News 2014

Dec 23, 2014 | EmpaNews 47 published
Using adhesive tape and graphite as it is found in pencil lead, two physicists proved that graphene, the “miracle material of the future”, actually exists – and won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work only a few...
Dec 19, 2014 | Cantonal Fire Insurers Association takes over Fire Technology Laboratory
At the beginning of this year Empa announced that it was seeking a new source of financial support for the future operation of its Fire Technology Laboratory. The Swiss Association of Cantonal Fire Insurance Underwriters...
Dec 16, 2014 | Materials for the building industry
When the frame of a pair of glasses is bent out of shape, it's not that easy to return it to its original form. If, however, your spectacles are made of a shape memory alloy then you don't have a problem. Just place the...
Dec 10, 2014 | Sustainable innovations using nanotechnology: info for companies
The LICARA guidelines are geared towards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from all branches of industry, and help weigh up the pros and cons of nanomaterials and make decisions on their use. The guidelines also...
Nov 27, 2014 | Package of measures to increase energy efficiency presented
The ETH Domain - to which Empa belongs to - is actively embracing its function as a role model for implementing the Energy Strategy 2050.
Nov 18, 2014 | Award for moth-eye solar cells
The US journal Foreign Policy has named Empa researchers Artur Braun, Florent Boudoire, Rita Toth and Jakob Heier, and Edwin Constable from the University of Basel in the innovation category on the list of 100 Leading...
Nov 13, 2014 | Swiss scientific community against isolationism
Swiss scientists are taking a stand: The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have issued a warning about the Ecopop initiative and its impact on Switzerland as a centre for research. Adoption of the initiative would...
Nov 6, 2014 | Consequences of climate change
As glaciers increasingly melt in the wake of climate change, it is not only the landscape that is affected. Thawing glaciers also release many industrial pollutants stored in the ice into the environment. Now, within the...
Oct 29, 2014 | Nanosafety research – there’s room for improvement
Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortcomings: poorly...
Oct 27, 2014 | Color trail shows quickest route to destination
Empa scientists teamed up with colleagues from Hungary, Japan and Scotland to develop a chemical “processor” which reliably shows the fastest way through a City maze. As the method is basically faster than a satnav...
Oct 23, 2014 | Light sensitive membranes deliver medication
Empa researchers have developed a UV-activated membrane which releases a gentle dose of medication to the skin of a patient. In future those who fear injections will be able to sleep soundly, as will premature babies...
Oct 9, 2014 | EmpaNews 46 published
CFCs are still harming the ozone layer; industrial gases with a high greenhouse potential heat up the atmosphere. The polluters don't go undiscovered, though. Empa scientists are tracking the trace gases with highly...
08.10.2014 | Information an der Empa
Bundesrat Johann N. Schneider-Ammann besuchte am 6. Oktober an der Empa in Dübendorf ein Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research (SCCER). Er informierte sich über die Arbeiten im Rahmen des Aktionsplans...
Sep 30, 2014 | High performance ceramics for cars
An ambitious project is taking shape at Empa’s Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics: ceramic brake disks for compact cars. Empa scientists have teamed up with partners from Italy, Spain and Liechtenstein to develop...
25.09.2014 | Ausgezeichnetes Unternehmen
Die Empa wurde vom Kanton Zürich mit dem «Prix BalanceZH» ausgezeichnet. Laut Jury ermöglicht die Empa ihren Mitarbeitenden auf beispielhafte Art die Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Privatleben.
Sep 19, 2014 | Senior Management positions within the ETH Domain
The ETH Board appointed Urs Leemann as a new member of the Board of Directors. The appointment was made on application of Empa CEO, Gian-Luca Bona. As of 1 October 2014Leemann will succeed Roland Knechtle who retired at...
Sep 11, 2014 | Ozone report of the United Nations
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...
09.09.2014 | Empa Technology & Innovation Forum 2014
Seit Jahren führt die Schweiz den Global Innovation Index und ähnliche Innovations-Rankings an – trotz hoher Arbeitskosten, starkem Franken und sich wirtschaftlich rasch entwickelnden Schwellenländern. Was ist notwendig,...
Sep 5, 2014 | Material development on the nanoscale
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...
