news from the lab 2016
Results 1 - 20 of 27.
Materials Science - 05.12.2016
Flexibility increases water resistance
Butterfly wings are a prime example of how flexible and elastic materials can be extremely water-repellent. The relationship between elasticity and water resistance has now been described for the first time by researchers at ETH Zurich. The new finding could help to improve water-repellent textiles for use in tents or clothing.
Materials Science - Physics - 28.11.2016
A team that includes ETH Zurich scientists is the first to use materials with a network-like structure to create a full spectrum of intense colours.
Physics - Materials Science - 24.11.2016
A new perovskite could lead the next generation of data storage
EPFL scientists have developed a new perovskite material with unique properties that can be used to build next-generation hard drives.
Materials Science - Physics - 17.11.2016
Switching off vibrations
Macroscopic crystal structures can absorb unwanted vibrations or filter noise - without any electronics or electricity whatsoever.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.10.2016
Ceramics 3D printed from foams
ETH researchers have used an additive manufacturing process to print an extremely porous ceramic component. Manufacturing a material of this kind with a 3D printer is a considerable achievement. Doctoral student Carla Minas, from the Complex Materials group led by ETH Professor André Studart, has succeeded in creating a highly porous and yet extremely robust ceramic material, which she 'printed' using an additive manufacturing process.
Physics - Materials Science - 13.09.2016
Metal in chains
The electronic energy states allowed by quantum mechanics determine whether a solid is an insulator or whether it conducts electric current as a metal.
Materials Science - 02.08.2016
Creating 3D objects from inextensible sheet materials
Researchers have developed an algorithm for creating complex objects by cutting holes in sheets of inextensible, but flexible materials such as metal, plastic and leather. It has potential applications in many areas, including microengineering, bioengineering, fashion and architecture. EPFL researchers, in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Hull, have come up with a method for creating everyday objects - like a mask or a shoe - from sheets of inextensible material.
Materials Science - 27.07.2016
Objects that sculpt light
Researchers at EPFL have found a way to make images by controlling the reflections that are produce when light passes through a transparent object. This technology is now being marketed by the startup Rayform. Researchers at EPFL have found a way to make images by controlling the reflections that are produce when light passes through a transparent object.
Materials Science - Physics - 14.07.2016
Electricity generated with water, salt - and a 3 atoms thick membrane
EPFL researchers have developed a system that generates electricity from osmosis with unparalleled efficiency.
Physics - Materials Science - 11.07.2016
Physicists Couple Distant Nuclear Spins Using a Single Electron
For the first time, researchers at the University of Basel have coupled the nuclear spins of distant atoms using just a single electron. Three research groups from the Department of Physics took part in this complex experiment, the results of which have now been published Nanotechnology. In most materials, the nuclear spins of neighboring atoms have only a very weak effect on one another, as the tiny nuclei are located deep within the atoms.
Materials Science - 17.06.2016
Scientists solve a long-standing mystery about wear
17. It generates particulate-matter air pollution and degrades mechanical parts. Adhesive wear a major, yet poorly understood problem. Using simulations, researchers from EPFL offer new insights into what happens when seemingly smooth surfaces rub against each other. Adhesive wear can cause machine failure, particulate-matter air pollution, and many other societal woes.
Physics - Materials Science - 14.06.2016
A new material can clear up nuclear waste gases
14. An international team of scientists at EPFL and the US have discovered a material that can clear out radioactive waste from nuclear plants more efficiently, cheaply, and safely than current methods. Figure: The crystal structure of SBMOF-1 (green = Ca, yellow = S, red = O, gray = C, white = H). The light blue surface is a visualization of the one-dimensional channel that SBMOF-1 creates for the gas molecules to move through.
Materials Science - Environment - 07.06.2016
Nature knows how to do it - as does
As part of the "LightChEC" research project at the University of Zurich, Empa scientists are working with other researchers on a novel method of artificial photosynthesis - photocatalysis, which uses a purely chemical process to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike other methods, it does not involve the electrolysis of water.
Physics - Materials Science - 12.05.2016
How nanoparticles flow through the environment
Carbon nanotubes remain attached to materials for years while titanium dioxide and nanozinc are rapidly washed out of cosmetics and accumulate in the ground. Researchers from the National Research Programme 'Opportunities and Risks of Nanomaterials' (NRP 64) have developed a new model to track the flow of the most important nanomaterials in the environment.
Physics - Materials Science - 02.05.2016
Quantum Sensors for High-Precision Magnetometry of Superconductors
Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel have developed a new method that has enabled them to image magnetic fields on the nanometer scale at temperatures close to absolute zero for the first time. They used spins in special diamonds as quantum sensors in a new kind of microscope to generate images of magnetic fields in superconductors with unrivalled precision.
Materials Science - 25.04.2016
Cycling helmets with optimum ventilation
Any cyclist who wears a helmet knows the feeling: heat builds up under your helmet and the sweat starts to flow, especially in summer. As a result, many cyclists will take a risk and not even wear a helmet. A research team at Empa has now studied the flow of heat under cycling helmets in detail - the first step towards "sweat-free" protective headgear.
Physics - Materials Science - 28.03.2016
Revealing the ion transport at nanoscale
28. EPFL researchers have shown that a law of physics having to do with electron transport at nanoscale can also be analogously applied to the ion transport. This discovery provides insight into a key aspect of how ion channels function within our living cells. The membrane of all human cells contains tiny channels through which ions pass through at high speed.
Physics - Materials Science - 23.03.2016
An innovative device studies gold nanoparticles in depth
23. EPFL researchers have developed a way to explore and optimize gold nanoparticles, which are used in medicine, biology and solar cells. Artists have used gold nanoparticles for centuries, because they produce vibrant colors when sunlight hits them. Their unique optical-electronics properties have put gold nanoparticles at the center of research, solar cells, sensors, chemotherapy, drug delivery, biological and medical applications, and electronic conductors.
Environment - Materials Science - 17.03.2016
Perovskite solar cells hit 21.1% efficiency and record reproduciblity
17. EPFL scientists achieve the highest yet reproducibility for perovskite solar cells combined with a boundary-pushing 21.1% efficiency at normal operating conditions.
Physics - Materials Science - 09.03.2016
Atomic Vibrations in Nanomaterials
Researchers at ETH have shown for the first time what happens to atomic vibrations when materials are nanosized and how this knowledge can be used to systematically engineer nanomaterials for different applications. All materials are made up of atoms, which vibrate. These vibrations, or "phonons", are responsible, for example, for how electric charge and heat is transported in materials.