News 2019

« BACK

Chemistry



Results 1 - 13 of 13.


Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 09.05.2019
Rare-Earth metals in the atmosphere of a glowing-hot exoplanet
KELT-9 b is the hottest exoplanet known to date. In the summer of 2018, a joint team of astronomers from the universities of Bern and Geneva found signatures of gaseous iron and titanium in its atmosphere. Now these researchers have also been able to detect traces of vaporized sodium, magnesium, chromium, and the rare-Earth metals scandium and yttrium.

Chemistry - Physics - 29.04.2019
Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight
Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight
EPFL researchers have created a smart device capable of producing large amounts of clean hydrogen. By concentrating sunlight, their device uses a smaller amount of the rare, costly materials that are required to produce hydrogen, yet it still maintains a high solar-to-fuel efficiency. Their research has been taken to the next scale with a pilot facility installed on the EPFL campus.

Physics - Chemistry - 29.04.2019
Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide
Decoupled graphene thanks to potassium bromide
The use of potassium bromide in the production of graphene on a copper surface can lead to better results. When potassium bromide molecules arrange themselves between graphene and copper, it results in electronic decoupling. This alters the electrical properties of the graphene produced, bringing them closer to pure graphene, as reported by physicists from the universities of Basel, Modena and Munich in the journal ACS Nano.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 08.04.2019
New biologically derived metal-organic framework mimics DNA
New biologically derived metal-organic framework mimics DNA
Chemical engineers at EPFL have synthesized a biologically-derived metal-organic framework on which the hydrogen bonding that forms the DNA double helix can be mimicked and studied like never before.

Chemistry - Physics - 01.04.2019

Physics - Chemistry - 29.03.2019
A compass pointing West
A compass pointing West
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have discovered a special phenomenon of magnetism in the nano range. It enables magnets to be assembled in unusual configurations. This could be used to build computer memories and switches to increase the performance of microprocessors. The results of the work have now been published in the journal Science .

Physics - Chemistry - 20.03.2019
Precision work for large molecules
Precision work for large molecules
Quantum cascade lasers are able to measure the smallest molecules with high precision. But the technology has failed to measure larger gas molecules - until now! Empa researchers have succeeded in quantifying ethanol, an important organic molecule, with the aid of such a laser. In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), a team of researchers has successfully developed a method for determining the concentration of ethanol in a gas mixture with a very high proportion of water vapour and carbon dioxide.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 19.03.2019
A distinct form of epigenetic memory
A distinct form of epigenetic memory
Epigenetic memory of transcriptional gene silencing has been observed in several organisms. However, it was not known whether mechanisms exist that convey transgenerational memory of a silencing “experience”, without silencing the gene permanently. The Bühler group has now found such a phenomenon in a unicellular organism.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 14.03.2019
Keeping track of fragrances
Keeping track of fragrances
Fragrances are added in a wide variety of consumer products - cosmetics, detergents, cleaning agents, and air fresheners. If incompletely eliminated in wastewater treatment plants, they can end up in rivers and lakes. Companies are therefore required to perform an environmental risk assessment before fragrance compounds are used in final products.

Chemistry - 12.02.2019
New device simplifies measurement of fluoride contamination in water
New device simplifies measurement of fluoride contamination in water
Seeking to address fluoride contamination in drinking water, chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a portable and user-friendly device that can measure fluoride concentration accurately and reliably. Adding fluoride to water has been common practice in a number of countries, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, India and Vietnam.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 01.02.2019
Intuition and failure are valuable ingredients in chemistry
Intuition and failure are valuable ingredients in chemistry
When researchers make a new discovery, they tend to only publish the results of their successful experiments. But just as informative are all the experiments that didn't work - the failed trials and incorrect hypotheses, which can offer important information. A team of EPFL chemists has developed a methodology for collecting those lessons and, crucially, sharing them with other researchers.

Physics - Chemistry - 18.01.2019
Hand-knitted Molecules
Hand-knitted Molecules
Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips - in a sense as a "hand-knitted" unique specimen. The properties of the molecules can be monitored in real time while they are being produced.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 10.01.2019
Turbocharger for the cell machinery
Turbocharger for the cell machinery
Researchers of the University of Bern have discovered a new molecular regulatory mechanism in unicellular parasites which has never before been observed. RNA fragments do not act as brakes in the cell apparatus, but on the contrary as "stimulants": they boost protein production after periods of stress.