Technology Offers

Protecting intellectual property is of paramount importance to Empa. As a result, we register new research results for property rights early on and offer them to interested industrial partners for commercial usage. We make this possible by developing new discoveries together and marketing them successfully as innovative products. The following patent-pending technologies offer you a taste of Empa’s extremely diverse technology portfolio. Interested in one of our technological services or working with Empa? We look forward to hearing from you! You will find some initial information on our various cooperative models online. You will find other technological services, including those offered by other Swiss research institutions, at swiTTlist (Swiss Technology Transfer Association).
Ultrafast photo-electron and photo-ion spectroscopy utilize detectors based on different electron multipliers. These detectors have some important limitations such as fast-signal distortion (low-pass filtering), mutually exclusive positive or negative modes, dead times, requirement of triggering and more. A new high-pass induction detector, based on a hollow-cored toroidal coil, was developed that overcomes the above-mentioned limitations.
We present auxetic fi bre networks with particular microstructure: they counter-intuitively increase their thickness on demand when stretched along a certain direction and thereby multiply their volume. The volume gain entails a change of dimensions, porosity, pore size and pore shape, all of which affect the transport properties through the network. Electrospinning can be used to produce such a network from a wide range of base materials.
Phononic crystals (PCs) address the need to attenuate sound and vibration while providing stiff and lightweight mechanical structures. Commonly used viscoelastic dampers often add substantial weight and are typically characterized by low stiffness. The PCs developed by Empa are novel in their ability to stop low frequency waves while offering a favourable combination of low density and high stiffness.

An artificial fruit with integrated temperature sensors is designed to match the cooling behaviour of real fruit by using a biomimetic approach. Thereby, the thermal history of fresh produce can be monitored throughout the cold chain in a more realistic way than currently possible.
Until now, in additive manufacturing (AM), field quality control has been diligently based on temperature or high resolution imaging of the process zone. For this, various sensors such as pyrometers, photo diodes and matrix CCD detectors were involved. We propose an innovative approach for monitoring the quality of the additive manufacturing process online by means of acoustic emission (AE), detected by fiber optical sensors.
Dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) are stretchable capacitors that consist of a thin elastomeric film sandwiched between two compliant electrodes. When a voltage is applied, an electrostatic force is acting on the film, which is compressed. Since elastomers conserve their volume upon deformation, the film is elongated perpendicular to the applied electric field. This process is reversible; the polymer relaxes back to its original form after removal of the field.

The invention addresses the application of ceramic foams as converter substrates for the after-treatment of motor vehicle exhaust gases. Such systems increase the efficiency of the catalytic converter itself, improve the evaporation and mixing of added reactants (e.g. urea) and optimize the loading and regeneration of downstream particle filters.
Preservation of wood materials in outdoor applications against decay through fungi and other microorganisms is preferably both persistent and eco-friendly. This invention enables the use of a simple, non-toxic and widespread chemical – iodine – as the antimicrobial agent. By enzymatic modification of the wood surface iodine is bound and stabilised against leaching.
The invention consists of an electrohydraulic actuation method for variable lift control and individual timing for gas exchange valves of reciprocating engines. Its main advantages are a low activation energy demand as well as an intelligent hydraulic system layout. This enables the control of the valve movements by simple hydraulic elements without the need for sophisticated feedback control action.

A novel class of phosphorous-based linear and cross-linked functional polymers has been synthesized that form hydro- gels and organogels. The facile synthesis, performed under mild conditions, uses the Michael addition reaction of phos- phine oxide and nucleophiles of variable carbon chain length without catalysts and cross linkers. Such highly transparent gels can be fi ne-tuned to display a variety of properties, e.g. pH responsiveness, fl ame retardancy, biocompatibility.
A simple and efficient preparation process for inks with a high solid content of 2D materials has been developed. The method can be used for pristine 2D materials of virtually all types, to prepare additive-free inks with diverse rheological properties for various printing and coating methods. Depending on the selected 2D material, thin and thick, conductive, semiconductive (with different bandgaps), or insulating films can be deposited on almost all substrates, using freely selectable solvents, while no post-treatment (e.g., sintering or high-temperature thermal treatments) is required.
We offer novel flame retardant additives for a broad spectrum of polymers. The compounds are patented non-toxic members of the DOPO-family. Useful for: • Back coatings of textiles • Flame retardant PU foams • Flame retardancy of plastics (bulk form, powder, etc.) • Electronic devices • and many other applications.

The Swiss Technology Transfer Association is the association of technology transfer professionals who are active in the transfer of technology from institutes of public research and education, university hospitals, and other not-for-profit research organizations to the private sector. It was founded in October 2003 and has grown to include a large number of members from all of Switzerland.