News 2015

Dec 22, 2015 | Polymers render concrete fire-resistant
Self-compacting high-performance concrete (SCHPC) has till now suffered from one weakness – when exposed to fire it flakes and splits, which reduces its loadbearing capacity. Empa scientists have now developed a method...
Dec 21, 2015 | Making the invisible visible
The Empa Center for X-ray Analytics is now up-and-running, and its state-of-the-art X-ray machines have been installed. These provide not just fascinating images but in particular deep insights into materials, components...
Dec 15, 2015 | SME Update – an insight into digital medicine
Electronic connectivity and data exchange are becoming more and more important for the medical products of tomorrow. The SME Update at Empa has shown how doctors and researchers imagine the future of digital medicine and...
Nov 29, 2015 | Die Empa am Swiss Innovation Forum
2015 ist das «Internationale Jahr des Lichts und der lichtbasierten Technologien». Passend dazu stellt die Empa am 10. Swiss Innovation Forum (SIF) vom 19. November im Congress Center Basel drei innovative Projekte vor,...
Nov 25, 2015 | CO2-free fuel from renewable electricity
The demonstration and technology transfer platform “move” enables Empa researchers to develop new vehicle drive concepts with significantly lower CO2 emissions and test them in practice. It uses surplus electricity from...
Nov 18, 2015 | Higher efficiency thanks to perovskite magic crystal
Stacking two solar cells one over the other has advantages: Because the energy is “harvested” in two stages, and overall the sunlight can be converted to electricity more efficiently. Empa researchers have come up with a...
Nov 12, 2015 | Electrochemistry to satisfy mass demand
High-performance lithium ion batteries face a major problem: Lithium will eventually start to run out as batteries are deployed in electric cars and stationary storage units. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have now...
Oct 30, 2015 | New class of materials: hybrid aerogels with biopolymers
Although they are considered to be the best insulators of all, silicate-based aerogels have the disadvantages of being brittle and tending to produce dust. With the development of a hybrid aerogel using biopolymers,...
Oct 30, 2015 | Concrete degradation
When bridges, dam walls and other structures made of concrete are streaked with dark cracks after a few decades, the culprit is AAR: the alkali-aggregate reaction. Also called the “concrete disease” or even “concrete...
Oct 19, 2015 | EmpaNews 50 published
The production of tiny particles and their industrial use is deemed a key technology of the 21st century. Nanoparticles revolutionize many applications – from industrial products such as sunscreens or waterproofing...
Sep 29, 2015 | Empa researchers optimize diesel cat
The scandal surrounding VW has thrust nitric oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel vehicles into the limelight. Owing to the different engine technologies, these have always been higher than in gasoline-powered cars. On the...
Sep 24, 2015 | New member in Empa's senior management
On application of Empa CEO Gian-Luca Bona the ETH Board appointed Alex Dommann as new member of the Board of Directors as of October 1, 2015.
Sep 23, 2015 | Using body heat to keep a shelter warm
In collaboration with the start-up "Polarmond", scientists at Empa developed an «all-in-one» shelter system. Inside the shelter conditions remain comfortable whatever the weather outdoors, thanks to a sophisticated...
11.09.2015 | NEST: Der Rohbau steht
Rund ein Jahr nach dem Spatenstich ist der Rohbau des modularen Forschungs- und Innovationsgebäudes NEST fertig. Am 11. September 2015 feierte die Trägerschaft aus Forschung, Wirtschaft und öffentlicher Hand mit...
25.08.2015 | Weltpremiere: Windturbinensimulation an Thurgauer Herbstmesse
Die Empa hat zusammen mit der ETH Zürich eine Simulation entwickelt, die eine optische und akustische Einschätzung von Windturbinen möglich macht – noch bevor sie gebaut sind. An der Thurgauer Herbstmesse WEGA in...
Aug 18, 2015 | Focus Atmosphere
Inhalation anesthetics, so-called fluranes, are widely used during surgery. Just how much of these strong greenhouse gases is produced worldwide remains a mystery; industry is keeping its cards close to its chest.
Aug 5, 2015 | Detailed life cycle assessments for industrial products of the future
Crackpot idea or recipe for success? This is a question entrepreneurs often face. Is it worth converting the production process to a new, ecologically better material? Empa has developed an analysis method that enables...
Jul 29, 2015 | Useful things from gelatine
ETH and Empa researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibres. Now they are working on making the yarn even more water-resistant.
Jul 22, 2015 | THRIVE sets its sights on waste heat
As part of the National Research Program “Energy Turnaround” NRP 70 the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is supporting the interdisciplinary research project “THRIVE”. With IBM Research – Zurich and the...
16.07.2015 | Empa Sommercamp 2015
Normalerweise ist die Empa Arbeitsplatz für die «Grossen». Doch in der Woche vom 13.–17. Juli 2015 war die Empa auch etwas für die «Kleinen». Am Standort Dübendorf fand nämlich das alljährliche Sommercamp für Kinder...
Jul 15, 2015 | Fuel crucial for life cycle assessment
Fuel cells are regarded as the technology of the future for both cars and household heating systems. As a result, they have a key role to play in the switch to renewable energies. But are fuel cells always more...
