News HZB Synergy

Research Highlights

  • Laser light for writing and erasing information – a strong laser pulse disrupts the arrangement of atoms in an alloy and creates magnetic structures (left). A second, weaker, laser pulse allows the atoms to return to their original lattice sites (right). Image: Sander Münster / HZDR18.04.2018

    Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

    Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA have found a way to write and delete magnets in an alloy using a laser beam – a surprising effect. The reversibility of the process opens up new possibilities in the fields of material processing, optical technology, and data storage. [...].

  • The magnetosomes form a chain inside the bacteria's cell shows the electron cryotomography (ECT). Credit:10.1039/C7NR08493E16.04.2018

    BESSY II sheds light on how the internal compass is constructed in magnetotactic bacteria

    Bacteria exist in many shapes and with very different talents. Magnetotactic bacteria can even sense the earth’s magnetic field by making use of magnetic nanoparticles in their interior that act as an internal compass. Spanish teams and experts at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now examined the magnetic compass of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense at BESSY II. Their results may be helpful in designing actuation devices for nanorobots and nanosensors for biomedical applications. [...].

  • A synchrotron source point image of a bending magnet of the Twin Orbit modus. The second orbit closes after three revolution and is winding around the standard orbit at the center. Credit: HZB15.03.2018

    Twin Orbit operation successfully tested at BESSY II

    The first “Twin Orbit User Test week” at BESSY II in February 2018 was a big success and can be considered as an important step towards real user operation. Physicists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have been able to store two separate electron beams in one storage ring. The twin orbit operation mode can serve users with different needs of the time structure of the photon pulses simultaneously and offers elegant options regarding the future project BESSY VSR. [...].

  • Pencil, paper and co-polymer varnish are sufficient for a thermoelectrical device. Credit: HZB16.02.2018

    Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper

    Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest of components: a normal pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint are sufficient to convert a temperature difference into electricity via the thermoelectric effect. This has now been demonstrated by a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. [...].

  • The new building block (left, red outline) comprises two modified starting molecules connected to each other by a silver atom (blue). This leads to complex, semiregular tessellations (right, microscope image). Image: Klappenberger and Zhang / TUM23.01.2018

    User experiment at BESSY II: Complex tessellations, extraordinary materials

    Simple organic molecules form complex materials through self-organization

    An international team of researchers lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a reaction path that produces exotic layers with semiregular structures. These kinds of materials are interesting because they frequently possess extraordinary properties. In the process, simple organic molecules are converted to larger units which form the complex, semiregular patterns. With experiments at BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin this could be observed in detail. [...].

  • SEM-images of the different perovskite solar cell architectures, left with planar interface, right with mesoporous interface. Images are coloured: metal oxide (light blue), interface (red), perovskite (brown), hole conducting layer (dark blue), topped with contact (gold). Scale bar is 200 nm. Image: A. Gagliardi/TUM18.01.2018

    Perovskite solar cells: mesoporous interface mitigates the impact of defects

    The nominal cell operating life of perovskite solar cells is strongly influenced by their inner architecture.This was shown by two scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Munich. They combined experiments with numerical simulations in order to explain this observation. [...].

  • Simplified cross-section of a perovskite solar cell: the perovskite layer does not cover the entire surface, but instead exhibits holes. The scientists could show that a protective layer is being built up which prevents short circuits. Picture: HZB15.01.2018

    Perovskite solar cells: perfection not required!

    Experiments at BESSY II reveal why even inhomogeneous perovskite films are highly functional 

    Metal-organic perovskite layers for solar cells are frequently fabricated using the spin coating technique. If you follow the simplest synthesis pathway and use industry-relevant compact substrates, the perovskite layers laid down by spin coating generally exhibit numerous holes, yet attain astonishingly high levels of efficiency. The reason that these holes do not lead to significant short circuits between the front and back contact and thus high-rate charge carrier recombination has now been discovered by a HZB team headed by Dr.-Ing. Marcus Bär in cooperation with the group headed by Prof. Henry Snaith (Oxford Univ.) at BESSY II. [...].

  • A funny woolly hat protects the helmet from scratches (Image: Silvia Zerbe/HZB).)11.10.2017

    Knight helmets under the neutron beam

    It happens quite often that Nikolay Kardjilov has interesting guests. The HZB expert on neutron tomography is in demand worldwide, even when it comes to investigating valuable cultural treasures. Just recently, four knight helmets were waiting for its analysis. [...].

  • Image: HZB28.08.2017

    Solar hydrogen production by artificial leafs

    Scientists analysed how a special treatment improves cheap metal oxide photoelectrodes. [...].

