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Physics - Materials Science - 22.12.2021
Semiconductors reach the quantum world
Semiconductors reach the quantum world
Quantum effects in superconductors could give semiconductor technology a new twist. Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and Cornell University in New York State have identified a composite material that could integrate quantum devices into semiconductor technology, making electronic components significantly more powerful.

Materials Science - Innovation - 20.12.2021
Shellac for printed circuits
Shellac for printed circuits
Intelligent packaging with sensors that monitor goods, such as vegetables, on long transport routes is a trend for the future. Yet printed and disposable electronics also cause problems: Metals in printing inks are expensive - and disposing of them in an environmentally sound manner is costly and exacerbates the problem of electronic waste.

Materials Science - Environment - 16.11.2021
An ironclad future
An ironclad future
Solar energy plays an important role in the fight against climate change as a substitute for fossil fuels. Dye-sensitized solar cells promise to be a low-cost supplement to the photovoltaic systems we know today. Their key feature is the dye sensitizers attached to their surface. Researchers at the University of Basel continue to improve the performance with sensitizers using iron - a commonly available and environmentally friendly metal.

Materials Science - Innovation - 11.11.2021
Teaching fungi how to write
Teaching fungi how to write
Spalted wood is a highly sought-after material in the high-end furniture industry. In a newly developed process, scientists have succeeded at controlling the spread of fungi in native wood types to create elaborate marblewood pictures - and even taught the fungi to write some words. Fine black lines spread elegantly across the clock face made from pale, fine-grained timber of ash, beech and maple.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.11.2021
New imaging method gives live glimpse into how cells work
New imaging method gives live glimpse into how cells work
By combining two microscopy methods, researchers are able to see what is happening inside a cell and on its membrane simultaneously, giving unprecedented insight into the cellular processes that occur during infection, for example. Cells are the fundamental component of living organisms and play host to a number of complex biological phenomena.

Physics - Materials Science - 14.10.2021
Exotic magnetic states in miniature dimensions
Exotic magnetic states in miniature dimensions
Led by scientists at Empa and the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, an international team of researchers from Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, and Spain have succeeded in building carbon-based quantum spin chains, where they captured the emergence of one of the cornerstone models of quantum magnetism first proposed by the 2016 Nobel laureate F. D.

Materials Science - Architecture - 06.10.2021
Light construction, efficient operation
Light construction, efficient operation
Boasting an intricate, doubly curved concrete roof, lightweight funicular floors, and self-learning building technology, the latest addition to Empa and Eawag's NEST research building in Duebendorf, Switzerland officially opened today. The innovative unit illustrates nearly a decade of formative ETH Zurich research in architecture and sustainable technologies.

Physics - Materials Science - 02.09.2021
Photovoltaic perovskites can detect neutrons
Photovoltaic perovskites can detect neutrons
A simple and cheap device for detecting neutrons has been developed by a team of researchers and their collaborators. The device, based on a special class of crystalline compounds called perovskites, could be used to quickly detect neutrons coming from radioactive materials, e.g. a nuclear reactor that has been damaged or that is being transported nefariously, the researchers say.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 20.08.2021
Changes in colour indicate deformations
Changes in colour indicate deformations
Researchers have developed a new type of laminate that changes colour as soon as the material is deformed. This way, the materials researchers can kill two birds with one stone: a lightweight composite material that inspects itself. Lightweight construction has found its way into many areas, especially automotive manufacturing, shipbuilding and aircraft construction.

Materials Science - Health - 19.08.2021
Band-aid for internal wounds
Band-aid for internal wounds
Closing wounds in the digestive tract is a challenge. researchers have now developed a polymer patch for the intestine that can be used to stably bond and seal internal injuries. A burst appendix or a life-threatening intestinal volvulus are emergencies that need to be treated by surgeons immediately.

Materials Science - Economics / Business - 15.07.2021
Filled energy saving bar
Filled energy saving bar
Insulation webs are essential in aluminum window profiles and facades for good thermal insulation. researchers and their partners have been working for some time on a novel "sandwich" product with an environmentally friendly filling: recycled material from PET bottles. Now the market launch is approaching - with good prospects of success.

Materials Science - Environment - 05.07.2021
A jacket from a jacket from a jacket
A jacket from a jacket from a jacket
Manufacture, wear, wash, incinerate: This typical life cycle of garments, which pollutes the environment, is to be changed in the future - towards principles of circular economy with recycling at its core. Using an outdoor jacket made from PET bottles and recycled materials, researchers have investigated whether the product actually delivers what the idea promises.

Materials Science - 30.06.2021
Prestressed plasters for old buildings
Prestressed plasters for old buildings
The technology of stabilizing concrete structures with carbon fiber-reinforced polymers, thus helping them to last longer, was developed decades ago; among others at Empa. Today, researchers in Dübendorf are working on a new variant with prestressed lamellas - with good prospects for practical application.

Environment - Materials Science - 25.06.2021
Crown ethers improve perovskite solar cell stability
Crown ethers improve perovskite solar cell stability
Scientists have used an unprecedented method with multimodal host-guest complexation to greatly improve the stability of perovskite solar cells while also reducing the release of lead into the environment. Perovskites are hybrid compounds made from metal halides and organic constituents, and show great potential in a range of applications, e.g. LED lights, lasers, and photodetectors.

Environment - Materials Science - 23.06.2021
Harvesting drinking water from humidity around the clock
Harvesting drinking water from humidity around the clock
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a condenser for countries where water is in short supply. Theirs is the first zero-energy solution for harvesting water from the atmosphere throughout the 24-hour daily cycle. It relies on a self-cooling surface and a special radiation shield. Fresh water is scarce in many parts of the world and must be obtained at great expense.

Materials Science - Health - 03.06.2021
Filter membrane renders viruses harmless
Researchers at ETH Zurich are developing a new filter membrane that is highly efficient at filtering and inactivating a wide variety of air-borne and water-borne viruses. Made from ecologically sound materials, the membrane has an appropriately good environmental footprint. Viruses can spread not only via droplets or aerosols like the new coronavirus, but in water, too.

Innovation - Materials Science - 28.05.2021

Physics - Materials Science - 05.05.2021
A material-keyboard made of graphene
A material-keyboard made of graphene
Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in turning specially prepared graphene flakes either into insulators or into superconductors by applying an electric voltage. This technique even works locally, meaning that in the same graphene flake regions with completely different physical properties can be realized side by side.

Physics - Materials Science - 22.04.2021
Uniquely sharp X-ray view
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in looking inside materials using the method of transient grating spectroscopy with ultrafast X-rays at SwissFEL. The experiment at PSI is a milestone in observing processes in the world of atoms. The researchers are publishing their research results today .

Materials Science - Chemistry - 20.04.2021
Perovskite solar cells exceed 25% power-conversion efficiency
Perovskite solar cells exceed 25% power-conversion efficiency
Physical chemists and chemical engineers led by EPFL have used a chemical tweak to push the power-conversion efficiency and operational stability of perovskite solar cells to 25.6% and at least 450 hours respectively. Perovskites are hybrid compounds that can be made from metal halides and organic constituents.