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ETH Zurich articles

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Scanning tunnelling microscope for magnetic atoms

Scanning tunnelling microscope for magnetic atoms
Philosophers in ancient Greece already believed that matter is made up of atoms. Only about 35 years ago, however, were atoms actually observed for the first time – in Zurich. The scanning tunnelling microscope developed by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer allowed surfaces of materials to be investigated with a spatial resolution of less than one nanometre – enough to see individual atoms.
7th November 2017

Optoelectronics works without glass

Optoelectronics works without glass
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed the first opto-electronic circuit component that works without glass and is instead made of metal. The component, referred to as a modulator, converts electrical data signals into optical signals. It is smaller and faster than current modulators, and much easier and cheaper to make. Optical components for microelectronics must be made of glass.
3rd November 2017

The world's shortest laser pulse

The world's shortest laser pulse
In order to fully understand the dynamics during a chemical reaction, scientists must be able to study all movements of atoms and molecules on their basic time scale. Molecules rotate in the range of picoseconds (10-12 s), their atoms vibrate in the range of femtoseconds (10‑15 s), and the electrons move in the range of attoseconds (10-18 s). ETH professor Hans Jakob Wörner and his group have now succeeded in generating the world's shortest laser pulse with a duration of only 43 attoseconds.
27th October 2017

A miniature laser-like device for surface plasmons

A miniature laser-like device for surface plasmons
  When light is confined between two partially reflecting mirrors and amplified by some material in between them, the resulting beam can be extremely bright and of a single colour. This is the working principle of the laser, a tool used in all areas of modern life from the DVD player to the operating theatre.
17th October 2017

Holograms analyse molecules on a small chip

Holograms analyse molecules on a small chip
  Scientists at ETH Zurich and Roche have developed a completely new method for the analysis of molecules in liquids on a chip. The possible applications of this technology are immense. It has the potential, inter alia, to revolutionise medical diagnostics.
26th September 2017

Method creates cheaper frequency combs

Method creates cheaper frequency combs
A group of physicists at ETH in Zurich led by Ursula Keller at the Institute for Quantum Electronics have now demonstrated a seminal method that could lead to simpler and faster spectroscopic investigations in the future. For that purpose, they developed a novel technique for creating so-called dual frequency combs. The results have now been published in the scientific journal Science.
12th May 2017

Microscopy technique measures cellular strength

Microscopy technique measures cellular strength
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from ETH Zurich has developed a microscopy technique that allows researchers to measure in great detail the forces exerted by biological cells when they grow, change shape or move around. The technique is an advancement of traction force microscopy (TFM). With it, researchers are able to measure cell forces readily, directly and at a higher resolution than with previous methods.
30th September 2016

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