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A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

08-Jan-2018

The average sea temperature is an essential parameter of the global climate – but it is very difficult to measure. At least until now, because an international team of researchers including Empa scientists have now developed a novel method using the concentration of noble gases in the eternal ...

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Batteries with better performance and improved safety

28-Nov-2017

Phones, laptops, electric cars - batteries are everywhere. And to meet the expectations of today's consumers, these batteries are increasin­gly lighter, more powerful and designed to last longer. Currently the core technology for these applications is lithium ion batteries. But the technology is ...

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New batteries with better performance and improved safety

24-Nov-2017

Phones, laptops, electric cars - batteries are everywhere. And to meet the expectations of today's consumers, these batteries are increasingly light, more powerful and designed to last longer. Currently the most important technology for these applications is the lithium-ion battery technology: ...

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The stacked colour sensor

True colours meet minimization

17-Nov-2017

Red-sensitive, blue-sensitive and green-sensitive colour sensors stacked on top of each other instead of being lined up in a mosaic pattern - this principle could allow image sensors with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity to light to be created. However, up to now, the reality hasn't quite ...

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Low-cost battery from waste graphite

13-Oct-2017

Lithium ion batteries are flammable and the price of the raw material is rising. Are there alternatives? Yes: Empa and ETH Zürich researchers have discovered promising approaches as to how we might produce batteries out waste graphite and scrap metal. Kostiantyn Kravchyk works in the group of ...

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Nanomaterial helps store solar energy: efficiently and inexpensively

Field trials show that new catalyst material for electrolysers is reliable

19-Jul-2017

Efficient storage technologies are necessary if solar and wind energy is to help satisfy increased energy demands. One important approach is storage in the form of hydrogen extracted from water using solar or wind energy. This process takes place in a so-called electrolyser. Thanks to a new ...

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Microplastics from the washing machine

Textiles made from synthetic fibers release microfibers

27-Jun-2017

The presence of microplastics in our wastewater can be attributed primarily to two factors. Firstly, many cosmetic products, such as toothpaste, creams, shower gels, and peelings, contain tiny pieces of plastic in order to achieve a mechanical cleaning effect. Secondly, microplastics are washed ...

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How protons move through a fuel cell

New conductivity mechanism of ions discovered

26-Jun-2017

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion ...

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Sodium and magnesium to replace lithium in batteries

03-May-2017

A project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) aims to find new materials which can be used in rechargeable batteries and eventually provide alternatives to the current lithium batteries. Lithium-based batteries have several drawbacks, such as the limited availability of the ...

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Single crystal measures radioactivity

Affordable detectors for gamma radiation

21-Sep-2016

A research team at Empa and ETH Zurich has developed single crystals made of lead halide perovskites, which are able to gage radioactive radiation with high precision. Initial experiments have shown that these crystals, which can be manufactured from aqueous solutions or low-priced solvents, work ...

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