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Visualizing chemical reactions

On the way to synthetic fuels

10-Jan-2020

Researchers at the joint EPFL-Empa lab in Sion have developed a reactor system and an analysis method that has allowed them to observe the real-time production of synthetic natural gas from CO2 and H2 for the first time. Infrared (IR) thermography is used to determine the temperature of humans ...

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How to induce magnetism in graphene

Elusive molecule predicted in the 1970s synthesized

11-Dec-2019

Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechani-cal, electronic and optical properties. However, it did not seem suitable for magnetic applica-tions. Together with international partners, Empa researchers have now succeeded in synthesiz-ing a unique ...

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First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes

Greenhouse gas emissions from soil

09-Dec-2019

Thanks to a newly developed laser spectrometer, Empa researchers can for the first time show which processes in grassland lead to nitrous oxide emissions. The aim is to reduce emissions of this potent greenhouse gas by gaining a better understanding of the processes taking place in the soil. ...

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A molecular bridge further

Molecular electronics

20-Sep-2019

Electronics built from molecules could open up new possibilities in the miniaturization of circuits in the future. Empa researchers, together with partners from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Israel, and the UK, succeeded in solving a crucial detail in the realization of such circuit elements: A ...

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Self healing robots that "feel pain"

12-Aug-2019

Over the next three years, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Cambridge, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI-Paris) and Empa will be working together with the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix on the next generation ...

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New record for flexible thin-film solar cells

Empa researchers achieve an efficiency of 20.8% for the first time - breaking their own record

09-Jul-2019

Flexible solar cell with unprecedented efficiency: The Empa Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics, headed by Ayodhya N. Tiwari, has broken its own record. The researchers improved the efficiency of energy conversion in CIGS solar cells on flexible polymer substrate to 20.8%. This is 0.4% ...

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Cooling with the sun

27-Jun-2019

Can you cool with waste heat? Sure. A Swiss research project involving Empa, which ended in November, demonstrated this in an impressive way. Now a large-scale EU project is starting: industrial cooling – thanks to the Spanish sun. Every now and so often heating something up is unavoidable. ...

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Recycling carbon dioxide from the ocean

Floating power plants

11-Jun-2019

Paper, tin cans, glass - the world recycles as much as possible. So why not declare the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) a recycling product as well? Liquid fuels based on carbon will continue to play an important role in the future - despite international efforts to reduce them. So it seems ...

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How to program materials

Predict the properties of composite materials

23-May-2019

Can the properties of composite materials be predicted? Empa scientists have mastered this feat and thus can help achieve research objectives faster. This leads, for instance, to better recycling techniques and electrically conductive synthetic materials for the solar industry. Ali Gooneie ...

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Microplastics in freshwaters

The risks to the environment are (still) low

16-May-2019

Sea birds dying in agony with a belly full of plastic garbage; plastic accumulations as big as islands: Virtually everyone has seen pictures like these today. But there are also plastic particles that are barely visible to the eye - microplastics. The danger posed by these tiny particles has ...

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