03.09.2014 | Die Empa-Abteilung «Akustik/Lärmminderung» feiert Jubiläum
Die Abteilung «Akustik/Lärmminderung» an der Empa feiert Jubiläum. Seit 50 Jahren tragen die Forscherinnen und Forscher zu Innovationen in Sachen Lärmschutz und -forschung bei. Das wurde mit einem Anlass am letzten...
Sep 2, 2014 | Management changes at Empa
The beginning of September saw the appointment of two new laboratory heads, with Corsin Battaglia taking over responsibility for the «Materials for Energy Conversion» laboratory and Davide Bleiner taking over as the new...
Aug 27, 2014 | Innovative floor panels
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...
Aug 26, 2014 | Swiss Textiles Association Innovation Day 2014
Over 250 participants from universities and textile companies gathered on 21st August for this year's Innovation Day of the Swiss Textiles Association, held at Empa Duebendorf. The main topic of discussion was future...
Aug 25, 2014 | NEST: The house of the future
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...
Aug 7, 2014 | Research of Empa scientists on the cover of "Nature"
For the first time, researchers at Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research have succeeded in "growing" single-wall carbon nanotubes (CNT) with a single predefined structure - and hence with identical...
Aug 5, 2014 | Database for Life Cycle Inventories
In March this year, ecoinvent with its Life Cycle Inventory database has taken the step towards independence. The newly founded association is supported by institutions including Empa, Agroscope, the EPF Lausanne, the...
Jul 23, 2014 | EmpaNews 45 published
Empa is in the midst of establishing the Future Mobility Demonstrator on ist Dübendorf campus. This ambitious Projekt should reveal how excess electricity, generated by solar and wind-power, can be converted to fuel in...
22.07.2014 | 11. Sommercamp an der Empa in Dübendorf
Rund 20 Kinder von Empa-Mitarbeitenden nahmen vergangene Woche am Sommercamp teil, das bereits zum elften Mal an dieser Forschungsinstitution stattfand. Neben Laborversuchen, wissenschaftlichen Bastelworkshops und...
Jun 30, 2014 | Nano-coatings release almost no nano-particles
The antibacterial properties of silver-coated textiles are popular in the fields of sport and medicine. A team at Empa has now investigated how different silver coatings behave in the washing machine, and they have...
Jun 18, 2014 | Producing hydrogen with sunlight
All over the world researchers are investigating solar cells which imitate plant photosynthesis, using sunlight and water to create synthetic fuels such as hydrogen. Empa researchers have developed such a...
Jun 16, 2014 | «ONE TWO WE» shows first successes
In November last year Empa became a partner in the climate protection program «ONE TWO WE», established by the catering concern SV group and the environmental organisation WWF. The aim of the program is to reduce...
12.06.2014 | Mobile Nano-Ausstellung in St. Gallen
Die Ausstellung «Expo Nano» ist noch bis zum 4. Juli 2014 an der Empa in St. Gallen zu besichtigen. Am Mittwoch, 18. Juni, um 17 Uhr, findet die zweite öffentliche Vortragsveranstaltung zum Thema „Chancen und Risiken der...
May 28, 2014 | Empa technology for durable spinal disc implants
Artificial joints have a limited lifespan. After a few years, many hip and knee joints have to be replaced. Much more complex are intervertebral disc implants, which cannot easily be replaced after their "expiry date"...
21.05.2014 | Empa-Workshop zu Trends in der Flammschutzforschung
Flammschutzmittel finden sich heutzutage in allerlei Materialien, um diese vor Feuerschäden zu schützen. Doch sie sind nicht immer unbedenklich, einige sogar hochgradig umwelt- und gesundheits-schädlich. Es liegt also an...
May 17, 2014 | «Empa Technology Briefing» on the treatment of chronic bedsores
The latest Empa «Technology Briefing» took place at the end of April in St Gallen, dealing with the the treatment and prevention of chronic sores. Specialists from healthcare sector, science and the med-tech industry...
15.05.2014 | Mobile Nano-Ausstellung in St. Gallen
Vom 26. Mai bis 4. Juli 2014 gastiert die neu entwickelte mobile Ausstellung «Expo Nano» an der Empa in St. Gallen. Die Expo Nano thematisiert Chancen und Risiken der Nanotechnologie und zeigt auf, wo Nanomaterialien...
12 mai 2014 | Les filtres à particules catalysés
La voie vers un air plus propre passe par les filtres à particules et les technologies de réduction catalytique des oxydes d’azote. Cette voie est toutefois semée d’embuches, comme le montre la discussion actuelle au...
