About us

 

Nanolab is the electron microscopy laboratory of the University of Pannonia (UP). We study the structures, compositions, and morphologies of solid materials, from atomic resolution to the micrometer scale, using a wide variety of electron microscopy techniques.

Nanolab is part of UP's Research Institute of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering.  Nanolab staff are members of the Environmental Mineralogy Research Group.

In addition to pursuing our own research projects, our facility provides service to both internal (UP) and external users. If you wish to use the services of Nanolab, please fill in this form

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News  
     
Magnetic aerosol particles emitted by cars    
With Ilona Nyirő-Kósa as lead author, and contribution from our MSc alumnus Faizan Ahmad, a new paper was published in Atmospheric Environment X. The study discusses the nanoscale structural and chemical properties of ferrimagnetic particles emitted by gasoline-powered cars. Both tailpipe emissions and particles from braking were analyzed and compared with magnetic particles collected from ambient urban air. It appears that tailpipe emissions constitute an important source of magnetite nanoparticles (wrapped in carbon layers) that occur in the urban air.   1 s2.0 S2590162122000351 ga1



Carbonate Workshop (July 4-5, 2022)    
Geochemistry and Mineralogy of Calcium Carbonate Polymorphs - with this title Péter Németh organized an international workshop in Veszprém, at the Regional Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Several well-known experts of carbonate geochemistry and crystallography attended, either personally or through zoom. Our group enthusiastically joined,  with Péter Pekker, Zsombor Molnár and Mihály Pósfai presenting their results on protodolomite, heterogeneous carbonate crystal nucleation, and carbonate formation in Lake Balaton, respectively. We expect that new joint research projects will bud from the event.   group photo



Construction around our lab (June 2022)    
In preparation for being the "cultural capital of Europe" in 2023, at the moment the city of Veszprém looks like a giant construction site.  An underground parking structure is being built right in front of Nanolab. Apart from a few power interruptions, so far the banging/digging have not affected our TEM studies. We keep our fingers crossed.   nanolab EKF



New grant supports the Environmental Mineralogy Research Group (May 2022)    
The Environmental Mineralogy Research Group successfully applied to the Eötvös Loránd Research Network for support for a five-year period starting on July 1st 2022. The grant will allow us to start new, interdisciplinary lines of research. We will study the structures and formation of specific biominerals, and the roles of microbe-mineral interactions that seem to be important in phosphorus cycling in lakes.    balaton



Exotic new types of biomineralization    

 

Two new studies have been published with contribution from our lab, both of which report on previously unknown types of biominerals.

Research led by Yeseul Park and Damien Faivre (CEA Cadarache, France) showed that a magnetotactic bacterium produces copper sulfide particles in a rather unusual location, in the periplasmic space, when cultured in copper-rich media.

Another paper by Laurence Garvie (ASU), with contribution from Péter Németh, discusses the precipitation of hydrated amorphous calcium carbonate by a peculiar organism, the dog vomit slime mold.

   Screen Shot 2022 03 12 at 15.47.51Screen Shot 2022 03 12 at 15.44.49
     



Winter School in Mineral Sciences Jan 28-29, 2022    

The Winter School in Mineralogy is a mixture of workshop and conference, a two-day event we have organized every January for the last 17 years. With online meetings becoming the norm, our school turned quite international. This year our special theme will be "Nanoscale phenomena with global consequences". 

Please check the developing program and you are very welcome to attend. 

  ho1
     



Two students from Nanolab graduate (July 2021)     
Congratulations to Anett Lázár (MSc, chemistry,  right in the picture) and Regina Kövér (BSc, chemistry, pictured on left) on receiving their degrees! Anett synthesized and studied transformations of a hydrated calcium carbonate mineral, ikaite (under supervision by Péter Németh), while Regina studied composition, structure and environmental signature in fish otoliths (supervised by Zsombor Molnár and Mihály Pósfai). Both produced excellent theses and won awards in student competition. Good luck in your future research work.     Anett Regina 

Magnetite mesocrystals and a new crystal growth mechanism

 

   
With contribution from Nanolab (electron tomographic reconstruction of 3D nanomorphologies), a new paper by Lucas Kuhrts et al.: "Wettability of magnetite nanoparticles guides growth from stabilized amorphous ferrihydrite" was published in JACS. In a magnetite synthesis procedure mimicking biomineralization, an amorphous iron oxide precursor is first stabilized by polyarginine. When crystalline magnetite nuclei form,  they are wetted by the still present amorphous material, making the crystals grow. Since the wetting (the contact angle) is pH-dependent, by varying the pH either simple single crystals or cauliflower-looking mesocrystals are produced.  While these results explain the formation of the strange magnetite mesocrystals, they also provide a new tool for controlling crystal growth from solution.    lucas2 

Smectite clays affect carbonate precipitation and aging    
An important new paper by the EnvMin Research Group has been published.  Zsombor Molnár et al. (EPSL) experimentally studied calcium (magnesium) carbonate precipitation in the presence of clay minerals. Smectite accelerates calcite formation, and when a Mg-bearing solution is aged in its presence, protodolomite forms. Interactions between smectite and carbonates may be important in a number of environments, including lakes, oceans, soil and sediments.    Screen Shot 2021 05 12 at 21.28.53