  • Sequential tomography of a lupin root (yellowish green) after deuterated water (D2O) was introduced from below. The rising water front (H2O, dark blue) is displaced by the D2O from below over the course of time. The complete sequence can be viewed as a video (Created by Christian Tötzke, University of Potsdam)25.07.2017

    User research at BER II: Lupin roots observed in the act of catching water from soil – so far too quick for 3D views

    Lupins not only produce colourful blossoms but also nutritious beans rich in proteins. Just how these plants draw water approaching their roots in soil has now for the first time been observed in three dimensions by a University of Potsdam team at the HZB-BER II neutron source in Berlin. To accomplish this, they worked with the HZB imaging group to improve the temporal resolution of neutron tomography more than onehundred-fold so that a detailed 3D image was generated every ten seconds. This ultrafast neutron tomography is generally suitable as well for analyses of dynamic processes in porous materials. [...].

  • SEM-images of 3D graphene with different pore size (a,b,c, scale = 1μm). Optical properties (d,e,f) change with pore size (Credit: 10.1038/ncomms14885)18.05.2017

    Three-dimensional graphene: experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable

    An international research team has for the first time investigated the optical properties of three-dimensional nanoporous graphene at the IRIS infrared beamline of the BESSY II electron storage ring. The experiments show that the plasmonic excitations (oscillations of the charge density) in this new material can be precisely controlled by the pore size and by introducing atomic impurities. This could facilitate the manufacture of highly sensitive chemical sensors. [...].

Neutrons

  • A funny woolly hat protects the helmet from scratches (Image: Silvia Zerbe/HZB).)11.10.2017

    Knight helmets under the neutron beam

    It happens quite often that Nikolay Kardjilov has interesting guests. The HZB expert on neutron tomography is in demand worldwide, even when it comes to investigating valuable cultural treasures. Just recently, four knight helmets were waiting for its analysis. [...].

  • Sequential tomography of a lupin root (yellowish green) after deuterated water (D2O) was introduced from below. The rising water front (H2O, dark blue) is displaced by the D2O from below over the course of time. The complete sequence can be viewed as a video (Created by Christian Tötzke, University of Potsdam)25.07.2017

    User research at BER II: Lupin roots observed in the act of catching water from soil – so far too quick for 3D views

    Lupins not only produce colourful blossoms but also nutritious beans rich in proteins. Just how these plants draw water approaching their roots in soil has now for the first time been observed in three dimensions by a University of Potsdam team at the HZB-BER II neutron source in Berlin. To accomplish this, they worked with the HZB imaging group to improve the temporal resolution of neutron tomography more than onehundred-fold so that a detailed 3D image was generated every ten seconds. This ultrafast neutron tomography is generally suitable as well for analyses of dynamic processes in porous materials. [...].

Photons

  • Laser light for writing and erasing information – a strong laser pulse disrupts the arrangement of atoms in an alloy and creates magnetic structures (left). A second, weaker, laser pulse allows the atoms to return to their original lattice sites (right). Image: Sander Münster / HZDR18.04.2018

    Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

    Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA have found a way to write and delete magnets in an alloy using a laser beam – a surprising effect. The reversibility of the process opens up new possibilities in the fields of material processing, optical technology, and data storage. [...].

  • The magnetosomes form a chain inside the bacteria's cell shows the electron cryotomography (ECT). Credit:10.1039/C7NR08493E16.04.2018

    BESSY II sheds light on how the internal compass is constructed in magnetotactic bacteria

    Bacteria exist in many shapes and with very different talents. Magnetotactic bacteria can even sense the earth’s magnetic field by making use of magnetic nanoparticles in their interior that act as an internal compass. Spanish teams and experts at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now examined the magnetic compass of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense at BESSY II. Their results may be helpful in designing actuation devices for nanorobots and nanosensors for biomedical applications. [...].

  • A synchrotron source point image of a bending magnet of the Twin Orbit modus. The second orbit closes after three revolution and is winding around the standard orbit at the center. Credit: HZB15.03.2018

    Twin Orbit operation successfully tested at BESSY II

    The first “Twin Orbit User Test week” at BESSY II in February 2018 was a big success and can be considered as an important step towards real user operation. Physicists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have been able to store two separate electron beams in one storage ring. The twin orbit operation mode can serve users with different needs of the time structure of the photon pulses simultaneously and offers elegant options regarding the future project BESSY VSR. [...].

  • BESSY II - New kitchen and break area. [Photo: HZB/P. Dera]24.01.2018

    BESSY II – New kitchen for users and employees

    At the start of 2018, we were all greeted with a new kitchen and break area on the first floor of BESSY II, in Adlershof. The final touches have now been put in place and the kitchen is in full use. [...].

