

Prof. Poggio visited the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leeds on January 10th and 11th. There he gave a talk entitled “Nano-mechanics, nano-magnetometry, and nano-MRI”, spoke with colleagues, and toured the department.