news from the lab 2015

« BACK

Materials Science



Results 1 - 12 of 12.


Physics - Materials Science - 18.12.2015
Spintronics, low-energy electricity take a step closer
Spintronics, low-energy electricity take a step closer
18.12.15 - EPFL scientists have discovered a new topological insulator that could be used in future electronic technologies. Topological insulators are recently discovered materials that differ from the familiar insulators and semiconductors in many ways. While topological insulators are fascinating for fundamental physics, they could one day enable electricity with less energy loss, spintronics, and perhaps even quantum computing.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 27.11.2015
How cells create free space
How cells create free space
In order to divide, cells in the intestinal wall have to leave their densely packed environment and migrate to the surface. ETH researchers have now discovered how they do this - using a tiny bed of nails. The human body is constantly regenerating itself. Trillions of cells die in our bodies each day.

Materials Science - 25.11.2015
A new form of real gold, almost as light as air
A new form of real gold, almost as light as air
Researchers at ETH Zurich have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye.

Materials Science - Earth Sciences - 11.11.2015
Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
It is common knowledge that the Earth's rigid upper layer called lithosphere is composed of moving plates. But just what mechanism first set plate tectonics into motion still remains a mystery. A team of researchers led by ETH professor Taras Gerya has now come up with one possible answer by using simulations.

Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering - 22.10.2015
The ductility of magnesium explained
The ductility of magnesium explained
22.10.15 - Zhaoxuan Wu and William Curtin of the Laboratory for Multiscale Mechanics Modeling (LAMMM) have solved the 40-year-old scientific riddle of the low ductility magnesium. Magnesium is the lightest metal found on earth; it is four times lighter than steel and a third lighter than aluminum.

Materials Science - Physics - 28.09.2015
Biomimetic dental prosthesis
Biomimetic dental prosthesis
ETH material researchers are developing a procedure that allows them to mimic the complex fine structure of biological composite materials, such as teeth or seashells. They can thus create synthetic materials that are as hard and tough as their natural counterparts. Cross section of the artificial tooth under an electron microscope: Ceramic platelets in the enamel are orientated vertically.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.09.2015
The key to charging a lithium-ion battery rapidly
The key to charging a lithium-ion battery rapidly
Researchers reveal the reasons for these properties in a new study. During the charge and discharge process for this kind of battery, lithium ions need to move between the two electrodes. As it turns out, the rapid charging of these batteries is down to the fact that, at a higher charging voltage, the lithium ions are distributed evenly across the volume of the particles that make up the battery electrode, which contains lithium.

Environment - Materials Science - 29.07.2015
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibres.

Materials Science - Physics - 06.03.2015
Heat Waves in Graphene
Heat Waves in Graphene
EPFL researchers have shed new light on the fundamental mechanisms of heat dissipation in graphene and other two-dimensional materials. They have shown that heat can propagate as a wave over very long distances. This is key information for engineering the electronics of tomorrow. In the race to miniaturize electronic components, researchers are challenged with a major problem: the smaller or the faster your device, the more challenging it is to cool it down.

Materials Science - 02.02.2015
Methane storage targets are too high
Methane storage targets are too high
Using natural gas for car fuel is a challenge, requiring massive research efforts to find materials that can efficiently store it. However, a Swiss-US study concludes that the best materials have not only been already discovered, but can only meet up to 70% of energy targets set by governments. Because of its low energy density, natural gas has to be compressed or liquefied, which makes it difficult to integrate into vehicles.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 21.01.2015
Controlling brain cells with light
Controlling brain cells with light
Scientists have used a cutting-edge method to stimulate neurons with light. They have successfully recorded synaptic transmission between neurons in a live animal for the first time. Neurons, the cells of the nervous system, communicate by transmitting chemical signals to each other through junctions called synapses.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.01.2015
Graphene multiplies the power of light
Graphene multiplies the power of light
Could graphene turn light to electricity? Scientists have shown that graphene can convert a single photon into multiple electrons, showing much promise for future photovoltaic devices. Graphene is a material that has gathered tremendous popularity in recent years, due to its extraordinary strength and light weight.