Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology or Empa (German acronym for "Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt") is an interdisciplinary Swiss research and service institution for applied materials sciences and technology. As part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Domain ("ETH-Bereich") it is an institution of the Swiss federation. For the longest time since its foundation in 1880, it concentrated on classical materials testing. Since the late 1980s it has developed into a modern research and development institute.

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Searching for coolant traces in the atmosphere

Fourth generation halogenated coolants and foaming agents have only been in use for a few years. They have replaced persistent greenhouse gases such as R134a, which were used in (car) air conditioning units, ...

Mar 24, 2015
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Towards "printed" organic solar cells and LEDs

Flexible optoelectronic devices that can be produced roll-to-roll – much like newspapers are printed – are a highly promising path to cheaper devices such as solar cells and LED lighting panels. Scientists ...

Mar 18, 2015
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Are we independent of rare metals?

Numerous metallic elements are regarded as "critical": on one hand, they play an ever more important role in so-called future technologies and on the other, there is a high risk of supply bottlenecks. Small and medium-sized ...

Feb 24, 2015
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Light replaces the needle

One in twelve children are born prematurely in Switzerland. If hypoglycemia develops in these premature babies and persists for over an hour, it can affect brain development. In order to prevent this, the ...

Jan 21, 2015
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Gentle caffeine boost for premature babies

Swiss researchers have developed a UV-activated membrane which releases a gentle dose of medication to the skin of a patient. In future those who fear injections will be able to sleep soundly, as will premature ...

Oct 29, 2014
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A GPS from the chemistry set

Swiss scientists teamed up with colleagues from Hungary, Japan and Scotland to develop a chemical 'processor' that reliably shows the fastest way through a City maze. As the method is basically faster than ...

Oct 27, 2014
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High performance ceramics for cars

An ambitious project is taking shape at Empa's Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics: ceramic brake disks for compact cars. Empa scientists have teamed up with partners from Italy, Spain and Liechtenstein ...

Oct 03, 2014
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Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential

Graphene is a semiconductor when prepared as an ultra-narrow ribbon – although the material is actually a conductive material. Researchers from Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have ...

Sep 08, 2014
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Collecting light with artificial moth eyes

All over the world researchers are investigating solar cells which imitate plant photosynthesis, using sunlight and water to create synthetic fuels such as hydrogen. Empa researchers have developed such a ...

Jun 18, 2014
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