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A biochemical random number

Scientists have generated a huge true random number using DNA synthesis: It is the first time that a number of this magnitude has been created by biochemical means.

23-Nov-2020

True random numbers are required in fields as diverse as slot machines and data encryption. These numbers need to be truly random, such that they cannot even be predicted by people with detailed knowledge of the method used to generate them. As a rule, they are generated using physical methods. ...

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Decoding the way catalysts work

Good catalytic performance is driven chiefly by processes that occur on the surface of the catalyst – and not electrochemical processes

20-Nov-2020

Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is an important chemical reaction, especially considering that the use of hydrogen as an energy source in sustainable mobility in the future. An international research team has now decoded how one of the catalysts used in this reaction works. Hydrogen is a ...

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A 40-year-old catalyst unveils its secrets

Findings will help catalyst research take an important step forward

30-Oct-2020

“Titanium silicalite-1” (TS-1) is not a new catalyst: It has been almost 40 years since its development and the discovery of its ability to convert propylene into propylene oxide, an important basic chemical in the chemical industry. Now, by combining various methods, a team of scientists from ...

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Biodegradable flip-flops coming soon

Innovative bio-​propellant from gas and water

29-Oct-2020

Biodegradable plastics are very much on trend. But there are still very few sustainable alternatives for products containing foamed plastic. ETH Pioneer Fellow Zuzana Sediva is developing a process that could one day be used to make shoe soles and yoga mats from organic waste. Zuzana Sediva loves ...

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How ETH Zurich spin-offs strengthen the Swiss economy

ETH spin-​offs are much more likely to make an exit than other Swiss start-​ups

08-Oct-2020

As well as generating more jobs on average than other Swiss start-​ups, ETH spin-​offsare also acquired more frequently. A decisive factor, according to University of St.Gallen’s comprehensive analysis, comes from the institutional support for entrepreneurship. With around 500 ETH spin-​offs now ...

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Filtering radioactive elements from water

Membrane massively reduces volumes of waste

01-Oct-2020

The nuclear accident in Fukushima remains etched into people's memories. It was a catastrophe that caused huge amounts of radioactively contaminated water to be released, which the operators of the nuclear power plant subsequently had to clean up. One of the methods they used was reverse osmosis ...

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Electron movements in liquid measured in super-slow motion

“Electron movements are the key events in chemical reactions”

24-Aug-2020

Electrons are able to move within molecules, for example when they are excited from outside or in the course of a chemical reaction. For the first time, scientists have now succeeded in studying the first few dozen attoseconds of this electron movement in a liquid. To understand how chemical ...

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"Simulation microscope" examines transistors of the future

"We have created one of the largest databases of transistor materials"

12-Aug-2020

Since the discovery of graphene, two-​dimensional materials have been the focus of materials research. Among other things, they could be used to build tiny, high-​performance transistors. Researchers at ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne have now simulated and evaluated one hundred possible materials ...

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A new theory for Semiconductors made of nanocrystals

First theoretical explanation how electrical current moves through a thin film of nanocrystals

30-Jun-2020

Researchers at ETH have provided the first theoretical explanation for how electrical current is conducted in semiconductors made of nanocrystals. In the future, this could lead to the development of new sensors, lasers or LEDs for TV screens. A few years ago, we were introduced to TV screens ...

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Growing polymers with different lengths

How the dispersity of a plastic can be completely controlled by mixing two catalysts

25-Jun-2020

ETH researchers have developed a new method for producing polymers with different lengths. This paves the way for new classes of polymer materials to be used in previously inconceivable applications. It is hard to imagine everyday life without materials made of synthetic polymers. Clothes, car ...

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