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Materials Science - Chemistry - 22.03.2017
Rare Earths Become Water-repellent Only as They Age
Rare Earths Become Water-repellent Only as They Age
Surfaces that have been coated with rare earth oxides develop water-repelling properties only after contact with air. Even at room temperature, chemical reactions begin with hydrocarbons in the air. In the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of Basel, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Paul Scherrer Institute report that it is these reactions that are responsible for the hydrophobic effect.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 20.03.2017

Earth Sciences - Materials Science - 16.03.2017
The dream of building bridges
The dream of building bridges
The French geologist Matthieu Galvez is one of the winners of the Branco Weiss Fellowship 2016. We discuss how he will be using this fellowship, how it will benefit him and why he chose a career as a researcher.

Materials Science - Environment - 14.03.2017

Environment - Materials Science - 28.02.2017
Sustainable ceramics without a kiln
Sustainable ceramics without a kiln
ETH material scientists have developed a new method of manufacturing ceramics that does not require the starting materials to be fired. Instead, they are compacted under high pressure at room temperature in a significantly more energy-efficient process. The manufacture of cement, bricks, bathroom tiles and porcelain crockery normally requires a great deal of heat: a kiln is used to fire the ceramic materials at temperatures well in excess of 1,000°C.

Materials Science - Innovation - 26.01.2017
'Additive Manufacturing' speeds up
‘Additive Manufacturing’ speeds up
Empa offers Switzerland a platform to exchange information and knowhow in the field of Additive Manufacturing: During a technology briefing held at Empa Academy on January 18, experts from industry a

Physics - Materials Science - 12.01.2017
Creating the tiniest structures on
Creating the tiniest structures on
Nanotechnology is regarded as the key technology of the 21 st century, delivering the fundamental methods, which allow objects just a few hundred nanometers in size to be produced in any required shape.

Environment - Materials Science - 10.01.2017
Summer heat for the winter
Summer heat for the winter
Can thermal solar energy be stored until wintertime? Yes, this is possible, using a cheap material like sodium lye.

Microtechnics - Materials Science - 16.12.2016
A drone that flies (almost) like a bird
A drone has been equipped with feathers to increase its precision during flight. The bio-inspired device can spread or close its wings while flying, making it easier to maneuver and more resistant in high winds.

Materials Science - Innovation - 13.12.2016
A golden era for
A golden era for "fashionistas"
The gold thread developed at Empa is having extensive repercussions. Hot on the heels of a dessous collection being refined with the new technology, scarves and luxury watches are now also available.

Physics - Materials Science - 09.12.2016
Eight professors appointed at ETH Zurich
Eight professors appointed at ETH Zurich
Upon application of ETH President Lino Guzzella the ETH Board appointed a total of eight professors and awarded the title of professor to one individual.

Materials Science - Innovation - 08.12.2016
Space age material for the masses
Space age material for the masses
Aerogel is the perfect material for many insulation purposes. It is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees, ultralight, non-toxic - and provides excellent thermal insulation.

Materials Science - Administration - 01.12.2016
Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
Energy hybrid: Battery meets super capacitor
Researchers from the universities of Montpellier, Bordeaux and TU Graz demonstrate that it is possible to combine the high-energy density of batteries with the high-power output of super capacitors in a single system - thanks to liquid energy storage materials.

Environment - Materials Science - 23.11.2016
Planning for new NEST units picking up
Planning for new NEST units picking up
NEST, the modular research and innovation building by Empa and Eawag, is teeming with life. Since it opened its doors in May 2016, over 5,000 visitors have flocked to see the building.

Materials Science - Physics - 17.11.2016
Switching off vibrations
Switching off vibrations
Macroscopic crystal structures can absorb unwanted vibrations or filter noise - without any electronics or electricity whatsoever.

Materials Science - Microtechnics - 27.10.2016
A Composite Thread that Varies in Rigidity
A Composite Thread that Varies in Rigidity
EPFL scientists have developed a new type of composite thread that varies in stiffness depending on its temperature.

Materials Science - Physics - 24.10.2016
Under the chemical microscope
Under the chemical microscope
with Daniel Grolimund At the Swiss Light Source SLS, researcher Daniel Grolimund is responsible for a beamline where the arrangement of chemical bonds in different objects can be determined. These capabilities prove valuable to researchers in the most diverse disciplines: to battery researchers as well as biologists, archeologists, and many more.

