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Molecules in collective ecstasy

Signal transmission through dyes: Chemical light amplifiers ten times more efficient than before

15-Jul-2021

When fluorescent dye molecules nestle perfectly together, something completely new is created: an excited state distributed over many molecules. Such collective excitations can be used in a variety of ways – for organic solar panels, in sensors, for ultrafast data transmission or in microscopy, ...

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A next step towards climate-friendly fuels

Solar technology from Synhelion to receive Innosuisse funding

08-Jul-2021

Synhelion and Empa are conducting a joint research project, co-funded by the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse, to further develop a high-temperature energy storage solution that is a key component in the production of climate-friendly solar fuels. The project will enable the cost-effective and ...

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Tailor-made enzymes for chemical toxins?

Hiding in the midst of trash are valuable bacteria that can degrade environmental toxins

21-Jun-2021

Bacteria from an Indian landfill could help eliminate contaminated chemicals. The focus is on pesticides or brominated flame retardants, which accumulate in nature and in food chains. Researchers at Empa and Eawag used these bacteria to generate enzymes that can break down these dangerous ...

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The biodegradable battery - an ecological miracle

New mini-capacitor consists of carbon, cellulose, glycerin and table salt

07-Jun-2021

The number of data-transmitting microdevices, for instance in packaging and transport logistics, will increase sharply in the coming years. All these devices need energy, but the amount of batteries would have a major impact on the environment. Empa researchers have developed a biodegradable ...

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Shiny mega-crystals that build themselves

New mega-crystals exhibit unique properties such as superfluorescence and may well usher in a new era in materials science

28-May-2021

An international team led by Empa and ETH Zurich researchers is playing with shape-engineered nanoscale building blocks that are up to 100-times larger than atoms and ions. And although these nano "Lego bricks" interact with each other with forces vastly different and much weaker than those ...

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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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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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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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"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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