news from the lab 2017

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Results 21 - 35 of 35.


Chemistry - Environment - 05.06.2017
Splitting carbon dioxide using low-cost catalyst materials
Splitting carbon dioxide using low-cost catalyst materials
EPFL scientists have built the first Earth-abundant and low-cost catalytic system for splitting CO2into CO and oxygen, an important step towards achieving the conversion of renewable energy into hydrocarbon fuels.

Physics - Chemistry - 26.05.2017
Quantum-aided frequency measurements
Quantum-aided frequency measurements
Accurate measurements of the frequencies of weak electric or magnetic fields are important in many applications. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a procedure whereby a quantum sensor measures the frequency of an oscillating magnetic field with unprecedented accuracy. Accurate frequency measurements are of crucial importance in many scientific and technological applications.

Physics - Chemistry - 24.05.2017
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
Researchers from EPFL have shown that the surface of minuscule water drops with a 100 nm size is surprisingly ordered. At room temperature, the surface water molecules of these droplets have much stronger interactions than a normal water surface. The structural difference corresponds to a difference in temperature of -50 °C, which may shed new light on a variety of atmospheric, biological and even geological processes.

Mathematics - Chemistry - 23.05.2017
A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
EPFL scientists have developed a mathematical 'face-recognition' method for identifying and discovering nanoporous materials based on their pore size. Image: Topological differences of top-performing materials for methane storage. Topological data analysis reveals the similarity between structures; each node represents a family of similar materials, while a network between two nodes indicates that they share at least one material.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 02.05.2017
Sodium and magnesium to replace lithium in batteries
Sodium and magnesium to replace lithium in batteries
Scientists have produced novel electrolytes for rechargeable sodium and magnesium batteries. The research group's objective was to develop alternatives to lithium-ion technology. A project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) aims to find new materials which can be used in rechargeable batteries and eventually provide alternatives to the current lithium batteries.

Chemistry - Physics - 28.04.2017
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3D printed plastic pieces
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3D printed plastic pieces
EPFL scientists have combined 3D-printing with electroplating to easily produce high-quality metal electrodes that can be used as a molecular beam-splitter. Many measurement techniques, such as spectroscopy, benefit from the ability to split a single beam of light into two in order to measure changes in one of them.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.04.2017
Nanoparticles remain unpredictable
Nanoparticles remain unpredictable
The way that nanoparticles behave in the environment is extremely complex. There is currently a lack of systematic experimental data to help understand them comprehensively, as ETH environmental scientists have shown in a large overview study. A more standardised approach would help to advance the research field.

Physics - Chemistry - 30.03.2017
Nanomagnets for future data storage
Nanomagnets for future data storage
An international team of researchers led by chemists from ETH Zurich have developed a method for depositing single magnetisable atoms onto a surface. This is especially interesting for the development of new miniature data storage devices. The idea is intriguing: if only a single atom or small molecule was needed for a single unit of data (a zero or a one in the case of binary digital technology), massive volumes of data could be stored in the tiniest amount of space.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 14.03.2017
Liquid fuel for future computers
Liquid fuel for future computers
In the future, a new type of tiny redox flow battery will supply tightly packed electronic components with energy, while also dissipating the heat they produce.

Physics - Chemistry - 09.03.2017
Storing data in single-atom magnets
Storing data in single-atom magnets
Scientists at IBM and EPFL have shown for the first time that it is possible to store in and retrieve information from single-atom magnets. The breakthrough can have significant implications for the miniaturization of magnetic memory devices. As memory devices are becoming increasingly smaller, it was hypothesized whether the elementary storage unit could one day be as small as a single atom.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 01.03.2017
Molecular structure of the cell nucleoskeleton revealed for the first time
Molecular structure of the cell nucleoskeleton revealed for the first time
Compared to bacteria, in eukaryotes the genetic material is located in the cell nucleus. Its outer shell consists of the nuclear membrane with numerous nuclear pores. Molecules are transported into or out of the cell nucleus via these pores. Beneath the membrane lies the nuclear lamina, a threadlike meshwork merely a few millionths of a millimeter thick.

Physics - Chemistry - 14.02.2017
Measuring entropy
Measuring entropy
A scanning-tunneling microscope (STM), used to study changes in the shape of a single molecule at the atomic scale, impacts the ability of that molecule to make these changes - the entropy of the molecule is changed and, in turn, can be measured.

Physics - Chemistry - 17.01.2017
An ultrafast light source in a laboratory format
An ultrafast light source in a laboratory format
Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Geneva have succeeded for the first time in using a laboratory X-ray source to demonstrate how two highly fluorinated molecules change within a few quadrillionths of a second, or femtoseconds. In nature, some processes occur so quickly that even the blink of an eye is very slow in comparison.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 10.01.2017
In a simple way to great complexity
In a simple way to great complexity
ETH microbiologists have succeeded in showing that nature produces one of the most complex known bioactive natural products in a staggeringly simple way.

Chemistry - Physics - 05.01.2017
Nanotechnology enables new insights into chemical reactions
Nanotechnology enables new insights into chemical reactions
Eighty percent of all products of the chemical industry are manufactured with catalytic processes. Catalysis is also indispensable in energy conversion and treatment of exhaust gases. It is important for these processes to run as quickly and efficiently as possible; that protects the environment while also saving time and conserving resources.