We are pleased to send you the 34th issue of the NCCR MARVEL newsletter!
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Newsletter - May 31, 2021

Dear MARVEL'ers,

Please find below our latest newsletter, with news and events linked to the MARVEL community.  This month, read about a study that could improve the design of industrial-scale processing techniques for lead perovskites, as well as about a new type of so-called "bite" defects, identified as the most common source of disorder in on-surface synthesized graphene nanoribbons. Read too about how both superconductivity and high critical temperature are found in the 2D semimetal W2N3

The review of electronic-structure methods which has been published for Nature Materials will be of interest to the MARVEL community, in particular to members involved in electronic-structure simulations.

This month, we'll have several other exciting events. In particular, take note of the MARVEL Distinguished Lecture by Darío Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research as well as of a MARVEL seminar on open science and open access.


Superconductivity, high critical temperature found in 2D semimetal W2N3

Two-dimensional superconductors have drawn considerable attention both for the fundamental physics they display as well as for potential applications in fields such as quantum computing. Although considerable efforts have been made to identify them, materials with high transition temperatures have been hard to find. Materials that feature both superconductivity and non-trivial band topology, a combination that could potentially give rise to exotic states of matter, have proven even more elusive. In the paper Prediction of phonon-mediated superconductivity with high critical temperature in the two-dimensional topological semimetal W2N3 , recently published in Nano Letters, researchers predict just such a material in the easily exfoliable, topologically non-trivial 2D semimetal W2N3.

“Bite” defects revealed in bottom-up graphene nanoribbons

Two recently published papers from a collaboration between two NCCR MARVEL labs have identified a new type of defect as the most common source of disorder in on-surface synthesized graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), a novel class of carbon-based materials that may prove extremely useful in next-generation electronic devices. Combining scanning probe microscopy with first-principles calculations allowed the researchers to identify the atomic structure of these so-called "bite" defects and to investigate their effect on quantum electronic transport in two different types of graphene nanoribbon. They also established guidelines for minimizing the detrimental impact of these defects on electronic transport and proposed defective zigzag-edged nanoribbons as suitable platforms for certain applications in spintronics.

Low-temperature crystallization of phase-pure α-formamidinium lead iodide enabled by study in Science Advances

Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are among the most promising and cheapest photovoltaic technologies now available, but widespread application has been hampered by issues linked to long-term stability and processability. In the paper A combined molecular dynamics and experimental study of two-step process enabling low-temperature formation of phase-pure α-FAPbI3, recently published in Science Advances, researchers including Prof. Michele Parrinello, professor of computational Sciences at the Università della Svizzera italiana and ETHZ as well as Group Leader in NCCR MARVEL's Design & Discovery Project 1, and Paramvir Ahlawat,  a PhD student in the EPFL Lab of Prof. Ursula Roethlisberger, address this problem with a combined experimental and simulation study that could improve the design of industrial-scale processing techniques for MAPbI3 and FAPbI3, two lead perovskites.

Read MARVEL Highlights here.

Electronic-structure methods review

Comprehensive electronic-structure methods review featured in Nature Materials

Nicola Marzari, head of the Theory and Simulation of Materials laboratory at EFPL and director of NCCR MARVEL, has just published a review of electronic-structure methods as an “Insight” piece in Nature Materials. The article, written with Andrea Ferretti of CNR–Instituto Nanoscienze and Chris Wolverton of Northwestern University, provides an overview of these methods, discusses their application to the prediction of materials properties, and examines different strategies used to target the broader goals of materials design and discovery. Looking ahead, the authors consider emerging challenges in the predictive accuracy of the calculations, and in addressing the real-life complexity of materials and devices. They also stress the importance of the computational infrastructures that support such research, and how the planning for funding these and the supporting career models is only just beginning to emerge.


Clémence Corminboeuf wins the Heilbronner-Hückel Lectureship Award 2021

Clémence Corminboeuf, head of EPFL's Computational Molecular Design Laboratory, and MARVEL Executive Committee member, received the Heilbronner-Hückel Lectureship Award from the Swiss and German chemical societies.

Michele Parrinello awarded 2021 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry

Michele Parrinello, professor of Computational Sciences at ETH Zurich and the Università della Svizzera italiana as well as group leader in NCCR MARVEL's Design & Discovery Project 1, was awarded the 2021 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry along with Roberto Car of Princeton University in recognition of their exceptional achievements in the field of molecular dynamics. 

Upcoming MARVEL Distinguished Lecture: Darío Gil

Dario Gil

MARVEL Distinguished Lecture — Darío Gil

Jun 15, 2021, from 14:00 until 15:15, Zoom

The 25th NCCR MARVEL Distinguished Lecture will be given by Dr. Darío Gil, Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research on "The Era of Accelerated Materials Discovery".

Open science and open access seminar

MARVEL seminar on open science and open access

Jun 17, 2021, from 14:30 until 15:30, Zoom

This 1-hour seminar will offer PhD students and postdocs an overview on open science and open access in publications and data. It will include presentations by Nicola Spaldin, Nicola Marzari and Giovanni Pizzi on these key concepts.

Switzerland Read&Publish agreements with three major publishers

As of 1 May 2021, swissuniversities has concluded a new Read&Publish agreement with John Wiley & Sons. It will provide students and researchers access to over 1’450 journals. At the same time, this agreement enables all MARVEL authors to publish in the group open access journals at no charge to the authors.

Since July 2020, Switzerland has an open access agreement with Springer. Researchers affiliated with a participating institution (including all MARVEL-related academic institutions) can publish their articles open access at no cost to them in more than 1’850 Springer hybrid journals. Established by the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries, this agreement also covers reading access to over 2’300 subscription journals via institutional access.

In May 2020, swissuniversities and Elsevier have adopted  a similar agreement, combining reading and publishing. 

Upcoming MARVEL Junior Seminars

MARVEL Junior Seminar — June 2021

Jun 25, 2021, from 14:00 until 15:15, Zoom

The MARVEL Junior Seminar series is continuing in videoconferencing mode. We are therefore pleased to propose the 43rd MARVEL Junior Seminar: Maria Bilichenko (University of Zurich) and Cedric Klinkert (ETHZ) will present their research.

#NCCRWomen campaign

Meet the #NCCRWomen

Meet the NCCR women! To celebrate the 50th anniversary of women obtaining the right to vote in Switzerland, the 22 active NCCRs have joined forces in a campaign showing how in these 50 years women have come to occupy a central place in research in almost all scientific fields.

The campaign is ongoing on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, with already seven NCCRs in the spotlight, NCCR Microbiomes (Microbial Communities in Health and Environment), NCCR QSIT (Quantum Science and Technology), NCCR Kidney.CH (Kidney Control of Homeostasis),  NCCR Automation (Dependable Ubiquitous Automation), NCCR Digital Fabrication (Innovative Building Processes in Architecture), NCCR Robotics (Intelligent Robots for Improving the Quality of Live) and NCCR SwissMAP (The Mathematics of Physics).

This week, you will discover the NCCR Chemical Biology (Visualisation and Control of Biological Processes Using Chemistry). The women of MARVEL will be taking over from 27 September to 1st October.


International workshop on charge transport and excited state processes in organic materials

June 21-25, 2021, Zoom

Confirmed keynote speakers: Irene Burghardt (Goethe University Frankfurt), Sir Richard Friend (University of Cambridge), Henning Sirringhaus (University of Cambridge), Weitao Yang (Duke University)

Information and registration: https://blumberger.net/iwom-2020/

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