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Materials Science - Innovation - 12.04.2018
Europe's urban mine
Europe’s urban mine
In January 2018 the first pan-European database for secondary raw materials, including many "critical" ones, went online. Ever since, we have known more about which raw material depots reside in cars, batteries and electronic devices sold, used and stored in the 28 EU countries - and ultimately recycled or disposed of.

Materials Science - Health - 20.03.2018

Environment - Materials Science - 15.03.2018
Removing heavy metals from water
Removing heavy metals from water
EPFL chemists have developed a new material that can remove heavy metals from water and make it drinkable in seconds.

Music - Materials Science - 15.02.2018
Sinfonia ai funghi
Sinfonia ai funghi
Do violins made of wood that had been treated with fungi sound the same as a fine, antique instrument? Acoustics experts at Empa are currently studying the body and soul of instruments made of "mycowood". Precision structure-borne sound measurements and psycho-acoustic tests with volunteers should reveal whether a fungal treatment can really improve an instrument.

Innovation - Materials Science - 08.02.2018
Building with waste and recycled
Building with waste and recycled
A residential module fully constructed from reusable, recyclable, and compostable materials: This is the premise for the newest unit in NEST, the modular research and innovation building run by Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf.

Innovation - Materials Science - 08.02.2018
Building with waste and recycled material
Building with waste and recycled material
A residential module fully constructed from reusable, recyclable, and compostable materials: This is the premise for the newest unit in NEST, the modular research and innovation building run by Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf.

Materials Science - Health - 29.01.2018
A ski jacket that actively gets rid of sweat
To keep the body warm and dry during winter sports, high-performance clothing is a must. The demands on these textiles are high, as a person sweats up to one liter per hour on his upper body alone when skiing.

Materials Science - Health - 29.01.2018
A ski jacket that actively gets rid of
A ski jacket that actively gets rid of
To keep the body warm and dry during winter sports, high-performance clothing is a must. The demands on these textiles are high, as a person sweats up to one liter per hour on his upper body alone when skiing.

Materials Science - 23.01.2018

Physics - Materials Science - 18.01.2018
Looking beyond the horizon
Looking beyond the horizon
Michel Calame is Head of Empa's Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces lab. The name says it all: the physicist aims to conduct research at the interface between physics and biology, where damp systems meet dry electronics and nano-devices display quantum mechanical effects because they are so minuscule.

Materials Science - Architecture - 15.01.2018
Insulating with microscopic bubbles
Insulating with microscopic bubbles
Better thermal insulation means lower heating costs - but this should not be at the expense of exciting architecture.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 08.01.2018
The salt water battery
The salt water battery
Water could form the basis for future particularly inexpensive rechargeable batteries. Empa researchers have succeeded in doubling the electrochemical stability of water with a special saline solution. This takes us one step closer to using the technology commercially. In the quest to find safe, low-cost batteries for the future, eventually we have to ask ourselves a question: Why not simply use water as an electrolyte? Water is inexpensive, available everywhere, non-flammable and can conduct ions.

Materials Science - Architecture - 27.12.2017
Where structure and ornamentation merge
Where structure and ornamentation merge
Researchers at ETH Zurich have fabricated an 80 m2 lightweight concrete slab at the DFAB House, making it the world's first full-scale architectural project to use 3D sand printing for its formwork.

Materials Science - 23.12.2017

Materials Science - Innovation - 22.12.2017
Two become one - with reactive heat
Reactive nano-multilayers are considered to be a revolution in joining technology. They are envisaged for joining heat-sensitive materials that would otherwise be damaged or even destroyed upon conventional soldering.

Materials Science - Environment - 21.12.2017
Clear-cut ideas
Clear-cut ideas
Tanja Zimmermann joined Empa's Board of Directors in September. She runs the new Functional Materials department - another step up in a successful career that began in Empa's Wood lab. Thanks to her inquisitiveness, creativity and an eye for the impossible, Zimmermann helped lift a previously little-known research field onto the international stage "Creativity is a basic requirement in research." Tanja Zimmermann is speaking from experience.

Physics - Materials Science - 17.12.2017
Hydrogen as a pedalling aid
Hydrogen as a pedalling aid
An e-bike fueled with hydrogen instead of electricity? No, this is not a utopia, but reality: industrial gas specialist Linde has developed a hydrogen pedelec equipped with a compact fuel cell instead of the usual battery. Florian Freund was inspired by the invention for his Matura thesis: He developed a prototype with which the hydrogen e-bike can be refuelled safely at the H2 filling station on the Empa mobility demonstrator move.