May 6, 2014 | Empa technology aboard the Rosetta space probe
In March 2004, the Rosetta orbiter was launched into space to analyse and observe the nucleus and environment of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among the equipment on board were highly complex metal ceramic sensors...
Apr 30, 2014 | Miracle cure made from plants
A new, absorbable material from Empa wood research could be of assistance in future oil spill accidents: a chemically modified nanocellulose sponge. The light material absorbs the oil spill, remains floating on the...
Apr 29, 2014 | Environmentally friendly production method for transparent conductive films
Transparent conductive films are now an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether in smartphones, tablets, laptops, flat screens or (on a larger scale) in solar cells. Yet they are expensive and complex to...
Apr 22, 2014 | EmpaNews 44 published
In the middle between university and the market, there is a "no man's land". Projects can get stuck there caused by technological difficulties – or they can dry out from lack of funding. Empa has settled in this no mans...
Apr 22, 2014 | Membrane filters made of graphene
A new nano-membrane made out of the “wonder material” graphene is extremely light and breath-able. Not only can this open the door to a new generation of functional waterproof clothing, but also to ultra-rapid...
09.04.2014 | Finalisten beim ZKB-Pionierpreis 2014
Monolitix AG, ein Spin-off der Empa und ETH Zürich, war neben zwei weiteren Jungunternehmen für einen der wichtigsten Innovationspreise der Schweiz nominiert, den ZKB-Pionierpreis 2014. Monolitix entwickelt innovative...
08.04.2014 | TwingTec AG gewinnt bei «venture kick»
Das Konzept des «Center for Synergetic Structures» der Empa, mit einem Hightech-Drachen Windenergie anzuzapfen, hat letzte Woche das mit 130‘000 Franken dotierte Finale von «venture kick» gewonnen.
Mar 18, 2014 | Big step in the exploration of alternative energy storage
Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have succeeded for the first time to produce uniform antimony nanocrystals. Tested as components of laboratory batteries, these are able to store a large number of both lithium and...
Mar 5, 2014 | First step towards “programmable materials“
Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have succeeded in producing a prototype of a vibration-damping material that could change the world of mechanics forever. The material of the future is not only able to damp...
Feb 19, 2014 | Concerns about future European research cooperation
In the wake of the recent vote to reject the agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the free movement of persons, Swiss universities have drafted an Open Letter to the Federal Council asking the country’s government...
Feb 4, 2014 | Technology Briefing on «Functional Coatings»
The Technology Briefing on the topic of «Functional Coatings for Innovative Applications» recently held at Empa was dedicated to the numerous applications of a wide range of coatings and surfaces. Just how multifaceted...
Jan 30, 2014 | Improving indoor climate, reducing energy consumption
Water vapour generated by cooking, taking a shower or drying damp clothes can condense on cold walls, encouraging the growth of mildew and microbes. The company Sto AG, in collaboration with Empa, has developed a special...
Jan 27, 2014 | Swiss-Japanese publishing joint venture
On 27 January 2014, Empa , the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, and the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) signed a 5-year collaborative agreement on co-publishing...
27 janv. 2014 | Nouvelle méthode pour déterminer le mercure aussi sous sa forme gazeuse
L’Empa a déterminé les quantités de mercure contenues dans les lampes économiques dites fluocompactes et vérifié si leurs fabricants respectaient les prescriptions légales en la matière. Au total 75 lampes courantes du...
22 janv. 2014 | L’Aerogel Enduit thermo-isolant haute performance
Empa et Fixit AG ont remporté le Prix Suisse Environnement dans la catégorie «Innovation». Fixit 222 Aerogel Enduit thermo-isolant haute performance, développé dans le cadre du projet SuRHiB (Sustainable Renovation of...
Jan 13, 2014 | Research into the safety of nanoparticles
After 42 months the EU research project «NanoHouse» has ended, and the verdict is a cautious "all clear" – nanoparticles in the paint used on building façades do not represent a particular health risk. In the course of a...
Jan 6, 2014 | Energy: too valuable to waste
"Power to gas" is a key concept when it comes to storing alternative energy. This process converts short-term excess electricity from photovoltaic systems and wind turbines into hydrogen. Combined with the greenhouse gas...