Open Science Debate held at Politecnico in March 2023

Under the title – Nano Technology, Opportunity or Threat? – MUSIQ organised an Open Science Debate at the Politecnico di Milano, on 23 March 2023.

The focus of the debate was on the current dependency on nanotechnology and its products and the ongoing work in this research space within the MUSIQ Consortium. The discussion highlighted the significant progress made in the development of smart disease targeting nanotherapeutics.

This session open to the public attracted around 50 external participants, predominantly students from the Politecnico di Milano in addition to the MUSIQ early stage researchers and supervisors and served as a platform to raise awareness about the importance of nanotechnology and the need for public understanding of its applications.

The two-hour session kicked off with an introduction from our coordinator, Paola Borri from Cardiff University on the MUSIQ project and the format and expectations of holding an open science debate. She also introduced our guest speaker, Arwyn Tomos Jones from Cardiff University, who held a presentation on Nanotechnology and Nanoparticles: from environmental harm to future therapies.

The main aim of Arwyn’s interactive presentation was to introduce nanotechnology, its overall understanding and current progress. Key questions at the end of presentation where included to start the debate where all participants had the opportunity to actively participate in and to  raise questions to our MUSIQ panelists.

To further stimulate the debate, members of the MUSIQ consortium would raise critical questions to engage and involve all participants in the debate.

The event concluded by highlighting the need for an open science approach to nanotechnology research and development, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between industry, academia, and the need for public understanding of its applications to ensure responsible innovation in this field.

Open Science Debate at Politecnico di Milano, 23 March 2023

Carl Sagan stated over 30 years ago that “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

How does this statement sit within the remit of nanotechnology and nanoparticles today? This interactive presentation and debate will assess our current ‘dependency’ on nanotechnology and its products and also highlight some of the ongoing work in this research space within the MUSIQ Consortium and efforts to generate smart disease targeting nanotherapeutics.

Under the title – Nano Technology, Opportunity or Threat – MUSIQ is organising an Open Science Debate at the Politecnico di Milano, room 3.1.3 on 23 March 2023 , 17:30-19:30. This session open to the public is aimed at promoting the outputs of MUSIQ to the public, and to better understand the public’s interest in priorities for science and technology. The debate will be kicked off with a presentation Arwyn Tomos Jones from Cardiff University on Nanotechnology and Nanoparticles: from environmental harm to future therapies. After the presentation the public will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to our MUSIQ early stage researchers.

Find out more online and we look forward to seeing you joining the event.

MUSIQ Innovation Newsletter 5: Ultrafast Optics in Microscopy: Recent Advances

The fifth and final MUSIQ innovation newsletter has just been published and is available for you to read online. The topic of this newsletter is Ultrafast Optics in Microscopy: Recent Advances. Thank you to our three ESRs, MartinEleanor and Saurabh, for writing the newsletter.

Section n. 1
3D Imaging with Femtosecond Pulses
Combining 3D Imaging with Ultrafast Optics

The 3D imaging technique of Optical Diffraction Tomography is intrinsically ill-suited for ultrafast laser pulses. However, it could be realized using standard optical equipment with femtosecond pulses. This opens up new possibilities in cell-imaging and ultrafast material studies.  Read more

Section n. 2
From 3D to Polarisation to Single Nanoparticle Microscopy
Probing Biological Molecular Organization with Polarized Light Microscopy

Using light’s polarization can help illuminate the organization of biological molecules without perturbing the sample itself. Thus, polarization microscopy adds a new dimension to light microscopy for better understanding of biomedical questions. Read more

Section n. 3
Spectroscopy in wide field imaging
Imaging for spectroscopy

In this section we introduce the concept of Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTS). The technique is fast compared to point scaning of single nanoparticles. This section explains how which just recorded image set one can retire the spectral information of nanoparticles and molecules. Read more

MUSIQ science slams online

In addition to researching on their individual projects and receiving training related to research, the MUSIQ Early Stage Researchers (ERSs) are trained on transferable skills that are of fundamental importance for their careers. During the 5th MUSIQ week hosted by GSK in Stevenage, UK in May 2022, our partner organisation, Science Made Simple organised a two day training on communicating science to the wider public.

The objective of this training was to equip the ESRs with the required skills to develop and deliver suitable content for a public event. The course focused on training the ESRs on understanding your audience, developing engaging content and presenting on camera.

Using the skills Science Made Simple taught them, the ESRs each recorded a Science Slam, a 2-3 minute pitch video on their research topic as an educational and outreach resource for a variety of end-users. The videos are available on the MUSIQ YouTube channel and on the MUSIQ website. We would like to thank the ESRs for creating these informative videos and Science Made Simple for their training.

MUSIQ Newsletter n. 4 available online

EBL and FIB lithography to produce plasmonic single nanostructures or arrays on support

Thanks to their optical properties, including the ability to confine light in spatial regions below the diffraction limit, plasmonic nanostructures have found important applications in many different fields. Read more

OPTO NANO – A duet of Science and Contemporary Dance

Three of our ESRs, usually focussed on analysing the electronic response of metallic or semiconducting nanostructures to electromagnetic waves, were invited to change their perspective on their scientific and oftentimes highly conceptual work and translate their science into choreographed movement. Read more

Presentation by Vasilis Petropoulos at MRS Spring Meeting 2022

Our MUSIQ ESR, Vasilis Petropoulos (ESR5) presented his research at the Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting 2022 which was held in Honolulu, Hawaii from 8-13 May 2022. 

