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.

Website
http://www.empa.ch/
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empa

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A new world record for solar cell efficiency

In a remarkable feat, scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed thin film solar cells on flexible polymer foils with a new record efficiency of 20.4 percent for ...

Integration on a chip: Miniaturized infrared detectors

Miniaturization of infrared spectrometers will lead to their wider use in consumer electronics, such as smartphones enabling food control, the detection of hazardous chemicals, air pollution monitoring and wearable electronics. ...

New inexpensive and nontoxic method for creating benzene rings

Chemical syntheses in liquids and gases take place in three-dimensional space. Random collisions between molecules have to result in something new in an extremely short time. But there is another way: on a gold surface under ...

Mini electricity generator made from quantum dots

Machines and electronic devices often generate waste heat that is difficult to utilize. If electricity could be generated from this waste heat, it would offer a means for a clean and sustainable power production: Such a technology ...

Making short-wave infrared light visible with a single component

Infrared (IR) light is invisible to humans. However, some animals, such as rattlesnakes or bloodsucking bats, can perceive IR radiation and use it to find food. But even for humans, the ability to see in the short-wave IR ...

Exotic magnetic states in miniature dimensions

We are all used to the idea that simpler units in nature interact to form complex structures. Take, for example, the hierarchy of life, where atoms combine to form molecules, molecules combine to form cells, cells combine ...

Molecules in collective ecstasy

"What we see here is energy transfer that is much faster than in any semiconductor," says Jakob Heier. The physicist works in Empa's Functional Polymers lab, and the discovery he has made with his team could cause a stir ...

Shiny mega-crystals that build themselves

An international team led by Empa and ETH Zurich researchers is playing with shape-engineered nanoscale building blocks that are up to 100-times larger than atoms and ions. And although these nano "Lego bricks" interact with ...

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