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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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New class of substances for redox reactions

Pyrazinacenes can be reversibly oxidized and reduced

17-Mar-2021

An interdisciplinary, multinational research team presents a new class of chemical compounds that can be reversibly oxidized and reduced. The compounds known as 'pyrazinacenes' are simple, stable compounds that consist of a series of connected nitrogen-containing carbon rings. They are suitable ...

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Lights on for silicon photonics

The demonstration of electroluminescence at terahertz frequencies from a silicon-germanium device marks a key step towards the long-sought goal of a silicon-based laser

10-Mar-2021

When it comes to microelectronics, there is one chemical element like no other: silicon, the workhorse of the transistor technology that drives our information society. The countless electronic devices we use in everyday life are a testament to how today very high volumes of silicon-based ...

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"Crispr/Cas" for the chemical industry

New Empa spin-off

19-Feb-2021

After a successful career in research at Empa, Matthias Koebel has now ventured into the private sector and founded the start-up Siloxene. The young entrepreneur has a construction kit filled with a miracle material, a lot of know-how and – despite the general mood of crisis – a refreshing ...

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Kagome graphene promises exciting properties

It behaves as a semiconductor and may also have unusual electrical properties

18-Feb-2021

For the first time, physicists from the University of Basel have produced a graphene compound consisting of carbon atoms and a small number of nitrogen atoms in a regular grid of hexagons and triangles. This honeycomb-structured “kagome lattice” behaves as a semiconductor and may also have ...

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