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Newsletter 1 Autumn-2016

Exciting developments in MESA+

You don’t have to be a nano scientist to know that nanotechnology is hot – and getting hotter very day. Self-repairing materials, the conversion of CO2 waste into storable energy, quantum-secure authentication, an ‘e-nose’ that can virtually smell diseases at their very earliest stages, a pocket-size desalination unit. These are just some of the many visions, ideas and near possibilities presented and discussed by students and scientists at our 2016 MESA+ Meeting this September in Enschede, the Netherlands. In this MESA+ Newsletter we’d like to fill you in on exciting developments in our field – many of which could have huge implications for your field. Whether you’re in healthcare, pharma, trade and industry, energy or almost any other domain, change is coming your way. And here are some of the people and ideas shaping it.

If on reading this newsletter you have any questions, suggestions or brilliant ideas, please feel free to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. dr. ing. Guus Rijnders
University of Twente
Faculty of Science & Technology

Our next step: a network of nanomaterial neural networks – a kind of nano-Internet Recently, MESA+ researchers provided proof of principle for an unconventional nanoscale network carrying out logic operations. The next step, says professors Wilfred G. van der Wiel, is to build a network of such networks, ‘a kind of nano-Internet’. This new system, he adds, will be capable of tackling the real problems currently causing headaches in advanced computing: the recognition of complex patterns, such as faces and facial expressions, hand writing – or cancer cells. Many scientists around the world have joined this quest for the keys to neuromorphic, or brain-like, computing. MESA+’s special angle: using nanomaterials that can evolve naturally into ‘nanocomputers’ using their own physical properties. Prof. Dr. Stuart Parkin on the future of computing Prof. Dr. Stuart Parkin is not one to sit back and rest on his laurels. While his discoveries in magneto-resistive thin film structures enabled a more than 1000-fold increase in the storage capacity of magnetic disk drives, earning him the Millennium Technology Award from the Technology Academy Finland in 2014, he remains relentless in his quest for a new kind of computer that will combine unprecedented capacity with unprecedented energy efficiency. Viewing the human brain as the cynosure of this field of science, he comments, ‘We must try and do better than nature.’ Facilities We create possibilities in our facilities by adding knowledge. Expertise from a variety of people - researchers, technologists and technicians - can help you to realize devices, solve technological problems, analyze materials or even build sophisticated tools. Are you the next user with a brilliant product idea, or maybe the researcher facing the next big scientific challenge? We can offer you the environment you need to realize your dreams. PhD Graduates To give an impression of what it is to be a PhD student at MESA+, we interview all finishing students and ask them to share their experiences. MESA+ spinoff Solmates’ PLD machine enables MESA+ to take a step in the direction of industry The University of Twente’s MESA+ research institute has purchased an advanced Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) machine from its research partner, the spin-off company Solmates. As a result, new scientific knowledge in the areas of unconventional electronics and advanced materials will be more accessible, as well as more suitable for practical application at an earlier stage. Proper breeding ground for germanene Graphene may currently be the best known ‘two dimensional’ material, its new cousin germanene seems to have properties that are even more attractive for application in electronics. For this, germanene has to grow in a one atom layer on top of a proper carrier - substrate. Scientists of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology of the University of Twente managed to grow germanene on a semiconductor material, preserving the unique properties. In two separate papers in the same edition of Physical Review Letters, they present calculations ánd experiments. New theory on how to control energy transfer between molecules Scientists at the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Twente (MESA+) and the FOM Foundation have settled an old scientific debate on whether or not the energy transfer between two molecules depends on their nano-environment.