The Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse Occidentale (HES-SO, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) with its 21’000 students spread in six faculties in domains ranging from Engineering to Music, is a reservoir of multidisciplinary skills, creativity and innovation. HES-SO is recognized by the Confederation and a member of swissuniversities. HES-SO is not only active in the field of higher education, but also plays a major role in applied sciences in the way of numerous national and international projects. It brings innovative solutions to meet industries needs, keeping in mind environmental, sociological and ecological concerns.

HES-SO pioneered two main technologies directly involved in the MAGENTA project. One field of expertise relevant for MAGENTA is the use of ionic liquids as active material for thermogenerators. HES-SO developed complete setups to characterize ionic liquid with respect to Seebeck coefficient and other physical properties. The results of those investigations is challenging our understanding of liquid-based thermogenerators.

In the scope of micro-nanosystems, HES-SO acquired an expertise on thin-film polymer deposition, more precisely the so-called Parylene (poly-paraxylylene), a chemically stable, conformal and biocompatible polymer. Parylene can also be deposited on liquid (SOLID technology – Solid on Liquid Deposition), a process patented by HES-SO. This technology will be used to encapsulate MAGENTA micro-thermogenerators.

HES-SO multidisciplinary teams will cooperate with MAGENTA’s consortium mainly in two workpackages. In the thermoelectric property characterization and optimization (WP5), HES-SO will bring its team’s know-how in the characterization of ionic liquid in laboratories setups to the other partners. Current extraction, electrode materials and supercapacitors, among other tasks, will be investigated. The prototype conception, design and validation (WP7) will also be part of HES-SO contribution. The team in-depth knowledge of SOLID technology will enable novel encapsulation of liquid-based micro-thermoelectrical generators, leading to the first functioning prototypes.

Project participants

Herbert KeppnerHerbert Keppner Dipl. Physicist PhD Prof. 

Professor for microtechnology at HES-SO

PhD in solid state physics, 30-year experience in solar cells physics and technology, 20-year experience in plasma physics and technology, general material science. Projects in the field of thermoelectricity since 12 years with solid state devices, since 6 years with ionic liquids for thermoelectric generators. Lectures: Micro-nano technologies (HES-SO), photovoltaics for Master HES-SO, Plasma technology at ENSMM (France), Biomedical Engineering (University of Bern). Coordinator of more than 30 national projects, coordinator of one FP6 and one FP7 projects, participation in one further FP6 Project. Professor Keppner has 150 publications in international journals, conference proceedings and books, and 15 patents (Science Direct h-index 32.99). He is also the leader of the Competence Centre of Micro-Nanotechnology at HES-SO.

Alexandra Homsy

Prof. PhD in microtechnology

Professor, specialist in microtechnology, fluidics and liquid handling.

Edith Laux

Dipl. Chemist

Specialist in organic chemistry, electro-chemistry and surface effects solid-liquid.

Stefanie Uhl

Electronic Engineer

Masters in biomedical engineering. Specialist in preparation of serial connection of liquids, device characterization and packaging.

Laure Jeandupeux

Diploma Microtechnology

Master in Biomedical Engineering. Specialist in micro-systems engineering, Solid on liquid deposition, device manufacturing, packaging.

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