Results 1 - 20 of 42.
Environment - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases
Chemical engineers at EPFL have designed a material that can capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses better than current commercial materials. Generally speaking, "flue gas" refers to any gas coming out of a pipe, exhaust, chimney etc. as a product of combustion in a fireplace, oven, furnace, boiler, or steam generator.
Life Sciences - Chemistry - 11.12.2019
Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface. The method, published in open-source format, opens up new possibilities for artificial protein design. Proteins are the building blocks of life and play a key role in all biological processes.
Physics - Chemistry - 10.12.2019
How to induce magnetism in graphene
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechanical, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applications. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesizing a unique nanographene predicted in the 1970s, which conclusively demonstrates that carbon in very specific forms has magnetic properties that could permit future spintronic applications.
Astronomy / Space Science - Chemistry - 09.12.2019
Stardust from red giants
Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants, researchers from ETH Zurich have established. They can also explain why the Earth contains more of this stardust than the asteroids or the planet Mars, which are farther from the sun. Around 4.5 million years ago, an interstellar molecular cloud collapsed.
Physics - Chemistry - 07.12.2019
Liquid flow is influenced by a quantum effect in water
Researchers at EPFL have discovered that the viscosity of solutions of electrically charged polymers dissolved in water is influenced by a quantum effect. This tiny quantum effect influences the way water molecules interact with one another. Yet, it can lead to drastic changes in large-scale observations.
Chemistry - Physics - 05.12.2019
First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
Thanks to a newly developed laser spectrometer, Empa researchers can for the first time show which processes in grassland lead to nitrous oxide emissions. The aim is to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas by gaining a better understanding of the processes taking place in the soil. Nitrous oxide (N2O, also known as laughing gas) is one of the most important greenhouse gases.
Innovation - Chemistry - 22.11.2019
Glass from a 3D printer
ETH researchers are using a 3D printing method to produce complex, highly porous glass structures. The technology makes it possible to produce made-to-measure objects that may eventually make life difficult for counterfeiters. Producing glass objects using 3D printing is not easy. Only a few groups of researchers around the world have attempted to produce glass using additive methods.
Chemistry - Physics - 14.11.2019
Observing changes in the chirality of molecules in real time
Chiral molecules - compounds that are mirror images of each other - play an important role in biological processes and in chemical synthesis. Chemists at ETH Zurich have now succeeded for the first time in using ultrafast laser pulses to observe changes in chirality during a chemical reaction in real time.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 12.11.2019
A cheaper way to scale up atomic layer deposition
Chemical engineers at EPFL have developed a new method for atomic layer deposition, a technique commonly used in high-quality microelectronics. The new method can be used in materials with larger surfaces much more cheaply than current approaches, while preserving quality and efficiency. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) involves stacking layers of atoms on top of each other like pancakes.
Environment - Chemistry - 11.11.2019
Nitrous oxide emissions set to rise in the Pacific Ocean
The acidification of the Pacific Ocean in northern Japan is increasing the natural production rate of N2O, an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas. That's the finding of a study carried out jointly by scientists at EPFL, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and appearing recently.
Environment - Chemistry - 04.11.2019
Homing in on pyrethroids
Very low concentrations of pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides are effective in controlling pests on crops such as oilseed rape. However, if they enter surface waters, they also pose a high risk to aquatic organisms. In water quality monitoring, they have so far slipped through the net, since not only sample collection but also analytical procedures have to be specifically tailored to these compounds.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 07.10.2019
"Corrosion" comes from Latin "corrodere": to gnaw something to pieces. This refers to the gradual destruction of a substance due to the influence of other substances in the environment. Specialists at Empa take a close look at such processes and can find timely ways to prevent material failure due to corrosion - long before disasters such as those in Genoa occur.
Life Sciences - Chemistry - 26.09.2019
Healthy organelles, healthy cells
It has recently become clear just how important membraneless organelles are for cells. Now biochemists at ETH Zurich have discovered a novel mechanism that regulates the formation of these organelles. This has laid the foundation for more targeted research into diseases such as Alzheimer's or ALS. For a long time, the contents of cells were thought to be fairly unstructured and chaotic: a mixture of proteins, DNA and a multitude of small metabolic molecules.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 24.09.2019
A battery with a twist
Markus Niederberger's team of researchers at ETH has used stretchable materials to develop a battery that can be bent, stretched and twisted. For applications in bendable electronic devices, this is precisely the kind of battery they need. Today's electronics industry is increasingly focusing on computers or smartphones with screens that can be folded or rolled.
Chemistry - Physics - 17.09.2019
A molecular bridge further
Electronics built from molecules could open up new possibilities in the miniaturization of circuits in the future. Empa researchers, together with partners from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Israel, and the UK, succeeded in solving a crucial detail in the realization of such circuit elements: A molecular bridge for electrons that remains mechanically and electronically stable at room temperature.
Chemistry - Innovation - 16.09.2019
Measuring ethanol’s deadly twin
ETH researchers have developed an inexpensive, handheld measuring device that can distinguish between methanol and potable alcohol. It offers a simple, quick method of detecting adulterated or contaminated alcoholic beverages and is able to diagnose methanol poisoning in exhaled breath. Methanol is sometimes referred to as ethanol's deadly twin.
Physics - Chemistry - 21.08.2019
Graphene nanoflakes: a new tool for precision medicine
Chemists funded by the SNSF have created a new compound for flexible drug delivery that specifically targets prostate cancer cells. Incorporating four different molecules, the compound prevents tumour cells from multiplying, can be detected by medical imaging and has staying power in the bloodstream.
Chemistry - Environment - 29.07.2019
A catalyst for sustainable methanol
Scientists at ETH Zurich and oil and gas company Total have developed a new catalyst that converts CO2 and hydrogen into methanol. Offering realistic market potential, the technology paves the way for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. The global economy still relies on the fossil carbon sources of petroleum, natural gas and coal, not just to produce fuel, but also as a raw material used by the chemical industry to manufacture plastics and countless other chemical compounds.
Chemistry - Physics - 23.07.2019
Adding a polymer stabilizes collapsing metal-organic frameworks
Porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have many applications like carbon capture and water-cleaning. However, MOFs with large pores tend to collapse. Chemists and chemical engineers at EPFL have now solved the problem by adding small amounts of a polymer into the MOF pores, an act that impedes pore collapse.
Life Sciences - Chemistry - 21.07.2019
Friedrich Miescher - 150 years of DNA
The Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research is a leader in the field of DNA and RNA research. DNA has become the icon of modern bioscience but few people realize that it was our namegiver, who - almost a century before Watson and Crick - laid the chemical groundwork for the molecular breakthroughs that followed.