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Nanowires as Sensors in New Type of Atomic Force Microscope

19-Oct-2016

A new type of atomic force microscope (AFM) uses nanowires as tiny sensors. Unlike standard AFM, the device with a nanowire sensor enables measurements of both the size and direction of forces. Physicists at the University of Basel and at the EPF Lausanne have described these results in the ...

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Filming light and electrons coupled together as they travel under cover

12-Oct-2016

In a breakthrough for future optical-electronic hybrid computers, scientists at EPFL have developed an ultrafast technique that can track light and electrons as they travel through a nanostructured surface. When light couples to electrons on a surface, their concerted motion can travel as a wave ...

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An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy

26-Aug-2016

How can we store solar energy for period when the sun doesn't shine? One solution is to convert it into hydrogen through water electrolysis. The idea is to use the electrical current produced by a solar panel to 'split' water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Clean hydrogen can then be stored ...

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Electricity generated with water, salt and a 3-atoms-thick membrane

15-Jul-2016

Proponents of clean energy will soon have a new source to add to their existing array of solar, wind, and hydropower: osmotic power. Or more specifically, energy generated by a natural phenomenon occurring when fresh water comes into contact with seawater through a membrane. Researchers at EPFL's ...

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Perovskite solar cells surpass 20 percent efficiency

13-Jun-2016

EPFL researchers are pushing the limits of perovskite solar cell performance by exploring the best way to grow these crystals. Michael Graetzel and his team found that, by briefly reducing the pressure while fabricating perovskite crystals, they were able to achieve the highest performance ever ...

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A single ion impacts a million water molecules

12-Apr-2016

Water is simple and complex at the same time. A single water molecule (H2O) is made up of only 3 atoms. Yet the collective behavior of water molecules is unique and continues to amaze us. Water molecules are linked together by hydrogen bonds that break and form several thousands of billions of ...

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Graphene is both transparent and opaque to radiation

Graphene ensures data fidelity for future wireless devices

07-Apr-2016

EPFL and UNIGE scientists have developed a microchip using graphene that could help wireless telecommunications share data at a rate that is ten times faster than currently possible. "Our graphene based microchip is an essential building block for faster wireless telecommunications in frequency ...

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Stretchable electronics that quadruple in length

02-Mar-2016

Conductive tracks are usually hard printed on a board. But those recently developed at EPFL are altogether different: they are almost as flexible as rubber and can be stretched up to four times their original length and in all directions. And they can be stretched a million times without cracking ...

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Using a microscopic ring to produce pulsed light

08-Jan-2016

Researchers funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation have made a chip-based device that can generate a laser signal with frequencies spaced in a comb-like fashion. Their work could be used in telecommunications applications and in chemical analysis In general, light and water waves alike ...

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Using light-force to study single molecules

Scientists at EPFL show how to amplify the sensitivity and resolution of Raman scattering

25-Nov-2015

When it comes to studying single molecules, scientists use a powerful technique called "surface-enhanced Raman scattering" (SERS). An extremely sensitive tool, SERS detects the vibrations within the atoms of the illuminated molecule as a change in light color. But the sensitivity of SERS is ...

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