Laboratory for Functional Polymers

The Laboratory for Functional Polymers is devoted to research and development at the forefront of novel organic materials and polymers with unique functional properties, designed to enable future technologies.

We synthesize organic dyes from which we develop devices for applications in machine vision, imaging up-conversion from near infrared to visible light, sensing, photovoltaics and light-emission. Our synthesis of novel elastomers with high dielectric constant leads to ultra-soft electromechanical actuators to be used in artificial muscles, stretchable sensing, haptic interfaces and energy harvesting. We formulate functional inks and explore printing and coating processes for actuators, solar cells, transistors, batteries and supercapacitors.

It is our aim to promote technology transfer and to participate in research and development projects with our industrial partners, taking advantage of our competences in polymer science and technology as well as synthesis. We also offer services to our industrial customers in the field of polymer technology, failure analysis of plastics as well as chemical and physical analysis.

The laboratory is organized into three research groups. The group Structured Organic Films for Functional Devices focusses on designing and building opto-electronic devices. The main emphasis of the Functional Polymeric Materials group is on elastomeric materials and their applications. The group Functional Thin Film Solution Processing is dealing with printing processes for manufacturing and scale-up, as well as exploiting self-assembly inherent to solution processing.


Bettina Badertscher
Tel- + 41 58 765 39 58


Empa Materials Science & Technology
Laboratory for Functional Polymers
Überlandstrasse 129
CH-8600 Dübendorf