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Physics - Electroengineering - 29.06.2020
A new theory for Semiconductors made of nanocrystals
A new theory for Semiconductors made of nanocrystals
Researchers have provided the first theoretical explanation for how electrical current is conducted in semiconductors made of nanocrystals. In the future, this could lead to the development of new sensors, lasers or LEDs for TV screens. A few years ago, we were introduced to TV screens featuring QLED technology that produces brilliant colours.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.06.2020
X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality
X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality
With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams.

Physics - Materials Science - 24.06.2020
Wavy surfaces for better light control
Wavy surfaces for better light control
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a method for the production of wavy surfaces with nanometre precision. In the future this method could be used, for instance, to make optical components for data transmission on the internet even more efficient and compact. The importance of light-based technologies for our society was demonstrated once more in recent weeks.

Physics - Life Sciences - 22.06.2020
Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
Super-resolution microscopy reveals a twist inside of cells
EPFL biophysicists have developed a high-throughput super-resolution microscope to probe nanoscale structures and dynamics of mammalian cells, showing in unprecedented detail the twists and turns of an organelle important for cell division. If you want to understand the underlying mechanisms of cellular motility and division, then the centriole is the organelle of interest.

Physics - Chemistry - 19.06.2020
Researchers cut atom-sized patterns into 2D materials
Researchers cut atom-sized patterns into 2D materials
EPFL researchers have developed a high-precision technology that enables them to carve nanometric patterns into two-dimensional materials. With their pioneering nanotechnology, EPFL researchers have achieved the impossible. They can now use heat to break the links between atoms with a miniature scalpel.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.06.2020
Researchers cut nanometer-sized patterns into 2D materials
Researchers cut nanometer-sized patterns into 2D materials
EPFL researchers have developed a high-precision technology that enables them to carve nanometric patterns into two-dimensional materials. With their pioneering nanotechnology, EPFL researchers have achieved the impossible. They can now use heat to break the links between atoms with a miniature scalpel.

Physics - 18.06.2020
Capturing moving subjects in still-life quality
Capturing moving subjects in still-life quality
Researchers at EPFL's Advanced Quantum Architecture Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a technique for building crystal-clear images of moving subjects. The team will present its paper at the prestigious SIGGRAPH 2020 conference in August. In 2019, Edoardo Charbon, a professor at EPFL's School of Engineering (STI), was attending a workshop in Canada.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 17.06.2020
Surprising Signal in Dark Matter Detector
Surprising Signal in Dark Matter Detector
When analyzing data from the XENON1T detector for dark matter, a signal excess was observed. The UZH researchers do not yet know for sure where this unexpected signal comes from. They say the origins could be relatively banal, but they could also indicate the existence of new particles or hitherto unknown properties of neutrinos.

Physics - Life Sciences - 16.06.2020
Multicolor super-resolution imaging made easy
Multicolor super-resolution imaging made easy
Scientists at EPFL have developed robust and easy-to-implement multicolor super-resolution imaging. The approach is based on the simultaneous acquisition of two spectral channels followed by spectral cross-cumulant analysis and unmixing. They exploit fluorophore blinking and spectral crosstalk for the generation of additional color channels with super-resolved images.

Physics - Chemistry - 16.06.2020
The smallest motor in the world
The smallest motor in the world
A research team from Empa and EPFL has developed a molecular motor which consists of only 16 atoms and rotates reliably in one direction. It could allow energy harvesting at the atomic level. The special feature of the motor is that it moves exactly at the boundary between classical motion and quantum tunneling - and has revealed puzzling phenomena to researchers in the quantum realm.

Physics - Computer Science - 16.06.2020
Combining magnetic data storage and logic
Combining magnetic data storage and logic
Computers normally store and process data in separate modules. But now researchers at ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute have developed a method that allows logical operations to be performed directly within a memory element. Anyone who has ever accidentally pulled out the plug of a desktop computer will recall the painful moment when they realised that any unsaved information was lost forever.

Physics - 15.06.2020
Melting a crystal topologically
Melting a crystal topologically
Physicists at EPFL have successfully melted a very thin crystal of magnetic quasi-particles controllably, as turning ice into water. Novel phases of matter have been discovered and a new model system for fundamental physics studies has been established. The introduction of topology, a branch of mathematics focusing on the properties of "knots", into physics has inspired revolutionary concepts such as topological phases of matter and topological phase transitions, which results in the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016.

Physics - Chemistry - 12.06.2020
A surprising quantum effect observed in a
A surprising quantum effect observed in a "large" object
While conducting experiments on a layered metal, EPFL researchers witnessed something very surprising. The unexpected electron behavior they discovered could open up possibilities in the field of quantum computing. In the world of materials science, sometimes main discoveries can be found in unexpected places.

Materials Science - Physics - 10.06.2020
Surprisingly strong and deformable silicon
Surprisingly strong and deformable silicon
Researchers at ETH have shown that tiny objects can be made from silicon that are much more deformable and stronger than previously thought. In this way, sensors in smartphones could be made smaller and more robust. Since the invention of the MOSFET transistor sixty year ago, the chemical element silicon on which it is based has become an integral part of modern life.

Physics - Materials Science - 02.06.2020
Joined nano-triangles pave the way to magnetic carbon materials
Joined nano-triangles pave the way to magnetic carbon materials
Graphene triangles with an edge length of only a few atoms behave like peculiar quantum magnets. When two of these nano-triangles are joined, a "quantum entanglement" of their magnetic moments takes place: the structure becomes antiferromagnetic. This could be a breakthrough for future magnetic materials, and another step towards spintronics.

Materials Science - Physics - 29.05.2020
Hot off the Oven
Hot off the Oven
During metal processing in the 3D laser printer, temperatures of more than 2,500 degrees Celsius are reached within milliseconds, causing some components of the alloys to evaporate. While widely considered a problem inherent to the process, Empa researchers spotted an opportunity - and are now using the effect to create new alloys with novel properties and embed them in 3D-printed metallic work pieces with micrometer precision.

Materials Science - Physics - 26.05.2020
Watching single protons moving at water-solid interfaces
Watching single protons moving at water-solid interfaces
Scientists at EPFL have been able to observe single protons moving at the interface between water and a solid surface. Their research reveals the strong interactions of these charges with surfaces. The H+ proton consists of a single ion of hydrogen, the smallest and lightest of all the chemical elements.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.05.2020
Lossless conduction at the edges
Lossless conduction at the edges
Atomically thin layers of the semimetal tungsten ditelluride conduct electricity losslessly along narrow, one-dimensional channels at the crystal edges. The material is therefore a second-order topological insulator. By obtaining experimental proof of this behavior, physicists from the University of Basel have expanded the pool of candidate materials for topological superconductivity.

Life Sciences - Physics - 20.05.2020
Elucidating the mechanism of a light-driven sodium pump
Elucidating the mechanism of a light-driven sodium pump
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in recording, in action, a light-driven sodium pump from bacterial cells. áThe findings promise progress in the development of new methods in neurobiology. The researchers used the new X-ray free-electron laser SwissFEL for their investigations.

Physics - 13.05.2020
Speeding up long-range coherent LiDAR
Speeding up long-range coherent LiDAR
LiDAR is a technique used for measuring distances with laser light. In a study published in Nature, researchers at EPFL show a new way to speed up a type of LiDAR engine by using photonic circuits. Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) comprised an array of techniques using laser light to measure distances by multiplying the time delay between transmitted and received optical signals with the speed of light.
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