Results 1 - 20 of 35.
Chemistry - Materials Science - 05.11.2018
New material cleans and splits water
Researchers at EPFL's Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering have developed a photocatalytic system based on a material in the class of metal-organic frameworks. The system can be used to degrade pollutants present in water while simultaneously producing hydrogen that can be captured and used further.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 29.10.2018
Next generation of watch springs
What happens when something keeps getting smaller and smaller? This is the type of question Empa researcher Johann Michler and his team are investigating. As a by-product of their research completely novel watch springs could soon be used in Swiss timepieces. Applied research is not always initiated by industry - but oftentimes it yields results that can swiftly be implemented by companies.
Physics - Chemistry - 29.10.2018
AI and NMR spectroscopy determine atoms configuration in record time
EPFL scientists have developed a machine-learning approach that can be combined with experiments to determine, in record time, the location of atoms in powdered solids. Their method can be applied to complex molecules containing thousands of atoms and could be of particular interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
Physics - Chemistry - 09.10.2018
Metal leads to the desired configuration
Scientists at the University of Basel have found a way to change the spatial arrangement of bipyridine molecules on a surface. These potential components of dye-sensitized solar cells form complexes with metals and thereby alter their chemical conformation. The results of this interdisciplinary collaboration between chemists and physicists from Basel were recently published in the scientific journal ACS Omega.
Physics - Chemistry - 01.10.2018
Eco-Friendly Nanoparticles for Artificial Photosynthesis
Quantum dots are true all-rounders. These material structures, which are only a few nanometers in size, display a similar behavior to that of molecules or atoms, and their form, size and number of electrons can be modulated systematically. This means that their electrical and optical characteristics can be customized for a number of target areas, such as new display technologies, biomedical applications as well as photovoltaics and photocatalysis.
Chemistry - 17.09.2018
New method more than doubles sugar production from plants
EPFL chemists have developed a method that can significantly increase the yield of sugars from plants, improving the production of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials. Producing fuels and chemicals from biomass (wood, grasses, etc.) is one of the most promising solutions for building a renewable economy.
Environment - Chemistry - 28.08.2018
Reading signs from the past
When water samples are analysed with a mass spectrometer, peaks of compounds appear that are completely unknown, or that weren't being looked for. If these compounds prove subsequently to be of interest to environmental researchers, evidence of their presence can be retrieved from the archived measurements.
Astronomy / Space - Chemistry - 23.08.2018
Iron and titanium discovered in the atmosphere of an exoplanet
For the first time, researchers of the universities of Bern and Geneva have proven the presence of iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. The existence of these elements in gas form was theoretically predicted by a team led by the Bernese astronomer Kevin Heng and has now been confirmed by Geneva-based astronomers.
Chemistry - Life Sciences - 16.08.2018
How an herbivore hijacks a nutrient uptake strategy of its host plant
The struggle for iron determines the fate of maize and insect pest: Maize plants release secondary metabolites into the soil that bind to iron and thereby facilitate its uptake by the plant. The Western corn rootworm, the economically most important maize pest worldwide, is attracted by these complexes, extracts the bound iron from the maize plant and uses it for its own nutrition.
Pharmacology - Chemistry - 31.07.2018
New approach to terpene syntheses
Terpenes are natural products that are often very difficult to synthesize in the laboratory. Chemists from the University of Basel have now developed a synthesis method that mimics nature. The decisive step takes place inside a molecular capsule, which enables the reaction. The findings were recently published Catalysis.
Physics - Chemistry - 24.07.2018
Material from PSI helps to check inconsistencies in the Big Bang theory
Shortly after the Big Bang, radioactive atoms of the type beryllium-7, among others, came into being. Today, throughout the universe, they have long since decayed and do not occur naturally, in contrast to their decay product lithium. Now researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have helped to better understand the first minutes of the universe: They collected artificially produced beryllium-7 and made it into a sample that could be investigated.
Chemistry - Materials Science - 23.07.2018
Search engine for «smart wood»
Mark Schubert modifies wood properties with the aid of the enzyme laccase. However, the search for suitable ingredients is complex - a bit like trying to find the key to an unknown lock. Instead of long, expensive series of experiments, Schubert uses artificial intelligence as it gets him to the goal more quickly.
Chemistry - Physics - 12.07.2018
Electrical contact to molecules in semiconductor structures established for the first time
Electrical circuits are constantly being scaled down and extended with specific functions. A new method now allows electrical contact to be established with simple molecules on a conventional silicon chip. The technique promises to bring advances in sensor technology and medicine, as reported by chemists from the University of Basel and researchers from IBM Research - Zurich in Rüschlikon.
Physics - Chemistry - 11.07.2018
On the path to new high-performance transistors
X-rays aid better understanding of electron mobility in a modern transistor The electronics industry expects a novel high-performance transistor made of gallium nitride to offer considerable advantages over present-day high-frequency transistors. Yet many fundamental properties of the material remain unknown.
Physics - Chemistry - 10.07.2018
A step closer to single-atom data storage
Physicists at EPFL used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to successfully test the stability of a magnet made up of a single atom. Despite the rise of solid-state drives, magnetic storage devices such as conventional hard drives and magnetic tapes are still very common. But as our data-storage needs are increasing at a rate of almost 15 million gigabytes per day, scientists are turning to alternative storage devices.
Chemistry - Environment - 29.06.2018
Cleaner emissions thanks to sponge-like structure
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen, Switzerland, have developed a new catalytic converter for cleaning emissions from natural gas engines. In contrast to previous catalytic converters, it is very active even at low temperatures and remains that way over a long period of time. This makes it possible to burn natural gas in a cleaner and more climate-friendly way.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 19.06.2018
An unlikely marriage among oxides
Sebastian Siol is looking for new materials with unusual properties that were so far not accessible in experiments. To do this, he connects partners who don't really fit together: One partner forces the other into a state that would not be possible without the unlikely pairing. Siol also makes sure that the crystal bonds last in everyday life.
Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.06.2018
New defense mechanism against oxygen radicals discovered
Oxygen radicals occur as a by-product when living beings burn carbohydrates or fat. They are suspected of accelerating the ageing process in humans and animals, and to be partly responsible for severe illnesses such as Alzheimer's or certain types of cancer. Researchers at the University of Bern and the University of Stockholm have now discovered a so far unknown defense mechanism against oxygen radicals which could serve as a base for various medications.
Physics - Chemistry - 07.06.2018
A nanotech sensor turns molecular fingerprints into bar codes
A new system developed at EPFL can detect and analyze molecules with very high precision and without needing bulky equipment. It opens the door to large-scale, image-based detection of materials aided by artificial intelligence. Infrared spectroscopy is the benchmark method for detecting and analyzing organic compounds.
Physics - Chemistry - 21.05.2018
Observing cellular activity, one molecule at a time
Using a new mode of atomic force microscopy, researchers at EPFL have found a way to see and measure protein assembly in real time and with unprecedented detail. Proteins and molecules assemble and disassemble naturally as part of many essential biological processes. It is very difficult to observe these mechanisms, which are often complex and take place at the nanometer scale, far smaller than the normal visible range.