  • The new building block (left, red outline) comprises two modified starting molecules connected to each other by a silver atom (blue). This leads to complex, semiregular tessellations (right, microscope image). Image: Klappenberger and Zhang / TUM23.01.2018

    User experiment at BESSY II: Complex tessellations, extraordinary materials

    Simple organic molecules form complex materials through self-organization

    An international team of researchers lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a reaction path that produces exotic layers with semiregular structures. These kinds of materials are interesting because they frequently possess extraordinary properties. In the process, simple organic molecules are converted to larger units which form the complex, semiregular patterns. With experiments at BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin this could be observed in detail. [...].

  • A look into the lab where the components of the electron source were tested.08.01.2018

    Milestone reached: electron source for bERLinPro produces its first beam

    On the HZB Adlershof campus, researchers are building a prototype of an energy-recovery linear accelerator (bERLinPro). Intensive research has been going on for years to develop the worldwide unique key components required for this accelerator. Now, the scientists and engineers have reached a very important milestone: from the interactions between cathode, laser pulse and electric field inside the cavity, the first electrons have been produced and accelerated. [...].

  • Guiding the X-rays from Undulator UE48 in the BESSY II experimental hall to the CAT experiment in the Energy Materials in-situ Lab EMIL@BESSY (Photo: HZB/David Ausserhofer).12.10.2017

    Breakthrough at EMIL: First undulator radiation in the CAT experiment

    When the EMIL laboratory (Energy-Materials In-Situ Laboratory Berlin) was ceremoniously inaugurated a year ago in the presence of Federal Minister for Research Johanna Wanka, it was a major milestone for energy materials research at HZB. Ever since, HZB has been building the system that will bring X-ray beams all the way from BESSY II to the EMIL apparatuses. Until the BESSY light is fully available, the scientists have been working with X-rays from a conventional laboratory source. Now, the beamline operators have succeeded in guiding the X-rays from Undulator UE48 in the BESSY II experimental hall to the CAT experiment in the EMIL laboratory. There, it was quantitatively measured using a focus measuring chamber. [...].

  • SEM-images of 3D graphene with different pore size (a,b,c, scale = 1μm). Optical properties (d,e,f) change with pore size (Credit: 10.1038/ncomms14885)18.05.2017

    Three-dimensional graphene: experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable

    An international research team has for the first time investigated the optical properties of three-dimensional nanoporous graphene at the IRIS infrared beamline of the BESSY II electron storage ring. The experiments show that the plasmonic excitations (oscillations of the charge density) in this new material can be precisely controlled by the pore size and by introducing atomic impurities. This could facilitate the manufacture of highly sensitive chemical sensors. [...].

  • Comparison of the same specimen at the old Beamline (left) and the new HZB-XM-Beamline (right) (Credit: HZB).03.05.2017

    X-Ray microscopy: HZB-TXM is back in operation

    The X-ray microscope (HZB-TXM) is back in operation. The TXM offers significantly better quality images compared to the former X-ray microscopy station. [...].

Events and Dates

  • The HZB experiment EDDI at BESSY II (Credit: HZB).12.10.2017

    Announcement: EDDI (farewell) Workshop

    After 14 years of successful user operation, EDDI will shutdown in August 2018. We decided to take this as an occasion to organize an EDDI (farewell) workshop. [...].

  • 01.09.2017

    CALIPSOplus - Convenient Access to Light Sources Open to Innovation, Science and to the World.

    The EU is providing ten million euros in funding for the project CALIPSOplus, submitted by 19 European light sources. The project consortium, of which Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is a member, kicked off on May 2017. CALIPSOplus is aimed at promoting the international exchange of scientists and transnational access to the light sources in Europe. Other priorities are to integrate the relatively less active regions of Europe and to initiate research projects with small and mid-sized companies. [...].

General

  • (Image: pixabay)27.04.2018

    New version of our user access tool GATE

    We are currently working on a new version of our central web-based user tool GATE, the general access tool to the experimental infrastructure of HZB. The changes are very extensive and the workload is comparable to a brand new development. [...].

  • The review panel of the research field "Matter" visited the HZB on 11th January 2018. Photo. HZB/J. Bierbaum19.04.2018

    Results of evaluation by international panel of experts: support for HZB’s future, calls for rapid planning of BESSY III

    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has received an evaluation of “excellent” in a review of science programmes undertaken at all Helmholtz Research Centres. This provides the foundation for future financing of HZB.

    Two committees of leading international scientists visited the HZB for a week each at the beginning of this year. They evaluated the HZB's contributions to the Helmholtz programmes in the research areas of “Matter” and “Energy”. Now the written evaluations are available. The team spirit of all employees involved in the HZB was particularly emphasised. [...].