Physics - Materials Science - 17.10.2016
Peptides vs. superbugs
Peptides vs. superbugs
Several peptides have an antibacterial effect - but they are broken down in the human body too quickly to exert this effect.

Physics - Materials Science - 17.10.2016
Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope
Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope
A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists at the University of Basel and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the recent. Nanowires are extremely tiny filamentary crystals which are built-up molecule by molecule from various materials and which are now being very actively studied by scientists all around the world because of their exceptional properties.

Physics - Materials Science - 10.10.2016
Molten salt reactors - exploring an alternative
Molten salt reactors – exploring an alternative
The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI was formed in 1988, in part from the Swiss Federal Institute for Reactor Research.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 06.10.2016

Transport - Materials Science - 06.10.2016
Rapidly fueled for a long range journey
Rapidly fueled for a long range journey
Empa has launched Switzerland's first hydrogen station for passenger cars on its campus in Dübendorf.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 06.10.2016

Materials Science - Chemistry - 06.10.2016
Empa involved in Nobel research
Empa involved in Nobel research
Empa is delighted to acknowledge the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 to Bernard L. Feringa, Fraser Stoddart and Jean-Pierre Sauvage - as it made a major contribution in 2011 to a research project carried out by Bernard L. Feringa.

Physics - Materials Science - 04.10.2016
A
A "nano-golf course" to precisely assemble nanoparticles
The nanoparticles in the droplet encounter obstacles, they detach from the liquid and are captured by the holes©Valentin Flauraud/ 2016 EPFL 04.10.16 - EPFL researchers have developed a method to place and position hundreds of thousands of nanoparticles very precisely on a one centimeter square surface.

Materials Science - Physics - 04.10.2016

Astronomy / Space Science - Materials Science - 30.09.2016
Rosetta's momentous end
Rosetta’s momentous end
Rosetta's mission is over: After the last signal at 13:20, the spacecraft was crash-landed on comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with the ROSINA instrument from Bern taking measurements right until the very end.

Materials Science - Environment - 30.09.2016
Rubidium pushes perovskite solar cells to 21.6% efficiency
Rubidium pushes perovskite solar cells to 21.6% efficiency
30.09.16 - EPFL scientists have stabilized perovskite solar cells by integrating rubidium into them.

Astronomy / Space Science - Materials Science - 09.08.2016
Eureca? on yet another journey
Eureca? on yet another journey
The much-travelled European research satellite Eureca was taken from the aerospace exhibition in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne and loaded onto a truck before setting off on yet another adventure.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 04.07.2016
Rechargeable batteries that last longer and re-charge more rapidly
Rechargeable batteries that last longer and re-charge more rapidly
Materials researchers at the Swiss Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen and the ETH Zurich have developed a very simple and cost-effective procedure for significantly enhancing the performance of conventional Li-ion rechargeable batteries.

Physics - Materials Science - 30.06.2016
The interplay between adhesion and
An international team of researchers headed by the University of Zurich and with participation of Empa has developed a system that enables them to electrically switch back and forth between adhesion and stiction (static friction) of a water drop on a solid surface.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 15.06.2016
High-performance catalytic converters for natural-gas vehicles
High-performance catalytic converters for natural-gas vehicles
An ingenious measurement chamber Natural-gas vehicles are on the way, and they need catalytic converters for the exhaust too. So far, catalytic converters for gasoline-powered vehicles have been modified to fill this gap; however, these are not geared towards removing the climate-harmful methane that the exhaust from natural-gas vehicles contains.

Materials Science - 15.06.2016
Subduction controls the distribution and fragmentation of Earth’s tectonic plates
Numerical simulation of the movement of the mantle and the surface of a virtual Earth. The boundaries of the calculated surface plates are white.

Physics - Materials Science - 14.06.2016
At the atomic level: Lecture by Fritz Prinz on 22 June
At the atomic level: Lecture by Fritz Prinz on 22 June
Fritz Prinz from Stanford University wants to convert and store energy more efficiently using new materials and methods.

