EMPA.Edu

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa, German acronym for Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt) is an interdisciplinary Swiss research institute for applied materials sciences and technology. As part of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain, it is an institution of the Swiss federation. For most of the period since its foundation in 1880, it concentrated on classical materials testing. Since the late 1980s it has developed into a modern research and development institute.

Main Content

The world’s lightest shielding material

“Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight. Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields …

Freshly printed magnets

“During metal processing in the 3D laser printer, temperatures of more than 2,500 degrees Celsius are reached within milliseconds, causing some components of the alloys to evaporate. While widely considered a problem inherent to the process, Empa researchers spotted …

Software to speed up clothing development

“Whether for sports, at work or in the living room – depending on activity and environment, our clothing has to meet different demands. Empa scientists have developed a model that predicts how well a given garment will keep us warm. The …

The Wood Paradox

“It can be deformed as required and is three times stronger than natural wood: the wood material developed by Marion Frey, Tobias Keplinger and Ingo Burgert at Empa and ETH Zurich has the potential to become a high-tech material. In …

Next generation of watch springs

“What happens when something keeps getting smaller and smaller? This is the type of question Empa researcher Johann Michler and his team are investigating. As a by-product of their research completely novel watch springs could soon be used in Swiss …

How to program materials

“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 …

How safe is graphene?

“Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part …

Ears from the 3D-printer

“Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing. It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the …

A burst of “synchronous” light

“Excited photo-emitters can cooperate and radiate simultaneously, a phenomenon called superfluorescence. Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich, together with colleagues from IBM Research Zurich, have recently been able to create this effect with long-range ordered nanocrystal superlattices. This discovery could …

Quantum chains in graphene nanoribbons

“Empa researchers, together with colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and other partners, have achieved a breakthrough that could in future be used for precise nanotransistors or – in the distant future – possibly even quantum computers …