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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Cultivating microtissues to replace animal testing

For the replacement of animal testing with alternatives in medical research, complex microtissues need to be cultivated. Researchers from Empa have developed a special polymer scaffold for three-dimensional cell cultures. ...

dateAug 15, 2018 in Polymers
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Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons

Empa researchers, together with colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and other partners, have achieved a breakthrough that could eventually be used for precise nanotransistors or, in the ...

dateAug 10, 2018 in Quantum Physics
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Search engine for 'smart wood'

The enzyme laccase is able to alter the chemical structure of wood on its surface and thus facilitate biochemical modifications without changing the structure of the material. By attaching functional molecules, Empa researchers ...

dateJul 24, 2018 in Materials Science
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An unlikely marriage among oxides

The term alloy usually refers to a mixture of several metals. However, other materials can also be alloyed. In the semiconductor industry, for instance, oxide and nitride alloys have long been used successfully to tune the ...

dateJun 20, 2018 in Materials Science
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Bringing the heat out of the city

Heat waves are increasing worldwide—and that includes Switzerland. Cities in particular suffer as a result: the temperature difference between city and countryside can amount to several degrees. A new water tunnel at Empa ...

dateJun 18, 2018 in Energy & Green Tech
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Why steam burns are particularly vicious

Even if the wound looks superficially harmless, steam burns must be cooled persistently. Empa researchers have now been able to show for the first time how hot steam achieves its vicious effect: It penetrates the upper skin ...

dateMay 08, 2018 in Other
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Sun protection without blinds

Summer. Blue sky. Sunshine. But you don't notice much of it in the office or in your home, because the blinds block the view so that the heat stays outside. This scenario could soon be a thing of the past: EPFL researchers ...

dateMay 08, 2018 in Engineering
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