Materials Science - 08.06.2016

Physics - Materials Science - 27.05.2016
L’EPFL a décroché 50 millions d’euros de «grants» malgré les écueils
27.05.16 - La course aux «ERC Grants» a souri à l'EPFL ces deux dernières années. Entre 2014 et 2015, onze chercheurs ont reçu un «Advanced grant» dans le cadre du programme «Horizon 2020». Ils obtiendront chacun un financement de l'ordre de 2,5 millions d'euros sur cinq ans. C'est peut-être une forme de baroud d'honneur, tant l'avenir de la participation de la Suisse aux programmes de recherche et de financement européens est incertain.

Physics - Materials Science - 27.05.2016
Nearly 50 million euros of ERC grants for EPFL, despites obstacles
27.05.16 - EPFL fared well in the competition for European Research Council (ERC) grants in 2014 and 2015 within the Horizon 2020 framework, with 11 researchers winning an Advanced Grant. That translates into 2.5 million euros over five years for each of them. This may be Switzerland's last stand, since its eligibility for European research and funding programs is in jeopardy.

Materials Science - Physics - 24.05.2016
Graz as a centre for tailor-made materials
Graz as a centre for tailor-made materials
Materials research as a foundation for innovative products. More than 1,200 experts in high-performance materials of the future are coming to Graz for the THERMEC convention starting on 29 May.

Materials Science - 13.05.2016

Materials Science - Innovation - 04.05.2016
Using nanostructured filters to reduce shipping pollution
Using nanostructured filters to reduce shipping pollution
04.05.16 - Cargo ships are among the leading sources of pollution on the planet. Starting in 2020, however, stricter sulfur emission standards will take effect.

Materials Science - Health - 21.04.2016
Asphalt’s miraculous cure
Empa scientists have developed a technique that can repair old, cracked asphalt. They got their inspiration from a method used in cancer treatment based on nanoparticles.

Materials Science - Innovation - 13.04.2016
Opening of Empa’s Coating Competence
At Empa's new Coating Competence Center, which has just opened, tailor-made surface technologies find their way from the research labs to marketable industrial applications.

Physics - Materials Science - 07.04.2016
Looking inside plutonium
Looking inside plutonium
Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories have recently conducted plutonium experiments using Sandia's pulsed power Z Machine. "With Z we have very carefully reached pressure, temperature and density regimes that are relevant to those seen during a nuclear weapon detonation," said Russell Olson.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 06.04.2016
Silicone films for artificial muscles
Silicone films for artificial muscles
Researchers of the University of Basel and Empa have gotten a step closer to engineering artificial muscles: they have developed a method to generate nanometer-thin silicone films.

Materials Science - Electroengineering - 05.04.2016
Electrosprayed artificial muscles
Electrosprayed artificial muscles
Researchers from Empa and the University of Basel have developed a new method of electrospraying which enables artificial muscles to be fabricated from nanometer-thin silicone layers.

Materials Science - 05.04.2016
Wood with additional functions
Wood is robust and versatile. But even the best material has its limits. Empa researchers are thus looking to transform wood into a high-tech material and broaden the range of applications for this natural resource. The trick: they give wood additional, unexpected properties. Over the millennia, our ancestors have improved the properties of wood by developing varnishes, paints or other methods.

Materials Science - Life Sciences - 05.04.2016
Germs don’t stand a chance
Enzymes from fungi, bacteria and plants render wood resistant to decomposing and pathogenic microorganisms.

Materials Science - Environment - 05.04.2016
Reaching for the sun
Wood has one particular property that tends to cause problems: it swells when it gets wet. As this occurs according to strict rules, however, a team of Empa researchers is looking to produce wooden building components that move automatically.

Materials Science - Environment - 05.04.2016
Fireproof hybrid wood
Fireproof hybrid wood
For centuries, wood has been a popular light, solid building material. Moreover, it is a renewable and easily recyclable raw material - with one drawback: wood burns. But this doesn't necessarily have to be that way, as researchers from Empa demonstrate. Ecological construction is all the rage. Aspects such as the sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings are crucial.

Materials Science - Environment - 05.04.2016
Skyscrapers made of bamboo concrete
Bamboo is a feat of nature. After all, this member of the grass family contains fibers that are as strong as steel.
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