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Materials Science - 16.05.2019
’A Day in the Light’ Videos Highlight How Scientists Use Light in Experiments
In recognition of the International Day of Light ( @IDL2019 ) on May 16, the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ( Berkeley Lab ) is highlighting how scientists use light in laboratory experiments. From nanolasers and X-ray beams to artificial photosynthesis and optical electronics, Berkeley Lab researchers tap into light's many properties to drive a range of innovative R&D.

Environment - Materials Science - 13.05.2019
Microplastics in freshwaters
Microplastics in freshwaters
Sea birds dying in agony with a belly full of plastic garbage; plastic accumulations as big as islands: Virtually everyone has seen pictures like these today. But there are also plastic particles that are barely visible to the eye - microplastics. The danger posed by these tiny particles has hardly been researched to date.

Materials Science - Innovation / Technology - 09.05.2019
Design meets research
Design meets research
In the planned project "Re-FREAM" designers develop new and innovative fashion concepts in cooperation with researchers from all over Europe and completely rethink processes, traditions, production methods as well as design and functionality of clothing. Empa is also involved as a research partner. "We live in the most exciting era of mankind", write the initiators of the "Re-FREAM" project on their website.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 06.05.2019
Plastic Gets a Do-Over: Breakthrough Discovery Recycles Plastic From the Inside Out
Plastic Gets a Do-Over: Breakthrough Discovery Recycles Plastic From the Inside Out
Scientists from Berkeley Lab have made a next-generation plastic that can be recycled again and again into new materials of any color, shape, or form Light yet sturdy, plastic is great - until you no longer need it. Because plastics contain various additives, like dyes, fillers, or flame retardants, very few plastics can be recycled without loss in performance or aesthetics.

Physics - Materials Science - 03.05.2019
New holographic technique opens the way for quantum computation
EPFL physicists have developed a method based on the principles of holograms to capture 3D images of objects beyond the reach of light. Photography measures how much light of different color hits the photographic film. However, light is also a wave, and is therefore characterized by the phase. Phase specifies the position of a point within the wave cycle and correlates to depth of information, meaning that recording the phase of light scattered by an object can retrieve its full 3D shape, which cannot be obtained with a simple photograph.

Physics - Materials Science - 25.04.2019
Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors
Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors
For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 25.04.2019
Fast, efficient artificial synapse developed
Fast, efficient artificial synapse developed
A battery-like device could act as an artificial synapse within computing systems intended to imitate the brain's efficiency and ability to learn. The brain's capacity for simultaneously learning and memorizing large amounts of information while requiring little energy has inspired an entire field to pursue brain-like - or neuromorphic - computers.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 25.04.2019
Bridge Over Coupled Waters: Scientists 3D-Print All-Liquid 'Lab on a Chip'
Bridge Over Coupled Waters: Scientists 3D-Print All-Liquid ’Lab on a Chip’
Berkeley Lab researchers set the stage for new class of 3D-printed, all-liquid devices; could automate chemical synthesis for batteries and drug formulations Researchers at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have 3D-printed an all-liquid device that, with the click of a button, can be repeatedly reconfigured on demand to serve a wide range of applications - from making battery materials to screening drug candidates.

Materials Science - 23.04.2019
Influence of the cathode on the lithium metal anode
The demand for high-energy batteries, in particular for the automotive industry, is increasing, and with it the research interest in battery technologies, which could determine the future market. A promising technology are secondary lithium metal batteries (LMBs), which combine lithium metal as an anode with, for example, cathode materials containing lithium ions.

Health - Materials Science - 19.04.2019
Possible blood test for colon cancer
Up to half of people who should be screened for colorectal cancer do not get the routine procedure. A blood test to detect colorectal cancer being developed by Stanford doctors and materials scientists could help change that. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and a growing problem around the world, but not because it's a particularly difficult cancer to detect and halt.