Vasilis, who is hosted by Politecnico di MilanoPhysics Department in Italy presented on “Vibronic Coupling Within the Q-Bands in a Free-Base Porphyrin Unveiled via Multidimensional Spectroscopies”. At POLIMI his individual research project within MUSIQ focuses on ultrafast coherent spectroscopy of natural light-harvesting systems.

Conference presentations by Vasilis Petropoulos (ESR5)

Our MUSIQ ESR5, Vasilis Petropoulos recently presented his research at international conferences. His research focuses in Ultrafast coherent spectroscopy of natural light-harvesting systems.

From 29 November – 2 December  21, Vasilis traveled to the Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting 2021 in Boston, MA, USA to present on “ PBI-Based Biomimetic Complex for Efficient Light-Conversion Unveiled via Ultrafast Spectroscopy.”

14–18 March 2022 he virtually presented at the American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting 2022 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. His presentation title was “Perylene-based Self-Assembly of Chloroplast-like Lamellae for Artificial Photosynthesis.”

New Publication: Ultrafast Multidimensional Spectroscopy with Field Resolution and Noncollinear Geometry at Mid-Infrared Frequencies.

In the beginning of this year, the MUSIQ project members from the University of Luxembourg presented a novel setup for multidimensional coherent spectroscopy with noncollinear geometry and complete field resolution in the THz range, which covers the characteristic fingerprint region of biomolecules. Thomas Deckert, MUSIQ ESR11, and PI Daniele Brida, among others, show that the setup is capable to detect signals down to a few tens of V cm-1 entirely background free and benchmark the setup with measurements on a low-bandgap semiconductor, paving the way towards the investigation of functional thin film materials, few-layer samples, and other specimen to study their coherent responses. The article has been published in New Journal of Physics and is openly accessible to all.

Read the full article here.


Energetic correlations and their dynamics govern the fundamental properties of condensed matter materials. Ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy in the mid infrared is an advanced technique to study such coherent low-energy dynamics. The intrinsic many-body phenomena in functional solid-state materials, in particular few-layer samples, remain widely unexplored to this date, because complex and weak sample responses demand versatile and sensitive detection. Here, we present a novel setup for ultrafast multidimensional spectroscopy with noncollinear geometry and complete field resolution in the 15–40 THz range. Electric fields up to few-100 kV cm−1 drive coherent dynamics in a perturbative regime, and an advanced modulation scheme allows to detect nonlinear signals down to a few tens of V cm−1 entirely background-free with high sensitivity and full control over the geometric phase-matching conditions. Our system aims at the investigation of correlations and many-body interactions in condensed matter systems at low energy. Benchmark measurements on bulk indium antimonide reveal a strong six-wave mixing signal and map ultra-fast changes of the band structure with access to amplitude and phase information. Our results pave the way towards the investigation of functional thin film materials and few-layer samples.

Open PhD Position at UKON – apply now

The Chemistry Department of the University of Konstanz is currently offering a PhD position as an Early Stage Researcher within the MUSIQ project. The successful candidates will be expected to conduct research under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Andreas Zumbusch at the University of Konstanz with the aim of obtaining a PhD in Physics or Chemistry. The position will allow the student to participate in an exciting program comprising international schools, workshops, and secondments at academic as well as industrial partners.

To enhance the career perspective of the ESRs who will be choosen by training them in a broad range of cutting-edge scientific, technical and transferable skills, through a unique combination of projects and tailored courses.

Interested? Find out more via the detailed job profile and apply today.

MUSIQ Innovation Newsletter n. 3 | October 2021

The new MUSIQ Innovation newsletter on RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY: From applications to laser sources and detectors is available online and as a PDF . Each newsletter is written by three of MUSIQ’s Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) who choose their topics themselves to develop into an interesting read for our stakeholders. Our Innovation Newsletter n. 3 was written collaboratively by Jan Majer (ESR13), Dominykas Gudavičius (ESR15) and Ediz Herkert (ESR8).

Section n. 1
Prospects of stimulated Raman scattering in pharma research

Before a novel medicine can be introduced on the market, it needs to undergo a drug development process which today on average consists of six stages. The drug development process from target discovery to the launch can  take up to 15 years. Read more

Section n. 2
Light sources for CARS microscopy

In coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy two laser beams are used to produce radiation at a third wavelength when energy difference between pulses matches vibrational energy of a sample. For this vibrationally specific microscopy method it is critical to have a reliable wavelength-tunable light source to address different Raman bands. Optical parametric amplifiers (OPAs) and oscillators (OPOs) are well suited for this task. Read more

Section n. 3
EMCCD and sCMOS cameras for scientific imaging
A comparison of the key figures of current camera models

The emergence of faster and more sensitive scientific cameras allows to acquire images with unprecedented sensitivity and speed. This is particularly important for applications in life sciences where techniques like Raman imaging require low-noise detectors while other techniques like fluorescent correlation spectroscopy rely on frame rates in the upper kilohertz range. To obtain meaningful data it is therefore essential to choose the scientific camera according to the experimental conditions.  Read more