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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Insulating bricks with microscopic bubbles

The better a building is insulated, the less heat is lost in winter—and the less energy is needed to achieve a comfortable room temperature. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) regularly raises the requirements for ...

dateJan 16, 2018 in Materials Science
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Microwaves against cold-start emissions

During cold start, a car engine emits far more particulate matter and other pollutants than during warm conditions. This is because a cold catalytic converter is much less efficient at low exhaust gas temperatures. So what's ...

dateDec 05, 2017 in Materials Science
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A nanotransistor made of graphene nanoribbons

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the nanoelectronics of the future. While graphene, a one-dimensional ...

dateNov 30, 2017 in Nanomaterials
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The stacked color sensor

Red-sensitive, blue-sensitive and green-sensitive color sensors stacked on top of each other instead of being lined up in a mosaic pattern – this principle could allow image sensors with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity ...

dateNov 16, 2017 in Optics & Photonics
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Alloys from the laser printer

In the future, new designer alloys for aerospace applications can be manufactured using the 3-D laser melting process (Additive Manufacturing). Pioneering work in this field was provided by Empa researcher Christoph Kenel, ...

dateNov 15, 2017 in Materials Science
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Illuminated pajamas treat newborns

Alone, naked, and with their eyes covered for protection: this is how newborns lie in incubators when they are being treated for jaundice. Irradiation with blue light in an incubator is necessary because toxic decomposition ...

dateOct 31, 2017 in Optics & Photonics
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