Physics - Materials Science - 18.04.2019
Electric Skyrmions Charge Ahead for Next-Generation Data Storage
Electric Skyrmions Charge Ahead for Next-Generation Data Storage
Berkeley Lab-led research team makes a chiral skyrmion crystal with electric properties; puts new spin on future information storage applications VIDEO: Simulation of a single polar skyrmion. Red arrows signify that this is a left-handed skyrmion. The other arrows represent the angular distribution of the dipoles.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 15.04.2019
Best in snow: New scientific device creates electricity from snowfall
Best in snow: New scientific device creates electricity from snowfall
The first-of-its-kind nanogenerator designed by UCLA researchers and colleagues also acts as a weather station Stuart Wolpert UCLA researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.

Materials Science - Environment - 15.04.2019
The wood magician
The new head of Empa's Cellulose & Wood Materials lab, Gustav Nyström, has taken everyone by surprise by setting unconventional goals. However, paper batteries and nanocellulose sensors have one main objective: to help solve fundamental, socially relevant questions. When Gustav Nyström sees a tree, he sees more than just a biological marvel.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.04.2019
Wonder material: individual 2D phosphorene nanoribbons made for the first time
Wonder material: individual 2D phosphorene nanoribbons made for the first time
Tiny, individual, flexible ribbons of crystalline phosphorus have been made and measured an international collaboration, in a world first, and they could revolutionise electronics and fast-charging battery technology. Since the isolation of 2-dimensional phosphorene (the phosphorus equivalent of graphene) in 2014, more than 100 theoretical studies have predicted that new and exciting and properties could emerge by producing narrow ‘ribbons' of this material.

Physics - Materials Science - 08.04.2019
KU Leuven engineers calculate where microplastics will end up
What is the impact of weathering processes on microplastics, and how do the particles spread across seas and oceans' Computer models developed by hydraulics engineers from KU Leuven may help to find the answers. Through rivers and wastewater, enormous amounts of minuscule plastic particles end up in our seas and oceans.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 08.04.2019
Fuel cell advance a breath of fresh air for future power alternative
A promising alternative to conventional power plants, solid oxide fuel cells use electrochemical methods that can generate power more efficiently than existing combustion-based generators. But fuel cells tend to degrade too quickly, eating up any efficiency gains through increased cost. Now, in an advance that could help lead the way toward longer-lived green energy devices, engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have revealed new insights about the chemical reactions that power fuel cells.

Materials Science - Environment - 02.04.2019
Rotten to the core
Rotten to the core
Fungi that decompose tree trunks can conjure up real works of art in wood. In nature, however, the decay-causing fungi not only decorate the tree, but also destroy it. Empa researchers are now teaching the fungi how to draw. The result: upscale marbled wood that can be processed into design furniture or musical instruments.

Materials Science - Computer Science / Telecom - 25.03.2019
AI accurately predicts useful life of batteries
AI accurately predicts useful life of batteries
In an advance that could accelerate battery development and improve manufacturing, scientists have found how to accurately predict the useful lifespan of lithium-ion batteries, used in devices from mobile phones to electric cars. If manufacturers of cell-phone batteries could tell which cells will last at least two years, then they could sell only those to phone makers and send the rest to makers of less demanding devices.

Innovation / Technology - Materials Science - 25.03.2019
Experts Assess Future of Fuel Cells
In the quest for alternatives to gas-powered vehicles, experts believe one new method shows great promise: Proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In the quest for the perfect alternative for gas-powered vehicles, there have been a lot of contenders over the years. When it comes to public perception, battery electric vehicles are some of the most widely known.

Physics - Materials Science - 20.03.2019
The Best Topological Conductor Yet: Spiraling Crystal Is the Key to Exotic Discovery
The Best Topological Conductor Yet: Spiraling Crystal Is the Key to Exotic Discovery
The realization of so-called topological materials - which exhibit exotic, defect-resistant properties and are expected to have applications in electronics, optics, quantum computing, and other fields - has opened up a new realm in materials discovery. Several of the hotly studied topological materials to date are known as topological insulators.
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