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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Tandem solar cells are more efficient

Stacking two solar cells one over the other has advantages: Because the energy is "harvested" in two stages, and overall the sunlight can be converted to electricity more efficiently. Empa researchers have come up with a ...

dateNov 23, 2015 in Energy & Green Tech
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Structure of 'concrete disease' solved

When bridges, dam walls and other structures made of concrete are streaked with dark cracks after a few decades, the culprit is AAR: the alkali-aggregate reaction. AAR damages concrete structures all over the world and makes ...

dateNov 05, 2015 in Engineering
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Safe motorcycle helmets made of carrot fibers

Crackpot idea or recipe for success? This is a question entrepreneurs often face. Is it worth converting the production process to a new, ecologically better material? Empa has developed an analysis method that enables companies ...

dateAug 06, 2015 in Materials Science
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Chest strap heart rate monitor

A team of Empa scientists has, together with industrial partners, developed a novel chest strap device for the long-term monitoring of patients with heart and circulatory problems. What is special about the new system is ...

dateMay 05, 2015 in Engineering
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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, refrigerators ...

dateMar 24, 2015 in Environment
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