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Research and Development Platform HEMF

HEMF research projects at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Within the framework of HEMF the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin established new laboratories for the production of perovskite thin films, catalytically active nanoparticles and thin films for solar fuels. In addition and complementary to this new laboratories we also set up facilities for synthesis and nanostructuring of conventionally and novel energy materials.

Our activities are grouped according to the following categories:

  • Materials Synthesis
  • Method Development
  • Device Fabrication and Testing

Our HEMF facilities are available at both HZB sites in Berlin-Wannsee and Berlin-Adlershof. Everything you want to know about the two HZB sites, can be found at our on-site pages, including directions for visiting. For more detailed information we kindly ask you to get in contact with the responsible instrument scientists.

Materials Synthesis

Component Fabrication

HySPRINT (Hybrid Silicon Perovskite Research, Integration & Novel Technologies) is a platform for cooperation with industrial partners where novel materials and energy-efficient process technologies for application fields such as solar energy conversion and sensor technology are being developed. Focus is on perovskite/silicon hybrid technology, liquid phase crystallisation of silicon, nanoimprint lithography, and prototyping using 3D micro-contacting techniques.

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HySPRINT (Hybrid Silicon Perovskite Research, Integration & Novel Technologies)

Dr. Stefan Gall HySPRINT Adlershof

Solar Fuel Devices Facility

Dr. Sonya Calnan

Dr. Fatwa Firdaus Abdi




Nanostructured Films

The glancing angle deposition system (GLAD) offers the possibility to make large-area (>50 cm2) nanostructured arrays in a fast and controlled fashion by using various physical vapor deposition methods in glancing-angle geometry. A wide range of metal and metal oxide thin films can be deposited with simultaneous control of the chemical composition and 3D nanostructure for various applications in energy production and storage.

To create material libraries of multinary semiconductor compounds like nitrides, sulfides or chalcogenides we built up a new laboratory for the combinatorial synthesis of energy materials (CSEM). Centerpiece of this new laboratory is a pulsed laser deposition system (PLD). Various analytical techniques like X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD), THz spectroscopy and microscopy complete our new CSEM laboratory.   


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PECVD cluster as part of the Silicon/Perovskite Tandem Facility

Dr. Bernd Stannowski

PECVD Adlershof
Multi-Target Glancing Angle Magneton Sputtering for Solar Fuels

Dipl.-Ing. Karsten Harbauer

 GLAD Wannsee
Combinatorial Materials Synthesis Laboratory and PLD system

Dr. Thomas Unold

 CSEM/PLD Wannsee
CSEM Analytics (XRF and XRD)

Dr. Michael Tovar

X-Ray CoreLab Wannsee

Nanoparticle Synthesis

Our nanoparticle synthesis capabilities are proposed for the synthesis and scale-up of nanoparticles for energy materials based on “colloidal route”. Colloidal particles, including metal nanoparticles, metal oxide nanoparticles, inorganic sulfur nanoparticles, and functional polymer colloids, can be fabricated with defined shape and morphology by controlling synthesis parameters, crystallites size and chemical composition, which can applied for applications in solar cells, solar fuels, Li-S batteries, supercapacitors and gas sensors.

The second project in "Nanoparticles Synthesis" is a laboratory for the synthesis and evaluation of catalysts for the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide. The synthetic emphasis is on electrochemical deposition techniques, with the capability of deposition onto porous gas diffusion electrodes for use in high current reactors. The laboratory features state-of-the-art gas chromatography and electrochemical mass spectrometry for the on-line analysis of gaseous and liquid chemical products resulting from conversion of carbon dioxide.


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Nanoparticles Synthesis Capabilities

Prof. Dr. Yan Lu

Nanoreactors Wannsee

Catalyst Development for CO2 Reduction

Dr. Matthew Mayer Catalyst Development Wannsee


Methode Development

Some of our synthesis facilities are interfacing with the synchrotron analytics beamlines at BESSY II and EMIL (Energy Materials In-Situ Laboratory Berlin), to allow extensive investigations of structural and electronic properties of these materials even during growth.

NAP-HAXPES, our new near ambient pressure hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy endstation at BElChem (Berlin Joint Lab for Electrochemical Interfaces) offers the unique possibility to monitor how the chemical and electronic structure changes during thin film growth under a wide range of growth conditions. It is complemented by a new synthesis module - also compatible with the CAT@EMIL endstation - in which solution-phase growth of nanoparticles can be monitored in-situ using liquid jet and/or droplet trains.

XES@EMIL, a modular experimental infrastructure that together with a roll-up HiTS spectrometer allows for the XES and RIXS study of gases, liquids, and solid-state sample in gases and/or liquids at real atmospheric pressures.

METRIXS, a momentum and energy transfer resonant inelastic X-ray scattering setup is a photon-in/photon-out technique, allowing ambient and near ambient conditions as well as UHV and liquid conditions. METRIXS allows to explore molecular complexes, nanoparticle colloids as well as thin films in both solid and liquid aggregate states.



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NAP-HAXPES - Near Ambient Pressure Hard X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

Dr. David Starr

JointLab BElChem

STXM@EMIL - Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscope

Prof. Dr. Simone Raoux

Dr. Markus Weigand

XES@EMIL for In-Situ Studies

Dr. Regan Wilks

Dr. Raul Garcia-Diez 

Prof. Dr. Marcus Bär

METRIXS - Momentum and Energy Transfer Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering Dr. Annette Pietzsch METRIXS Adlershof


Device Fabrication and Testing

Device Testing

The solar fuel testing facility offers a unique possibility to carry out long-term (>100 hrs) performance, stability and efficiency measurements on large-area (≤10 cm2) photoelectrodes and devices under realistic and compareable conditions. Initial efforts focus on water splitting and e.g. CO2 reduction.

High sensitivity in-operando EPR allows defect mapping in energy materials and devices. We offer also operando studies of thin film growth processes with EPR-on-a-Chip (EPRoC) and Electrically Detected Magnetic Resonance-on-a-chip (EDMRoC).

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Solar Fuel Testing Facility                                    

Dr. Peter Bogdanoff

Dr. Abdelkrim Chemseddine

 SFTF Wannsee
In-Operando EPR

Prof. Dr. Klaus Lips

Dr. Boris Naydenov

Silvio Künstner

 EPR Lab

Thermoelectric Materials Development and Characterisation

Within the HEMF platform a laboratory for material synthesis and rapid evaluation of synthesis routes has been established for the study of thermoelectric compounds. It focuses on the development of novel materials employing new synthesis routes and new optimization strategies for higher thermoelectric efficiency. The laboratory offers an atmospherically controlled spark plasma sintering (SPS) machine for material synthesis of a wide range of material classes as well as equipment for characterization of the material properties such as Seebeck coefficient, electrical and thermal conductivity which are relevant for thermoelectric applications. The lab is open for internal as well as external users. Full user support will be offered upon request.

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Atmospherically controlled Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) Dr. Danny Kojda SPS Wannsee
Seebeck Analysis

Dr. Danny Kojda

SBA Wannsee
3omega-setup (thermal conductivity)         

Dr. Danny Kojda

3ω Wannsee
Potential-Seebeck-Microprobe (PSM)

Dr. Danny Kojda

PSM Wannsee