Jul 8, 2015 | EmpaNews 49 published
An unique experiment is currently underway in Seelisberg: a construction physicist from Lucerne had Empa researchers install six cubic meters of special concrete in the garage of his vacation home. The concrete stores...
Jul 2, 2015 | EU project for nanomedical innovations
Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, is part of the «European Nanomedicine Characterization Laboratory», a European project funded by the EU framework program «Horizon 2020». Its...
Jun 26, 2015 | New EU project on the hunt for super-solar cell
«Sharc25», a European research project launched in May, is setting out to develop extremely efficient thin-film solar cells for the next generation of more cost-effective solar modules. Eleven research partners from...
Jun 11, 2015 | MedTech Day – from idea to product
Medical technology is an important (and research-intensive) growth market for the Swiss economy. So it's no surprise that this research area plays a central role at Empa; ten of the 30 research laboratories focus, among...
Jun 9, 2015 | Flisom closes 4th financing round
At the inauguration of its pilot production plant near Zurich, Swiss start-up Flisom who develops innovative technologies for manufacturing flexible low-cost, high-performance thin film solar cells based on CIGS...
Jun 4, 2015 | Clean in every aspect
Empa, ETH Zürich and the road sweeper manufacturer Bucher Municipal have jointly developed a pioneering hybrid-electric powertrain for road sweepers in a CTI project. The concept is based on a gas-driven engine, which...
May 19, 2015 | Empa features in a bestseller
Who in their wildest dreams would ever have thought that Empa would play a role in a spy novel? What sounds like sheer fantasy is now reality! Now we give away one copy of the hard cover edition in English, signed by the...
Apr 30, 2015 | Techtextil Innovation Award 2015
A team of Empa scientists has, together with industrial partners, developed a novel chest strap device for the long-term monitoring of patients with heart and circulatory problems. What is special about the new system is...
Apr 21, 2015 | Medical engineering
Thanks to a collaboration with the Balgrist University Hospital and University of Pittsburgh, Empa is beginning to decode the mechanics of the lower vertebrae. Researchers would like be able to reveal how wear and tear...
Apr 15, 2015 | EmpaNews 48 published
Some say that back pain is the price we pay for walking upright. Others claim that the problem only really started when humankind sat down to reflect and contemplate. Thanks to a collaboration with the University of...
07.04.2015 | «ONE TWO WE»-Klimaschutzprogramm läuft weiter
Seit 2013 ist die Empa Partner des Klimaschutzprogramms «ONE TWO WE» der Gemeinschaftsgastro-nomie SV Group und der Umweltorganisation WWF Schweiz. Dank verschiedener Massnahmen ist der CO2-Ausstoss des...
Mar 23, 2015 | First measurements of 4th generation coolants
4th generation halogenated coolants and foaming agents have only been in use for a few years. They have replaced persistent greenhouse gases such as R134a, which were used in (car) air conditioning units, refrigerators...
Mar 16, 2015 | Empa-led EU project "TREASORES" yields first results
Flexible optoelectronic devices that can be produced roll-to-roll – much like newspapers are printed – are a highly promising path to cheaper devices such as solar cells and LED lighting panels. Scientists from...
Mar 2, 2015 | «Power-to-Gas» Technology Briefing
Our energy supplies are in a state of fundamental flux, the primary challenges being to reduce our CO2 emissions and to move from fossil and nuclear energy sources to renewables. The automobile industry is, of course,...
Feb 23, 2015 | Technology Briefing on "Critical Materials"
Numerous metallic elements are regarded as "critical": on one hand, they play an ever more important role in so-called future technologies and on the other, there is a high risk of supply bottlenecks. Small and...
Feb 12, 2015 | A portrait
Urs Elber, Managing Director of Empa's Research Focus Area «Energy», explains how the energy supply will change in the years to come and how Empa supports this transformation.
Jan 29, 2015 | Empa appoints «Distinguished Senior Researchers»
«Empa ambassadors» – this is the unofficial title for two of Empa's researchers. Karl-Heinz Ernst and Oliver Gröning were recently appointed as «Distinguished Senior Researchers». That is why both researchers will each...
23 janv. 2015 | La recherche face au tournant énergétique
Abandon de l’énergie nucléaire, réduction des émissions de CO2 ; pour que la stratégie énergétique de la Confédération puisse être mise en œuvre, l’assainissement énergétique du parc immobilier en Suisse doit être...
Jan 20, 2015 | Measuring blood sugar without taking any blood
Empa and the University Hospital Zurich have joined forces to develop a sensor that gages the blood sugar through skin contact. And best of all: No blood samples are necessary, not even to calibrate the sensor....
Jan 15, 2015 | Teamwork with the University of Applied Arts Vienna
For his latest sound masterpiece, Belgian artist Aernoudt Jacobs turned to Empa technology. It will be on display at the Vienna gallery IM ERSTEN from January 28, 2015. Inside the artwork, there is a membrane made of...
Jan 9, 2015 | Environmentally friendly coating for aircraft furniture
A new coating protects business jet interiors against fire. Not only is the agent more environmentally friendly than before; it can also be applied more quickly. This new coating could also be used in textiles and...