EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials

EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials

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Empa is an interdisciplinary research institute of the ETH Domain, which conducts cutting-edge materi-als and technology research. Empa focuses on meeting the requirements of industry and the growing needs of society through efficient technology transfer from research to marketable innovations with in-dustry partners. Focus areas include nanostructured, "smart" materials and surfaces, environmental, en-ergy and sustainable building technologies as well as biotechnology and medical technology. Empa is capable of providing our partners with customized solutions that not only enhance their innovative edge and competitiveness for global markets, but also help to improve the quality of life for the public at large.
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2021
8 Sep 2021

21.4% Record Efficiency for Flexible Solar Cells

A new efficiency record of 21.4% for flexible CIGS solar cell on polymer film has been achieved. Solar cells of this type are especially suited for applications on roofs, transport vehicles or mobile devices.
2 Sep 2021

Energy Harvesting Wooden Floors

Researchers from Switzerland are tapping into an unexpected energy source right under our feet: wooden floorings. Their nanogenerator enables wood to generate energy from our footfalls. They also improved the wood used in the their nanogenerator with a combination of a silicone coating and embedded nanocrystals, resulting in a device that was 80 times more efficient—enough to power LED lightbulbs and small electronics.
15 Jun 2021

The Biodegradable Battery

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. Researchers have developed a biodegradable mini-capacitor that can solve the problem. It consists of carbon, cellulose, glycerin and table salt. And it works reliably.
24 Mar 2021

Invisible "Keyhole" Made of Printed, Transparent Electronics

What initially looks like a simple transparent film conceals a whole new level of security. Invisible buttons are printed with conductive ink on the transparent carrier material, the position of which is known only to insiders. Such circuits can be connected to a door lock as an access code, for instance. If the buttons on the polymer film are pressed in the correct order, the door opens.
17 Mar 2021

Energy Harvesting Smart Floors

Researchers 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 require aggressive chemicals, naturally occurring wood-degrading fungi take over the task of modifying the wood.
18 Feb 2021

Aerogels 2021-2031: Technologies, Markets and Players

IDTechEx Report: Dr Richard Collins
2020
10 Dec 2020

Haptics 2021-2031: Technologies, Market & Players

IDTechEx Report: James Hayward
26 Oct 2020

Turning Streetwear Into Solar Power Plants

Researchers have succeeded in developing a material that works like a luminescent solar concentrator and can even be applied to textiles. This opens up numerous possibilities for producing energy directly where it is needed, i.e. in the use of everyday electronics.
10 Sep 2020

TwingTec

Twingtec was founded in 2013 as a spin-off from leading research and academic institutions in Switzerland. The company is based in Switzerland and at the time of writing has 9 employees. IDTechEx talked to CEO Dr. Rolf Luchsinger.
4 Sep 2020

Flisom

Flisom describes its flexible solar panels as customizable currently, meaning made to customer formats in their factory, developed in the Empa Photovoltaics Laboratory.
27 Aug 2020

Wood Based Biopaste for 3D Printing

A viscous biopaste that is easy to process, solidifies quickly and is suitable for producing even complex structures using the 3D printing process has been developed. The wood-based biodegradable synthetic could potentially be used in lightweight construction, amongst other things.
21 Jul 2020

Rock Star of Photovoltaics is CIGS

Estimates vary but we are certainly in $100 billion, 100GW territory with the booming photovoltaic market. The new IDTechEx report, "Electronics Reshaped 2020-2040" reveals solar market growth by new capabilities opening previously impossible applications.
2 Jul 2020

Emerging Photovoltaics: Materials Opportunity in New $38Bn Market

The new IDTechEx report, "Materials Opportunities in Emerging Photovoltaics 2020-2040", is based on interviews by multi-lingual, PhD level IDTechEx analysts across the world and 20 years tracking the research and applications. They predict $38 billion dollars in 2040 without colliding with the silicon-in-glass "power station" business. There will be many opportunities for premium pricing of its new specialist materials.
22 Jun 2020

Materials Opportunities in Emerging Photovoltaics 2020-2040

IDTechEx Report: Dr Peter Harrop and Dr Xiaoxi He
10 Jun 2020

Energy Harvesting Microwatt to Gigawatt: Opportunities 2020-2040

IDTechEx Report: Dr Peter Harrop and Dr Xiaoxi He
18 May 2020

Electronics Reshaped 2020-2040

IDTechEx Report: Dr Peter Harrop, Dr Richard Collins and Raghu Das
27 Apr 2020

Energy Harvesting for Electronic Devices 2020-2040

IDTechEx Report: Dr Peter Harrop, Dr Xiaoxi He and Raghu Das
8 Apr 2020

Distributed Generation: Off-Grid Zero-Emission kW-MW 2020-2040

IDTechEx Report: Dr Peter Harrop and Dr Xiaoxi He
3 Apr 2020

Printing Complex Cellulose Based Objects

Researchers have set a new world record: they 3D printed complex objects with higher cellulose content than that of any other additively manufactured cellulose-​based parts. To achieve this, they used a clever trick.
24 Mar 2020

Zero Emission Electric Vehicle Charging: Off-Grid 2020-2040

IDTechEx Report: Dr Peter Harrop