Materials Science - Innovation - 12.12.2017
Europe as urban mine
Europe as urban mine
In January 2018 the first pan-European database for secondary raw materials, including many "critical" ones, went online. Ever since, we have known more about which raw material depots reside in cars, batteries and electronic devices sold, used and stored in the 28 EU countries - and ultimately recycled or disposed of.

Materials Science - 04.12.2017

Materials Science - Innovation - 30.11.2017

Materials Science - Chemistry - 23.11.2017
Batteries with better performance and
Batteries with better performance and
Researchers from Empa and the University of Geneva have developed a prototype of a novel solid sodium battery with the potential to store extra energy. Phones, laptops, electric cars - batteries are everywhere. And to meet the expectations of today's consumers, these batteries are increasin­gly lighter, more powerful and designed to last longer.

Agronomy / Food Science - Materials Science - 23.11.2017

Materials Science - Chemistry - 14.11.2017
Alloys from the laser printer
Alloys from the laser printer
In the future, new designer alloys for aerospace applications can be manufactured using the 3-D laser melting process (Additive Manufacturing).

Health - Materials Science - 07.11.2017
Muscles out of a spray can
Muscles out of a spray can
An artificial heart would be an absolute lifesaver for people with cardiac failure. However, to recreate the complex organ in the laboratory, one would first need to work out how to grow multi-layered, living tissues.

Materials Science - Environment - 01.11.2017
Research collaboration for sustainable
Research collaboration for sustainable
Buildings made of reusable components: that is the aim of a research collaboration between Empa and the University of Luxembourg.

Environment - Materials Science - 20.10.2017
Accolade for Empa researcher
Each year, the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) presents its Publication Award to researchers who have made an exceptional scientific contribution to the field of waste disposal. For the second time in a row, the prize has been won by the Empa researcher David Turner, this year for his analyses of the environmental effects of different methods of waste disposal.

Materials Science - Innovation - 12.10.2017
Construction prototype for ultra-thin concrete roof
Researchers from ETH Zurich have built a prototype of an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof using innovative digital design and fabrication methods.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 11.10.2017
Low-cost battery from waste graphite
Low-cost battery from waste graphite
Lithium ion batteries are flammable and the price of the raw material is rising. Are there alternatives' Yes: Empa and ETH Zürich researchers have discovered promising approaches as to how we might produce batteries out waste graphite and scrap metal.

Materials Science - 10.10.2017
EPFL honors its best teacher
EPFL honors its best teacher
Fabien Sorin, an assistant professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Section, has been awarded the 2017 Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching.

Materials Science - 09.10.2017
Sticking instead of stitching
In spite of medical advances, wound-related complications arising after operations can still be life-threatening. In order to avoid these complications in the future, a new nanoparticle-based tissue glue has been developed by researchers at Empa. There are internal and external areas of the body where it is difficult to apply stitches.

Materials Science - Environment - 02.10.2017
Biosensor for heavy metals
Biosensor for heavy metals
A team of Empa scientists has developed a biosensor which allows them to detect elevated concentrations of copper in a simple, quick and economic way. Copper, like other heavy metals is problematic in high concentrations, both for the environment and for human health. It is no secret that heavy metals such as copper are dangerous substances which can have grave consequences for both our environment and for human health.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 28.09.2017
Biodegradable microsensors for food monitoring
Biodegradable microsensors for food monitoring
A new generation of microsensors could provide the vital link between food products and the Internet of Things. ETH researchers have developed an ultra-thin temperature sensor that is both biocompatible and biodegradable. Nowadays microsensors are already used in many different applications, such as the detection of poisonous gases.

Materials Science - Environment - 20.09.2017
World record solar cells for
World record solar cells for "move"
Swiss start-up Flisom is ready for the global market: The company, a spin-off from ETH Zürich and Empa, has developed a unique roll-to-roll process for the cost-effective production of flexible and highly efficient thin-film solar modules.

Materials Science - 15.09.2017
Second lease of life for used batteries
Second lease of life for used batteries
What can we do with aging scooter batteries' Instead of scrapping them and recycling their components, the batteries could be left intact and re-used in a solar power storage cabinet.

