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“Bite” defects in bottom-up graphene nanoribbons

Important findings in the context of the potential applications of graphene nanoribbons in nanoelectronics and quantum technology

27-May-2021

Scientists at Empa and EPFL have identified a new type of defect as the most common source of disorder in on-surface synthesized graphene nanoribbons, a novel class of carbon-based materials that may prove extremely useful in next-generation electronic devices. The researchers identified the ...

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First commercial Quantum Microscope

Swiss start-up Qnami closes 4.0M CHF Series A financing round

14-May-2021

Qnami announced today the closing of a 4.0M CHF (4.4M USD) Series A financing round led by Venture Capital funds Runa Capital and SIT Capital, further supported by Seed Round investors Quantonation, Verve Ventures, ZKB Start-up Finance and the High-Tech Gründerfonds. The funds will support ...

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A material-keyboard made of graphene

Insulator and superconductor in the same material

07-May-2021

Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in turning specially prepared graphene flakes either into insulators or into superconductors by applying an electric voltage. This technique even works locally, meaning that in the same graphene flake regions with completely different physical properties ...

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Nanoplastics – an underestimated problem?

Tiny plastic particles in the environment

06-May-2021

The images leave no one cold: giant vortices of floating plastic trash in the world's oceans with sometimes devastating consequences for their inhabitants – the sobering legacy of our modern lifestyle. Weathering and degradation processes produce countless tiny particles that can now be detected ...

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Heavy charge against water germs

Novel filter systems made from composite materials

05-May-2021

Removing pathogens from drinking water is especially difficult when the germs are too tiny to be caught by conventional filters. Researchers at Empa and Eawag are developing new materials and processes to free water from pathogenic microorganisms such as viruses Water is life, biology teaches us. ...

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Uniquely sharp X-ray view

For the first time, it is possible to look inside materials with a resolution down to individual atoms

26-Apr-2021

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in looking inside materials using the method of transient grating spectroscopy with ultrafast X-rays at SwissFEL. The experiment at PSI is a milestone in observing processes in the world of atoms. The structures on ...

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Chain length determines molecular colour

Chemical adjustments within the molecules themselves can generate a broad palette of colours

09-Apr-2021

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed fluorescent polymers whose colour can be easily tuned. Depending on their length, the polymers emit a different colour. Potential applications include biomedicine, security printing and solar energy. Around the world, a huge amount of research and ...

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Carbon-neutral “biofuel” from lakes

Lakes as huge energy stores

02-Apr-2021

Lakes store huge amounts of methane. In a new study, environmental scientists at the University of Basel offer suggestions for how it can be extracted and used as an energy source in the form of methanol. Discussion about the current climate crisis usually focuses on carbon dioxide (CO2). The ...

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Particulates are more dangerous than previously thought

Harmful substances are already formed in the atmosphere, not just in the human body

24-Mar-2021

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have for the first time observed photochemical processes inside the smallest particles in the air. In doing so, they discovered that additional oxygen radicals that can be harmful to human health are formed in these aerosols under everyday ...

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Voltage from the parquet

Piezoelectric wood can generate electricity through deformation

17-Mar-2021

Researchers at Empa and ETH Zurich have made wood compressible and turned it into a micro-generator. When it is loaded, an electrical voltage is generated. In this way, the wood can serve as a bio-sensor - or generate usable energy. The latest highlight: To ensure that the process does not ...

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