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Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.04.2018
One step further towards cheap aluminium
One step further towards cheap aluminium
The energy transition depends on technologies that allow the inexpensive temporary storage of electricity from renewable sources. A promising new candidate is aluminium batteries, which are made from cheap and abundant raw materials. Scientists from Maksym Kovalenko's research group, which is based at both ETH Zurich and in Empa's Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics , are researching and developing batteries made from abundant raw materials.

Astronomy / Space Science - Materials Science - 26.04.2018
Bernese Mars camera CaSSIS sends first colour images from Mars
Bernese Mars camera CaSSIS sends first colour images from Mars
The Mars camera CaSSIS on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has returned its first colour images of the red planet.

Materials Science - Health - 11.04.2018
Bandage with a voice
Bandage with a voice
A novel bandage alerts the nursing staff as soon as a wound starts healing badly. Sensors incorporated into the base material glow with a different intensity if the wound's pH level changes. This way even chronic wounds could be monitored at home. All too often, changing bandages is extremely unpleasant, even for smaller, everyday injuries.

Health - Materials Science - 08.03.2018
A retinal implant that is more effective against blindness
EPFL researchers have developed a new type of retinal implant for people who have become blind due to the loss of photoreceptor cells in their retinas. The implant partially restores their visual field and can significantly improve their quality of life. Thirty-two million people around the world are blind.

Materials Science - Physics - 06.03.2018
A treasure trove for nanotechnology experts
A treasure trove for nanotechnology experts
A team from EPFL and NCCR Marvel has identified more than 1,000 materials with a particularly interesting 2D structure. Their research, which made the cover page of Nature Nanotechnlogy, paves the way for groundbreaking technological applications. 2D materials, which consist of a few layers of atoms, may well be the future of nanotechnology.

Physics - Materials Science - 02.03.2018
Controlling skyrmions with lasers
EPFL scientists have produced controllable stable skyrmions using laser pulses, taking a step towards significantly more energy-efficient memory devices. The work is published in Physical Review Letters. A skyrmion is a collection of electron spins that look like a vortex in certain magnetic materials.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 22.02.2018
Combating sulphuric acid corrosion at wastewater plants: Graz scientists develop new solution
Combating sulphuric acid corrosion at wastewater plants: Graz scientists develop new solution
Writing in Water Research, researchers from TU Graz and the University of Graz discuss new materials that prevent damage from microbial induced concrete corrosion. available at the end of the text Wastewater systems are integral to infrastructure in every community. In an ideal world, they operate smoothly and are long-lasting.

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.

Physics - Materials Science - 02.02.2018
Revealing the hidden path of perovskite formation
Revealing the hidden path of perovskite formation
EPFL scientists systematically study the path of the sequential deposition reaction used to build perovskite solar panels. The study is published in Science Advances and offers much-needed, fundamental understanding of perovskite formation and its different stages. Image:  Scanning electron microscope (SEM) image showing the formation of methylammonium lead iodide perovskite (CH3NH3PbI 3 ) by the reaction of lead iodide (PbI 2 ) films with methylammonium iodide (CH3NH3I) solution for 2 seconds in the dark.

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.

Physics - Materials Science - 26.01.2018
Making lighter vehicles with magnesium alloys
Making lighter vehicles with magnesium alloys
EPFL researchers have developed models of magnesium alloys to understand how to make the metal more pliable. Magnesium is the lightest metal on earth but cannot easily be shaped into usable forms. The researchers hope that with the models will lead to the discovery of new, more malleable alloys, so that carmakers can make lighter vehicles that consume less energy.

Materials Science - Architecture - 15.01.2018

Physics - Materials Science - 11.01.2018
Extremely bright and fast light emission
Extremely bright and fast light emission
A type of quantum dot that has been intensively studied in recent years can reproduce light in every colour and is very bright. An international research team including scientists from Empa has now discovered why this is the case. The quantum dots could someday be used in LEDs. An international team of researchers from ETH Zurich , IBM Research Zurich, Empa and four American research institutions have found the explanation for why a class of nanocrystals that has been intensively studied in recent years shines in such incredibly bright colours.

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.

Environment - Materials Science - 04.01.2018
A thermometer for the oceans
A thermometer for the oceans
The average sea temperature is an essential parameter of the global climate - but it is very difficult to measure. At least until now, because an international team of researchers including University of Bern scientists have now developed a novel method using the concentration of noble gases in the eternal ice.

Environment - Materials Science - 01.01.2018
Standardizing perovskite aging measurements
Standardizing perovskite aging measurements
EPFL scientists have produced a data-driven proposal for standardizing the measurements of perovskite solar cell stability and degradation. Published in Nature Energy , the work aims to create consensus in the field and overcome one of the major hurdles on the way to commercializing perovskite photovoltaics.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 30.12.2017
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
A step towards cheap aluminium batteries
The energy transition depends on technologies that allow the inexpensive temporary storage of electricity from renewable sources. A promising new candidate is aluminium batteries, which are made from cheap and abundant raw materials. Scientists from Maksym Kovalenko's research group, which is based at both ETH Zurich and in Empa's Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics , are researching and developing batteries made from abundant raw materials.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 23.12.2017
Search engine for «smart wood»
Search engine for «smart wood»
Mark Schubert modifies wood properties with the aid of the enzyme laccase. However, the search for suitable ingredients is complex - a bit like trying to find the key to an unknown lock. Instead of long, expensive series of experiments, Schubert uses artificial intelligence as it gets him to the goal more quickly.

Materials Science - 12.12.2017
Tailor-made asphalt
Tailor-made asphalt
The one ideal asphalt for all conditions does not exist: climatic conditions, traffic frequencies and loads place different demands on the pavement. Another challenge: preparing old asphalt so that it can be used for new pavements. Thanks to Empa researchers, the design of the ideal asphalt for every type of road has finally become easier.

Materials Science - Environment - 08.12.2017
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Guanidinium stabilizes perovskite solar cells at 19% efficiency
Incorporating guanidinium into perovskite solar cells stabilizes their efficiency at 19% for 1000 hours under full-sunlight testing conditions. With the power-conversion efficiency of silicon solar cells plateauing around 25%, perovskites are now ideally placed to become the market's next generation of photovoltaics.