Nanoresearch: Swiss and American perspectives on academic-industrial collaboration

On December 2, we invite you to meet world-class academic & industrial researchers and young entrepreneurs from Switzerland and the US.

Event Details


swissnex Boston
420 Broadway, Cambridge , Massachusetts 02138 United States


December 02, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm America/New York (UTC-05:00)


Free Admission

Nanoscale science and engineering have brought impressive advancements to various industrial fields. International collaborations in R&D between academia and industry are essential drivers for the progress of this discipline. On December 2, we invite you to meet world-class academic & industrial researchers and young entrepreneurs from Switzerland and the US. Please join their presentations on nanomaterials and -fabrication, followed by a discussion and networking at swissnex Boston. 


  • Ahmed Busnaiana, PhD, William Lincoln Smith Chair Professor in the College of Engineering and Director of NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing at Northeastern University
  • Felix Holzner, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder of SwissLitho AG, a startup from IBM Research Zurich, and creator of the smallest 3D earth map (Guinness World Record)
  • Efthimios Kaxiras, PhD, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Professor of Pure and Applied Physics and Director of Institute for Applied Computational Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University
  • David J. Norris, PhD, Professor of Materials Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ) and Director of the Optical Materials Engineering Laboratory at ETHZ


6 PM Doors open

6:30 PM Welcome address by Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO & Consul at swissnex Boston

6:35 PM Presentations and Q&A

7:45 PM Reception & Networking

9:00 PM Doors closing

Speaker Bios

Ahmed Busnaina 
busnaina photoPrior to joining Northeastern University, Ahmed Busnaina was a professor and a director of the Microcontamination Control Lab at Clarkson University from 1983-2000. Dr. Busnaina is internationally recognized for his work on nano and micro scale defects mitigation and removal in semiconductor fabrication. He specializes in directed assembly of nanoelements and in the nanomanufacturing of micro and nanoscale devices. He developed many techniques for directed assembly and nanomaterials based manufacturing of nanoscale structures for energy, electronics, biomedical and materials applications. His research support exceeds $47 million.Busnaina has authored more than 600 papers in journals, proceedings and conferences, and he has organized and chaired more than 175 conferences, workshops, sessions and panels for many professional societies. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research and he also serves on many advisory boards. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Adhesion Society. His awards include a Fulbright Senior Scholarship, the 2006 Nanotech Briefs National Nano50 Award–Innovator category and the 2006 Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award–Northeastern University.

logo center for high rate .....The Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing  is focused on developing tools and processes that will make it possible for businesses to quickly and efficiently manufacture products.



Felix Holzner

felix picture swiss lithoFelix Holzner is a physicist by training with university degrees from Germany and New Zealand and a PhD from ETH Zurich. He worked on thermal scanning probe lithography at IBM Research Zurich for three years, before he initiated its commercialization under the name of NanoFrazor with the incorporation of SwissLitho in 2012. Felix Holzner has an extensive understanding of the NanoFrazor technology and its applications and manages SwissLitho as CEO. With SwissLitho he acquired several European R&D projects and won numerous of the most prestigious startup awards. He holds an ETH Pioneer Fellowship and the IBM Plateau Invention Achievement Award

Logo_SWIIS LITHOSwissLitho develops and sells the innovative “NanoFrazor Explore” a novel and unique tool for nanofabrication. The fabrication of artificially made nanostructures smaller than 100 nanometers is extremely laborious and expensive and often even impossible with conventional technologies. The NanoFrazor Explore is the first cost-effective alternative and extension to conventional mask-less lithography systems. The first tools are shipped and installed at customers in Europe and North America where they are used to fabricate novel nano-devices that have not been possible to fabricate before.



Efthimios Kaxiras

Kaxiras profile picEfthimios Kaxiras was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a PhD in theoretical condensed matter physics. Following a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center and a Consulting Research Physicist position at the Naval Research Laboratory, he joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1991.  He is currently the John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Professor of Pure and Applied Physics in the Department of Physics and Director of the Institute for Applied Computational Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

During leaves from Harvard, he has held faculty appointments and administrative positions in Switzerland (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne – Institute of Materials) and in Greece (University of Crete – Department of Physics, University of Ioannina – Department of Materials Science and Technology, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas – Biomedical Research Insritute). He holds several distinctions, including Fellow of the American Physical Society and Chartered Physicist and Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

His research interests span a range of topics in the physics of solids and fluids and the use of multiscale simulations to address problems such as: the electronic and optical properties of crystalline and amorphous solids and their dependence on the atomic structure and chemical composition; the nature of electronic states and optical properties of biomolecules like DNA, melanin, flavonoids and organic dyes; the microscopic origin of brittle or ductile response of solids and the effects of chemical impurities on mechanical behavior; the physics of blood flow in heart arteries and their connection to heart disease.  Recent applications of the computational models that his group has developed focus on discovering new materials and processes for solar energy conversion and energy storage.

He serves on the Editorial Board of several scientific journals, has published over 300 papers in refereed journals and several review articles and chapters in books, as well as a graduate textbook on the structure of solids.


iacs_logo2013harvardThe Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) of Harvard University focus on how nanoscale components can be integrated into large and complex interacting systems. Studying very small structures and how their behavior differs from macroscopic objects is only part of the story.


David J. Norris

picture david norrisDavid J. Norris was elected Professor of Materials Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) in March, 2010. He is currently the Director of the Optical Materials Engineering Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering.

Born in 1968, Prof. Norris received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1990. He then pursued a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at MIT, graduating in 1995. After a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, he joined the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, where he started a research effort on optical materials in 1997. In 2001, he moved to the University of Minnesota as an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He was promoted to Professor in 2006 and served as the Director of Graduate Studies in Chemical Engineering from 2004 to 2010.

In his laboratory, Prof. Norris investigates how materials can be engineered to create new and useful optical properties. In particular, by understanding fundamental behavior at the nanoscale, he hopes to obtain semiconductor and metallic structures that are useful for solar energy devices. Currently, this includes the study of semiconductor nanocrystals and plasmonic films.

Prof. Norris is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served as editor for Photonics and Nanostructures and as a member of the editorial board for Chemistry of Materials and Advanced Functional Materials. In 2006-2007, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Technical University of Munich. He was a member of the Advisory Board for the Petroleum Research Foundation in Washington, D.C. In addition to numerous scientific review panels in the US and Europe, Prof. Norris has been a consultant for several international corporations on the topic of optical nanomaterials.

LOGO FOR eth LAB TO USE THIS ONE.The Department of Materials at ETH Zurich is responsible for  both research and education and  is committed to the idea of materials science spanning many orders of magnitude in size scale, from atoms to products, and also stretching from highly fundamental studies to those with direct technological implications. This variety is reflected in the active research groups