EMPA

EMPA

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Switzerland
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EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research)is an interdisciplinary research and services institution to meet the requirements of industry and the needs of our society, and it links together applications-oriented research and the practical implementation of new ideas. The Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics has recently relocated from ETH Zurich. Dr. Ayodhya N. Tiwari has been leading the PV group involved in the R&D of thin film solar cells based on compound semiconductors. The group has made several important contributions in the field of CIGS and CdTe thin film solar cells on glass and flexible substrates including the achievement of 14.1% efficiency (highest efficiency record for any type of solar cell grown on polymer film) flexible CIGS solar cell on polymide film and 11.4% record high efficiency for flexible CdTe solar cells. Other innovative developments include flexible CIGS solar cells on low cost aluminium foil, application of simple and safe non-vacuum CIGS deposition processes, high efficiency multi-junction (tandem) solar cells based on CIGS, CdTe, and Dye sensitized solar cells. The lab is involved in collaborative and industrial research, and technology transfer to start-up companies.
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2019
19 Aug

Machine learning to help develop self-healing robots that 'feel pain'

Researchers will use self-healing materials and machine learning to develop soft robotics as part of a new collaborative project.
29 May

A Solid Future: New Opportunities enabled by Solid State Batteries

Solid state batteries have been considered as the avenue to the next generation energy storage solutions. According to IDTechEx's research "Solid-State and Polymer Batteries 2019-2029: Technology, Patents, Forecasts, Players" www.idtechex.com/solid.
6 Feb

Transparent Conductive Films and Materials: Transition from old to new

The market composition of transparent conductive films and materials has not dramatically shifted for some years. It is heavily reliant upon select markets such as flat consumer small/medium sized electronic touch screens. Indeed, the IDTechEx Research report Transparent Conductive Films and Materials 2018-2028: Forecasts, Technologies, Players puts this reliance around 85-90% today. The emergence of new applications has also been slower than many had predicted and hoped. This report finds that so-called 'old' applications are still the vast majority of the market.
2017
27 Nov

New batteries with better performance and improved safety

Researchers from Empa and the University of Geneva have developed an initial prototype of a solid sodium battery with the potential to store extra energy.
22 Nov

Illuminated pajamas treat newborns

Babies who suffer from jaundice after birth are treated with shortwave light. Empa researchers have now developed illuminated pajamas that replace the treatment in an incubator.
16 Nov

A rubber power plant

Researchers have developed a flexible material that generates electricity when stressed. In future, it might be used as a sensor, integrated into clothing or even implanted in the human body, for instance, to power a pacemaker.
17 Oct

Ultra-thin concrete roof with thin-film photovoltaics

A prototype for an ultra-thin, sinuous concrete roof using innovative design and fabrication methods. A second, exterior layer of the concrete sandwich structure encloses the roof, onto which thin-film photovoltaic cells are installed.
29 Sep

World record solar cells for "move"

Swiss start-up Flisom is ready for the global market: the company, a spin-off from ETH Zürich and Empa, has developed a unique roll-to-roll process for the cost-effective production of flexible and highly efficient thin-film solar modules.
18 Sep

World's largest electric vehicle

A Swiss consortium of companies is constructing the largest electric vehicle in the world - in record time.
16 Aug

SwissKitePower Project Switzerland

The SwissKitePower project is a multidisciplinary research and development effort aimed at creating a totally new device which can harness wind energy at high altitudes. The winds at altitude are stronger and more consistent than those at the ground and represent an enormous potential source of renewable energy.
5 Jun

3D printer inks from the woods

Researchers have succeeded in developing an environmentally friendly ink for 3D printing based on cellulose nanocrystals. This technology can be used to fabricate microstructures with outstanding mechanical properties, which have promising potential uses in implants and other biomedical applications.
27 May

Weihua Solar

Founded in August 2010 and based in Xiamen China, Xiamen Weihua Solar Co.,Ltd. is a company focusing on research & development, production and sales of perovskite solar cells, with RMB 10 million registered capital. The technology of the company is based on the perovskite solar cell technologies of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science (EMPA). The founder & CEO Dr. Bin Fan was a student of Prof Michael Grätzel, the latter was the inventor of dye sensitized solar cell (DS
18 May

The future's bright, the future's OLED

Organic light-emitting diodes will soon show our world in a new light: the days of small light sources are numbered; in future, entire walls, ceilings, façades and car exteriors will light up our lives.
10 May

Complex Hydride-Based Solid-State Electrolytes

Empa, Switzerland
4 Apr

Solid-state electrolytes and the quest for a safer battery

2016 was the year of Li-ion batteries' silver jubilee, a coming of age that has not been hassle-free, as Samsung's Firegate showed us. This year might mark the first significant switch to new materials in the electrolyte compartment, with both large and small companies trying to bring inorganic and polymer electrolytes to commercial fruition.
17 Mar

Soft sensors for smart textiles

Researchers have succeeded in producing optic fibers for sensors that are ideal for textiles.
14 Mar

Uncompromising on organic solar cells

Researchers have developed a semi-transparent organic solar cell that achieves better efficiency and transparency than existing ones.
9 Mar

Energy Storage Innovations Europe 2017

The field of battery energy storage is set to grow significantly over the coming years. The question that incumbents, raw materials suppliers, end users, and innovators are all asking themselves is whether Li-ion batteries will keep the lion's share of the market, or whether disruptive innovation will drive technology diversification according to applications.
3 Feb

Summer heat for the winter

Can thermal solar energy be stored until wintertime? Yes, this is possible, using a cheap material like sodium lye. Within a European research consortium scientists and their colleagues have spent four years studying this question by pitting three different techniques against each other.
6 Jan

New directions for the aerogel market

Alternatives to silica aerogel panel and blanket composites are beginning to gain traction. Silica aerogel granule and powder products are becoming more pronounced as progressively more companies emerge. Meanwhile polymer aerogels are a different class of the material, which can have the potential to act as interesting alternatives to traditional plastic and composite products.