New HRTEM paper on beam-sensitive kaolinite     

With the contributions of members of the EnvMin Research Group, a study on the structure and morphology of kaolinite nanoscrolls has been published (Makó et al., Appl. Clay Sci.). We are proud of this paper because it is the first from Nanolab using some not-so-conventional TEM techniques: low-dose imaging and electron crystallographic image processing, in order to obtain fine structural details from this extremely beam-sensitive material.

  applclaysci



Six-legged visitors
In general, we are happy to host visitors but we had some of the unpleasant types recently: stink bugs in winter and ants in summer. However, one morning a beautiful stag-beetle welcomed us on the wall, and today a large mantis paid a visit. rovarok 

Three students from Nanolab graduate, congratulations! (June 2020)

  csoportkep kicsi 2020jun

balint kicsi 2020

Three theses prepared by contributions from Nanolab were defended, all receiving "excellent" grade:

Winfred Nyokabi (env. sci. MSc): Potential disolution of calcium carbonate shells in a freshwater environment;

Faizan Ahmad (env. sci. MSc): Properties and possible sources of magnetic nanoparticles in the urban atmosphere;

Bálint Tóth (chemistry BSc): Characterization of individual aerosol particles generated by household waste burning.

Congratulations to our fresh degree-holders, their thesis supervisors and all members of the group who contributed.

We wish Winfred, Faizan and Bálint well in their future endeavors.

(From left to right in the group photo: Zsombor Molnár, Kornél Rácz, Winfred Nyokabi, Faizan Ahmad, Ilona Nyirő-Kósa, Mihály Pósfai, Péter Pekker; in separate photo: Bálint Tóth; among the supervisors-contributors, missing from the photo is Csilla Balogh, Balaton Limnological Institute, Tihany)


Cave bacteria making carbonates - paper using Nanolab results published in Sci. Rep. (May 2020)

Bacteria cultivated from Baradla Cave are capable of stabilizing amorphous carbonate at room temperature, and thus provide an opportunity for an analysis of this peculiar carbonate form and for a better understanding of carbonate formation.

Amorphous carbonate may be common in temperate caves and its occurrence is directly linked to bacterial activity. This material presumably influences the geochemical signal recorded in cave sediments and thus the conclusions of past environmental and climate changes. 

The results by Nóra Enyedi, Péter Németh and coworkers rely heavily on data obtained using the Talos in Nanolab.

baci2 

Nanolab closed for visitors because of the coronavirus situation (March-April 2020)

 

 

From March 12 until further notice the Nanolab is closed for external users. We continue to do measurements; however, since only one staff member is allowed in the lab at any time, our capacity is reduced.

 

 

Guest from Australia (January 2020)    
Professor Silvia Frisia from the University of Newcastle spends some time in Nanolab. Dolomite microstructures, cave carbonates and contemporary stromatolites are on the plate.    silvia

Busy summer of 2019
   
Summer internship of three students, launching new projects in biomineralization and atmospheric aerosol science, our research portfolio gradually widens.    csoportkep 2019julius

Guest from Potsdam   lucas
Lucas Kuhrts PhD student spends two weeks here to get trained in HAADF electron tomography.  

Nanolab inauguration and electron microscopy mini-conference - October 2, 2018   IMG 6042
Official opening of Nanolab. In the afternoon famous electron microscopists gave lectures: Peter Buseck, Rafal Dunin-Borkowski, Aleksander Recnik, Béla Pécz and Péter Németh.  
A bunch of electron microscopists who - at some point in their career - have been associated with Peter Buseck's group at Arizona State University (from left to right: István Dódony, Michael Czank, Peter Buseck, Mihály Pósfai, Péter Németh, Rafal Dunin-Borkowski).    7m

 

Nano-picnic, Sept 2018 

 

 

nanopiknik

Before the official inauguration, the staff of the University of Pannonia was given a tour of the new lab - along with a picnic including beer and some food.  

User training started   oktatas
All through the summer several 3-day training sessions were held for prospective new users - we hope there will be many of them.  

The Talos arrived!

   

  Talos

The Talos TEM arrived! There was some panic (apparently, the doorstep was a bit too high), but the instrument is now in its place in the brand new Nanolab building, and awaiting installation.

 

Apreo SEM is working - December 2017    
The Apreo SEM produced the first images, and the EDAX energy-dispersive system (EDS) and the electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) detector also arrived.    

Ion millling machine - November 2017    

We have received the ion milling machine. Temporarily it will be placed in building C but its final place will be in the new TEM building.

  technoorg 

Progress in Nanolab construction - Nov 2017    
The walls of the new TEM building are standing, except for the microscope room – the 50-ton concrete slab is done, this will ensure vibration-free operating conditions.    

The SEM is here - November 2017    
The Apreo FEG-SEM arrived! The microscope was successfully transported up to the 3rd floor in building C, to the Institute of Materials Engineering. Installation will take about 3 to 4 weeks.