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How mercury gets into the sea

Chemical fingerprint reveals origin

04-Oct-2021

Mercury released into the atmosphere by industry enters the sea and from there makes its way into the food chain. Now, an analysis by the University of Basel has revealed how the harmful substance enters seawater in the first place. This is not primarily via rainfall, as previously assumed, but ...

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Manganese could make luminescent materials and the conversion of sunlight more sustainable

06-Aug-2021

University of Basel researchers have reached an important milestone in their quest to produce more sustainable luminescent materials and catalysts for converting sunlight into other forms of energy. Based on the cheap metal manganese, they have developed a new class of compounds with promising ...

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Infrared Held in a Pincer

A NIR-II-emitting chromium complex

23-Jul-2021

Many applications, from fiber-optic telecommunications to biomedical imaging processes require substances that emit light in the near-infrared range (NIR). A research team in Switzerland has now developed the first chromium complex that emits light in the coveted, longer wavelength NIR-II range. ...

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Ultrathin semiconductors electrically connected to superconductors for the first time

New properties and phenomena

07-Jul-2021

For the first time, University of Basel researchers have equipped an ultrathin semiconductor with superconducting contacts. These extremely thin materials with novel electronic and optical properties could pave the way for previously unimagined applications. Combined with superconductors, they ...

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Stretching changes the electronic properties of graphene

The electronic properties of graphene can be specifically modified by stretching the material evenly

05-Jul-2021

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The material is very flexible and has excellent electronic properties, making it attractive for numerous applications – electronic components in particular. Researchers led by Professor Christian Schönenberger at ...

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Carbon-neutral “biofuel” from lakes

Lakes as huge energy stores

02-Apr-2021

Lakes store huge amounts of methane. In a new study, environmental scientists at the University of Basel offer suggestions for how it can be extracted and used as an energy source in the form of methanol. Discussion about the current climate crisis usually focuses on carbon dioxide (CO2). The ...

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New class of substances for redox reactions

Pyrazinacenes can be reversibly oxidized and reduced

17-Mar-2021

An interdisciplinary, multinational research team presents a new class of chemical compounds that can be reversibly oxidized and reduced. The compounds known as 'pyrazinacenes' are simple, stable compounds that consist of a series of connected nitrogen-containing carbon rings. They are suitable ...

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Kagome graphene promises exciting properties

It behaves as a semiconductor and may also have unusual electrical properties

18-Feb-2021

For the first time, physicists from the University of Basel have produced a graphene compound consisting of carbon atoms and a small number of nitrogen atoms in a regular grid of hexagons and triangles. This honeycomb-structured “kagome lattice” behaves as a semiconductor and may also have ...

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A tiny instrument to measure the faintest magnetic fields

Applications in areas such as medicine, besides being used to research new materials

08-Sep-2020

Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a minuscule instrument able to detect extremely faint magnetic fields. At the heart of the superconducting quantum interference device are two atomically thin layers of graphene, which the researchers combined with boron nitride. Instruments ...

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Efficient valves for electron spins

New concept developed that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current

17-Aug-2020

Researchers at the University of Basel in collaboration with colleagues from Pisa have developed a new concept that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current. In addition to fundamental research, such spin valves are also the key elements in spintronics – a type of electronics that ...

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