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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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Electron’s cousin discovered after eighty-six-year search

20-Nov-2015

In a series of experiments at the Swiss Light Source SLS, physicists from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in an international collaboration with colleagues from China, from ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne have discovered a particle, the existence of which was predicted eighty-six years ago. It is a ...

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Using optical fiber to generate a two-micron laser

12-Oct-2015

In recent years, two-micron lasers (0.002 millimetre) have been of growing interest among researchers. In the areas of surgery and molecule detection, for example, they offer significant advantages compared to traditional, shorter-wavelength lasers. However, two-micron lasers are still in their ...

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Spintronics just got faster

24-Jul-2015

In a tremendous boost for spintronic technologies, EPFL scientists have shown that electrons can jump through spins much faster than previously thought.Electrons spin around atoms, but also spin around themselves, and can cross over from one spin state to another. A property which can be ...

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