Results 1 - 20 of 30.
Materials Science - Environment - 01.12.2023
Replicating the structure of bird feathers
Modelled on nature: researchers have developed a new material that replicates the structure responsible for the blue feathers of the North American song bird, among many other birds. It also has other striking advantages. The eastern bluebird is a special bird. The blue of its feathers is unique. However, this colour is not based on pigments but on the special structure of the feather.
Health - Materials Science - 28.11.2023
Bacteria, stay out!
Antimicrobial hospital curtains Hospital germs and pathogens are not always transmitted directly from person to person. They can also spread via germ-contaminated surfaces and objects. researchers, together with the chemical company BASF, Spiez Laboratory and the Technical University of Berlin, have now developed coated textiles that inhibit or even kill pathogens.
Materials Science - Innovation - 27.10.2023
3D printed reactor core makes solar fuel production more efficient
Using a new 3D printing technique, researchers at ETH Zurich have developed special ceramic structures for a solar reactor. Initial experimental testing show that these structures can boost the production yield of solar fuels. In recent years, engineers at ETH Zurich have developed the technology to produce liquid fuels from sunlight and air.
Materials Science - Environment - 26.09.2023
Trust is good - control is better
Although strict limits exist, batteries can still contain too many harmful ingredients such as mercury, cadmium and lead. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has therefore launched a control campaign. Empa has laid the foundations for this with a specially developed method for analyzing heavy metals .
Physics - Materials Science - 01.09.2023
Peering into Nanofluidic Mysteries One Photon at a Time
EPFL and University of Manchester researchers unlock secrets of nanofluidics using a 2D material and light. A discovery in the field of nanofluidics could shake up our understanding of molecular behavior on the tiniest scales. Research teams at EPFL and the University of Manchester have revealed a previously hidden world by using the newly found fluorescent properties of a graphene-like 2D material, boron nitride.
Materials Science - Innovation - 29.08.2023
The Empa spin-off BTRY wants to revolutionize rechargeable batteries: Their thin-film batteries are not only safer and longer-lasting than conventional lithium-ion batteries, they are also much more environmentally friendly to manufacture and can be charged and discharged in just one minute. For now, the battery is very small, but the founders have big plans for it.
Materials Science - Chemistry - 22.08.2023
New epoxy resin resists flames and reduces waste
Researchers have developed an epoxy resin that can be repaired and recycled, in addition to being flame-retardant and mechanically strong. Potential applications range from coating for wooden flooring to composites in aerospace and railways. Epoxy resins are tough and versatile polymers. In combination with glass or carbon fibers, they are used, for example, to manufacture components for aircraft, cars, trains, ships and wind turbines.
Chemistry - Materials Science - 18.07.2023
Improving high-temperature stability of perovskite solar cells
Researchers have found a way to significantly improve the operational stability of perovskite solar cells at high temperatures, which is necessary for their use in terawatt power grids. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) have gained attention for their high power-conversion efficiencies and low-cost solution processing.
Materials Science - Electroengineering - 04.07.2023
The chameleon effect
Is it possible to 3D print biodegradable sensors and displays? Researchers from Empa's Cellulose & Wood Materials laboratory have developed a cellulose-based material that allows just that. The mixture of hydroxpropyl cellulose with water, carbon nanotubes and cellulose nanofibrils changes color when heated or stretched - without the addition of any pigments.
Physics - Materials Science - 03.07.2023
An unexpected antenna for nanoscale light sources
Researchers at ETH have created an antenna for light sources on a chip using an unusual placement of a semiconductor material. In the future, efficient nanoscale LEDs and lasers could be produced in this way. The fast switching and modulation of light is at the heart, among other things, of modern data transfer, in which information is sent through fibre optic cables in the shape of modulated light beams.
Innovation - Materials Science - 20.06.2023
Swim and run without changing
Just in time for summer: The Swiss start-up Swijin is launching a new sportswear category with its SwimRunner - a sports bra together with matching bottoms that works as both swimwear and running gear and dries in no time.
Materials Science - 08.06.2023
A furnace for safe timber buildings
Timber construction is undergoing a renaissance in Switzerland. researchers at the Hönggerberg campus are using a fire simulator to test timber components for the construction of buildings of all sizes. The custom-built oven permits simulations of realistic fire scenarios. Precisely simulating fire scenarios Including building renovation measures, the oven developed especially for fire simulations costs around CHF 2.5 million, looks robust, and is housed in the heating building of the Hönggerberg campus.
Health - Materials Science - 06.06.2023
Take a deep breath
Pulmonary surfactant is a special fluid released by cells in the lungs. For premature babies and COVID-19 patients in intensive care, it can mean the difference between life and death. An ETH materials scientist hopes to shed some light on this complex substance. In a second experiment, she interrupts this steady resting breathing rate with a single, larger intake of air after approximately every fourth cycle of inspiration and expiration.
Physics - Materials Science - 09.05.2023
Closer to next-generation electronics
EPFL engineers have found a way to control the interactions between excitons - quasiparticles that may one day transport data and replace the electrons in electronic devices. The engineers' method involves applying an electric field to a two-dimensional (2D) semiconducting material. Electronic devices have become an essential feature of just about all aspects of modern society.
Health - Materials Science - 26.04.2023
New antimicrobial coatings for bacteria-free surfaces
Preventing the transmission of microbial infections is a global issue. This is especially true in environments where bacteria are easily transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces. A research team led by the University of Freiburg has developed an antimicrobial coating that reduces the bacterial population by a factor of up to 10,000 within minutes .
Environment - Materials Science - 25.04.2023
Circuit boards from renewable raw materials
Can ecologically sustainable circuit boards for the electronics industry be produced from cellulose fibers? Empa researcher Thomas Geiger looked into this question. He is now part of a multinational EU project called Hypelignum". Its goal: biodegradable electronics. For many years, Thomas Geiger has been conducting research in the field of cellulose fibrils - fine fibers that can be produced from wood pulp or agricultural waste, for example.
Chemistry - Materials Science - 24.04.2023
Cryo-imaging lifts the lid on fuel cell catalyst layers
Thanks to a novel combination of cryogenic transmission electron tomography and deep learning, researchers have provided a first look at the nanostructure of platinum catalyst layers, revealing how they could be optimized for fuel cell efficiency. Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), which are being developed for use in electric vehicles, rely on nanoparticles called catalysts to trigger electricity-producing reactions between hydrogen and oxygen.
Chemistry - Materials Science - 24.04.2023
Progress in alternative battery technology
It is not easy to make batteries cheap, efficient, durable, safe and environmentally friendly at the same time. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now succeeded in uniting all of these characteristics in zinc metal batteries. The world needs cheap and powerful batteries that can store sustainably produced electricity from wind or sunlight so that we can use it whenever we need it, even when it's dark outside or there's no wind blowing.
Architecture - Materials Science - 18.04.2023
Revolution in brick production
Modern brick facades mostly consist of homogeneous bricks. The Keller companies and HSLU researchers have developed a production process for bricks that opens up completely new design possibilities for architects. The joint Innosuisse research project arose from an award-winning thesis in the Master Design at HSLU.
Innovation - Materials Science - 31.03.2023
Thread-like pumps can be woven into clothes
Researchers have developed fiber-like pumps that allow high-pressure fluidic circuits to be woven into textiles without an external pump. Soft supportive exoskeletons, thermoregulatory clothing, and immersive haptics can therefore be powered from pumps sewn into the fabric of the devices themselves.