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Physics/Materials Science



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Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
23.06.2017
A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
EPFL researchers have found a way around what was considered a fundamental limitation of physics for over 100 years. They were able to conceive resonant systems that can store electromagnetic waves over a long period of time while maintaining a broad bandwidth. At EPFL, researchers challenge a fundamental law and discover that more electromagnetic energy can be stored in wave-guiding systems than previously thought.
Physics/Materials Science - Medicine/Pharmacology
21.06.2017
Injector 2: a pre-accelerator for protons
Injector 2: a pre-accelerator for protons
As fundamental building blocks of matter, protons are a part of all things that surround us. At the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, however, they step out of their usual role and are deployed to generate other particles, namely neutrons and muons, which are subsequently used to study materials.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
21.06.2017
New conductivity mechanism of ions
New conductivity mechanism of ions
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells.
Physics/Materials Science
20.06.2017
Underground energy revolution
Underground energy revolution
How can we organize energy supply in the post-fossil era? How can energy be stored efficiently? And how can we organize distribution as economically and conveniently as possible? Empa‘s research platform 'ehub? is searching for answers to these questions.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
08.06.2017
Ultra-fast optical data transfer using solitons on a photonic chip
Ultra-fast optical data transfer using solitons on a photonic chip
Researchers from EPFL and Karlsruhe Institute of Technologyâ?use a soliton frequency combs from optical microresonators to transmit data at speeds of more than 50 terabits per second.
Physics/Materials Science - Environment/Sustainable Development
31.05.2017
Water temperatures to drop after the Mühleberg plant closes
Water temperatures to drop after the Mühleberg plant closes
Mühleberg is the first Swiss nuclear power plant slated for decommissioning in 2019. EPFL researchers have shown that its shutdown will lower water temperatures in the Aar River and Lake Biel, and could affect waterways as far away as Germany. When the Mühleberg nuclear power station goes offline in 2019, the waters of the Aar River and Lake Biel will cool down.
Physics/Materials Science
30.05.2017
3D printer inks from the woods
3D printer inks from the woods
Empa researchers have succeeded in developing an environmentally friendly ink for 3D printing based on cellulose nanocrystals.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
26.05.2017
Quantum-aided frequency measurements
Quantum-aided frequency measurements
Accurate measurements of the frequencies of weak electric or magnetic fields are important in many applications. Researchers at ETH Zurich have now developed a procedure whereby a quantum sensor measures the frequency of an oscillating magnetic field with unprecedented accuracy. Accurate frequency measurements are of crucial importance in many scientific and technological applications.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
24.05.2017
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
Researchers from EPFL have shown that the surface of minuscule water drops with a 100 nm size is surprisingly ordered. At room temperature, the surface water molecules of these droplets have much stronger interactions than a normal water surface. The structural difference corresponds to a difference in temperature of -50 °C, which may shed new light on a variety of atmospheric, biological and even geological processes.
Astronomy - Physics/Materials Science
19.05.2017
Astronomers make the largest map of the Universe yet
Astronomers make the largest map of the Universe yet
Astronomers of the extended Baryonic Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, led by EPFL Professor Jean-Paul Kneib, used the Sloan telescope to create the first map of the Universe based entirely on quasars.  Quasars are incredibly bright and distant points of light powered by supermassive black holes. As matter and energy fall into the black hole, they heat up to incredible temperatures and begin to glow with excessive brightness.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
15.05.2017
Quantum reservoir for microwaves
Quantum reservoir for microwaves
EPFL researchers use a mechanical micrometer-size drum cooled close to the quantum ground state to amplify microwaves in a superconducting circuit. Image: Photograph of the chip used in the experiment to couple a microwave cavity to a micrometer-size drum (the sharp purple pencil tip is placed as a scale).
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
12.05.2017
One laser is enough
One laser is enough
Gases in the environment can be spectroscopically probed fast and precisely using so-called dual frequency combs. Researchers at ETH have now developed a method by which such frequency combs can be created much more simply and cheaply than before. In contrast to the light emitted by a simple lamp, laser light has a very precisely defined frequency.
Mathematics - Physics/Materials Science
05.05.2017
A touchable tablet to guide the visually impaired
A touchable tablet to guide the visually impaired
Researchers at EPFL have developed a tablet to help people with a visual impairment find their way around unfamiliar places.
Chemistry - Physics/Materials Science
02.05.2017
Sodium and magnesium to replace lithium in batteries
Sodium and magnesium to replace lithium in batteries
Scientists have produced novel electrolytes for rechargeable sodium and magnesium batteries. The research group's objective was to develop alternatives to lithium-ion technology. A project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) aims to find new materials which can be used in rechargeable batteries and eventually provide alternatives to the current lithium batteries.
Chemistry - Physics/Materials Science
28.04.2017
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3D printed plastic pieces
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3D printed plastic pieces
EPFL scientists have combined 3D-printing with electroplating to easily produce high-quality metal electrodes that can be used as a molecular beam-splitter. Many measurement techniques, such as spectroscopy, benefit from the ability to split a single beam of light into two in order to measure changes in one of them.
Physics/Materials Science
27.04.2017
Light can improve perovskite solar cell performance
Light can improve perovskite solar cell performance
Publishing in Nature, EPFL scientists show how light affects perovskite film formation in solar cells, which is a critical factor in using them for cost-effective and energy-efficient photovoltaics.  Perovskites are materials of immense interest in solar energy technology lately, as they promise to bring down the cost of solar cells to very low levels.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
26.04.2017
Caught in the act
Caught in the act
As of October 2017, newly launched car models will have to pass more stringent exhaust gas tests in the EU and in Switzerland. The new test method includes measuring drives in actual traf-fic. Empa already tested currently available cars with the new method - with alarming results. By now, it's no secret: the certification requirements for cars in the EU and in Switzerland have precious little to do with the cars' actual exhaust emissions on the roads.
Physics/Materials Science
25.04.2017
A simplified fabrication process for high efficiency solar cells
A simplified fabrication process for high efficiency solar cells
A team of EPFL and CSEM researchers in Neuchâtel has featured in Nature Energy with an astonishing new method for the creation of crystalline solar cells. These cells have electrical contacts at the back, which removes all shadowing at the front. Thanks to this new inexpensive approach, the fabrication process is greatly simplified, with efficiencies in the laboratory already surpassing 23%.
Physics/Materials Science - Chemistry
19.04.2017
Gelatine instead of forearm
Gelatine instead of forearm
The characteristics of human skin are heavily dependent on the hydration of the tissue - in simple terms, the water content.
Physics/Materials Science - Microtechnics/Electroengineering
13.04.2017
Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide
Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide
EPFL scientists have uncovered the hidden properties of titanium dioxide, one of the most promising materials for light-conversion technology. Figure Caption : Lattice structure of anatase TiO 2 with a graphical representation of the 2D exciton that is generated by the absorption of light (purple wavy arrow).
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