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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Hand-knitted molecules

Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips – in a sense as a "hand-knitted" ...

dateJan 18, 2019 in Materials Science
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Rare metals from e-waste

This year, beautifully wrapped laptops, mobile phones or even new TV sets lay under Christmas trees. They are enthusiastically put into use—and the old electronic devices are disposed of. The e-waste contains resources ...

dateJan 10, 2019 in Environment
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Novel protective mask for medical personnel

Laughter is the best medicine, says medical research. But how are patients supposed to feel like smiling if the faces of the nursing staff and even their beloved ones are covered with masks? Researchers from Empa and EPFL ...

dateNov 02, 2018 in Nanomaterials
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High-performance components made by electroplating

What happens when something keeps getting smaller and smaller? This is the type of question Empa researcher Johann Michler and his team are investigating. As a by-product of their research completely novel watch springs could ...

dateOct 30, 2018 in Engineering
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A fine-tuned laser welds more effectively

Using laser technology Empa scientists optimized a technique to weld the electronics of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators into a titanium case. The medtech company Medtronic is now using the method worldwide to produce ...

dateOct 26, 2018 in Optics & Photonics
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Graphene's effects on the lungs

Graphene has been hailed as the material of the future. As yet, however, little is known about whether and how graphene affects our health if it gets into the body. A team of researchers from Empa and the Adolphe Merkle Institute ...

dateOct 18, 2018 in Nanomaterials
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Medication you can wear

Drug-releasing textiles could, for instance, be used to treat skin wounds. Empa researchers are currently developing polymer fibers that can be equipped with drugs. The smart fibers recognize the need for therapy all by themselves ...

dateOct 12, 2018 in Polymers
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Why does concrete swell and crack?

Unfortunately, concrete does not last forever. The ravages of time also take their toll on concrete structures in Switzerland. Not only are reinforced structures like bridges affected, but also concrete buildings without ...

dateOct 05, 2018 in Engineering
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