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Materials Science - 25.04.2016
Cycling helmets with optimum ventilation
Cycling helmets with optimum ventilation
Any cyclist who wears a helmet knows the feeling: heat builds up under your helmet and the sweat starts to flow, especially in summer. As a result, many cyclists will take a risk and not even wear a helmet. A research team at Empa has now studied the flow of heat under cycling helmets in detail - the first step towards "sweat-free" protective headgear.

Physics - Materials Science - 28.03.2016
Revealing the ion transport at nanoscale
Revealing the ion transport at nanoscale
28. EPFL researchers have shown that a law of physics having to do with electron transport at nanoscale can also be analogously applied to the ion transport. This discovery provides insight into a key aspect of how ion channels function within our living cells. The membrane of all human cells contains tiny channels through which ions pass through at high speed.

Physics - Materials Science - 23.03.2016
An innovative device studies gold nanoparticles in depth
An innovative device studies gold nanoparticles in depth
23. EPFL researchers have developed a way to explore and optimize gold nanoparticles, which are used in medicine, biology and solar cells. Artists have used gold nanoparticles for centuries, because they produce vibrant colors when sunlight hits them. Their unique optical-electronics properties have put gold nanoparticles at the center of research, solar cells, sensors, chemotherapy, drug delivery, biological and medical applications, and electronic conductors.

Environment - Materials Science - 17.03.2016
Perovskite solar cells hit 21.1% efficiency and record reproduciblity
Perovskite solar cells hit 21.1% efficiency and record reproduciblity
17. EPFL scientists achieve the highest yet reproducibility for perovskite solar cells combined with a boundary-pushing 21.1% efficiency at normal operating conditions.

Physics - Materials Science - 09.03.2016
Atomic Vibrations in Nanomaterials
Atomic Vibrations in Nanomaterials
Researchers at ETH have shown for the first time what happens to atomic vibrations when materials are nanosized and how this knowledge can be used to systematically engineer nanomaterials for different applications. All materials are made up of atoms, which vibrate. These vibrations, or "phonons", are responsible, for example, for how electric charge and heat is transported in materials.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 29.02.2016
Stretchable electronics that quadruple in length
Stretchable electronics that quadruple in length
29. EPFL researchers have developed conductive tracks that can be bent and stretched up to four times their original length. They could be used in artificial skin, connected clothing and on-body sensors. Conductive tracks are usually hard printed on a board. But those recently developed at EPFL are altogether different: they are almost as flexible as rubber and can be stretched up to four times their original length and in all directions.

Materials Science - Physics - 26.02.2016
Graphene Slides Smoothly Across Gold
Graphene Slides Smoothly Across Gold
Graphene, a modified form of carbon, offers versatile potential for use in coating machine components and in the field of electronic switches. An international team of researchers led by physicists at the University of Basel have been studying the lubricity of this material on the nanometer scale. Since it produces almost no friction at all, it could drastically reduce energy loss in machines when used as a coating, as the researchers report .

Materials Science - Chemistry - 15.02.2016
"Swiss army knife" molecule
Scientists at ETH Zurich and an ETH spin-off have developed a novel polymer for coating materials, in order to prevent biofilms from forming on their surfaces.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 25.01.2016
Highly efficient heavy metal ions filter
Highly efficient heavy metal ions filter
ETH researchers have developed a new water filtration system that is superior to existing systems in many respects: it is extremely efficient at removing various toxic heavy metal ions and radioactive substances from water and can even be used in gold recovery.

Electroengineering - Materials Science - 25.01.2016
Producing electrical power with cardboard, tape, and a pencil
Producing electrical power with cardboard, tape, and a pencil
A small device made from everyday materials can generate enough energy to power several diodes. This clever discovery by an EPFL researcher was presented yesterday at a global conference on microand nanosystems in Shanghai.

Electroengineering - Materials Science - 20.01.2016
Charging an electric car as fast as filling a tank of gas
Charging an electric car as fast as filling a tank of gas
20. Electric cars will be competitive when they can be charged in the time it takes to fill the gas tank.

Materials Science - Environment - 18.01.2016
Cheaper solar cells with 20.2% efficiency
Cheaper solar cells with 20.2% efficiency
EPFL scientists have developed a solar-panel material that can cut down on photovoltaic costs while achieving competitive power-conversion efficiency of 20.

Physics - Materials Science - 18.12.2015
Spintronics, low-energy electricity take a step closer
Spintronics, low-energy electricity take a step closer
18. EPFL scientists have discovered a new topological insulator that could be used in future electronic technologies. Topological insulators are recently discovered materials that differ from the familiar insulators and semiconductors in many ways. While topological insulators are fascinating for fundamental physics, they could one day enable electricity with less energy loss, spintronics, and perhaps even quantum computing.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 27.11.2015
How cells create free space
How cells create free space
In order to divide, cells in the intestinal wall have to leave their densely packed environment and migrate to the surface. ETH researchers have now discovered how they do this - using a tiny bed of nails. The human body is constantly regenerating itself. Trillions of cells die in our bodies each day.

Materials Science - 25.11.2015
A new form of real gold, almost as light as air
A new form of real gold, almost as light as air
Researchers at ETH Zurich have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye.

Materials Science - Earth Sciences - 11.11.2015
Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
Plate tectonics thanks to plumes?
It is common knowledge that the Earth's rigid upper layer called lithosphere is composed of moving plates. But just what mechanism first set plate tectonics into motion still remains a mystery. A team of researchers led by ETH professor Taras Gerya has now come up with one possible answer by using simulations.

Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering - 22.10.2015
The ductility of magnesium explained
The ductility of magnesium explained
22. Zhaoxuan Wu and William Curtin of the Laboratory for Multiscale Mechanics Modeling (LAMMM) have solved the 40-year-old scientific riddle of the low ductility magnesium. Magnesium is the lightest metal found on earth; it is four times lighter than steel and a third lighter than aluminum. It is also abundantly available, being the eight most common element in the earth's crust.

Materials Science - Physics - 28.09.2015
Biomimetic dental prosthesis
Biomimetic dental prosthesis
ETH material researchers are developing a procedure that allows them to mimic the complex fine structure of biological composite materials, such as teeth or seashells. They can thus create synthetic materials that are as hard and tough as their natural counterparts. Cross section of the artificial tooth under an electron microscope: Ceramic platelets in the enamel are orientated vertically.

Materials Science - Physics - 08.09.2015
The key to charging a lithium-ion battery rapidly
The key to charging a lithium-ion battery rapidly
Researchers reveal the reasons for these properties in a new study. During the charge and discharge process for this kind of battery, lithium ions need to move between the two electrodes. As it turns out, the rapid charging of these batteries is down to the fact that, at a higher charging voltage, the lithium ions are distributed evenly across the volume of the particles that make up the battery electrode, which contains lithium.

Environment - Materials Science - 29.07.2015
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste
ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibres.
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