  • By using independent flexible module tables various solar module samples can be installed under different orientations at the same time.22.03.2018

    Investigation of solar modules under "real" conditions - The outdoor test bed

    At the outdoor test bed we investigate the characteristics of solar mini modules under operating conditions. During the course of the year the modules are exposed to snow and freeze as well as to hot temperatures and a varying spectral irradiance.

    [...].

  • A synchrotron source point image of a bending magnet of the Twin Orbit modus. The second orbit closes after three revolution and is winding around the standard orbit at the center. Credit: HZB15.03.2018

    Twin Orbit operation successfully tested at BESSY II

    The first “Twin Orbit User Test week” at BESSY II in February 2018 was a big success and can be considered as an important step towards real user operation. Physicists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have been able to store two separate electron beams in one storage ring. The twin orbit operation mode can serve users with different needs of the time structure of the photon pulses simultaneously and offers elegant options regarding the future project BESSY VSR. [...].

  • Benjamin Rotenberg is a guest researcher at the HZB-Institute for Solar Fuels in 2018. Photo:CNRS/Cyril Fresillon23.02.2018

    Guest researcher at HZB: Bessel Prize Winner Benjamin Rotenberg

    Prof. Benjamin Rotenberg has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for 2018 and will be spending time regularly as a guest researcher at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Rotenberg is a researcher of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and heads a research group in Sorbonne Université in Paris. He works in an interdisciplinary area spanning physics and chemistry for modelling transport processes in materials, at interfaces, and in electrolytes. [...].

  • The review panel of the research field "Matter" visited the HZB on 11th January 2018.05.02.2018

    HZB passed the scientific evaluations successfully

    In January 2018, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin was evaluated in the scope of the Helmholtz Association’s programme-oriented funding (POF) review in the two research fields of “Matter” and “Energy”. The members of the review panels were internationally experienced scientists. From what we have already heard back from the review panels, the research achievements of HZB in both research fields were presented very convincingly. [...].

  • BESSY II - New kitchen and break area. [Photo: HZB/P. Dera]24.01.2018

    BESSY II – New kitchen for users and employees

    At the start of 2018, we were all greeted with a new kitchen and break area on the first floor of BESSY II, in Adlershof. The final touches have now been put in place and the kitchen is in full use. [...].

  • Oxford PV – The Perovskite Company's industrial site in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany where the company is working rapidly to transfer its advanced perovskite on silicon tandem solar cell technology to an industrial scale process. Credit: Oxford PV09.01.2018

    Oxford PV collaborates with HZB to move perovskite solar cells closer to commercialisation

    Perovskite solar technology leader Oxford PV collaborates with leading German research centre to support the accelerated transfer of its technology into silicon cell manufacturing lines. [...].

  • A look into the lab where the components of the electron source were tested.08.01.2018

    Milestone reached: electron source for bERLinPro produces its first beam

    On the HZB Adlershof campus, researchers are building a prototype of an energy-recovery linear accelerator (bERLinPro). Intensive research has been going on for years to develop the worldwide unique key components required for this accelerator. Now, the scientists and engineers have reached a very important milestone: from the interactions between cathode, laser pulse and electric field inside the cavity, the first electrons have been produced and accelerated. [...].

  • A banana contains naturally occuring radioactive material in <br /> the form of potassium-40 (Photo: Creative Commons License)01.09.2017

    Do you know the "Banana equivalent dose"?

    Banana equivalent dose (BED) is an informal measurement of ionizing radiation exposure, intended as a general educational example to compare a dose of radioactivity to the dose one is exposed to by eating one average-sized banana. Bananas contain naturally occurring radioactive isotopes, particularly potassium. [...].

  • This optical zone melting furnace produces large single crystals (Credit: M. Setzpfandt/HZB).19.06.2017

    New at Campus Wannsee: CoreLab Quantum Materials

    HZB has expanded its series of CoreLabs for energy materials research. In addition to the five established CoreLabs, it has now set up a CoreLab for Quantum Materials. A research team from the HZB Institute for Quantum Phenomena in New Materials is responsible for the CoreLab and its modern equipment. The CoreLab is also open to experimenters from other research institutes.
    [...].

  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech becomes provisional Scientific Director of the HZB on May 1, 2017 (Photo: HZB).27.04.2017

    Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech becomes provisional Scientific Director of the HZB on May 1, 2017

    Following the succession of long-serving Scientific Director Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla to President of TU Braunschweig, the Supervisory Board of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has appointed Prof. Bernd Rech as provisional Scientific Director. He assumes this position as of May 1, 2017. Bernd Rech has headed the Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics at the HZB since 2006 and is highly esteemed worldwide as an expert in renewable energies. [...].