The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) is a sister institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (ETHZ) and counts currently a total of about 860 employees. Empa’s main function is to mediate knowledge between basic science and applied research by furthering suitable technologies towards new and improved applications. The institute takes on a bridging function between pure academia and industry. The Laboratory of Building Science and Technology and the Wood Laboratory both belong to the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at EMPA. These two laboratories will closely collaborate in the AeroCoins project to elaborate silica aerogels reinforced with functional cellulose nanofibers.

Role&Expertise: Synthesis and characterization of superinsulating silica aerogels, development of organic/inorganic composite materials and fiber reinforced aerogel materials, upscaling of aerogel production, chemical functionalization and characterization of cellulose nanofibers.

Role&Expertise: Designing at laboratory scale  brand new strong superinsulating aerogel-like materials based on coupling cellulose and silica, characterisation and transfer to larger-scale.

Key Researchers:

  • Dr. Matthias Koebel,  R&D Project manager, AEROCOINs WP3 leader
  • Dr. Joanna Wong, R&D on silica aerogels
  • Dr. Philippe Tingaut,  R&D on cellulose nanofibers