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Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research


EMPA is a materials science and technology research institution. It belongs to the ETH domain and as such is an important element in education, science and innovation in Switzerland. It specializes in applications, focused research and development, and provides high-level services in the field of sustainable materials science and technology.
The key areas of EMPA’s research are grouped in five programs entitled Nanotechnology, Adaptive Materials Systems, Materials for Health and Performance, Materials for Energy Technologies and Technosphere – Atmosphere. Over 800 people work at its three sites in Dübendorf, St. Gallen and Thun. There are more than one hundred PhD candidates and hundred undergraduates.



Role of EMPA in the FAB2ASM project

In WP2, EMPA will investigate novel surface functionalization techniques using low cost and high throughput methods (PVD electroless, and electrodeposition) and fabrication of fiduciary alignment markers for VCSEL alignment. In WP4, EMPA helps to find permanent joining methods with short bonding time, low thermal damage and low cost as well as non-polluting joining processes. In WP5, EMPA will tests the soldering suitability of the joining materials and the physical properties (mechanical. Electrical and thermal) of the structuring surfaces. EMPA is leading WP4.


Key persons

Dr. Johann Michler has significant experience in thin film and nanowire characterisation techniques and published more than 100 journal articles. In 2000 he built up the Nanomechanics Laboratory at EMPA that is devoted to the measurement of electromechanical properties of surfaces and small devices, especially using in-situ SEM mechanical testing. Within the European project ROBOSEM, he built-up the SEM-based processing laboratory. His group consists of 6 scientists, 20 Post-docs, 2 engineers, and 5 PhD students.
Ivo Utke is group leader of the Nanostructuring Group at the Empa Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures in Thun. His group comprises presently four postdoctoral researchers and one PhD student funded by EU projects or Swiss fund agencies. He has significant expertise in nanotechnology and materials science, where he published over 45 peer reviewed journal articles with emphasis on maskless local focused electron and ion beam induced deposition of metals and dielectrics, on nanomanipulation, and on liquid phase epitaxy of semiconductors and oxides.


Johann Michler
Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures
EMPA-Materials Science & Technology Feuerwerkerstrasse 39
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research