Since its creation more than 65 years ago, ESM has fostered industrial materials research related to critical elements. Over 2 Mio CHF have been granted to projects in fields where less common elements play a crucial role (physics, materials science, engineering, etc). Typically, the funding covers:

Most of these funds were given to beneficiaries within the ETH Domain. Additional funding was provided to recipients of other Swiss universities and to young scientists supporting their work experience in other laboratories in Europe, Asia or USA.

Projects in Progress

  • Education Project SusCritMat

    Learning program on sustainable management of critical raw materials.

  • IRTC – International Round Table on Materials Criticality

    Internationalization project on Criticality



Studies & Reports

  • Service Capacity of Molybdenum

    German study conducted by Fraunhofer IWKS Augsburg – authors Jörg Nispel, Karina Fries, Rebecca Hentschel, Gert Homm, Armin Reller

  • Service Capacity of Cobalt

    German study conducted by Fraunhofer IWKS Augsburg – authors Jörg Nispel, Karina Fries, Rebecca Hentschel, Gert Homm, Armin Reller

  • Tungsten

    Report about Tungsten by Mehdi Sadegh Ahmadi (EPFL, Empa Dübendorf), supervised by ESM

  • Industry Survey

    Survey about rare metals conducted within the Swiss industry

  • New Brochure about Critical Metals

    “Critical Metals: How the Swiss industry can take precautions”



Supported Dissertations

Thesis author
2017 A. El Shimy Dr. V. Moreau, Energy Center, EPFL  

Competition for Energy Metals (Masters thesis)

2000-2003 A. Spiegel

Prof. P. Schmuki, University of Erlangen, and Prof. Heinrich Hofmann, EPF Lausanne


Selektive Metallabscheidung auf ionenimplantierten Oberflächen

2001-2002 A. Kündig

Prof. P. Uggowitzer, ETHZ, Prof. A. Dommann, NTB Buchs, Prof. Speidel, ETHZ


Bulk Metallic Glasses for Micromechanical Systems

1998-2001 B. Peter Dr. S. Mischler, EPFL  

Biotribologie d’implants en titane: Simulation 

1998-2001 C. Curty Prof. S. Virtanen, ETH Zürich  

Lokale Korrosion von Ti, Zr und Ti-Legierungen

1998-2001 Y. Müller Prof. S. Virtanen, ETH Zürich   Passivschichten auf Titan



ESM Fellowships

Project Title
2010-2011 M. Russo Prof. P. Smith and Prof. W. Cesari, Department of Materials, ETH Zürich  

Hybrid materials of titanium oxide hydrates and polymers with a view to optical applications

2009-2011 L. Duarte

Dr. Christian Leinenbach and Laboratory for Joining and Interface Technology, Empa Dübendorf

  (Ni, Ti)-Al-Ge alloys for brazing of advanced alumina
2008-2009 N.C. Woo Prof. R. Spolenak, Laboratory of Metallurgy, ETH Zürich   Superplasticity in Thin Films



Research Support

Research group

Dr. S. Mischler, Prof. H. Hofmann, EPFL


Bioactive Nanostructured Implant Surfaces 


Prof. P. Uggowitzer, ETHZ; Prof. Löffler, ETHZ; Prof. M. Textor, ETHZ, Dr. P. Schmutz, EMPA; Prof. A. Domman, NTB

  Mikrostrukturierte metallische Gläser für die Medizintechnik
2000-2001 Prof. H. Hofmann, EPFL; Prof. D. Rüfenacht, University Hospital of Geneva; Prof. F. Baumgartner, NTB; Prof. B. von Rechenberg, Tierspital Zürich  

Suparparamagnetic particle in an artificial material (bone cement, polymer) for cancer treatment by hyperthermia methods

1999-2002 Prof. S. Virtanen, ETHZ; Dr. S. Mischler, EPFL; Prof. B. von Rechenberg, Tierspital Zürich  

Biocorrosion and Biotribology of Titanium Implants: Effect of Anodic Oxide Films on their Biologic Environment and the Influence of Local Tissue Homeostasis on the Implants

1996-2000 Naturhistorisches Museum Bern  

Project Sumifos

1995-1998 Prof. H. Hofmann, EPFL  

Entwicklung neuer Herstellungsmethoden anorganischer Metallverbindungen für funktionelle Werkstoffe

1995-1998 Prof. M. Textor, ETHZ  

Modifizierung der technischen Eigenschaften von Aluminium-Oberflächen durch Gallium und Indium

1995-1996 Naturhistorisches Museum Bern    Support of activities in the group Lengenbach, Binntal Wallis




Public-private partnership projects