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The Transistor out of the Printer

A new revolution in the production of electronic circuits is on the way

11-Sep-2020

Empa researchers are working on electronics that come out of printers. This makes it possible to produce the circuits on all sorts of substrates, such as paper or plastic film – but there are still some hurdles to overcome. Imagine being able to easily print electronics on any surface. Today, ...

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A tiny instrument to measure the faintest magnetic fields

Applications in areas such as medicine, besides being used to research new materials

08-Sep-2020

Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a minuscule instrument able to detect extremely faint magnetic fields. At the heart of the superconducting quantum interference device are two atomically thin layers of graphene, which the researchers combined with boron nitride. Instruments ...

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Biofuels and sophisticated materials cycles thanks to bio-templating

Mini power plants from coated blue-green algae

31-Aug-2020

Blue-green algae are among the oldest living creatures on Earth and have perfected the use of sunlight over billions of years. Empa scientists have now equipped these humble unicellular organisms with semiconductor coatings to create mini power plants, which supply biofuels and are ...

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Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting

Electrocatalyst without a carbon carrier developed

26-Aug-2020

An international research team led by the University of Bern has succeeded in developing an electrocatalyst for hydrogen fuel cells which, in contrast to the catalysts commonly used today, does not require a carbon carrier and is therefore much more stable. The new process is industrially ...

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Aerogel – the micro structural material of the future

Numerous new application possibilities in the high-tech industry, for example in microelectronics, robotics, biotechnology and sensor technology

25-Aug-2020

Aerogel is an excellent thermal insulator. So far, however, it has mainly been used on a large scale, for example in environmental technology, in physical experiments or in industrial catalysis. Empa researchers have now succeeded in making aerogels accessible to microelectronics and precision ...

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Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion

“Electron movements are the key events in chemical reactions”

24-Aug-2020

Electrons are able to move within molecules, for example when they are excited from outside or in the course of a chemical reaction. For the first time, scientists have now succeeded in studying the first few dozen attoseconds of this electron movement in a liquid. To understand how chemical ...

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How dangerous are burning electric cars?

Fire test in a tunnel

19-Aug-2020

There' s a loud bang, and then it starts: A battery module of an electric car is on fire in the Hagerbach test tunnel. A video of the test impressively shows the energy stored in such batteries: Meter-long flames hiss through the room and produce enormous amounts of thick, black soot. The ...

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Efficient valves for electron spins

New concept developed that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current

17-Aug-2020

Researchers at the University of Basel in collaboration with colleagues from Pisa have developed a new concept that uses the electron spin to switch an electrical current. In addition to fundamental research, such spin valves are also the key elements in spintronics – a type of electronics that ...

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A highly light-absorbent and tunable material

New approach to developing optoelectronic devices

13-Aug-2020

By layering different two-dimensional materials, physicists at the University of Basel have created a novel structure with the ability to absorb almost all light of a selected wavelength. The achievement relies on a double layer of molybdenum disulfide. The new structure’s particular properties ...

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"Simulation microscope" examines transistors of the future

"We have created one of the largest databases of transistor materials"

12-Aug-2020

Since the discovery of graphene, two-​dimensional materials have been the focus of materials research. Among other things, they could be used to build tiny, high-​performance transistors. Researchers at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne have now simulated and evaluated one hundred possible materials ...

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