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Making it easier to differentiate mirror-image molecules

Researchers have shown that mirror-image substances – so-called enantiomers – can be better distinguished using helical X-ray light

06-Jul-2022

Using a new method, scientists are better able to distinguish between mirror-image substances. This is important amongst others in drug development, because the two variants can cause completely different effects in the human body. Researchers from Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, EPF Lausanne ...

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Revolutionary images of the birth of crystals

A team from the UNIGE has succeeded in visualizing crystal nucleation - the stage that precedes crystallization - that was invisible until now

26-Apr-2022

At the interface between chemistry and physics, the process of crystallization is omnipresent in nature and industry. It is the basis for the formation of snowflakes but also of certain active ingredients used in pharmacology. For the phenomenon to occur for a given substance, it must first go ...

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A new electrolyte for greener and safer batteries

New material improves the performance of solid-state sodium batteries - a less dangerous and more durable alternative to lithium

14-Feb-2022

The future of battery technologies lies in sodium. More sustainable than lithium - which currently powers most of our devices and vehicles - sodium is also abundant on the earth’s surface. The only problem is that its ions do not move easily in the liquid electrolyte of conventional batteries, ...

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Tying up molecules as easily as you tie up your laces

New perspectives for designing materials and transferring information molecularly

02-Mar-2020

Knots are all around us: in computer cables, headphones and wires. But, although they can be a nuisance, they're also very useful when it comes to tying up your laces or when you go sailing. In maths, there are no less than six billion different potential knots, but what about knots in chemistry? ...

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Molecular switch detects metals in the environment

Chemical sensor capable of detecting the presence of metals

17-Aug-2018

An international team, led by researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has designed a family of molecules capable of binding to metal ions present in its environment and providing an easily detectable light signal during binding. This new type of sensor forms a 3D structure ...

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The apparent inner calm of quantum materials

09-May-2018

Transitions between different phases of matter are part of our day-to-day lives: when water freezes, for example, it passes from liquid to solid state. Some of these transitions may be of a different kind, resulting from so-called topological excitations that force all the particles to act in ...

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Freeing electrons to better trap them

19-Apr-2018

Atoms are composed of electrons moving around a central nucleus they are bound to. The electrons can also be torn away, overcoming the confining force of their nucleus, using the powerful electric field of a laser. Half a century ago, the theorist Walter Henneberger wondered if it was possible to ...

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When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube

17-Apr-2018

Predicting the behaviour of electrons in a material is not easily done. Physicists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), ETH Zurich and EPFL replaced the electrons with ultra-cold neutral lithium atoms that they had circulated in a one-dimensional quantum tube. The scientists were then able to ...

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New batteries with better performance and improved safety

24-Nov-2017

Phones, laptops, electric cars - batteries are everywhere. And to meet the expectations of today's consumers, these batteries are increasingly light, more powerful and designed to last longer. Currently the most important technology for these applications is the lithium-ion battery technology: ...

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A network of crystals for long-distance quantum communication

31-May-2017

Quantum physic can guarantee that a message has not be intercepted before reaching its destination. Thanks to the laws of quantum physic, a particle of light - a photon - can be in two distinct states simultaneously, comparable to a coin thrown in the air, which is virtually both head and tail ...

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