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Ozone report of the United Nations11 September 2014
The ozone hole has stabilized – some questions remain

The production and consumption of chemical substances threatening the ozone layer has been regulated since 1987 in the Montreal Protocol. Eight international expert reports have since been published, which examine the current situation and the future of the threat to the ozone layer. Empa scientists made a decisive contribution to the latest report – presented on 10 September at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
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Material development on the nanoscale8 September 2014
Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential

Graphene is a semiconductor when prepared as an ultra-narrow ribbon – although the material is actually a conductive material. Researchers from Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now developed a new method to selectively dope graphene molecules with nitrogen atoms. By seamlessly stringing together doped and undoped graphene pieces, they were able to form ”heterojunctions” in the nanoribbons, thereby fulfilling a basic requirement for electronic current to flow in only one direction when voltage is applied – the first step towards a graphene transistor. Furthermore, the team has successfully managed to remove graphene nanoribbons from the gold substrate on which they were grown and to transfer them onto a non-conductive material.

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Innovative floor panels28 August 2014
Clean feet – even after the festival

Special new underlay panels will make life easier for open-air enthusiasts. In collaboration with Empa, Supramat-Swiss GmbH has developed a product that protects the ground and prevents mud from forming. Thanks to their construction, the panels are easy to transport and can be laid over large areas with minimal effort.  Moreover, Empa and its industry partner have also optimised underlay panels that prevent heavy equipment from sinking in mud and form temporary roads for sites that are difficult to access.  For example, they make it easy to recover aeroplanes that have come off the runway..
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NEST: The house of the future26 August 2014
Construction work on modular research building gets underway

The construction of the modular research and innovation house NEST got underway at its ground-breaking ceremony on August 26. The building’s frame, its “backbone”, should be completed by the end of 2015, upon which the first research modules will be installed. NEST is a joint project between industry, research and the public sector conducted by Empa and Eawag and erected on the Empa campus in Dübendorf.
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