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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2020
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.
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.
6 Mar 2020

Urban Use of Ultralight Flexible CIGS Thin Film Solar Cell

CIGS thin film solar cell: A kind of next-generation thin-film solar cell that can be fabricated on glass or (flexible) plastic substrate. This kind of solar cell shows high conversion efficiencies even with very a thin absorber layer with 1-2 μm thickness.
2 Mar 2020

Thin-Film Solar Cells Generate as Much Energy as Traditional Ones

Scientists have become the first to achieve an energy efficiency of 25 percent with a thin-film solar cell. This means that this wafer-thin solar cell generates as much energy as a traditional silicon solar cell.
2019
19 Aug 2019

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 2019

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 2019

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 2017

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 2017

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 2017

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 2017

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 2017

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 2017

World's largest electric vehicle

A Swiss consortium of companies is constructing the largest electric vehicle in the world - in record time.
16 Aug 2017

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 2017

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.