Empa (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) can trace its orgins to the end of the 19th century, and currently employs about 1000 people at three sites in Switzerland. The research priorities are: nanostructured materials, natural resources and pollutants, health and efficiency, materials for energy technologies and the sustainable built environment.

The Laboratory for Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures http://www.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/*/56138 within Empa focuses on how material properties change on small scales, and works at producing new materials, and on the development of instrumentation to measure the properties of these (nano-)materials. The laboratory works closely with industry to develop e.g. thin films, watch parts, solar cells and measurement instruments.

Dr. Johann Michler http://www.empa.ch/plugin/template/empa/357/*/—/l=/uacc=mij128 is the head of the laboratory and responsible for Empa’s participation in the UnivSEM project. A materials scientist with over 150 publications, his current research interest is the scale dependent mechanical properties of materials. He has been involved in the development of mass spectrometric instrumentation for nanomaterials since 2001 (four EU projects and three nationally funded projects with Swiss companies).

Dr. James Whitbyis leading the implementation of the UnivSEM project at Empa. He has over 18 years post-doctoral experience of time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and has worked in various application areas using and developing complex instrumentation in international projects (including isotope ratio mass spectrometry to determine the age of meteorites, a laser altimeter for space exploration, mass spectrometry to measure thin films and nanostructures). Along the way he acquired a Guinness Book of Records award for ‘discovery of the most ancient water in universe’ in a meteorite. British by birth, he has now lived in Switzerland for over ten years.Linkedin entry: http://ch.linkedin.com/pub/james-whitby/24/64/398
Dr. Deborah Alberts joined Empa in 2012 after completing her PhD on ’New applications of continuous and pulsed radiofrequency optical emission glow discharge spectroscopy for the analysis of advanced materials’ from the chemistry department at the University of Oviedo in Spain. She is using FIB-SIMS to map the composition of thin films and nanomaterials from Empa and collaborating research groups, as well as studying the FIB-SIMS measurement process itself. (Part of UnivSEM till 2013) Linkedin entry: http://ch.linkedin.com/pub/deborah-alberts/14/a7a/176
Dr. Lex Pillatsch  joined Empa in July 2013 as a post-doc, bringing with him very useful experience in using chemically active ion beams and gases to enhance secondary ion yields from the well-known SIMS group at CRP Gabriel Lippmann in Luxembourg.Linkedin entry:http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lex-pillatsch/63/94/920
Mr Leandro von Werra  is studying for a degree in physics at the ETH Zürich university. Since March 2013 he also has a 20% position at Empa where he is supporting the development of software (including multivariate statistical methods) to manipulate and display TOFSIMS data.