Transport - Materials Science - 13.09.2017
World's largest electric vehicle
World’s largest electric vehicle
A Swiss consortium of companies is constructing the largest electric vehicle in the world - in record time.

Environment - Materials Science - 24.08.2017
Sustainable wellness with solar energy
Sustainable wellness with solar energy
There is a growing need in our society for fitness and wellness, which generally incurs environmental costs and swallows up large quantities of energy.

Materials Science - Physics - 23.08.2017
Custom-tailoring better metallic materials
An interview with Helena Van Swygenhoven-Moens Using the large research facilities at PSI, Helena Van Swygenhoven-Moens examines the inner workings of metals.

Environment - Materials Science - 21.07.2017
"Asphalt has a major downside"
Together with scientists from Empa, ETH Professor Jan Carmeliet studied the latest heatwave last June.

Materials Science - Health - 21.07.2017
Cities suffer from higher temperatures
Cities suffer from higher temperatures
June 2017 broke quite a few weather records in Switzerland. Above all the month was extraordinarily hot, the second hottest June on records, peaking in a heat wave between 19 and 23 June. Cities heat up even more than the surrounding regions, an effect known as urban heat islands.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 20.07.2017
3D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement
3D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement
EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time. They imaged the interfacial chemistry in the microscopically confined geometry of a simple glass micro-capillary. The glass is covered with hydroxyl (-OH) groups that can lose a proton - a much-studied chemical reaction that is important in geology, chemistry and technology.

Physics - Materials Science - 20.07.2017
Diving into magnets
Diving into magnets
First-time 3D imaging of internal magnetic patterns Magnets are found in motors, in energy production and in data storage. A deeper understanding of the basic properties of magnetic materials could therefore impact our everyday technology. A study by Scientists at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland, the ETH Zurich and the University of Glasgow has the potential to further this understanding.

Physics - Materials Science - 11.07.2017
From Bangalore via Cambridge to Zurich
From Bangalore via Cambridge to Zurich
Priyank Kumar became a materials scientist mainly by chance. His enthusiasm for complex simulations of material properties took him from India to MIT, and then to ETH.

Materials Science - Mechanical Engineering - 10.07.2017
Fine particles come into greater focus
Fine particles come into greater focus
An EPFL study has deepened our understanding of the fine particles produced by adhesive wear. This breakthrough could lead to cost savings and environmental benefits. Adhesive wear occurs when two surfaces - such as a brake pad and a wheel's disc, or a car tire and the road - rub against each other.

Materials Science - 29.06.2017
Light switches from a spray can
Light switches from a spray can
Researchers are on the lookout for rapid, reliable and affordable switches for the opto-electronics of the future.

Materials Science - Environment - 26.06.2017
Microplastics from the washing machine
Microplastics from the washing machine
Even before the UN Ocean Conference in early June, we already knew about the disastrous ways in which plastic affects the world's oceans. Billions of pieces of plastic are floating in the oceans. Their effects are also sufficiently well-known: marine animals swallow them or get tangled up in them, which causes them to die in agony.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 14.06.2017
Universal stabilisation
Universal stabilisation
ETH researchers led by Lucio Isa have developed microparticles with a rough, raspberry-like surface that stabilise emulsions following a new principle.

Innovation - Materials Science - 09.06.2017
Hybrid membrane creates a stir on the global market
Hybrid membrane creates a stir on the global market
ETH Professor Raffaele Mezzenga and his senior researcher Sreenath Bolisetty have developed a filter membrane that efficiently removes heavy metals and other toxic substances from water. Strong demand for the new technology has encouraged them to set up a new ETH spin-off, BluAct Technologies. The news story made a big splash: in January 2016 ETH researchers Professor Raffaele Mezzenga and his senior researcher Sreenath Bolisetty published a study about an innovative type of membrane developed in their laboratory.

Materials Science - Environment - 01.06.2017
Research on road construction
Research on road construction
This year, Empa plays host to the biennial conference of the European Asphalt Technology Association (EATA).

Transport - Materials Science - 23.05.2017
Soot particles from GDI engines
Soot particles from GDI engines
Are new gasoline cars environmentally friendly? Not always, says a new study led by Empa scientists: some direct-injection gasoline engines emit just as many soot particles as unfiltered diesel cars did in the past.

Physics - Materials Science - 22.05.2017
Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies
Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern.