HZB Newsroom

  • All BESSY II instruments reconnected to the network
    News
    19.07.2024
    All BESSY II instruments reconnected to the network
    Thirteen months ago, HZB fell victim to a criminal cyberattack that also took BESSY II light source and the instruments in the experimental hall out of operation. BESSY II was up and running again after just three weeks and the instruments were gradually put back into operation. Now HZB can report some good news: All experimental stations are again integrated into the new IT networks and can record data.

  • HZB magazine lichtblick - the new issue is out!
    News
    09.07.2024
    HZB magazine lichtblick - the new issue is out!
    In his search for the perfect catalyst, HZB researcher Robert Seidel is now getting a tailwind – thanks to a ERC Consolidator Grant. In the cover story, we explain why the X-ray source BESSY II plays an important role for his research.

  • A new way to control the magnetic properties of rare earth elements
    Science Highlight
    17.07.2024
    A new way to control the magnetic properties of rare earth elements
    The special properties of rare earth magnetic materials are due to the electrons in the 4f shell. Until now, the magnetic properties of 4f electrons were considered almost impossible to control. Now, a team from HZB, Freie Universität Berlin and other institutions has shown for the first time that laser pulses can influence 4f electrons- and thus change their magnetic properties. The discovery, which was made through experiments at EuXFEL and FLASH, opens up a new way to data storage with rare earth elements.
  • BESSY II shows how solid-state batteries degrade
    Science Highlight
    09.07.2024
    BESSY II shows how solid-state batteries degrade
    Solid-state batteries have several advantages: they can store more energy and are safer than batteries with liquid electrolytes. However, they do not last as long and their capacity decreases with each charge cycle. But it doesn't have to stay that way: Researchers are already on the trail of the causes. In the journal ACS Energy Letters, a team from HZB and Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, presents a new method for precisely monitoring electrochemical reactions during the operation of a solid-state battery using photoelectron spectroscopy at BESSY II. The results help to improve battery materials and design.
  • A warm welcome: Summer students start at the HZB
    News
    03.07.2024
    A warm welcome: Summer students start at the HZB
    On 1 July 2024, 18 summer students from 15 nations started their work at HZB. Until 23 August, they will be supervised in various research teams and take on their own small project. For many students, this is their first contact with research.

  • From waste to value: The right electrolytes can enhance glycerol oxidation
    Science Highlight
    01.07.2024
    From waste to value: The right electrolytes can enhance glycerol oxidation
    When biomass is converted into biodiesel, huge amounts of glycerol are produced as a by-product. So far, however, this by-product has been little utilised, even though it could be processed into more valuable chemicals through oxidation in photoelectrochemical reactors. The reason for this: low efficiency and selectivity. A team led by Dr Marco Favaro from the Institute for Solar Fuels at HZB has now investigated the influence of electrolytes on the efficiency of the glycerol oxidation reaction. The results can help to develop more efficient and environmentally friendly production processes.
  • Small powerhouses for very special light
    Science Highlight
    27.06.2024
    Small powerhouses for very special light
    An international team presents the functional principle of a new source of synchrotron radiation in Nature Communications Physics. Steady-state microbunching (SSMB) allows to build efficient and powerful radiation sources for coherent UV radiation in the future. This is very attractive for applications in basic research as well in the semiconductor industry.
  • Long Night of Science: HZB was an attraction
    News
    25.06.2024
    Long Night of Science: HZB was an attraction
    On Saturday, 22 June 2024, HZB opened its doors at the Adlershof site and welcomed around 2200 visitors. 1038 people visited the IRIS research centre, where research from HZB was also presented. Around 250 HZB employees were on duty, some until midnight, to look after the many interested people, present experiments or talk about research.
  • New Method for Absorption Correction to Improve Dental Fillings
    Science Highlight
    24.06.2024
    New Method for Absorption Correction to Improve Dental Fillings
    A research team led by Dr. Ioanna Mantouvalou has developed a method to more accurately depict the elemental distributions in dental materials than previously possible. The used confocal micro-X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) analysis provides three-dimensional elemental images that contain distortions. These distortions occur when X-rays pass through materials of different densities and compositions. By utilizing micro-CT data, which provides detailed 3D images of the material structure, and chemical information from X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) experiments conducted in the laboratory (BLiX, TU Berlin) and at the synchrotron light source BESSY II, the researchers have improved the method.
  • HySPRINT Photovoltaics Lab inaugurated
    News
    20.06.2024
    HySPRINT Photovoltaics Lab inaugurated
    After around four years of renovation, photovoltaics research groups moved into their offices in Kekuléstraße on 20 June 2024. With the reopening, the building has also been given a new name that makes the research more visible: it is now called HySPRINT Photovoltaics Lab.

  • Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications (HIPOLE Jena) Inaugurated
    News
    19.06.2024
    Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications (HIPOLE Jena) Inaugurated
    On June 17, 2024, the Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications (HIPOLE Jena) was officially inaugurated in Jena in the presence of Wolfgang Tiefensee, Minister for Economy, Science, and Digital Society of the Free State of Thuringia. The institute was founded by the Helmholtz Center Berlin for Materials and Energy (HZB) in cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It is dedicated to developing sustainable polymer materials for energy technologies, which are expected to play a key role in the energy transition and support Germany’s goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2045.
  • Recruiting film is online!
    News
    19.06.2024
    Recruiting film is online!
     

    HZB has launched a new recruiting film to attract talented people from administration, IT and technology. In cooperation with an external film company, our HR department has produced a video with a lot of commitment and creativity that presents the unique opportunities and team spirit at our centre.

  • Step into the accelerator! Long Night of Science on 22 June from 5 p.m. to midnight
    News
    19.06.2024
    Step into the accelerator! Long Night of Science on 22 June from 5 p.m. to midnight
    This chaos in the photo should make sense? Sure - for many, many scientists from HZB, Berlin and all over the world! They come to the X-ray source BESSY II and hold their samples in its extremely bright beam of light. You can find out exactly how this works live on site during the Long Night of Science on 22 June. We invite you to marvel, ask questions and experiment!

  • “Research and development in times of war: not only possible, but crucial!”
    Interview
    18.06.2024
    “Research and development in times of war: not only possible, but crucial!”
    The Ukraine Recovery Conference took place in Berlin on 11 and 12 June. On a side-event representatives from Helmholtz, Fraunhofer and Leibniz discussed how research can contribute to the sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine.
    In this interview, Bernd Rech, scientific director at HZB, talks about the importance of research during the war and projects such as Green Deal Ukraina.

  • MXenes for energy storage: Chemical imaging more than just surface deep
    Science Highlight
    17.06.2024
    MXenes for energy storage: Chemical imaging more than just surface deep
    A new method in spectromicroscopy significantly improves the study of chemical reactions at the nanoscale, both on surfaces and inside layered materials. Scanning X-ray microscopy (SXM) at MAXYMUS beamline of BESSY II enables the investigation of chemical species adsorbed on the top layer (surface) or intercalated within the MXene electrode (bulk) with high chemical sensitivity. The method was developed by a HZB team led by Dr. Tristan Petit. The scientists demonstrated among others first SXM on MXene flakes, a material used as electrode in lithium-ion batteries.
  • New joint leadership for BESSY II
    News
    13.06.2024
    New joint leadership for BESSY II
    Andreas Jankowiak as new Technical Director and Facility Spokesperson Antje Vollmer share management responsibilities.

    Prof. Andreas Jankowiak has been appointed Technical Director of BESSY II with a term of office of three years as of 1 June 2024 by resolution of the HZB board of directors. Antje Vollmer will start her second term as BESSY II Facility Spokesperson on 1 July 2024. Together, they form the new management duo to coordinate the scientific and technical development of the BESSY II X-ray source on behalf of the HZB management.

  • Chilean President visits Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
    News
    12.06.2024
    Chilean President visits Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
    The President of Chile, Gabriel Boric Font, visited HZB on 11 June with a delegation of 50 people. Among the highlights of the evening were the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Chilean Corporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO) and HZB and a visit to BESSY II light source.
  • Alkanes, laser flashes and BESSY's X-ray vision
    Science Highlight
    31.05.2024
    Alkanes, laser flashes and BESSY's X-ray vision
    An international research team has succeeded in observing an intermediate step in the catalysis of alkanes. By understanding these reactions, existing catalysts can be optimized in the future and new ones found, for example to convert the greenhouse gas methane into valuable raw materials for industry.

  • Dynamic measurements in liquids now possible in the laboratory
    Science Highlight
    23.05.2024
    Dynamic measurements in liquids now possible in the laboratory
    A team of researchers in Berlin has developed a laboratory spectrometer for analysing chemical processes in solution - with a time resolution of 500 ps. This is of interest not only for the study of molecular processes in biology, but also for the development of new catalyst materials. Until now, however, this usually required synchrotron radiation, which is only available at large, modern X-ray sources such as BESSY II. The process now works on a laboratory scale using a plasma light source.
  • Key role of nickel ions in the Simons process discovered
    Science Highlight
    21.05.2024
    Key role of nickel ions in the Simons process discovered
    Researchers at the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and Freie Universität Berlin have discovered the exact mechanism of the Simons process for the first time. The interdisciplinary research team used the BESSY II light source at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin for this study.

  • Watching indium phosphide at work
    Science Highlight
    15.05.2024
    Watching indium phosphide at work
    Indium phosphide is a versatile semiconductor. The material can be used for solar cells, for hydrogen production and even for quantum computers – and with record-breaking efficiency. However, little research has been conducted into what happens on its surface. Researchers have now closed this gap and used ultra-fast lasers to scrutinise the dynamics of the electrons in the material.
  • Freeze casting - a guide to creating hierarchically structured materials
    Science Highlight
    25.04.2024
    Freeze casting - a guide to creating hierarchically structured materials
    Freeze casting is an elegant, cost-effective manufacturing technique to produce highly porous materials with custom-designed hierarchical architectures, well-defined pore orientation, and multifunctional surface structures. Freeze-cast materials are suitable for many applications, from biomedicine to environmental engineering and energy technologies. An article in "Nature Reviews Methods Primer" now provides a guide to freeze-casting methods that includes an overview on current and future applications and highlights characterization techniques with a focus on X-ray tomoscopy.
  • IRIS beamline at BESSY II extended with nanomicroscopy
    Science Highlight
    25.04.2024
    IRIS beamline at BESSY II extended with nanomicroscopy
    The IRIS infrared beamline at the BESSY II storage ring now offers a fourth option for characterising materials, cells and even molecules on different length scales. The team has extended the IRIS beamline with an end station for nanospectroscopy and nanoimaging that enables spatial resolutions down to below 30 nanometres. The instrument is also available to external user groups. 

  • A sculpture in front of BESSY II: The neuron accelerator
    News
    24.04.2024
    A sculpture in front of BESSY II: The neuron accelerator
    An art installation will be erected in front of the entrance to the BESSY building. The sculpture was chosen in a competion. It invites people to sit down and exchange ideas.
  • Cooperation with the Korea Institute of Energy Research
    News
    23.04.2024
    Cooperation with the Korea Institute of Energy Research
    On Friday, 19 April 2024, the Scientific Director of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Bernd Rech, and the President of the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), Yi Chang-Keun, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Daejeon (South Korea).
  • Clean cooking fuel with a great impact for southern Africa
    News
    19.04.2024
    Clean cooking fuel with a great impact for southern Africa
    Burning biomass for cooking causes harmful environmental and health issues. The German-South African GreenQUEST initiative is developing a clean household fuel. It aims to reduce climate-damaging CO2 emissions and to improve access to energy for households in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Quantsol Summer School 2024 - Call for Application
    News
    17.04.2024
    Quantsol Summer School 2024 - Call for Application
    Registration for Quantsol is now open!

    The International Summer School on Photovoltaics and New Concepts of Quantum Solar Energy Conversion (Quantsol) will be held in September 1-8, 2024 in Hirschegg, Kleinwalsertal, Austria. The school is organised by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Ilmenau. Applications can be submitted through the school’s homepage until Friday 31st of May 2024, 23.59h CET.

  • A simpler way to inorganic perovskite solar cells
    Science Highlight
    17.04.2024
    A simpler way to inorganic perovskite solar cells
    Inorganic perovskite solar cells made of CsPbI3 are stable over the long term and achieve good efficiencies. A team led by Prof. Antonio Abate has now analysed surfaces and interfaces of CsPbI3 films, produced under different conditions, at BESSY II. The results show that annealing in ambient air does not have an adverse effect on the optoelectronic properties of the semiconductor film, but actually results in fewer defects. This could further simplify the mass production of inorganic perovskite solar cells.
  • Spintronics: A new path to room temperature swirling spin textures
    Science Highlight
    16.04.2024
    Spintronics: A new path to room temperature swirling spin textures
    A team at HZB has investigated a new, simple method at BESSY II that can be used to create stable radial magnetic vortices in magnetic thin films.

  • BESSY II: How pulsed charging enhances the service time of batteries
    Science Highlight
    08.04.2024
    BESSY II: How pulsed charging enhances the service time of batteries
    An improved charging protocol might help lithium-ion batteries to last much longer. Charging with a high-frequency pulsed current reduces ageing effects, an international team demonstrated. The study was led by Philipp Adelhelm (HZB and Humboldt University) in collaboration with teams from the Technical University of Berlin and Aalborg University in Denmark. Experiments at the X-ray source BESSY II were particularly revealing.
  • Fuel Cells: Oxidation processes of phosphoric acid revealed by tender X-rays
    Science Highlight
    03.04.2024
    Fuel Cells: Oxidation processes of phosphoric acid revealed by tender X-rays
    The interactions between phosphoric acid and the platinum catalyst in high-temperature PEM fuel cells are more complex than previously assumed. Experiments at BESSY II with tender X-rays have decoded the multiple oxidation processes at the platinum-electrolyte interface. The results indicate that variations in humidity can influence some of these processes in order to increase the lifetime and efficiency of fuel cells. 
  • Best Innovator Award 2023 for Artem Musiienko
    News
    22.03.2024
    Best Innovator Award 2023 for Artem Musiienko
    Dr. Artem Musiienko has been awarded a special prize for his groundbreaking new method for characterising semiconductors. At the recent annual conference of the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) in Milan, Italy, he received the MCAA Award for the best innovation. Since 2023, Musiienko has been carrying out his research project with a postdoctoral fellowship from the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions in Antonio Abate's department, Novel Materials and Interfaces for Photovoltaic Solar Cells (SE-AMIP).
  • Sebastian Keckert wins Young Scientist Award for Accelerator Physics
    News
    21.03.2024
    Sebastian Keckert wins Young Scientist Award for Accelerator Physics
    Dr Sebastian Keckert has been awarded the Young Scientist Award for Accelerator Physics of the German Physical Society (DPG). The prize is endowed with 5000 euros and was presented to him on 21.03. during the spring conference in Berlin. It honours the physicist's outstanding achievements in the development of new superconducting thin-film material systems for cavities.

  • Fertilisation under the X-ray beam
    Science Highlight
    19.03.2024
    Fertilisation under the X-ray beam
    After the egg has been fertilized by a sperm, the surrounding egg coat tightens, mechanically preventing the entry of additional sperm and the ensuing death of the embryo. A team from the Karolinska Institutet has now gained this new insight through measurements at the X-ray light sources BESSY II, DLS and ESRF. 
  • Neutron experiment at BER II reveals new spin phase in quantum materials
    Science Highlight
    18.03.2024
    Neutron experiment at BER II reveals new spin phase in quantum materials
    New states of order can arise in quantum magnetic materials under magnetic fields. An international team has now gained new insights into these special states of matter through experiments at the Berlin neutron source BER II and its High-Field Magnet. BER II served science until the end of 2019 and has since been shut down. Results from data at BER II are still being published.

  • Where quantum computers can score
    Science Highlight
    15.03.2024
    Where quantum computers can score
    The travelling salesman problem is considered a prime example of a combinatorial optimisation problem. Now a Berlin team led by theoretical physicist Prof. Dr. Jens Eisert of Freie Universität Berlin and HZB has shown that a certain class of such problems can actually be solved better and much faster with quantum computers than with conventional methods.
  • The future of BESSY
    News
    07.03.2024
    The future of BESSY
    At the end of February 2024, a team at HZB published an article in Synchrotron Radiation News (SRN). They describe the next development goals for the light source as well as the BESSY II+ upgrade programme and the successor source BESSY III.

  • ERC Consolidator Grant for HZB researcher Robert Seidel
    News
    04.03.2024
    ERC Consolidator Grant for HZB researcher Robert Seidel
    Physicist Dr Robert Seidel has been awarded a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). Over the next five years, he will receive a total of two million euros for his research project WATER-X. Seidel will use state-of-the-art X-ray techniques at BESSY II to study nanoparticles in aqueous solution for the photocatalytic production of "green" hydrogen.
  • Unconventional piezoelectricity in ferroelectric hafnia
    Science Highlight
    26.02.2024
    Unconventional piezoelectricity in ferroelectric hafnia
    Hafnium oxide thin films are a fascinating class of materials with robust ferroelectric properties in the nanometre range. While their ferroelectric behaviour is extensively studied, results on piezoelectric effects have so far remained mysterious. A new study now shows that the piezoelectricity in ferroelectric Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 thin films can be dynamically changed by electric field cycling. Another ground-breaking result is a possible occurrence of an intrinsic non-piezoelectric ferroelectric compound. These unconventional features in hafnia offer new options for use in microelectronics and information technology.
  • Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin is a bicycle-friendly employer
    News
    21.02.2024
    Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin is a bicycle-friendly employer
    Since 2017, the German Cyclists' Federation (ADFC) has been awarding the EU-wide "Bicycle-Friendly Employer" certification. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has now been awarded the coveted silver seal. With this, the HZB wants to be even more attractive as an employer, especially for international applicants.

  • 14 parameters in one go: New instrument for optoelectronics
    Science Highlight
    21.02.2024
    14 parameters in one go: New instrument for optoelectronics
    An HZB physicist has developed a new method for the comprehensive characterisation of semiconductors in a single measurement. The "Constant Light-Induced Magneto-Transport (CLIMAT)" is based on the Hall effect and allows to record 14 different parameters of transport properties of negative and positive charge carriers. The method was tested now on twelve different semiconductor materials and will save valuable time in assessing new materials for optoelectronic applications such as solar cells.
  • Sodium-ion batteries: How doping works
    Science Highlight
    20.02.2024
    Sodium-ion batteries: How doping works
    Sodium-ion batteries still have a number of weaknesses that could be remedied by optimising the battery materials. One possibility is to dope the cathode material with foreign elements. A team from HZB and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has now investigated the effects of doping with Scandium and Magnesium. The scientists collected data at the X-ray sources BESSY II, PETRA III, and SOLARIS to get a complete picture and uncovered two competing mechanisms that determine the stability of the cathodes.
  • New HZB magazine lichtblick is out
    News
    16.02.2024
    New HZB magazine lichtblick is out
    The new HZB magazine lichtblick is out! Topics are: green hydrogen, construction projects and green construction for Ukraine, ... We invite you to browse through the online edition.

  • BESSY II: Molecular orbitals determine stability
    Science Highlight
    07.02.2024
    BESSY II: Molecular orbitals determine stability
    Carboxylic acid dianions (fumarate, maleate and succinate) play a role in coordination chemistry and to some extent also in the biochemistry of body cells. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed their electronic structures using RIXS in combination with DFT simulations. The results provide information not only on electronic structures but also on the relative stability of these molecules which can influence an industry's choice of carboxylate dianions, optimizing both the stability and geometry of coordination polymers.
  • Against anti-democratic endeavours
    News
    05.02.2024
    Against anti-democratic endeavours
    The Alliance of German Science Organisations, to which the Helmholtz Association also belongs, emphatically condemns any kind of anti-democratic and inhuman endeavours.

  • BESSY II: Local variations in the structure of High-Entropy Alloys
    Science Highlight
    30.01.2024
    BESSY II: Local variations in the structure of High-Entropy Alloys
    High-entropy alloys can withstand extreme heat and stress, making them suitable for a variety of specific applications. A new study at the X-ray synchrotron radiation source BESSY II has now provided deeper insights into the ordering processes and diffusion phenomena in these materials. The study involved teams from HZB, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, the University of Latvia and the University of Münster.
  • Higher measurement accuracy opens new window to the quantum world
    Science Highlight
    17.01.2024
    Higher measurement accuracy opens new window to the quantum world
    A team at HZB has developed a new measurement method that, for the first time, accurately detects tiny temperature differences in the range of 100 microkelvin in the thermal Hall effect. Previously, these temperature differences could not be measured quantitatively due to thermal noise. Using the well-known terbium titanate as an example, the team demonstrated that the method delivers highly reliable results. The thermal Hall effect provides information about coherent multi-particle states in quantum materials, based on their interaction with lattice vibrations (phonons).
  • Nachruf: Wir trauern um Hans-Anton Graf
    Nachricht
    15.01.2024
    Nachruf: Wir trauern um Hans-Anton Graf
    Wir trauern um unseren ehemaligen Kollegen und Leiter des BENSC-Nutzerbüros am damaligen Hahn-Meitner-Institut (HMI, später HZB Nutzerbüro Neutronen) Dr. Hans-Anton Graf. Er verstarb nach einem ereignisreichen Leben und längerer Krankheit am 30. Dezember 2023 im Alter von 78 Jahren. Hans-Anton Graf war 1977 bis 2010 in der Neutronenforschung am HMI/HZB tätig.
  • Prof. Dr. Yan Lu: Developing new types of batteries sustainably
    News
    12.01.2024
    Prof. Dr. Yan Lu: Developing new types of batteries sustainably
    Yan Lu is appointed new Professor of Hybrid Materials for Electrochemical Energy Storage and Conversion at Friedrich Schiller University Jena together with HZB. Congratulations!
  • Focused ion beam technology: a single tool for a wide range of applications
    Science Highlight
    11.01.2024
    Focused ion beam technology: a single tool for a wide range of applications
    Processing materials on the nanoscale, producing prototypes for microelectronics or analysing biological samples: The range of applications for finely focused ion beams is huge. Experts from the EU collaboration FIT4NANO have now reviewed the many options and developed a roadmap for the future. The article, published in “Applied Physics Review”, is aimed at students, users from industry and science as well as research policy makers.
  • Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum 90. Geburtstag, Professor Eichler!
    Nachricht
    01.01.2024
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum 90. Geburtstag, Professor Eichler!
    Prof. Jörg Eichler war von 1971 bis 1973 wissenschaftlicher Geschäftsführer des Hahn-Meitner-Instituts (HMI), aus dem später zusammen mit BESSY das HZB entstanden ist.  Am 1. Januar 2024 feierte Prof. Jörg Eichler nun seinen 90sten Geburtstag. Das HZB sendet herzliche Glückwünsche.

  • Green hydrogen: Perovskite oxide catalysts analysed in an X-ray beam
    Science Highlight
    21.12.2023
    Green hydrogen: Perovskite oxide catalysts analysed in an X-ray beam
    The production of green hydrogen requires catalysts that control the process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. However, the structure of the catalyst changes under electrical tension, which also influences the catalytic activity. A team from the universities of Duisburg-Essen and Twente has investigated at BESSY II and elsewhere how the transformation of surfaces in perovskite oxide catalysts controls the activity of the oxygen evolution reaction. 
  • Green hydrogen: Improving iridium catalysts with titanium oxides
    Science Highlight
    13.12.2023
    Green hydrogen: Improving iridium catalysts with titanium oxides
    Anodes for the electrolytic splitting of water are usually iridium-based materials. In order to increase the stability of the iridium catalyst, a team at HZB and a group at HI-ERN have now produced a so-called material library: a sample in which the concentration of iridium and titanium oxides is systematically varied. Analyses of the individual sample segments at BESSY II in the EMIL laboratory showed that the presence of titanium oxides can increase the stability of the iridium catalyst significantly.
  • HZB-Highlights 2022 published
    News
    12.12.2023
    HZB-Highlights 2022 published
    The Highlights 2022 report on a selection of the most important research results and events at HZB.
  • Collaborative Research Centre “Nanoscale Metals” raises 11 million euros
    News
    07.12.2023
    Collaborative Research Centre “Nanoscale Metals” raises 11 million euros
    Several HZB research teams are participating in the new SFB 1636 "Elementary processes of light-driven reactions on nanoscale metals".
  • Boosting PET recycling with higher standards for laboratory experiments
    Science Highlight
    24.11.2023
    Boosting PET recycling with higher standards for laboratory experiments
    Many enzymes promise to break down plastic. But what works well in the lab often fails on a large scale. Now a new study by Gert Weber, HZB, Uwe Bornscheuer, University of Greifswald, and Alain Marty, Chief Scientific Officer of Carbios, shows how raising the bar for laboratory experiments could help identify promising approaches more quickly. The team demonstrated the new standards on four newly discovered enzymes.
  • Microplastics in soil: Tomography shows where the particles are build in
    Science Highlight
    17.11.2023
    Microplastics in soil: Tomography shows where the particles are build in
    It really is a problem: Microplastics are everywhere. Now, an HZB and University Potsdam team developed a method that for the first time enables us to precisely localise microplastics in soil. The combined 3D tomographies by neutrons and X-rays show exactly the location of particles and structural changes that can affect water flows and soil properties.
  • Steve Albrecht is one of the “Highly Cited Researchers 2023”
    News
    15.11.2023
    Steve Albrecht is one of the “Highly Cited Researchers 2023”
    Every year, countless articles are published in specialist journals. The information service provider Clarivate uses a recognised method to measure the influence of the published articles on the respective subject area. According to this year's evaluation, HZB researcher Steve Albrecht is one of the most "highly cited researchers" having a significant influence on his field. Albrecht and his team have been involved in several world records for tandem solar cells in recent years and have published the results in high-ranking scientific journals. 
  • With a verified greenhouse gas balance: HZB aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2035
    News
    08.11.2023
    With a verified greenhouse gas balance: HZB aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2035
    HZB is aware of its social responsibility. Now, HZB’s Greenhouse Gas Report is here, after being externally verified, and identifies the main sources of emissions. The report provides the basis for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • BESSY II: Neutralising electronic inhomogeneity in cleaved bulk MoS₂
    Science Highlight
    30.10.2023
    BESSY II: Neutralising electronic inhomogeneity in cleaved bulk MoS₂
    Molybdenum disulphide (MoS₂) is a highly versatile material that can function, for example, as a gas sensor or as a photocatalyst in green hydrogen production. Although the understanding of a material usually starts from investigating its bulk crystalline form, for MoS₂ much more studies have been devoted to mono and few layer nanosheets. The few studies conducted thus far show diverse and irreproducible results for the electronic properties of cleaved bulk MoS₂ surfaces, highlighting the need for a more systematic study.
  • Curious Mind Award for Michelle Browne
    News
    23.10.2023
    Curious Mind Award for Michelle Browne
    On Thursday, 12 October 2023, Michelle Browne received a prestigious award in Hamburg: The "Curious Mind Award" in the category "Mobility, Energy and Sustainable Business" by manager magazin. 
  • Special conference of the East German Minister-Presidents as guests at HZB
    News
    19.10.2023
    Special conference of the East German Minister-Presidents as guests at HZB
    With a strong commitment to further investment in research and innovation, the special conference of the East German Minister-Presidents came to an end on 19 October 2023. The special conference, chaired by Saxony's Minister-President Michael Kretschmer, was also attended by Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger and the Federal Government Commissioner for Eastern Germany, Carsten Schneider.
    The special conference was hosted by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, based in Berlin-Adlershof with BESSY II light source and its energy research.

  • Solidarity with Israel
    News
    10.10.2023
    Solidarity with Israel
    With great concern, we are following the news from Israel. We are stunned by the massive terrorist violence causing many victims and unbearable human suffering. We condemn the attacks by Hamas on Israel and its citizen in the strongest possible terms.
  • Green Deal Ukraina: Energy and Climate Agenda for Ukraine’s way towards EU
    News
    10.10.2023
    Green Deal Ukraina: Energy and Climate Agenda for Ukraine’s way towards EU
    The first high-level event of the Green Deal Ukraina (GDU) project took place in October in Kyiv, Ukraine, attended by more than 150 participants. This first gathering and formal launch took place at an important moment: EU will share a new report on the countries progress towards EU and Ukraine will respond by sharing its own analysis, called pre-screening.
  • Green hydrogen could reach economic viability by co-production of valuable chemicals
    Science Highlight
    09.10.2023
    Green hydrogen could reach economic viability by co-production of valuable chemicals
    It already works: there are several approaches to using solar energy to split water and produce hydrogen. Unfortunately, this green hydrogen has so far been more expensive than grey hydrogen from natural gas. A study by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Technische Universität Berlin now shows how green hydrogen from sunlight can become profitable.
  • Technology Transfer Prize: Tandem solar cells step closer to industrial pilot production
    News
    08.10.2023
    Technology Transfer Prize: Tandem solar cells step closer to industrial pilot production
    Tandem solar cells achieve high efficiencies: by combining two different types of solar cells, more sunlight is converted into electricity. PV manufacturer Qcells and a HZB team led by Dr. Kári Sveinbjörnsson and Bor Li have developed the technology to an extent, that Qcells invested in setting up a pilot line for the development of tandem cells in Saxony-Anhalt. For this successful transfer into industrial application, both researchers received the Technology Transfer Prize of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin worth 5,000 euros, on 4. October 2023.
  • Diamond materials as solar-powered electrodes – spectroscopy shows what’s important
    Science Highlight
    08.10.2023
    Diamond materials as solar-powered electrodes – spectroscopy shows what’s important
    It sounds like magic: photoelectrodes could convert the greenhouse gas CO₂ back into methanol or N2 molecules into valuable fertiliser – using only the energy of sunlight. An HZB study has now shown that diamond materials are in principle suitable for such photoelectrodes. By combining X-ray spectroscopic techniques at BESSY II with other measurement methods, Tristan Petit’s team has succeeded for the first time in precisely tracking which processes are excited by light as well as the crucial role of the surface of the diamond materials.
  • Revolutionary material science: Helmholtz High Impact Award for Novel Tandem Solar Cells
    News
    29.09.2023
    Revolutionary material science: Helmholtz High Impact Award for Novel Tandem Solar Cells
    A multidisciplinary team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) is researching and improving novel tandem solar cells in order to bring them into application. For their approach and research achievements, Steve Albrecht, Antonio Abate and Eva Unger from HZB and Michael Saliba from FZJ received the High Impact Award on 27 September 2023. With the award, which comes with 50,000 euros in prize money, the Helmholtz Association and the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany honour innovative approaches that have the potential to act as game-changers.
  • Structure formation during freeze casting filmed
    Science Highlight
    06.09.2023
    Structure formation during freeze casting filmed
    Freeze casting processes can be used to produce highly porous and hierarchically structured materials that have a large surface area. They are suitable for a wide variety of applications, as electrodes for batteries, catalyst materials or in biomedicine. A team led by Prof. Ulrike G. K. Wegst, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA and Dr. Francisco García Moreno from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have used the newly developed X-ray tomoscopy technique. At the Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institute they observed in real time and at high resolution how the process of structure formation takes place during freezing. A sugar solution served as the model system.
  • Quantum computing: Benchmarking performance by random data
    Science Highlight
    29.08.2023
    Quantum computing: Benchmarking performance by random data
    With increasing size and complexity, quantum computers become a sort of black box. Using methods from mathematical physics, a team has now succeeded in deriving concrete numbers from random, data sequences that can serve as a benchmark for the performance of a quantum computer system. Experts from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Qusoft Research Centre Amsterdam, the University of Copenhagen and the Technology Innovation Institute Abu Dhabi were involved in the work, which has now been published in Nature Communications.
  • Spintronics: X-ray microscopy unravels the nature of domain walls
    Science Highlight
    28.08.2023
    Spintronics: X-ray microscopy unravels the nature of domain walls
    Magnetic skyrmions are tiny vortices of magnetic spin textures. In principle, materials with skyrmions could be used as spintronic devices, for example as very fast and energy-efficient data storage devices. But at the moment it is still difficult to control and manipulate skyrmions at room temperature. A new study at BESSY II analyses the formation of skyrmions in ferrimagnetic thin films of dysprosium and cobalt in real time and with high spatial resolution. This is an important step towards characterising suitable materials with skyrmions more precisely in the future.
  • BESSY II: Surface analysis of catalyst particles in aqueous solutions
    Science Highlight
    21.07.2023
    BESSY II: Surface analysis of catalyst particles in aqueous solutions
    In a special issue on the liquid jet method, a team reports on reactions of water molecules on the surfaces of metal oxide particles. The results are relevant for the development of efficient photoelectrodes for the production of green hydrogen.
  • Quantitative analysis of cell organelles with artificial intelligence
    Science Highlight
    18.07.2023
    Quantitative analysis of cell organelles with artificial intelligence
    X-ray microscopy (cryo-SXT) enables high-resolution insights into cells and cell organelles - in three dimensions. Until now, the 3D data sets have been analysed manually, which is very time-consuming. A team from Freie Universität Berlin has now developed a self-learning algorithm based on a convolutional neural network. In collaboration with experts in cell biology (FU Berlin) and X-ray microscopy at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, this algorithm has now been used for the first time to analyse cell components in cryo-SXT data sets. It identified cell organelles and produced highly detailed, complex 3D images within a few minutes.
  • Solar hydrogen: Barriers for charge transport in metal oxides
    Science Highlight
    12.07.2023
    Solar hydrogen: Barriers for charge transport in metal oxides
    In theory, metal oxides are ideally suited as photoelectrodes for the direct generation of hydrogen with sunlight. Now, for the first time, a team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has succeeded in determining the transport properties of the charge carriers in different metal oxides over a time range of nine orders of magnitude.
  • Record-breaking tandem solar cell now with precise scientific explanations
    Science Highlight
    06.07.2023
    Record-breaking tandem solar cell now with precise scientific explanations
    The world's best tandem solar cells, consisting of a silicon bottom cell and a perovskite top cell, can today convert around one-third of incident solar radiation into electrical energy. These are record values, especially for a potentially very low-cost technology. A team at HZB is now providing the scientific data for the first time and describing how this development was achieved in the renowned journal Science. 
  • BESSY II: What drives ions through polymer membranes
    Science Highlight
    05.07.2023
    BESSY II: What drives ions through polymer membranes
    Photoelectrolysers and electrolysis cells can produce green hydrogen or fossil-free carbon compounds – but they require ion-exchange membranes. An HZB team has now studied the transport of ions through the membrane in a hybrid liquid gas electrolyzer at the X-ray source BESSY II. Contrary to expectations, however, concentration differences hardly drive electric field ions. Diffusion is therefore the decisive process. This finding could help in the development of highly efficient and significantly more environmentally friendly membrane materials.
  • HZB and University of Jena establish Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications
    News
    23.06.2023
    HZB and University of Jena establish Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications
    Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Helmholtz Centre for Materials and Energy, HZB) will jointly establish the "Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications" (HIPOLE) on 1 July 2023. The aim of HIPOLE is to develop sustainable polymer materials for energy technologies that can be rapidly brought into application, in particular polymer-based batteries and perovskite solar cells with polymer additives. HIPOLE will be funded with up to 5.5 million euros per year by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, 90%) and the Free State of Thuringia (10%). In the start-up phase until 2028, the Free State of Thuringia will additionally fund the new institute with more than ten million euros and take over the financing of the construction costs for the laboratories and offices.
  • BESSY II: Experimental verification of an exotic quantum phase in Au2Pb
    Science Highlight
    15.06.2023
    BESSY II: Experimental verification of an exotic quantum phase in Au2Pb
    A team of HZB has investigated the electronic structure of  Au2Pb at BESSY II by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy across a wide temperature range: The results are in accordance with the electronic structure of a three-dimensional topological Dirac semimetal, in agreement with theoretical calculations.
  • Nachruf für Prof. Hans Ackermann
    Nachricht
    13.06.2023
    Nachruf für Prof. Hans Ackermann
    Nach längerer Krankheit starb Prof. Dr. Hans Ackermann am 25. März 2023 im Alter von 87 Jahren. Hans Ackermann war in vielen Funktionen für das Hahn-Meitner-Institut in den 1980er und 1990er Jahren tätig. In dieser Zeit war er einer der führenden Forscher auf dem Gebiet der nuklearen Festkörperphysik, der sich prägend und intensiv für diese Forschungsrichtung und ihre Förderung eingesetzt hat.

  • Come to the Long Night of the Sciences in Wannsee: 17.06. from 5-0 p.m.
    News
    13.06.2023
    Come to the Long Night of the Sciences in Wannsee: 17.06. from 5-0 p.m.
    e will open our doors for the Long Night of the Sciences. Get exciting insights into our energy research, visit laboratories and ask us your questions about the energy transition. Our school lab invites you to take part in hands-on experiments - and a science show will keep you pumped up and amazed! Please bring your identity card!     

  • Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Gudat!
    News
    11.06.2023
    Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Gudat!
    On 11 June 2023, Professor Dr Wolfgang Gudat will turn 80. From 1989 to 2000, Wolfgang Gudat was scientific director of BESSY. Under his leadership, the BESSY II project was approved and the storage ring in Adlershof was built and equipped with state-of-the-art instruments. He founded the Friends of HZB and is honorary chairman of the association. On his birthday, his colleagues and the HZB management wish him all the best!
  • Green Deal Ukraina: HZB launches an Energy & Climate Project
    News
    07.06.2023
    Green Deal Ukraina: HZB launches an Energy & Climate Project
    Green Deal Ukraina, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is working with partner institutions in Ukraine and Poland to establish an energy and climate think tank in the capital, Kiev. The aim is to provide independent and evidence-based advice on rebuilding a sustainable energy system in Ukraine. After all, the implementation of energy and climate legislation is a prerequisite for Ukraine's accession to the EU. The project started on 1 June 2023 and will run for four years.
  • Bernd Rech elected Member of the Slovenian Academy
    News
    07.06.2023
    Bernd Rech elected Member of the Slovenian Academy
    In February 2023, the Scientific Director of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin was elected Corresponding Member of the Slovenian Academy of Engineering (IAS).

  • Spintronics at BESSY II: Domain walls in magnetic nanowires
    Science Highlight
    02.06.2023
    Spintronics at BESSY II: Domain walls in magnetic nanowires
    Magnetic domains walls are known to be a source of electrical resistance due to the difficulty for transport electron spins to follow their magnetic texture. This phenomenon holds potential for utilization in spintronic devices, where the electrical resistance can vary based on the presence or absence of a domain wall. A particularly intriguing class of materials are half metals such as La2/3Sr1/3MnO3 (LSMO) which present full spin polarization, allowing their exploitation in spintronic devices. Still the resistance of a single domain wall in half metals remained unknown. Now a team from Spain, France and Germany has generated a single domain wall on a LSMO nanowire and measured resistance changes 20 times larger than for a normal ferromagnet such as Cobalt.
  • Fractons as information storage: Not yet quite tangible, but close
    Science Highlight
    26.05.2023
    Fractons as information storage: Not yet quite tangible, but close
    A new quasiparticle with interesting properties has appeared in solid-state physics - but so far only in the theoretical modelling of solids with certain magnetic properties. An international team from HZB and Freie Universität Berlin has now shown that, contrary to expectations, quantum fluctuations do not make the quasiparticle appear more clearly, but rather blur its signature.
  • Graphene on titanium carbide triggers a novel phase transition
    Science Highlight
    25.05.2023
    Graphene on titanium carbide triggers a novel phase transition
    Researchers have discovered a Lifshitz-transition in TiC, driven by a graphene overlayer, at the photon source BESSY II. Their study sheds light on the exciting potential of 2D materials such as graphene and the effects they can have on neighboring materials through proximity interactions.
  • “Jugend-forscht” winners at HZB (Update)
    News
    17.05.2023
    “Jugend-forscht” winners at HZB (Update)
    Charlotte Klar and Katharina Austermann (both 18) have already come a long way: With their experiments on pyrolytic graphite, they are trying to solve a puzzle they found in the technical literature on diamagnetism. With their work, they convinced both the Jugend-forscht-Jury at the Berlin South Regional Competition and the Berlin Competition. Now, they will join the national competition which will take place from 18 to 21 May in Bremen.

  • Girls on Tour at the Long Night of Science: Be there!
    News
    17.05.2023
    Girls on Tour at the Long Night of Science: Be there!
    Are you a 10th to 13th grade student interested in mathematics and science? Then secure your free VIP ticket for a tour with exciting experiments and insights during the Long Night of Science! Meet female scientists who are passionate about making our world a better place! 17.06. , from 5.30 pm, Adlershof Research Campus.
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Grant for Dr. Jie Wei
    News
    16.05.2023
    Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Grant for Dr. Jie Wei
    In April, Dr. Jie Wei started his research work in the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Nanoscale Operando CO2 Photo-Electrocatalysis at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society. Wei received one of the highly competitive Humboldt postdoctoral research fellowships and will pursue his two-year project under the guidance of the academic hosts Dr. Christopher Kley and Prof. Dr. Beatriz Roldan Cuenya.
  • Calculating the carbon footprint of publications
    Interview
    15.05.2023
    Calculating the carbon footprint of publications
    Prof. Dr. Jens Eisert heads the Quantum Computation and Simulation research group, which is jointly funded by Freie Universität Berlin and HZB. The theoretical physicist recently received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council ERC for his research project "DebuQC". But Eisert is not only an award-winning scientist, he is also concerned about global warming. Last year, on the initiative of Ryan Sweke, he and his team published a proposal that deserves attention: scientific publications on theoretical physics or chemistry could include a simple table listing the greenhouse gases emitted during the research. This would raise awareness of the fact that research is not climate neutral.
  • Humboldt Fellow joins HZB for battery research
    News
    02.05.2023
    Humboldt Fellow joins HZB for battery research
    Dr. Wenxi Wang is working in the team of Prof. Yan Lu as Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellow. He studied at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, and completed his doctorate at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He specialises in the precise design of organic electrodes for lithium-sulfur and zinc-ion batteries and the investigation of the interactions between ions and active materials.
  • Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: HZB bei den Berliner Energietagen am 23.05.
    Nachricht
    01.05.2023
    Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: HZB bei den Berliner Energietagen am 23.05.
    In diesem Jahr fokussiert die Veranstaltung des Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie die Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV). Dabei betrachten wir das Material, die Technologie, den Baustoff sowie Entwurfsparameter und den Bauablauf. Begleitet wird die Veranstaltung von Materialproben und Vorträgen.

  • CO2 recycling: What is the role of the electrolyte?
    Science Highlight
    25.04.2023
    CO2 recycling: What is the role of the electrolyte?
    The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide can be converted into useful hydrocarbons by electrolysis. The design of the electrolysis cell is crucial in this process. The so-called zero-gap cell is particularly suitable for industrial processes. But there are still problems: The cathodes clog up quickly. At the HZB, Matthew Mayer and his team has now investigated what causes this and how this undesirable process can be prevented.
  • Visit from the Czech Republic regarding Apprenticeship
    News
    17.04.2023
    Visit from the Czech Republic regarding Apprenticeship
    End of March, a delegation from the Czech Republic visited HZB at the Wannsee campus. The programme included a visit to the apprentices’ workshop and exchanges regarding opportunities for apprenticeships and upskilling at HZB.

  • “We are currently in a decisive phase for photovoltaics”
    Interview
    14.04.2023
    “We are currently in a decisive phase for photovoltaics”
    The HZB researcher Rutger Schlatmann has been elected as the new Chair of the platform ETIP-PV, which brings together representatives of science, industry and politics from all over Europe. We interviewed him about the current boom – and about why the photovoltaics ship has not yet sailed for the EU.

  • Fast and flexible solar energy from the printer
    News
    12.04.2023
    Fast and flexible solar energy from the printer
    Lighter, more flexible and adaptable – the innovation platform Solar TAP develops innovative solutions for photovoltaic applications. The aim is to make surfaces already used in agriculture, the building sector and transport additionally usable for the expansion of solar energy with printed solar cells.
  • How much cadmium is contained in cocoa beans?
    Science Highlight
    06.04.2023
    How much cadmium is contained in cocoa beans?
    Cocoa beans can absorb toxic heavy metals such as cadmium from the soil. Some cultivation areas, especially in South America, are polluted with these heavy metals, in some cases considerably. In combining different X-ray fluorescence techniques, a team at BESSY II has now been able to non-invasively measure for the first time where cadmium accumulates exactly in cocoa beans: Mainly in the shell. Further investigations show that the processing of the cocoa beans can have a great influence on the concentration of heavy metals.
  • SXR2023: Deadline for submissions April 15
    News
    05.04.2023
    SXR2023: Deadline for submissions April 15
    The SXR2023 (Principles of Functionality from Soft-X-Ray Spectroscopy) brings together young and experienced scientists to discuss recent scientific highlights, trends, and current advances with soft X-ray spectroscopy. Our goal is to further understanding on the atomic level. The impetus is to influence and ideally shape functionality in materials and molecular systems. In this effort, scientists cross intentionally the boundaries between physics, chemistry and materials and focus on the unifying aspects of functionality. Insights to the governing principles are often based on the combination of experiment with first principles theory and models. Thus a profound description of X-ray matter interaction — creating the spectroscopic observables — is always underlying.
  • Solid-State Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Neutrons unveil sluggish charge transport
    Science Highlight
    05.04.2023
    Solid-State Lithium-Sulfur Batteries: Neutrons unveil sluggish charge transport
    Solid-state Lithium-Sulfur batteries offer the potential for much higher energy densities and increased safety, compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. However, the performance of solid-state batteries is currently lacking, with slow charging and discharging being one of the primary causes. Now, a new study from HZB shows that sluggish lithium ion transport within a composite cathode is the cause of this slow charging and discharging.
  • Catherine Dubourdieu receives ERC Advanced Grant
    News
    30.03.2023
    Catherine Dubourdieu receives ERC Advanced Grant
    Prof. Dr. Catherine Dubourdieu heads the Institute “Functional Oxides for Energy-Efficient Information Technology” at HZB and is Professor at the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry division at Freie Universität Berlin. The physicist and materials scientist specialises in nanometre-sized functional oxides and their applications in information technologies. She has now been awarded a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for her research project “LUCIOLE”, which aims at combining ferroelectric polar textures with conventional silicon technologies.
  • Quantum physicist Jens Eisert receives ERC Advanced Grant
    News
    30.03.2023
    Quantum physicist Jens Eisert receives ERC Advanced Grant
    Prof. Dr. Jens Eisert conducts research at the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems at Freie Universität Berlin and heads the joint research group with HZB for quantum computing and simulation. With his award-winning research project "DebuQC", he wants to explore the metaphorical boundary of the classical and quantum worlds. It is already his third ERC grant that Jens Eisert has received. The professor of theoretical quantum physics and his team want to clarify essential research questions about quantum technology and also explore the limits of this promising technology.
  • New lichtblick is out: Read the digital magazine now
    News
    29.03.2023
    New lichtblick is out: Read the digital magazine now
    The energy transition presents us all with major challenges. We need not only electricity from renewable sources, but also storage solutions. At the Wannsee site, Yan Lu's team is researching novel lithium-sulphur batteries that can store much more energy than conventional batteries. The laboratory is unique in the Berlin-Brandenburg research landscape. In the cover story, the head of department tells us what motivates her about her work.

  • HZB receives funding to make innovations usable more quickly
    News
    23.03.2023
    HZB receives funding to make innovations usable more quickly
    The Helmholtz Association has selected three new innovation platforms that will now be funded. HZB is involved in two of them: The Innovation Platform on Accelerator Technologies HI-ACTS is intended to open up modern accelerators for a wide range of applications, while the Innovation Platform Solar TAP is intended to bring new ideas from the laboratories of photovoltaics research more quickly into an application. In total, HZB will receive 4.2 million euros in grants from the Pact for Research and Innovation over the next three years.


  • Green hydrogen: How photoelectrochemical water splitting may become competitive
    Science Highlight
    20.03.2023
    Green hydrogen: How photoelectrochemical water splitting may become competitive
    Sunlight can be used to produce green hydrogen directly from water in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells. So far, systems based on this "direct approach" have not been energetically competitive. However, the balance changes as soon as some of the hydrogen in such PEC cells is used in-situ for a catalytic hydrogenation reaction, resulting in the co-production of chemicals used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The energy payback time of photoelectrochemical "green" hydrogen production can be reduced dramatically, the study shows.
  • Perovskite solar cells from the slot die coater - a step towards industrial production
    Science Highlight
    16.03.2023
    Perovskite solar cells from the slot die coater - a step towards industrial production
    Solar cells made from metal halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies and their production from liquid inks requires only a small amount of energy. A team led by Prof. Dr. Eva Unger at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is investigating the production process. At the X-ray source BESSY II, the group has analyzed the optimal composition of precursor inks for the production of high-quality FAPbI3 perovskite thin films by slot-die coating. The solar cells produced with these inks were tested under real life conditions in the field for a year and scaled up to mini-module size.
  • Superstore MXene: New proton hydration structure determined
    Science Highlight
    13.03.2023
    Superstore MXene: New proton hydration structure determined
    MXenes are able to store large amounts of electrical energy like batteries and to charge and discharge rather quickly like a supercapacitor. They combine both talents and thus are a very interesting class of materials for energy storage. The material is structured like a kind of puff pastry, with the MXene layers separated by thin water films. A team at HZB has now investigated how protons migrate in the water films confined between the layers of the material and enable charge transport. Their results have been published in the renowned journal Nature Communications and may accelerate the optimisation of these kinds of energy storage materials.
  • Electrocatalysis under the atomic force microscope
    Science Highlight
    09.03.2023
    Electrocatalysis under the atomic force microscope
    A further development in atomic force microscopy now makes it possible to simultaneously image the height profile of nanometre-fine structures as well as the electric current and the frictional force at solid-liquid interfaces. A team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society has succeeded in analysing electrocatalytically active materials and gaining insights that will help optimise catalysts. The method is also potentially suitable for studying processes on battery electrodes, in photocatalysis or on active biomaterials.
  • TU Berlin appoints Renske van der Veen as professor
    News
    22.02.2023
    TU Berlin appoints Renske van der Veen as professor
    For the past two years, Dr Renske van der Veen has led a research group in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy at HZB. Her research focuses on catalytic processes that enable, for example, the production of green hydrogen. She has now been appointed to a S-W2 professorship at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics (IOAP) at the Technische Universität Berlin.
  • Electrocatalysis – Iron and Cobalt Oxyhydroxides examined at BESSY II
    Science Highlight
    16.02.2023
    Electrocatalysis – Iron and Cobalt Oxyhydroxides examined at BESSY II
    A team led by Dr. Prashanth W. Menezes (HZB/TU-Berlin) has now gained insights into the chemistry of one of the most active anode catalysts for green hydrogen production. They examined a series of Cobalt-Iron Oxyhydroxides at BESSY II and were able to determine the oxidation states of the active elements in different configurations as well as to unveil the geometrical structure of the active sites. Their results might contribute to the knowledge based design of new highly efficient and low cost catalytical active materials.
  • Maria Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for Artem Musiienko
    News
    15.02.2023
    Maria Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for Artem Musiienko
    Dr. Artem Musiienko has earned a prestigious Maria Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for his research project HyPerGreen. In the group of Prof. Antonio Abate, HZB, Musiienko will explore and improve lead-free perovskite solar cells with the goal to increase their efficiency to more than 20 %.  
  • Our thoughts go out to the earthquake victims from Turkey and Syria
    News
    10.02.2023
    Our thoughts go out to the earthquake victims from Turkey and Syria
    The earthquake has struck Turkey and Syria in the heart, with large parts of the region destroyed to an unimaginable extent. We are dismayed by the extent of the destruction, the many victims and injured. The earthquake is causing inconceivable human suffering that we find difficult to comprehend. Our thoughts are with our colleagues who have family, friends, and acquaintances in the affected regions.

  • Stability of perovskite solar cells reaches next milestone
    Science Highlight
    27.01.2023
    Stability of perovskite solar cells reaches next milestone
    Perovskite semiconductors promise highly efficient and low-cost solar cells. However, the semi-organic material is very sensitive to temperature differences, which can quickly lead to fatigue damage in normal outdoor use. Adding a dipolar polymer compound to the precursor perovskite solution helps to counteract this. This has now been shown in a study published in the journal Science by an international team led by Antonio Abate, HZB. The solar cells produced in this way achieve efficiencies of well above 24 %, which hardly drop under rapid temperature fluctuations between -60 and +80 Celsius over one hundred cycles. That corresponds to about one year of outdoor use.
  • HZB physicist appointed to Gangneung-Wonju National University, South Korea
    News
    25.01.2023
    HZB physicist appointed to Gangneung-Wonju National University, South Korea
    Since 2016, accelerator physicist Ji-Gwang Hwang has been working at HZB in the department of storage rings and beam physics. He has made important contributions to beam diagnostics in several projects at HZB. He is now returning to his home country, South Korea, having accepted a professorship in physics at Gangneung-Wonju National University.
  • Scientists Develop New Technique to Image Fluctuations in Materials
    Science Highlight
    18.01.2023
    Scientists Develop New Technique to Image Fluctuations in Materials
    A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Max Born Institute in Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin in Germany and from Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States has developed a revolutionary new method for capturing high-resolution images of fluctuations in materials at the nanoscale using powerful X-ray sources. The technique, which they call Coherent Correlation Imaging (CCI), allows for the creation of sharp, detailed movies without damaging the sample by excessive radiation. By using an algorithm to detect patterns in underexposed images, CCI opens paths to previously inaccessible information. The team demonstrated CCI on samples made of thin magnetic layers, and their results have been published in Nature.
  • Recommended reading: Bunsen magazine with focus on molecular water research
    News
    13.01.2023
    Recommended reading: Bunsen magazine with focus on molecular water research
    Water not only has some well-known anomalies, but is still full of surprises. The first issue 2023 of the Bunsen Magazine is dedicated to molecular water research, from the ocean to processes in electrolysis. The issue presents contributions from researchers cooperating within the framework of a European research initiative in the "Centre for Molecular Water Science" (CMWS). A team at HZB presents results from the synchrotron spectroscopy of water. Modern X-ray sources can be used to study molecular and electronic processes in water in detail.
  • Helmholtz Visiting Researcher Grant
    News
    11.01.2023
    Helmholtz Visiting Researcher Grant
    Are you a doctoral researcher or Postdoc and your research has a strong link to (applied) data and information sciences?

  • Ombudspersons for good scientific practise appointed
    News
    09.01.2023
    Ombudspersons for good scientific practise appointed
    Manfred Weiss, Sebastian Fiechter, Annette Pietzsch and Michael Tovar have been available to you as ombudspersons since 1 January 2023. They will be happy to advise you on all questions regarding good scientific practice at the HZB.

  • Call for “Helmholtz young investigator groups”: apply now!
    News
    06.01.2023
    Call for “Helmholtz young investigator groups”: apply now!
    We are looking for young excellent scientists with leadership skills. Do you want to perform an innovative research project in one of HZB's research fields? Then apply by 20.02.2023!
  • High-energy X-rays leave a trace of destruction in bone collagen
    Science Highlight
    22.12.2022
    High-energy X-rays leave a trace of destruction in bone collagen
    A team of medical researchers at Charité has analyzed damage by focused high energetic X-rays in bone samples from fish and mammals at BESSY II. With a combination of microscopy techniques, the scientists could document the destruction of collagen fibres induced by electrons emitted from the mineral crystals. X-ray methods might impact bone samples when measured for a long time they conclude.
  • Neutron experiments reveal what maintains bones in good function
    Science Highlight
    21.12.2022
    Neutron experiments reveal what maintains bones in good function
    What keeps bones able to remodel themselves and stay healthy? A team from Charité Berlin has discovered clues to the key function of non-collagen protein compounds and how they help bone cells react to external load. The scientists used fish models to examine bone samples with and without bone cells to elucidate differences in microstructures and the incorporation of water. Using 3D neutron tomography at the Berlin research reactor BER II, they succeeded for the first time in precisely measuring the water diffusion across bone material - with a surprising result.
  • New software based on Artificial Intelligence helps to interpret complex data
    Science Highlight
    20.12.2022
    New software based on Artificial Intelligence helps to interpret complex data
    Experimental data is often not only highly dimensional, but also noisy and full of artefacts. This makes it difficult to interpret the data. Now a team at HZB has designed software that uses self-learning neural networks to compress the data in a smart way and reconstruct a low-noise version in the next step. This enables to recognise correlations that would otherwise not be discernible. The software has now been successfully used in photon diagnostics at the FLASH free electron laser at DESY. But it is suitable for very different applications in science.
  • World record back at HZB: Tandem solar cell achieves 32.5 percent efficiency
    News
    19.12.2022
    World record back at HZB: Tandem solar cell achieves 32.5 percent efficiency
    The current world record of tandem solar cells consisting of a silicon bottom cell and a perovskite top cell is once again at HZB. The new tandem solar cell converts 32.5 % of the incident solar radiation into electrical energy. The certifying institute European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) in Italy measured the tandem cell and officially confirmed this value which is also included in the NREL chart of solar cell technologies, maintained by the National Renewable Energy Lab, USA.
  • lichtblick is online: new format, new topics - read it now!
    News
    19.12.2022
    lichtblick is online: new format, new topics - read it now!
    We cordially invite you to read our new magazine "lichtblick". The time was ripe for a new format that can now be read comfortably on the screen. Take a look into the new issue!

  • On the way to mass production: perovskite silicon tandem cells
    News
    14.12.2022
    On the way to mass production: perovskite silicon tandem cells
    In order to transfer tandem solar cells from laboratory scale to production, HZB is cooperating with the solar module manufacturer Meyer Burger, which has great expertise in heterojunction technology (HJT) for silicon modules. Within the framework of this cooperation, mass production-ready silicon bottom cells based on heterojunction technology are to be combined with a top cell based on perovskite technology.
  • 4000th protein structure decoded at BESSY II
    Science Highlight
    13.12.2022
    4000th protein structure decoded at BESSY II
    The 4000th structure is the molecule FKBP51, which is linked to stress-induced diseases such as depression, chronic pain and diabetes. The team led by Prof. Felix Hausch, TU Darmstadt, is using the knowledge of the three-dimensional structure to develop new strategies for the design of suitable drugs.
  • Tiburtius Prize for Eike Köhnen
    News
    07.12.2022
    Tiburtius Prize for Eike Köhnen
    On Tuesday, 6 December 2022, Dr. Eike Köhnen received the Tiburtius Prize (First Place) for outstanding dissertations. Eike Köhnen has contributed to significantly increasing the efficiency of tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon, to the point of setting world records.
  • Two women, one mission: living diversity at HZB
    Interview
    06.12.2022
    Two women, one mission: living diversity at HZB
    At the end of October 2022, the management appointed Ana Sofia Anselmo and Silvia Zerbe as new diversity officers. Together they will address diversity at HZB and drive it forward with employees. Ana works in the Director’s Office and is responsible for International Affairs. Silvia is deputy press spokesperson at HZB and is dedicated to internal communication at the centre.

  • New monochromator optics for tender X-rays
    Science Highlight
    30.11.2022
    New monochromator optics for tender X-rays
    Until now, it has been extremely tedious to perform measurements with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution using X-ray light in the tender energy range of 1.5 - 5.0 keV. Yet this X-ray light is ideal for investigating energy materials such as batteries or catalysts, but also biological systems. A team from HZB has now solved this problem: The newly developed monochromator optics increase the photon flux in the tender energy range by a factor of 100 and thus enable highly precise measurements of nanostructured systems. The method was successfully tested for the first time on catalytically active nanoparticles and microchips.
  • Nanodiamonds can be activated as photocatalysts with sunlight
    Science Highlight
    30.11.2022
    Nanodiamonds can be activated as photocatalysts with sunlight
    Nanodiamond materials have potential as low-cost photocatalysts. But until now, such carbon nanoparticles required high-energy UV light to become active. The DIACAT consortium has therefore produced and analysed variations of nanodiamond materials. The work shows: If the surface of the nanoparticles is occupied by sufficient hydrogen atoms, even the weaker energy of blue sunlight is sufficient for excitation. Future photocatalysts based on nanodiamonds might be able to convert CO2 or N2 into hydrocarbons or ammonia with sunlight.
  • Tomography shows high potential of copper sulphide solid-state batteries
    Science Highlight
    28.11.2022
    Tomography shows high potential of copper sulphide solid-state batteries
    Solid-state batteries enable even higher energy densities than lithium-ion batteries with high safety. A team led by Prof. Philipp Adelhelm and Dr. Ingo Manke succeeded in observing a solid-state battery during charging and discharging and creating high-resolution 3D images. This showed that cracking can be effectively reduced through higher pressure.

  • International Summer Student Programme – apply now!
    News
    28.11.2022
    International Summer Student Programme – apply now!
    Would you like to spend a great summer in Berlin and gain unique experience in research? Then come and join us at HZB from 3 July to 25 August 2023! We invite students from all over the world to drive their own research project at HZB for eight weeks. Gain interesting insights and experience. We look forward to seeing you!

  • European pilot line for innovative photovoltaic technology based on tandem solar cells
    News
    23.11.2022
    European pilot line for innovative photovoltaic technology based on tandem solar cells
    PEPPERONI, a four-year Research and Innovation project co-funded under Horizon Europe and jointly coordinated by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Qcells, will support Europe in reaching its renewable energy target of climate neutrality by 2050. The project will help advance perovskite/silicon tandem photovoltaics (PV) technology’s journey towards market introduction and mass manufacturing.
  • Quantum algorithms save time in the calculation of electron dynamics
    Science Highlight
    22.11.2022
    Quantum algorithms save time in the calculation of electron dynamics
    Quantum computers promise significantly shorter computing times for complex problems. But there are still only a few quantum computers worldwide with a limited number of so-called qubits. However, quantum computer algorithms can already run on conventional servers that simulate a quantum computer. A team at HZB has succeeded to calculate the electron orbitals and their dynamic development on the example of a small molecule after a laser pulse excitation. In principle, the method is also suitable for investigating larger molecules that cannot be calculated using conventional methods.
  • How photoelectrodes change in contact with water
    Science Highlight
    17.11.2022
    How photoelectrodes change in contact with water
    Photoelectrodes based on BiVO4 are considered top candidates for solar hydrogen production. But what exactly happens when they come into contact with water molecules? A study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society has now partially answered this crucial question:  Excess electrons from dopants or defects aid the dissociation of water which in turn stabilizes so-called polarons at the surface. This is shown by data from experiments conducted at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. These insights might foster a knowledge-based design of better photoanodes for green hydrogen production.
  • Obituary for Professor Alexei Erko
    News
    16.11.2022
    Obituary for Professor Alexei Erko
    We mourn the loss of our former colleague Prof. Dr. Alexei Erko who passed away on the 22nd of October 2022 at the age of 70 after a short and severe illness.

  • BESSY II: Influence of protons on water molecules
    Science Highlight
    10.11.2022
    BESSY II: Influence of protons on water molecules
    How hydrogen ions or protons interact with their aqueous environment has great practical relevance, whether in fuel cell technology or in the life sciences. Now, a large international consortium at the X-ray source BESSY II has investigated this question experimentally in detail and discovered new phenomena. For example, the presence of a proton changes the electronic structure of the three innermost water molecules, but also has an effect via a long-range field on a hydrate shell of five other water molecules.
  • Obituary for Professor Michael Steiner
    News
    09.11.2022
    Obituary for Professor Michael Steiner
    We mourn the loss of our former long-serving scientific director Prof. Dr. Michael Steiner who passed away on the 5th of November 2022 at the age of 79 in Berlin. He was a brilliant researcher to whom we owe a great deal.

  • Photocatalysis: Processes in charge separation recorded experimentally
    Science Highlight
    08.11.2022
    Photocatalysis: Processes in charge separation recorded experimentally
    Certain metal oxides are considered good candidates for photocatalysts to produce green hydrogen with sunlight. A Chinese team has now published exciting results on copper(I) oxide particles in Nature, to which a method developed at HZB contributed significantly. Transient surface photovoltage spectroscopy showed that positive charge carriers on surfaces are trapped by defects in the course of microseconds. The results provide clues to increase the efficiency of photocatalysts.

  • A perfect match: perovskite meets perovskite
    Interview
    07.11.2022
    A perfect match: perovskite meets perovskite
    Tandem solar cells, which combine two different perovskite semiconductors, promise high efficiencies and can be produced with very little energy input. Such modules could even be bendable. Together with partners from industry and research, HZB expert Prof. Steve Albrecht is working to realise this vision. His team recently succeeded in producing an all-perovskite tandem solar cell with a certified efficiency of 27.2 %. A conversation about the opportunities and challenges of the perovskite-perovskite technology.
  • LEAPS research infrastructures to tackle societal crises
    News
    31.10.2022
    LEAPS research infrastructures to tackle societal crises
    Against a backdrop of the energy crisis, scientists and policymakers convened at Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland and set out a vision for European accelerator based photon sources to address current and future societal challenges together.
  • Berlin Science Week: Discovering research made in HZB
    News
    31.10.2022
    Berlin Science Week: Discovering research made in HZB
    The HZB is participating in the programme of Berlin Science Week and Falling Walls with a wide range of events. In this overview, we briefly summarise where you can find research from HZB and discuss it with scientists. Please note that you have to register for the events. Participation is free of charge.
  • Batteries without critical raw materials
    Science Highlight
    26.10.2022
    Batteries without critical raw materials
    The market for rechargeable batteries is growing rapidly, but the necessary raw materials are limited. Sodium-ion batteries, for example, could offer an alternative. A joint research group from HZB and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has investigated new combinations of electrolyte solutions and electrode materials for this purpose.
  • Federal science minister in Berlin-Adlershof
    News
    25.10.2022
    Federal science minister in Berlin-Adlershof
    The Federal Minister for Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, was in Berlin-Adlershof today to visit the Catalysis Laboratory (CatLab). CatLab is a research platform of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Max Planck Society, dedicated to catalysis research that will deliver important innovations for achieving a green hydrogen economy. Upon her visit to the CatLab, the minister gained an insight into the latest technological advancements on producing and characterising thin-film catalysts and special methods for operando analytics and digital catalysis.
  • Tandem solar cells with perovskite: nanostructures help in many ways
    Science Highlight
    24.10.2022
    Tandem solar cells with perovskite: nanostructures help in many ways
    By the end of 2021, teams at HZB had presented perovskite silicon tandem solar cells with an efficiency close to 30 percent. This value was a world record for eight months, a long time for this hotly contested field of research. In the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology, the scientists describe how they achieved this record value with nanooptical structuring and reflective coatings.
  • Spintronics: A new tool at BESSY II for chirality investigations
    Science Highlight
    24.10.2022
    Spintronics: A new tool at BESSY II for chirality investigations
    Information on complex magnetic structures is crucial to understand and develop spintronic materials. Now, a new instrument named ALICE II is available at BESSY II. It allows magnetic X-ray scattering in reciprocal space using a new large area detector. A team at HZB and Technical University Munich has demonstrated the performance of ALICE II by analysing helical and conical magnetic states of an archetypal single crystal skyrmion host. ALICE II is now available for guest users at BESSY II.
  • “The market itself will push this issue” - Interview on the role of synthetic kerosene for aviation
    Interview
    21.10.2022
    “The market itself will push this issue” - Interview on the role of synthetic kerosene for aviation
    In the research consortium CARE-O-SENE, scientists are looking for more efficient ways to produce synthetic kerosene for use in aviation. We interviewed Tobias Sontheimer of HZB and Dirk Schär of the participating company Sasol about what has to be done, what obstacles there are, and how aviation can be decarbonised.
  • High entropy alloys: structural disorder and magnetic properties
    Science Highlight
    20.10.2022
    High entropy alloys: structural disorder and magnetic properties
    High-entropy alloys (HEAs) are promising materials for catalysis and energy storage, and at the same time they are extremely hard, heat resistant and demonstrate great variability in their magnetic behaviour. Now, a team at BESSY II in collaboration with Ruhr University Bochum, BAM, Freie Universität Berlin and University of Latvia has gained new insights into the local environment of a so-called high-entropy Cantor alloy made of chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt and nickel, and has thus also been able to partially explain the magnetic properties of a nanocrystalline film of this alloy.
  • 40-million-euro sustainable kerosene research project CARE-O-SENE receives funding
    News
    12.10.2022
    40-million-euro sustainable kerosene research project CARE-O-SENE receives funding
    The international research project CARE-O-SENE (Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene) was granted 30 million euros in funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Additionally, the industrial consortium partners contribute 10 million euros. The aim of the project is to develop novel, next-generation Fischer-Tropsch catalysts and thus to optimise the production of sustainable kerosene – or Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) – on an industrial scale. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is part of this collaboration.
  • Prof. Rutger Schlatmann is Chair of the European Platform for Photovoltaics
    News
    12.10.2022
    Prof. Rutger Schlatmann is Chair of the European Platform for Photovoltaics
    Rutger Schlatmann is a solar expert from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and professor at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. At the HZB he heads the Competence Centre for Photovoltaics, which successfully brings together solar research and industry. Now the expert has been elected as chairman of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV). It provides independent advice on energy policy issues and the expansion of photovoltaics in Europe.

  • New at HZB: Tomography lab for AI-assisted battery research
    News
    10.10.2022
    New at HZB: Tomography lab for AI-assisted battery research
    At HZB, a laboratory for automated X-ray tomography on solid-state batteries is being set up. The special feature: 3D data during charge/discharge processes (operando) can be evaluated quickly and in a more versatile way using artificial intelligence (AI) methods. The Federal Ministry of Research and Education is funding the "TomoFestBattLab" project with 1.86 million euros.
  • Listen to the Tagesschau Future Podcast: Solar panels on every roof? So what then?
    News
    07.10.2022
    Listen to the Tagesschau Future Podcast: Solar panels on every roof? So what then?
    Let's assume there are solar systems on every roof. And what happens if the sun doesn't shine for a while? Follow the thought experiment of the Tagesschau Podcast. Our solar expert and architect Thorsten Kühn joins us.

  • Green hydrogen: faster progress with modern X-ray sources
    Science Highlight
    07.10.2022
    Green hydrogen: faster progress with modern X-ray sources
    In order to produce green hydrogen, water can be split up via electrocatalysis, powered by renewable sources such as sun or wind. A review article in the journal Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed. shows how modern X-ray sources such as BESSY II can advance the development of suitable electrocatalysts. In particular, X-ray absorption spectroscopy can be used to determine the active states of catalytically active materials for the oxygen evolution reaction. This is an important contribution to developing efficient catalysts from inexpensive and widely available elements.
  • For strong non-university research in Berlin
    News
    06.10.2022
    For strong non-university research in Berlin
    The non-university research institutions in Berlin will work even more closely together in the future. Their association Berlin Research 50 (BR50), founded in 2020, has joined forces to form a registered non-profit association on 4. October 2022. Together, the research institutions want to further develop and strengthen Berlin as a science location.

  • Fassaden-PV und die Bauwelt
    Nachricht
    04.10.2022
    Fassaden-PV und die Bauwelt
    Auf dem Programm stehen ein Rundgang durch das Reallabor des Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin gefolgt von Fachvorträgen sowie einem Austausch mit Experten*innen vor Ort.
  • Dynamics in one-dimensional spin chains newly elucidated
    Science Highlight
    03.10.2022
    Dynamics in one-dimensional spin chains newly elucidated
    Neutron scattering is considered the method of choice for investigating magnetic structures and excitations in quantum materials. Now, for the first time, the evaluation of measurement data from the 2000s with new methods has provided much deeper insights into a model system – the 1D Heisenberg spin chains. A new toolbox is available for elucidating future quantum materials has been achieved.
  • BESSY II: Localisation of d-electrons determined
    Science Highlight
    02.10.2022
    BESSY II: Localisation of d-electrons determined
    Transition metals have many applications in engineering, electrochemistry and catalysis. To understand their properties, the interplay between atomic localisation and delocalisation of the outer electrons in the d orbitals is crucial. This insight is now provided by a special end station at BESSY II with highest precision, as demonstrated by a study of copper, nickel and cobalt with interesting quantitative results. The Royal Society of Chemistry has selected the paper as a HOT Article 2022.
  • Rhombohedral graphite as a model for quantum magnetism
    Science Highlight
    27.09.2022
    Rhombohedral graphite as a model for quantum magnetism
    Graphene is an extremely exciting material. Now a graphene variant shows another talent: rhombohedral graphite made of several layers slightly offset from each other could enlighten the hidden physics in quantum magnets.
  • Highlight Report 2021 published
    News
    21.09.2022
    Highlight Report 2021 published
    The Highlight Report 2021 presents compact information on important developments at HZB and a selection of the scientific results published in renowned journals.
  • 40 years of research with synchrotron light in Berlin
    News
    14.09.2022
    40 years of research with synchrotron light in Berlin
    Press release _ Berlin, 14 September: For decades, science in Berlin has been an important driver of innovation and progress. Creative, talented people from all over the world come together here and develop new ideas from which we all benefit as a society. Many discoveries – from fundamental insights to marketable products – are made by doing research with synchrotron light. Researchers have had access to this intense light in Berlin for 40 years. It inspires many scientific disciplines and is an advantage for Germany.

  • New road towards spin-polarised currents
    Science Highlight
    08.09.2022
    New road towards spin-polarised currents
    The transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) series are a family of promising candidate materials for spintronics. A study at lightsource BESSY II has unveiled that in one of those materials even simple linear polarised light is sufficient to selectively manipulate spins of different orientations. This result provides an entirely new route for the generation of spin-polarised currents and is a milestone for the development of spintronic and opto-spintronic devices.
  • SNI2022: 400 experts met in Berlin
    News
    07.09.2022
    SNI2022: 400 experts met in Berlin
    Around 400 scientists exchanged ideas at the German Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities (SNI2022), which took place in Berlin from 05-07 September 2022. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was the organiser of the conference. The Committee Research with Neutrons (KFN) awarded prizes to two young scientists. The prizes went to Dr Navid Qureshi (Institut Laue-Langevin, ILL, France) and Artur Glavic (Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI, Switzerland).
  • Special edition of lichtblick: The HZB - that's us
    News
    05.09.2022
    Special edition of lichtblick: The HZB - that's us
    50 issues of lichtblick have been published since 2009 and that inspired us to do something special. In this issue, we focus on employees who do a great voluntary work or have an exciting hobby. They represent the many, many people who make HZB an vibrant and diverse place.

  • 15 young people start their careers at HZB
    News
    02.09.2022
    15 young people start their careers at HZB
    On 1 September, HZB welcomed 15 new employees who are starting an apprenticeship, a dual study programme or a voluntary year at HZB. At an introductory event at the Wannsee site, HZB's Administrative Director Thomas Frederking welcomed the new employees and wished them a good start at the research centre.

  • Professorship at the University of Augsburg for Felix Büttner
    News
    29.08.2022
    Professorship at the University of Augsburg for Felix Büttner
    Felix Büttner has led a junior research group at HZB. Now he has accepted a call to the University of Augsburg. As head of a joint research group, he will continue his studies of magnetic skyrmions at BESSY II.
  • BESSY II resumes operation after a long shutdown
    News
    25.08.2022
    BESSY II resumes operation after a long shutdown
    On 30 August, BESSY II ligth source will resume user operation: the research centre will then welcome guest researchers from all over the world and support them in their various experiments. The 14-week  shutdown was the longest in BESSY II history. Among other works, the main supply was completely renewed. The successful completion of the work was celebrated with all those involved.

  • Podcast | Der Klimawandel und die Stadt: Mehr Grün oder mehr Photovoltaik?
    Nachricht
    12.08.2022
    Podcast | Der Klimawandel und die Stadt: Mehr Grün oder mehr Photovoltaik?
    Wie umgehen mit begrenztem Platz? Städte und Kommunen müssen sich jetzt auf die Folgen des Klimawandels vorbereiten. Gründächer, begrünte Fassaden und großflächige Entsiegelungen könnten zu einem besseren Mikroklima beitragen. Aber wird der Platz nicht auch für Photovoltaik benötigt?

    In einem kontroversen Gespräch loten die Experten Björn Rau (HZB, BAIP) und Jens Hasse (Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik) die Optionen aus und finden neue Lösungen.

  • Humboldt Fellow Alexander Gray comes to HZB
    News
    12.08.2022
    Humboldt Fellow Alexander Gray comes to HZB
    Alexander Gray from Temple University in Philadelphia, USA, is working with HZB physicist Florian Kronast to investigate novel 2D quantum materials at BESSY II. With the fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he can now deepen this cooperation. At BESSY II, he wants to further develop depth-resolved X-ray microscopic and spectroscopic methods in order to investigate 2D quantum materials and devices for new information technologies even more thoroughly.
  • Green hydrogen: Nanostructured nickel silicide shines as a catalyst
    Science Highlight
    11.08.2022
    Green hydrogen: Nanostructured nickel silicide shines as a catalyst
    Electrical energy from wind or sun can be stored as chemical energy in hydrogen, an excellent fuel and energy carrier. The prerequisite for this, however, is efficient electrolysis of water with inexpensive catalysts. For the oxygen evolution reaction at the anode, nanostructured nickel silicide now promises a significant increase in efficiency. This was demonstrated by a group from the HZB, Technical University of Berlin and the Freie Universität Berlin as part of the CatLab research platform with measurements among others at BESSY II.
  • Young investigator research group on electrocatalysis at HZB
    News
    01.08.2022
    Young investigator research group on electrocatalysis at HZB
    Dr. Michelle Browne establishes her own young investigator group at the HZB . Starting in August, the group is co-funded by the Helmholtz Association for the next five years. The electrochemist from Ireland concentrates on electrolytically active novel material systems and wants to develop next-generation electrocatalysts, for example hydrogen production. At HZB she will find the perfect environment to conduct her research.
  • Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene
    Science Highlight
    21.07.2022
    Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene
    C60 molecules on a gold substrate appear more complex than their graphene counterparts, but have much more ordinary electronic properties. This is now shown by measurements with ARPES at BESSY II and detailed calculations.
  • Fine particles back into the raw material cycle
    News
    19.07.2022
    Fine particles back into the raw material cycle
    Industrial processes always produce fine-grained residues. These rarely find their way back into the industrial value chain, but are usually disposed of and represent a potential environmental risk. The FINEST project records and investigates various of these fine-grained material flows with the aim of developing new concepts to keep them in the cycle and safely dispose of remaining residues. 
    FINEST was successful in the Helmholtz Association's sustainability competition and will now receive 5 million euros in funding. 
  • Third-highest oxidation state secures rhodium a place on the podium
    Science Highlight
    14.07.2022
    Third-highest oxidation state secures rhodium a place on the podium
    Oxidation states of transition metals describe how many electrons of an element are already engaged in bonding, and how many are still available for further reactions. Scientists from Berlin and Freiburg have now discovered the highest oxidation state of rhodium, indicating that rhodium can involve more of its valence electrons in chemical bonding than previously thought. This finding might be relevant for the understanding of catalytic reactions involving highly-oxidized rhodium. The result was recognized as a „very important paper“ in Angewandte Chemie.

  • Environmental impact of perovskite-on-silicon solar PV modules lower than silicon alone
    News
    11.07.2022
    Environmental impact of perovskite-on-silicon solar PV modules lower than silicon alone
    Solar photovoltaics is a reliable and sustainable way to generate energy. A study has evaluated for the first time the lifecycle environmental impact of industrially produced perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar modules, provided by Oxford PV. The conclusion: these innovative tandem solar modules are even more environmentally friendly than conventional silicon heterojunction modules over their lifetimes. The study has now been published by the peer reviewed journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels.

  • Potential energy surfaces of water mapped for the first time
    Science Highlight
    07.07.2022
    Potential energy surfaces of water mapped for the first time
    Liquids are more difficult to describe than gases or crystalline solids. An HZB team has now mapped the potential energy surfaces of water molecules in liquid water under ambient conditions for the first time at the Swiss Light Source SLS of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland. This contributes to a better understanding of the chemistry of water and in aqueous solutions. These investigations can soon be continued at the newly built METRIXS station at the X-ray source BESSY II.
  • Spintronics: Giant Rashba semiconductors show unconventional dynamics with potential applications
    Science Highlight
    06.07.2022
    Spintronics: Giant Rashba semiconductors show unconventional dynamics with potential applications
    Germanium telluride is a strong candidate for use in functional spintronic devices due to its giant Rashba-effect. Now, scientists at HZB have discovered another intriguing phenomenon in GeTe by studying the electronic response to thermal excitation of the samples. To their surprise, the subsequent relaxation proceeded fundamentally different to that of conventional semimetals. By delicately controlling the fine details of the underlying electronic structure, new functionalities of this class of materials could be conceived. 

  • The Long Night of Science at HZB: Huge interest and lots of fun
    News
    05.07.2022
    The Long Night of Science at HZB: Huge interest and lots of fun
    A cheerful mood prevailed last Saturday, 2 July 2022: After two years of online format due to the Corona pandemic, the event could finally take place on site again. This time, HZB opened its doors at the Adlershof site and invited people to take tours of BESSY II and visit the Energy Street. Almost 2700 people came to HZB and had a good time until midnight.  
  • Long night of Sciences at HZB: Experience science up close!
    News
    28.06.2022
    Long night of Sciences at HZB: Experience science up close!
    Important info: At the HZB, FFP2 masks are mandatory indoors from the age of 14 during this event.

    How can solar cells be produced even more efficiently? Why is "green" hydrogen so important for our future? Why does Berlin need an accelerator to screen materials? The answers are available at the Long Night of the Sciences. On July 2, 2022, 5 p.m. to midnight, HZB opens its doors at the Adlershof site and invites young and old to experiment.

  • Atomic displacements in High-Entropy Alloys examined
    Science Highlight
    27.06.2022
    Atomic displacements in High-Entropy Alloys examined
    High-entropy alloys of 3d metals have intriguing properties that are interesting for applications in the energy sector. An international team at BESSY II has now investigated the local order on an atomic scale in a so-called high-entropy Cantor alloy of chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt and nickel. The results from combined spectroscopic studies and statistical simulations expand the understanding of this group of materials.
  • Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore visits HZB
    News
    21.06.2022
    Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore visits HZB
    On Friday, 17 June, a delegation from Singapore visited HZB. Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, was accompanied by the Ambassador to Singapore in Germany, Laurence Bay, as well as representatives from research and industry.
  • Calculating the "fingerprints" of molecules with artificial intelligence
    Science Highlight
    13.06.2022
    Calculating the "fingerprints" of molecules with artificial intelligence
    With conventional methods, it is extremely time-consuming to calculate the spectral fingerprint of larger molecules. But this is a prerequisite for correctly interpreting experimentally obtained data. Now, a team at HZB has achieved very good results in significantly less time using self-learning graphical neural networks.
  • Water distribution in the fuel cell made visible in 4D
    Science Highlight
    02.06.2022
    Water distribution in the fuel cell made visible in 4D
    Teams from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and University College London (UCL) have visualised the water distribution in a fuel cell in three dimensions and in real time for the first time by evaluating neutron data from the Berlin Experimental Reactor shut down in 2019. The analysis opens new possibilities for more efficient and thus more cost-effective fuel cells.
  • New cookbook "Science-Food" - download now!
    News
    02.06.2022
    New cookbook "Science-Food" - download now!
    People from many different countries work at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and enrich our atmosphere. For our cookbook, employees and guest researchers from six continents have contributed their favorite recipes.

  • HZB researcher follows the call to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
    News
    01.06.2022
    HZB researcher follows the call to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
    Ronen Gottesman has been a scientist at the HZB Institute for Solar Fuels for the past five years, establishing the pulsed laser deposition team and developing novel complex metal-oxide semiconducting lightabsorbers for photoelectrochemical water splitting to produce "green" hydrogen. Now he is following a call to the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel (HUJI), where he will lead his own research group. 
  • International consortium to advance decarbonisation of the aviation sector
    News
    24.05.2022
    International consortium to advance decarbonisation of the aviation sector
    JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 24 May 2022: CARE-O-SENE research project will develop advanced catalysts for sustainable aviation fuels

    The company Sasol and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will lead a consortium to develop and optimise next-generation catalysts that will play a key role in decarbonising the aviation sector through sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

  • Shutdown at BESSY II: new supply technology ensures long-term operation
    News
    20.05.2022
    Shutdown at BESSY II: new supply technology ensures long-term operation
    The X-ray source BESSY II is in a three-month period of shutdown. During this period, the low voltage main distribution panel in the supply building outside the electron storage ring is being renovated. This will secure the long-term operation of BESSY II over the next decade.
  • Thermal insulation for quantum technologies
    Science Highlight
    19.05.2022
    Thermal insulation for quantum technologies
    New energy-efficient IT components often only operate stably at extremely low temperatures. Therefore, very good thermal insulation of such elements is crucial, which requires the development of materials with extremely low thermal conductivity. A team at HZB has now used a novel sintering process to produce nanoporous silicon aluminium samples in which pores and nanocrystallites impede the transport of heat and thus drastically reduce thermal conductivity. The researchers have developed a model for predicting the thermal conductivity, which was confirmed using experimental data on the microstructure of the samples and their thermal conductivity. Thus, for the first time, a method is available for the targeted development of complex porous materials with ultra-low thermal conductivity.
  • Magnetic nanoparticles in biological vehicles individually characterised
    Science Highlight
    17.05.2022
    Magnetic nanoparticles in biological vehicles individually characterised
    Magnetic nanostructures are promising tools for medical applications.  Incorporated into biological structures, they can be steered via external magnetic fields inside the body to release drugs or to destroy cancer cells. However, until now, only average information on the magnetic properties of those nanoparticles could be obtained, thus limiting their successful implementations in therapies. Now a team at HZB conceived and tested a new method to assess the characteristic parameters of every single magnetic nanoparticle.
  • A high-ranking Brazilian delegation visited HZB
    News
    17.05.2022
    A high-ranking Brazilian delegation visited HZB
    On 16 May 2022, HZB received a delegation from the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). Vice-Minister of Science Sergio Freitas de Almeida was visibly impressed by the many research activities being done at HZB to drive the transition to a climate-neutral energy supply in society forward.
  • Royal visit from Sweden at HZB
    News
    16.05.2022
    Royal visit from Sweden at HZB
    King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden as well as a group of business leaders from large corporations such as Ericsson, Nordholt, Vattenfall, ABB, Schneider Electric and Swedish representatives from the public sector and academia visited the Adlershof Technology Park on 11 May 2022.
  • Light for cutting-edge research from Germany: an exchange with German MPs
    News
    16.05.2022
    Light for cutting-edge research from Germany: an exchange with German MPs
    On 13 May, three research centres of the Helmholtz Association - DESY, HZDR and HZB - presented their joint strategy for accelerator-based light sources to German MPs.
  • Jan Lüning heads HZB Institute for Electronic Structure Dynamics
    News
    09.05.2022
    Jan Lüning heads HZB Institute for Electronic Structure Dynamics
    The HZB Institute for Electronic Structure Dynamics, newly founded on 1 May, develops experimental techniques and infrastructures to investigate the dynamics of elementary microscopic processes in novel material systems. This will help to optimise functional materials for sustainable technologies.
  • How electron spin coupling affects catalytic oxygen activation
    Science Highlight
    09.05.2022
    How electron spin coupling affects catalytic oxygen activation
    A team at the EPR4Energy joint lab of HZB and MPI CEC has developed a new THz EPR spectroscopy method to study the catalytic activation of molecular oxygen by copper complexes. The method allows insights into previously inaccessible spin-spin interactions and the function of novel catalytic and magnetic materials.
  • HZB hosts Humboldt Research Award Winner Alexei Gruverman
    News
    05.05.2022
    HZB hosts Humboldt Research Award Winner Alexei Gruverman
    Professor Alexei Gruverman was granted a Humboldt Research Award in October 2020.  Due to the COVID pandemic, he could not travel until this year. For a few months he is now hosted by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin at the Institute “Functional oxides for energy efficient information technology”. 

  • BESSY Facility Speaker: “I am absolutely thrilled at how international we have become”
    News
    05.05.2022
    BESSY Facility Speaker: “I am absolutely thrilled at how international we have become”
    For 75 years, synchrotron radiation sources have been indispensable for gaining knowledge. Antje Vollmer talks about international networking, a new record at the X-ray source BESSY II – and how she can tell from the research applications alone which social problems are particularly pressing at the moment.
  • Perovskite solar cells: Properties still remain enigmatic
    Science Highlight
    02.05.2022
    Perovskite solar cells: Properties still remain enigmatic
    In order to explain the particularly favourable properties of perovskite semiconductors for solar cells, various hypotheses are circulating. Polarons or a giant Rashba effect, for example, are thought to play a major role. A team at BESSY II has now experimentally disproved these hypotheses. In doing so, they further narrow down the possible causes for the transport properties and enable better approaches for the targeted optimisation of this class of materials.
  • PhD Amran Al-Ashouri: Doubling down for the energy transition
    Portrait
    29.04.2022
    PhD Amran Al-Ashouri: Doubling down for the energy transition
    Climate change has Amran Al-Ashouri concerned. As a physicist, he knows how urgently and quickly measures need to be taken to limit the global temperature increase to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. In his private life, the 29-year-old scientist is accordingly a member of the association “climactivity”, which aims to educate as many people as possible about important matters in climate protection.

  • SNI2022 – Abstract submission extended to 1 May 2022
    News
    26.04.2022
    SNI2022 – Abstract submission extended to 1 May 2022
    The 5th Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities takes place form 5 - 7 September 2022 in Berlin. In response to a great demand the deadline for the abstract submission to the SNI2022 conference has been extended to 1 May. Take this opportunity and submit your abstract by Sunday!
  • Die neue lichtblick ist da!
    Nachricht
    13.04.2022
    Die neue lichtblick ist da!
    In der neuen Ausgabe der lichtblick stellen wir Renske van der Veen in der Titelgeschichte vor. Sie ist seit Sommer 2021 am HZB und baut eine neue Forschungsgruppe auf. Warum sie aus den USA nach Deutschland gekommen ist und wo die kulturellen Unterschiede liegen, erzählt sie darin.

  • Researchers discover why tendons are strong as wire ropes
    News
    11.04.2022
    Researchers discover why tendons are strong as wire ropes
    A team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) has discovered with help of BESSY II new properties of collagen: During the intercalation of minerals in collagen fibers, a contraction tension is generated that is hundreds of times stronger than muscle strength. The associated changes in the collagen structure were observed using X-ray diffraction at the BESSY II synchrotron in Berlin-Adlershof while mineralization was taking place.

  • Solar hydrogen: Better photoelectrodes through flash heating
    Science Highlight
    04.04.2022
    Solar hydrogen: Better photoelectrodes through flash heating
    Producing low-cost metal-oxide thin films with high electronic quality for solar water splitting is not an easy task. Especially since quality improvements of the upper metal oxide thin films need thermal processing at high temperatures, which would melt the underlying glass substrate. Now, a team at HZB-Institute for Solar Fuels has solved this dilemma: A high intensity and rapid light pulse directly heats the semiconducting metal-oxide thin film, allowing to achieve the optimal heating conditions without damaging the substrate.
  • Quantum complexity grows linearly for an exponentially long time
    Science Highlight
    28.03.2022
    Quantum complexity grows linearly for an exponentially long time
    Physicists know about the huge chasm between quantum physics and the theory of gravity. However, in recent decades, theoretical physics has provided some plausible conjecture to bridge this gap and to describe the behaviour of complex quantum many-body systems, for example black holes and wormholes in the universe. Now, a theory group at Freie Universität Berlin and HZB, together with Harvard University, USA, has proven a mathematical conjecture about the behaviour of complexity in such systems, increasing the viability of this bridge. The work is published in Nature Physics.
  • We condemn the military attack on Ukraine
    News
    25.03.2022
    We condemn the military attack on Ukraine
    It is with great dismay that we are witnessing Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, launched on 24 February 2022. We condemn this grave breach of international law. We are concerned for all the inhabitants of Ukraine and in particular for the researchers and students affected by the war. They have our unconditional solidarity.
  • An ultrafast X-ray glance into photoacid electronic structure
    Science Highlight
    25.03.2022
    An ultrafast X-ray glance into photoacid electronic structure
    Photoacids are molecules that release a proton upon electronic excitation, thus enhancing the acidity of a liquid. Pioneering work by Theodor Förster has shown the direct relationship between the wavelength position of optical absorption and acidity properties with which the increase in acidity  in the first electronic excited state can be quantified. However, underlying full microscopic explanations for the photoacidity phenomenon have remained sparse. With ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, locally probing the electronic structure of a proton donating group of an amine aromatic photoacid has now provided direct insight in the changes of electronic structure. The long standing open question for photoacidity has now finally been resolved: major electronic structure changes occur on the base side of the so-called Förster cycle, whereas the acid side plays a minor role. 
  • Fermi Arcs in an Antiferromagnet detected at BESSY II
    Science Highlight
    23.03.2022
    Fermi Arcs in an Antiferromagnet detected at BESSY II
    An international cooperation has analysed samples of NdBi crystals which display interesting magnetic properties. In their experiments including measurements at BESSY II they could find evidence for so called Fermi arcs in the antiferromagnetic state of the sample at low temperatures. This observation is not yet explained by existing theoretical ideas and opens up exciting possibilities to make use of these kind of materials for innovative information technologies based on the electron spin rather than the charge.
  • Unravelling tautomeric mixtures: RIXS at BESSY II allows to see clearly
    Science Highlight
    17.03.2022
    Unravelling tautomeric mixtures: RIXS at BESSY II allows to see clearly
    A team at HZB has developed a method of experimentally unravelling tautomeric mixtures. Based on resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) at BESSY II, not only proportions of the tautomers can be deduced, but the properties of each individual tautomer can be studied selectively. This method could yield to detailed information on the properties of molecules and their biological function. In the present study, now advertised on the cover of “The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters” the technique was applied to the prototypical keto-enol equilibrium.
  • HZB has signed the “Charta der Vielfalt” (Diversity Charter)
    News
    16.03.2022
    HZB has signed the “Charta der Vielfalt” (Diversity Charter)

    HZB is an employer that comprehensively strengthens and cares for the diversity of its employees. HZB publicly acknowledges this by signing the Diversity Charter. The charter is run by an association that works to anchor diversity in the working world.

  • "We can be proud that it worked out": BESSY and the Transregio-SFB on ultrafast spin dynamics
    Interview
    14.03.2022
    "We can be proud that it worked out": BESSY and the Transregio-SFB on ultrafast spin dynamics

    Collaborative Research projects as “Sonderforschungsbereiche” funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft enable universities to build up their own research capacities. In the Transregio Sonderforschungsbereich 227 Ultrafast Spin Dynamic, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University in Halle-Wittenberg have also included HZB as a partner. The slicing facility of BESSY II plays a central role in this collaboration. With excellent results from the first phase, the Transregio-SFB 227 has completed its first interim review and is now preparing for the challenges ahead. A conversation with the two HZB physicists Niko Pontius and Christian Schüßler-Langeheine about the importance of such funding programmes for the research field.

  • Knowledge transfer: BAIP consulting office becomes permanent at HZB
    News
    11.03.2022
    Knowledge transfer: BAIP consulting office becomes permanent at HZB
    The BAIP consulting office for building-integrated photovoltaics has been launched as a knowledge transfer project in 2019, funded by the Helmholtz Association's Initiative and Networking Fund. In order to build a bridge between the world of construction and photovoltaics, the consulting office provides comprehensive knowledge for architects, planners, builder-owners, investors and urban developers. After an excellent evaluation, the BAIP consulting office will be permanently financed by HZB.
  • From Dublin to Berlin as a Humboldt Research Fellow
    News
    10.03.2022
    From Dublin to Berlin as a Humboldt Research Fellow
    Dr. Katarzyna Siewierska joins the group of Prof. Alexander Föhlisch as a postdoctoral Humboldt Research fellow. She has earned her PhD at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and plans in the next two years to explore the electronic structure and spin dynamics of half-metallic thin films at BESSY II.  Understanding these spintronic materials better may pave the way for more energy efficient data storage technologies.
  • From Lab to Fab: World Record Solar Cell Goes from Lab to Industry
    News
    07.03.2022
    From Lab to Fab: World Record Solar Cell Goes from Lab to Industry
    Q CELLS and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin achieve a new world record efficiency for a 2-terminal tandem solar cell combining a mass-production ready silicon bottom cell based on Q.ANTUM technology and a top-cell based on perovskite technology. The efficiency is 28.7%.
  • Predicting solar cell performance from terahertz and microwave spectroscopy
    Science Highlight
    04.03.2022
    Predicting solar cell performance from terahertz and microwave spectroscopy
    Many semiconducting materials are possible candidates for solar cells. In recent years, perovskite semiconductors in particular have attracted attention, as they are both inexpensive and easy to process and enable high efficiencies. Now a study with 15 participating research institutions shows how terahertz (TRTS) and microwave spectroscopy (TRMC) can be used to reliably determine the mobility and lifetime of the charge carriers in new semiconducting materials. Using these measurement data it is possible to predict the potential efficiency of the solar cell in advance and to classify the losses in the finished cell.  
  • “Workhorse” of silicon photovoltaics combined with perovskite in tandem for the first time
    Science Highlight
    24.02.2022
    “Workhorse” of silicon photovoltaics combined with perovskite in tandem for the first time
    So-called PERC cells are used in mass production of silicon solar cells, they are considered the workhorses of photovoltaics, dominating the market. Now two teams from HZB and the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin (ISFH) have shown that such standard silicon cells are also suitable as a basis for tandem cells with perovskite top cells. Currently, the efficiency of the tandem cell is still below that of optimised PERC cells alone, but could be increased to up to 29.5% through targeted optimisation. The research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics as part of a joint project.
  • International research at BESSY II continued even in the corona year 2021
    News
    23.02.2022
    International research at BESSY II continued even in the corona year 2021

    2021 was not an easy year for international research: owing to lockdowns and travel bans, science was hit hard by the pandemic situation. Nevertheless, experiments continued at a high level at the BESSY II light source in Berlin Adlershof – thanks in part to new remote service offers. Here are the figures at a glance.

  • Lithium-Sulfur batteries: First multimodal analysis in pouch cell format
    Science Highlight
    21.02.2022
    Lithium-Sulfur batteries: First multimodal analysis in pouch cell format
    Lithium-sulphur (Li/S) batteries have significantly higher energy densities than conventional lithium-ion batteries, but age very quickly. Now, for the first time, a team at HZB has investigated Li/S batteries in the industry-relevant pouch cell format with different electrolytes during operation. Teams from TU Dresden and the Fraunhofer IWS were also involved in the study. With a specially developed measuring cell, impedance, temperature and pressure can be recorded at different times and combined with radiographic images. The evaluation shows how the electrolyte affects the formation of unwanted sulphur particles and polysulphides. The study has been published in the renowned journal Advanced Energy Materials.
  • Dissertation Prize Adlershof 2021 goes to Amran Al-Ashouri
    News
    21.02.2022
    Dissertation Prize Adlershof 2021 goes to Amran Al-Ashouri

    On February 17, 2022, the Adlershof Dissertation Prize was awarded for the 20th time. Dr. Amran Al-Ashouri (3rd from right) from the HZB young investigator research group "Perovskite tandem solar cells" received the prize endowed with 3,000 euros. The physicist is researching how new organic contact layers can be used to optimize highly efficient perovskite silicon tandem solar cells.

  • Innovative catalysts: An expert review
    Science Highlight
    15.02.2022
    Innovative catalysts: An expert review
    Highly efficient (electro-)catalysts are essential for the production of green hydrogen, the chemical industry, fertiliser production and other sectors of the economy. In addition to transition metals, a variety of other metallic or non-metallic elements have now moved into the focus of research. In a review article, experts from CatLab and Technische Universität Berlin present an overview on current knowledge and a perspective on future research questions.
  • New board „HZB Succeed“ has been founded
    News
    11.02.2022
    New board „HZB Succeed“ has been founded
    To support the development of young scientists at HZB in the best possible way - this has been a long-standing goal of the HZB. Now this task will be pursued even more strategically. To this end, the new board “HZB Succeed” has been founded in January 2022.
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin appoints Eva Unger to professorship
    News
    02.02.2022
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin appoints Eva Unger to professorship
    Eva Unger was now appointed as W2 professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Prof. Dr. Eva Unger leads a research group at HZB. She develops scalable technologies for the production of perovskite semiconductors for low-cost and highly efficient solar cells.
  • User research at BESSY II: Unveiling the secrets of biofilms
    Science Highlight
    31.01.2022
    User research at BESSY II: Unveiling the secrets of biofilms
    Most bacteria have the ability to form communities, biofilms, that adhere to a wide variety of surfaces and are difficult to remove. This can lead to major problems, for example in hospitals or in the food industry. Now, an international team led by Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the Technical University Dresden, has studied a model system for biofilms at the synchrotron radiation facilities BESSY II at HZB and the ESRF and found out what role the structures within the biofilm play in the distribution of nutrients and water.
  • New 12 T magnet on BESSY II’s experimental floor strengthens energy and magnetism research
    News
    28.01.2022
    New 12 T magnet on BESSY II’s experimental floor strengthens energy and magnetism research
    Electron paramagnetic resonance (THz-EPR) at BESSY II provides important information on the electronic structure of novel magnetic materials and catalysts. In mid-January 2022, the researchers brought a new, superconducting 12-T magnet into operation at this end station, which promises new scientific insights.
  • A sundial of a different kind
    Interview
    24.01.2022
    A sundial of a different kind
    Turning a scientific question into a product is the requirement that the winners of the HZB Technology Transfer Prize should fulfil. The team led by Tobias Henschel, Bernd Stannowski and Sebastian Neubert won more than just a prize.
  • Call for “Helmholtz young investigator groups”: apply now!
    News
    04.01.2022
    Call for “Helmholtz young investigator groups”: apply now!
    We are looking for young excellent scientists looking for leadership! Do you want to perform an innovative research project in one of HZB's research fields? Then apply by 28.02.2022!
  • An electronic rainbow – perovskite spectrometer by inkjet printing
    Science Highlight
    20.12.2021
    An electronic rainbow – perovskite spectrometer by inkjet printing
    Researchers from Innovation Lab HySPRINT at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU) have used an advanced inkjet printing technique to produce a large range of photodetector devices based on a hybrid perovskite semiconductor. By mixing of only three inks, the researchers were able to precisely tune the semiconductor properties during the printing process. Inkjet printing is already an established fabrication method in industry, allowing fast and cheap solution processing. Extending the inkjet capabilities from large area coating towards combinatorial material synthesis opens the door for new possibilities for the fabrication of different kind of electronic components in a single printing step.
  • New issue of lichtblick is out - with a big Christmas puzzle!
    News
    15.12.2021
    New issue of lichtblick is out - with a big Christmas puzzle!
    In the cover story this time we introduce Felicia Laberer. At the age of 20, the trainee has already achieved a lot, for example third place at the Paralympics. The canoeist talks about her life between vocational school, work and training at the Olympic base.
  • A Wiki for Perovskite Solar Cell Research
    Science Highlight
    15.12.2021
    A Wiki for Perovskite Solar Cell Research
    An international team of experts has collected data on metal halide perovskite solar cells from more than 15,000 publications and developed a database with visualisation options and analysis tools. The database is open source and provides an overview of the rapidly growing knowledge as well as the open questions in this exciting class of materials. The study was initiated by HZB scientist Dr. Eva Unger and implemented and coordinated by her postdoc Jesper Jacobsson.
  • Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation
    News
    09.12.2021
    Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation
    This year, the Friends of HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to the outstanding doctoral thesis of Dr Fredrik Johansson (Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, CNRS, Sorbonne). The European Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation went to Professor Marianne Liebi and Dr Manuel Guizar-Sicairos, both from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Switzerland). The award ceremony took place at this year's HZB user meeting, which had to be held digitally again this year and attracted nearly 400 participants.
  • Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen: Aufruf zu mehr Sachlichkeit in Krisensituationen
    Nachricht
    06.12.2021
    Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen: Aufruf zu mehr Sachlichkeit in Krisensituationen
    Zur aktuellen Berichterstattung der BILD-Zeitung im Zusammenhang mit der Coronavirus-Pandemie erklärt die Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen:

    „Die BILD-Zeitung setzt mit dem Beitrag „Die Lockdown-Macher“ vom 4. Dezember 2021 ihre im vergangenen Jahr begonnene einseitige Berichterstattung gegen Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler fort, die ihre fachliche Expertise in den Dienst von Politik und Gesellschaft stellen, um der Coronavirus-Pandemie und ihren gerade in diesen Tagen dramatisch sichtbaren Folgen zu begegnen.

  • Liquid crystals for fast switching devices
    Science Highlight
    06.12.2021
    Liquid crystals for fast switching devices
    An international team has investigated a newly synthesized liquid-crystalline material that promises applications in optoelectronics. Simple rod-shaped molecules with a single center of chirality self-assemble into helical structures at room temperature. Using soft X-ray resonant scattering at BESSY II, the scientists have now been able to determine the pitch of the helical structure with high precision. Their results indicate an extremely short pitch at only about 100 nanometres which would enable applications with particularly fast switching processes.

  • Green information technologies: Superconductivity meets Spintronics
    Science Highlight
    02.12.2021
    Green information technologies: Superconductivity meets Spintronics
    Superconducting coupling between two regions separated by a one micron wide ferromagnetic compound has been proved by an international team. This macroscopic quantum effect, known as Josephson effect, generates an electrical current within the ferromagnetic compound made of superconducting Cooper-pairs. Magnetic imaging of the ferromagnetic region at BESSY II has contributed to demonstrate that the spin of the electrons forming the Cooper pairs are equal. These results pave the way for low-power consumption superconducting spintronic-applications where spin-polarized currents can be protected by quantum coherence.

  • Neutron data help to reveal “spooky” entanglement in quantum magnets
    Science Highlight
    25.11.2021
    Neutron data help to reveal “spooky” entanglement in quantum magnets
    Using data from the British neutron source ISIS from the year 2000, research teams have now demonstrated the viability of a “quantum entanglement witness” capable of proving the presence of entanglement between magnetic particles, or spins, in a quantum material. A team from HZB led by Prof. Bella Lake was also involved in the analysis.
  • World record again at HZB: Almost 30 % efficiency for next-generation tandem solar cells
    News
    22.11.2021
    World record again at HZB: Almost 30 % efficiency for next-generation tandem solar cells
    Three HZB teams led by Prof. Christiane Becker, Prof. Bernd Stannowski and Prof. Steve Albrecht have jointly managed to increase the efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cells fabricated completely at HZB to a new record value of 29.80 %. The value has now been officially certified and is documented in the NREL-charts. This brings the 30 percent mark within reach.

  • Walter-Schottky-Award for Felix Büttner
    News
    18.11.2021
    Walter-Schottky-Award for Felix Büttner
    The Walter Schottky Prize honours outstanding work by young physicists in solid-state research. For 2022, the award goes to HZB physicist Dr Felix Büttner for his groundbreaking achievements in the field of magnetic skyrmions.

  • Germany on the road to net zero: a new Web Atlas shows the options
    News
    18.11.2021
    Germany on the road to net zero: a new Web Atlas shows the options
    Which technical and nature-based options as well as political decisions can support Germany in being CO2-neutral? These questions are answered by the new web atlas of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon. The new tool is aimed at politicians, experts and the public. The HZB has also contributed to the web atlas.

  • "Green" chemistry: BESSY II sheds light on mechanochemical synthesis
    Science Highlight
    16.11.2021
    "Green" chemistry: BESSY II sheds light on mechanochemical synthesis
    In mechanochemistry, reagents are finely ground and mixed so that they combine to form the desired product, even without need for solvent. By eliminating solvent, this technology promises to contribute significantly towards ‘green’ and environmentally benign chemical manufacture in the future. However, there are still major gaps in understanding the key processes that occur during mechanical treatment and reaction. A team led by the Federal Institute for Materials Research (BAM) has now developed a method at BESSY II to observe these processes in situ with X-ray scattering. 

  • 20 Years Russian-German Joint Laboratory at BESSY II
    News
    12.11.2021
    20 Years Russian-German Joint Laboratory at BESSY II
    To mark its 20th anniversary, the Russian-German Laboratory at the BESSY II storage ring for synchrotron radiation in Berlin is organising an online workshop on 18 and 19 November. Scientists will discuss the future perspectives of Russian-German cooperation as well as innovative projects and new goals of the laboratory.

  • Stifterverband certifies Helmholtz Centre Berlin for strategies in dealing with diversity
    News
    11.11.2021
    Stifterverband certifies Helmholtz Centre Berlin for strategies in dealing with diversity
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is the first non-university research institution to have undergone the Stifterverband's diversity audit "Vielfalt gestalten". The certification attests to the HZB's opportunity-oriented concepts and measures for diverse groups of people.
  • Professorship for Antonio Abate at Bielefeld University
    News
    03.11.2021
    Professorship for Antonio Abate at Bielefeld University
    Dr. Antonio Abate investigates perovskite semiconductors for low-cost and highly efficient solar cells and heads a large research group at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin. Now he has accepted a W2 professorship in the Department of Chemistry at Bielefeld University.

  • Spintronics: Exotic ferromagnetic order in two-dimensions
    Science Highlight
    29.10.2021
    Spintronics: Exotic ferromagnetic order in two-dimensions
    An international team has detected at HZB's vector magnet facility VEKMAG an unusual ferromagnetic property in a two-dimensional system, known as “easy-plane anisotropy”. This could foster new energy efficient information technologies based on spintronics for data storage, among other things. The team has published its results in the renowned journal Science.

  • Life Time Achievement Award for Roland Müller
    News
    21.10.2021
    Life Time Achievement Award for Roland Müller
    Accelerator and control systems expert Roland Müller received the ICALEPCS Lifetime Achievement Award. In the more than thirty years of his career at BESSY, the physicist has advanced many projects on control systems at accelerators and has been particularly committed to the international exchange of knowledge.

  • Ultrafast magnetism: heating magnets, freezing time
    Science Highlight
    15.10.2021
    Ultrafast magnetism: heating magnets, freezing time
    Magnetic solids can be demagnetized quickly with a short laser pulse, and there are already so-called HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) memories on the market that function according to this principle. However, the microscopic mechanisms of ultrafast demagnetization remain unclear. Now, a team at HZB has developed a new method at BESSY II to quantify one of these mechanisms and applied it to the rare-earth element Gadolinium, whose magnetic properties are caused by electrons on both the 4f and the 5d shells. This study is completing a series of experiments done by the team on Nickel, Iron-Nickel Alloys. Understanding these mechanisms is useful for developing ultrafast data storage devices.

  • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg appoints Olga Kasian
    News
    13.10.2021
    Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg appoints Olga Kasian
    Dr. Olga Kasian is investigating why catalysts for hydrogen production by water electrolysis are limited in efficiency. The chemist has now accepted a professorship at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). The W2 professorship is entitled "Materials for Electrochemical Energy Conversion" and is located at the Faculty of Engineering.

  • Solar energy for a sport watch: HZB Technology Transfer Prize 2021 awarded
    News
    07.10.2021
    Solar energy for a sport watch: HZB Technology Transfer Prize 2021 awarded
    At first glance, it looks like an ordinary wristwatch. But its glass taps the energy of the sun. A research group at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has made this possible. Their transparent photovoltaics have now even made it into mass production, securing the team this year's HZB Technology Transfer Award.

  • Portrait Annette Pietzsch: Researching fundamental phenomena of our world
    Portrait
    07.10.2021
    Portrait Annette Pietzsch: Researching fundamental phenomena of our world
    Annette Pietzsch has many jobs: the physicist develops instruments for BESSY II that researchers can use to observe how molecules interact with each other. She mostly prefers to use the instruments to do her own research. This is what brought her from Sweden to HZB ten years ago.
  • Perovskite solar cells: Defects trap charge carriers - and release them again
    Science Highlight
    07.10.2021
    Perovskite solar cells: Defects trap charge carriers - and release them again
    An international team at HZB and Charles University Prague has investigated how charge carriers in so called MAPI-perovskite semiconductors interact with different defects. They show that a large proportion of defects quickly releases trapped charge carriers. These results could help to further improve the properties of perovskite solar cells.

  • A sharp look into tiny ferroelectric crystals
    Science Highlight
    06.10.2021
    A sharp look into tiny ferroelectric crystals
    What happens to ferroelectric materials when their dimensions are greatly reduced? A team of researchers at HZB has now been able to show how this question can be answered in a detailed way.

  • Beam diagnostics for future laser wakefield accelerators
    Science Highlight
    30.09.2021
    Beam diagnostics for future laser wakefield accelerators
    For decades, particle accelerators have been getting bigger and bigger. In the meantime, ring accelerators with circumferences of many kilometres have reached a practical limit. Linear accelerators in the GHz range also require very long construction lengths. For some years now, however, an alternative is explored: "tabletop particle accelerators" based on the laser excitation of charge waves in plasmas (laser wakefield). Such compact particle accelerators would be particularly interesting for future accelerator-driven light sources, but are also being investigated for high-energy physics. A team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has developed a method to precisely measure the cross-section of electron bunches accelerated in this way.  This brings applications of these new accelerator technologies for medicine and research closer.

  • New world record in materials research - X-ray microscopy with 1000 tomograms per second
    Science Highlight
    27.09.2021
    New world record in materials research - X-ray microscopy with 1000 tomograms per second
    Tomoscopy is an imaging method in which three-dimensional images of the inside of materials are calculated in rapid succession. Now a team led by HZB physicist Francisco García Moreno has achieved a new world record at the TOMCAT beamline of the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute: with 1000 tomograms per second, it is now possible to non-destructively document very fast processes and developments in materials on the micrometre scale, such as the burning of a sparkler or the foaming of a metal alloy for the production of stable lightweight materials. 

  • BR50: How Berlin could be developed into a world-leading science metropolis
    News
    21.09.2021
    BR50: How Berlin could be developed into a world-leading science metropolis
    On 26 September, not only the Bundestag but also the Berlin House of Representatives will be newly elected. In a position paper, the non-university institutions in the capital that are united in Berlin Research 50 now emphasise what is important for research after the election. In it, they outline 10 demands that the future Senate should implement in order to further strengthen Berlin as a science metropolis.



  • Royal Society of Chemistry praises HZB team’s paper on hybrid perovskite structures
    News
    17.09.2021
    Royal Society of Chemistry praises HZB team’s paper on hybrid perovskite structures
    For the 10th anniversary collection of its journal, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) selected a paper published by a team from HZB. The paper from HZB is described as one of the most important contributions in the field of solar energy in recent years. The journal praised 23 selected papers that had been often cited or downloaded, and which offered a valuable advantage for further research. 
  • Surface analysis at BESSY II: sharper insights into thin-film systems
    Science Highlight
    16.09.2021
    Surface analysis at BESSY II: sharper insights into thin-film systems

    Interfaces in semiconductor components or solar cells play a crucial role for functionality. Nevertheless, until now it has often been difficult to investigate adjacent thin films separately using spectroscopic methods. An HZB team at BESSY II has combined two different spectroscopic methods and used a model system to demonstrate how well they can be distinguished.

  • HZB uses electricity-producing facade wall as real laboratory
    News
    07.09.2021
    HZB uses electricity-producing facade wall as real laboratory
    In the presence of the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations of the State of Berlin, Christian Rickerts, the HZB officially commissioned the solar façade of a new research building on 6 September 2021. What makes it so special is that the elegant façade not only generates up to 50 kilowatts of electricity (peak power). It also provides important insights into the behaviour of the solar modules under different weather conditions.  
  • Paralympics: Colleague Felicia Laberer wins bronze medal
    News
    05.09.2021
    Paralympics: Colleague Felicia Laberer wins bronze medal
    Felicia Laberer wins a bronze medal in canoeing at the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. We are happy with her and congratulate very much. At HZB, the 20-year-old is currently an apprentice as an office management assistant. In June, the canoeist had already earned the European Championship.

  • Disorder brings out quantum physical talents
    Science Highlight
    01.09.2021
    Disorder brings out quantum physical talents
    Quantum effects are most noticeable at extremely low temperatures, which limits their usefulness for technical applications. Thin films of MnSb2Te4, however, show new talents due to a small excess of manganese. Apparently, the resulting disorder provides spectacular properties: The material proves to be a topological insulator and is ferromagnetic up to comparatively high temperatures of 50 Kelvin, measurements at BESSY II show.  This makes this class of material suitable for quantum bits, but also for spintronics in general or applications in high-precision metrology.

  • On the trail of lithium dendrites: How destructive formations develop in batteries
    Science Highlight
    01.09.2021
    On the trail of lithium dendrites: How destructive formations develop in batteries
    Tiny formations inside lithium batteries can severely limit the operating life of an energy storage device. A research team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now investigated the process behind these formations in greater detail. Their results provide anchor points for the future development of longer-lasting and safer lithium batteries.
  • Precision measurements lead to breakthroughs: HZB is planning the construction of a new accelerator-based light source
    News
    30.08.2021
    Precision measurements lead to breakthroughs: HZB is planning the construction of a new accelerator-based light source
    For the 200th birthday of Hermann von Helmholtz, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is celebrating by hosting a festive event in Berlin-Adlershof. The polymath Helmholtz still inspires researchers to this day, now notably in the planning of an accelerator-based light source of the latest generation, which HZB is presenting at the event. It will generate light of special quality for research. Governing Mayor Michael Müller has stressed the importance of a new light source for the research location Berlin.
  • Perovskite solar cells: Interfacial loss mechanisms revealed
    Science Highlight
    20.08.2021
    Perovskite solar cells: Interfacial loss mechanisms revealed

    Metal-organic perovskite materials promise low-cost and high-performance solar cells. Now a group at HZB managed to de-couple the different effects of self-assembled monolayers of organic molecules (SAMs) that reduce losses at the interfaces. Their results help to optimise such functional interlayers.

  • Neutron instrument VSANS will move to Penn State University, USA
    News
    19.08.2021
    Neutron instrument VSANS will move to Penn State University, USA

    At the end of 2019, the Berlin neutron source BER II was shut down as scheduled. To ensure that the high-quality instruments can continue to be used for research, they are moving to suitable neutron sources in Germany and abroad. Now, another move has been agreed upon: The Very Small Angle Scattering Instrument (VSANS) will find a new home at the Breazeale Research Reactor at Penn State University, USA, in spring 2022.

  • Review: X-ray scattering methods with synchrotron radiation
    News
    18.08.2021
    Review: X-ray scattering methods with synchrotron radiation
    Synchrotron light sources provide brilliant light with a focus on the X-ray region and have enormously expanded the possibilities for characterising materials. In the Reviews of Modern Physics, an international team now gives an overview of elastic and inelastic X-ray scattering processes, explains the theoretical background and sheds light on what insights these methods provide in physics, chemistry as well as bio- and energy related themes.

  • HZB coordinates European collaboration to develop active agents against Corona
    News
    11.08.2021
    HZB coordinates European collaboration to develop active agents against Corona
    X-ray structure analysis at BESSY II enables the systematic testing of many thousands of molecules that could inhibit the reproduction and virulence of SARS-CoV2 viruses. Now, a team at HZB with partners from Austria and the Czech Republic has set up the NECESSITY project to investigate more than 8000 compounds in a high-throughput procedure and develop active agents against COVID-19.

  • Green hydrogen: Why do certain catalysts improve in operation?
    Science Highlight
    09.08.2021
    Green hydrogen: Why do certain catalysts improve in operation?
    Crystalline cobalt arsenide is a catalyst that generates oxygen during electrolytic water splitting in the production of hydrogen. The material is considered to be a model system for an important group of catalysts whose performance increases under certain conditions in the course of electrolysis. Now a HZB-team headed by Marcel Risch has observed at BESSY II how two simultaneous mechanisms are responsible for this. The catalytic activity of the individual catalysis centres decreases in the course of electrolysis, but at the same time the morphology of the catalyst layer also changes. Under favourable conditions, considerably more catalysis centres come into contact with the electrolyte as a result, so that the overall performance of the catalyst increases.

  • Mehr als nur "Fassade": Nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch Solarfassaden
    Nachricht
    06.08.2021
    Mehr als nur "Fassade": Nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch Solarfassaden
    Ein Beitrag über die nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch Solarfassaden

  • When vibrations increase on cooling: Anti-freezing observed
    Science Highlight
    04.08.2021
    When vibrations increase on cooling: Anti-freezing observed
    An international team has observed an amazing phenomenon in a nickel oxide material during cooling: Instead of freezing, certain fluctuations actually increase as the temperature drops. Nickel oxide is a model system that is structurally similar to high-temperature superconductors. The experiment shows once again that the behaviour of this class of materials still holds surprises.

  • Water as a metal - detected at BESSY II
    Science Highlight
    28.07.2021
    Water as a metal - detected at BESSY II
    Under normal conditions, pure water is an almost perfect insulator. Water only develops metallic properties under extreme pressure, such as exists deep inside of large planets. Now, an international collaboration has used a completely different approach to produce metallic water and documented the phase transition at BESSY II. The study is published now in Nature.

  • Battery research - SkaLiS project funded with 2.2 million euros
    News
    26.07.2021
    Battery research - SkaLiS project funded with 2.2 million euros
    Powerful, compact, and affordable batteries are needed for the energy transition. Groups at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) led by Prof. Yan Lu, Dr. Ingo Manke, and Dr. Sebastian Risse are conducting this research. They are investigating and developing novel types of electrode materials based on sulphur and silicon. Risse is now also coordinating a large project involving teams from HZB as well as from the University of Potsdam near Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden.
  • Lead-free perovskite solar cells - How fluoride additives improve quality
    Science Highlight
    26.07.2021
    Lead-free perovskite solar cells - How fluoride additives improve quality
    Tin halide perovskites are currently considered the best alternative to their lead-containing counterparts, which are, however, still significantly less efficient and stable. Now, a team led by Prof. Antonio Abate from HZB has analysed the chemical processes in the perovskite precursor solution and the fluoride compounds in detail. Using a clever combination of measurement methods at BESSY II and with NMR at the Humboldt-University Berlin, they were able to show that fluoride prevents the oxidation of tin and leads to a more homogeneous film formation with fewer defects, increasing the quality of the semiconductor layer.

  • Virtual visits at HZB and 360° Panorama
    News
    23.07.2021
    Virtual visits at HZB and 360° Panorama
    Due to Corona, it is currently not possible to welcome groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through the facility. Nevertheless, we open our doors virtually for you and provide insights into research facilities and labs at HZB. Make yourself comfortable and start your own virtual tour through BESSY II. Move through 360-degree images, have a look and linger at selected stations.

  • Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronics
    Science Highlight
    16.07.2021
    Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronics
    A team led by HZB physicist Dr. Jaime Sánchez-Barriga has gained new insights into the ultrafast response of topological states of matter to femtosecond laser excitation. Using time- and spin-resolved methods at BESSY II, the physicists explored how, after optical excitation, the complex interplay in the behavior of excited electrons in the bulk and on the surface results in unusual spin dynamics. The work is an important step on the way to spintronic devices based on topological materials for ultrafast information processing.

  • DAPHNE - Data for Photon and Neutron Experiments
    News
    12.07.2021
    DAPHNE - Data for Photon and Neutron Experiments
    Data in the petabyte range are produced annually at large-scale facilities. This research data must be stored for at least ten years. Now 19 scientific institutions in Germany, among them HZB, aim to develop common standards for software, data exchange and data repositories to make research data permanently available. The DAPHNE4NFDI project will be funded over the next five years as part of the National Research Data Infrastructure and is coordinated by DESY.

  • Solar hydrogen for Antarctica - study shows advantages of thermally coupled approach
    Science Highlight
    02.07.2021
    Solar hydrogen for Antarctica - study shows advantages of thermally coupled approach
    A team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Ulm University, and Heidelberg University has now investigated how hydrogen can be produced at the South Pole using sunlight, and which method is the most promising. Their conclusion: in extremely cold regions, it can be considerably more efficient to attach the PV modules directly to the electrolyser, i.e. to thermally couple them. This is because the waste heat from the PV modules increases the efficiency of electrolysis in this environment. The results of this study, which has now been published in Energy & Environmental Science, are also relevant for other cold regions on Earth, such as Alaska, Canada, and high mountain regions, for example. In these places, solar hydrogen could replace fossil fuels such as oil and petrol.

  • Synchrotrons accelerate corona research
    News
    29.06.2021
    Synchrotrons accelerate corona research
    Information by the German Committee Research with Synchrotron Radiation (KFS).

    Synchrotron light sources were originally built to study particles. Today, they are even used in the fight against COVID-19. The projects are as diverse as the fields of the synchrotron users, who come from universities, research institutions and companies like BioNTech.

  • Tailwind for top research in Germany
    News
    28.06.2021
    Tailwind for top research in Germany

    Three research centres in the Helmholtz Association have developed a joint future plan for the research conducted at the scientific light sources they operate in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. The upgrades proposed in the strategy for their world-class accelerator-based facilities will strengthen Germany as a research location and promote innovations in many different fields. The strategy paper was presented on 28 June at the Helmholtz Symposium “Research Infrastructures of the Future” as a component of the Helmholtz Roadmap.

  • VIPERLAB: EU project aims to boost perovskite solar industry in Europe
    News
    24.06.2021
    VIPERLAB: EU project aims to boost perovskite solar industry in Europe
    The HZB is coordinating a major European collaborative project to open up new opportunities for the European solar industry. The VIPERLAB project involves 15 renowned research institutions from Europe, as well as Switzerland and Great Britain. It will be funded within the framework of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme for the next three and a half years with a total of 5.5 million euros, from which the HZB will receive just under 840,000 euros. 

  • BESSY II: universal mechanism of regulation in plant cells discovered
    Science Highlight
    21.06.2021
    BESSY II: universal mechanism of regulation in plant cells discovered
    In pioneering work, a German-Japanese research team at BESSY II has been able to determine the 3D structure of a metalloprotein that plays an important role as a catalyst in all plant cells. This involves the DYW deaminase domain of what is referred to as the RNA editosome. The DYW domain alters messenger RNA nucleotides in chloroplasts and mitochondria and contains a zinc ion whose activity is controlled by a very unusual mechanism. The team has now been able to describe this mechanism in detail for the first time. Their study, published in Nature Catalysis, is considered a breakthrough in the field of plant molecular biology and has far-reaching implications for bioengineering.

  • CatLab - Starting signal for a new generation of catalysts
    News
    21.06.2021
    CatLab - Starting signal for a new generation of catalysts
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Society (MPG) are launching CatLab, their new joint catalysis research centre in Berlin. The inauguration ceremony took place on June 21st in the presence of Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, the Innovation Officer for Green Hydrogen at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Member of the federal Bundestag. High-ranking representatives from science, government, and industry took part.
  • Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights into early stages of structure formation
    Science Highlight
    18.06.2021
    Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights into early stages of structure formation
    Using small-angle scattering at the PTB X-ray beamline of BESSY II, an HZB team was able to experimentally investigate the colloidal chemistry of perovskite precursor solutions used for solar cell production. The results contribute to the targeted and systematic optimization of the manufacturing process and quality of these exciting semiconductor materials.

  • How quantum dots can "talk" to each other
    Science Highlight
    03.06.2021
    How quantum dots can "talk" to each other

    A group at HZB has worked out theoretically how the communication between two quantum dots can be influenced with light.  The team led by Annika Bande also shows ways to control the transfer of information or energy from one quantum dot to another. To this end, the researchers calculated the electronic structure of two nanocrystals, which act as quantum dots. With the results, the movement of electrons in quantum dots can be simulated in real time.

  • Renske van der Veen heads new department "Atomic Dynamics in Light-Energy Conversion"
    News
    02.06.2021
    Renske van der Veen heads new department "Atomic Dynamics in Light-Energy Conversion"
    From June 2021, Dr. Renske van der Veen is setting up a new research group at HZB. The chemist is an expert in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy and studies catalytic processes that enable the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy.

  • BESSY II: New insights into switchable MOF structures at the MX beamlines
    Science Highlight
    27.05.2021
    BESSY II: New insights into switchable MOF structures at the MX beamlines
    Metal-organic framework compounds (MOFs) are widely used in gas storage, material separation, sensor technology or catalysis. A team led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Kaskel, TU Dresden, has now investigated a special class of these MOFs at the MX beamlines of BESSY II. These are "switchable" MOFs that can react to external stimuli. Their analysis shows how the behaviour of the material is related to transitions between ordered and disordered phases. The results have now been published in Nature Chemistry.

  • Perovskite solar cells: Hydrogen bonds measured
    Science Highlight
    26.05.2021
    Perovskite solar cells: Hydrogen bonds measured
    The evaluation of X-ray measurements on methylammonium perovskite semiconductors now shows what role hydrogen bonds play in these materials. In addition, the HZB team showed that radiation damage by soft X-rays to this sensitive class of materials occurs even faster than often expected. Both results provide important information for perovskites materials research for solar cells.

  • “The gain in insights for structural biology has continued for five decades”
    Interview
    11.05.2021
    “The gain in insights for structural biology has continued for five decades”

    Prof. Dr. Udo Heinemann works at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, where he has been researching in structural biology for 40 years. From 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the Advisory Board for the Protein Data Bank in Europe. In an interview, he speaks of the value added by the Protein Data Bank for research today, and why it is important that there are specialised beamlines for structural biology analysis in Berlin.

  • MYSTIIC at BESSY II: New X-ray microscope put into operation
    News
    22.04.2021
    MYSTIIC at BESSY II: New X-ray microscope put into operation
    A new X-ray microscope has started operation at the Energy Materials in situ Lab (EMIL). It is a scanning transmission X-ray microscope designed to examine both sample surfaces and bulk sample. With the soft X-ray light from BESSY II, it is even possible to localise individual elements and chemical compounds; the spatial resolution is below 20 nanometres.

  • Direct observation of the ad- and desorption of guest atoms into a mesoporous host
    Science Highlight
    21.04.2021
    Direct observation of the ad- and desorption of guest atoms into a mesoporous host
    Battery electrodes, storage devices for gases, and some catalyst materials have tiny functional pores that can accommodate atoms, ions, and molecules. How these guest atoms are absorbed into or released from the pores is crucial to understanding the porous materials' functionality. However, usually these processes can only be observed indirectly. A team from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has employed two experimental approaches using the ASAXS instrument at the PTB X-ray beamline of the HZB BESSY II synchrotron to directly observe the adsorption process of atoms in a mesoporous model system. The work lays the foundations for new insights into these kinds of energy materials.

  • Green hydrogen: "Rust" as a photoanode and its limits
    Science Highlight
    19.04.2021
    Green hydrogen: "Rust" as a photoanode and its limits
    Metal oxides such as rust are intriguing photoelectrode materials for the production of green hydrogen with sunlight. They are cheap and abundant, but in spite of decades of research, progress has been limited. A team at HZB, together with partners from Ben Gurion University and the Technion, Israel, has now analysed the optoelectronic properties of rust (haematite) and other metal oxides in unprecedented detail. Their results show that the maximum achievable efficiency of haematite electrodes is significantly lower than previously assumed. The study demonstrates ways to assess new photoelectrode materials more realistically.

  • Virtual tours: Experience the HZB in 360 degrees!
    News
    15.04.2021
    Virtual tours: Experience the HZB in 360 degrees!

    Unfortunately, due to Corona, we are currently unable to receive groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through our centre. Despite Corona, we would like to provide you with insights into HZB. Simply follow our 360-degree tours and experience how we conduct research at the BESSY II accelerator. Further tours are being planned.

  • X-ray lightsource at DESY identifies promising candidates for COVID drugs
    Science Highlight
    06.04.2021
    X-ray lightsource at DESY identifies promising candidates for COVID drugs
    At DESY's high-brilliance X-ray light source PETRA III, a team from more than 30 research institutions has identified several candidates for active substances against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. They bind to an important protein of the virus and could thus be the basis for a drug against Covid-19. The MX team from HZB examined part of the measurement data with special analysis algorithms in order to identify suitable active substances. The study has now been published in the renowned journal Science.

  • Tomography brings insights into the early evolution of bones
    Science Highlight
    31.03.2021
    Tomography brings insights into the early evolution of bones
    Modern biology considers bone cells (osteocytes) as essential for bone development and health. However, when bone initially evolved some 400-million years ago, it did not contain bone cells. So why did bone cells evolve? Why was it so advantageous that most subsequent vertebrates have bone cells? A joint team of palaeontologists at Berlin’s natural history museum has now for the first time analysed these structures in 400 million-year-old fossils of marine life at unprecedentedly high resolution and in 3D. To be able to view these structures, tomography experts at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) examined the samples under the focussed ion beam of a scanning electron microscope to calculate 3D images from the data, achieving resolutions in the nanometre range using technology that was initially developed to study battery corrosion.

     

  • New insights into the structure of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites
    Science Highlight
    22.03.2021
    New insights into the structure of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites
    In photovoltaics, organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites have made a rapid career. But many questions about the crystalline structure of this surprisingly complex class of materials remain unanswered. Now, a team at HZB has used four-dimensional modelling to interpret structural data of methylammonium lead bromide (MAPbBr3), identifying incommensurable superstructures and modulations of the predominant structure. The study is published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters and was selected by the editors as an Editor's Choice.

  • Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscale
    Science Highlight
    17.03.2021
    Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscale
    Solar cells made of crystalline silicon achieve peak efficiencies, especially in combination with selective contacts made of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). However, their efficiency is limited by losses in these contact layers. Now, for the first time, a team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Utah, USA, has experimentally shown how such contact layers generate loss currents on the nanometre scale and what their physical origin is. Using a conductive atomic force microscope, they scanned the solar cell surfaces in ultra-high vacuum and detected tiny, nanometre-sized channels for the detrimental dark currents, which are due to disorder in the a-Si:H layer.

  • HZB re-certified as a compatibility-friendly company again
    News
    17.03.2021
    HZB re-certified as a compatibility-friendly company again
    HZB has been certified as a family-friendly employer since 2011. Now the research centre has successfully completed the re-auditing process and developed further measures to promote a life phase conscious working culture. The certificate is considered a seal of quality for the company's compatibility policy and is awarded by the board of trustees of berufundfamilie Service GmbH.
  • Instrument at BESSY II shows how light activates MoS2 layers to become catalysts
    Science Highlight
    05.03.2021
    Instrument at BESSY II shows how light activates MoS2 layers to become catalysts
    Thin films of molybdenum and sulfur belong to a class of materials that can be considered for use as photocatalysts. Inexpensive catalysts such as these are needed to produce hydrogen as a fuel using solar energy. However, they are still not very efficient as catalysts. A new instrument at the Helmholtz-Berlin Zentrum’s BESSY II now shows how a light pulse alters the surface properties of the thin film and activates the material as a catalyst.

  • New skills of Graphene: Tunable lattice vibrations
    Science Highlight
    01.03.2021
    New skills of Graphene: Tunable lattice vibrations
    Technological innovation in the last century was mainly based on the control of electrons or photons. Now, in the emerging research field of phononics, phonons or vibrations of the crystal lattice attract attention. A team at Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed a graphene-based phononic crystal whose resonant frequency can be tuned over a broad range and has used a helium-ion microscope to produce such a crystal. This is a real breakthrough in the field of phononics, now published in Nano Letters.

  • Dental materials science: HZB is part of a research project funded by DFG
    News
    26.02.2021
    Dental materials science: HZB is part of a research project funded by DFG
    How can dental restorations – such as fillings and crowns – be made to last longer? A new research group centered at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Technische Universität (TU) Berlin plans to address this topic by utilizing approaches from both materials science and dentistry. The interdisciplinary ‘InterDent’ research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It will receive an initial funding of €2.1 million Euro over three years. Partners also include the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI-KG).

  • Accelerator physics: Experiment reveals new options for synchrotron light sources
    Science Highlight
    24.02.2021
    Accelerator physics: Experiment reveals new options for synchrotron light sources
    An international team has shown through a sensational experiment how diverse the possibilities for employing synchrotron light sources are. Accelerator experts from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), the German federal metrology institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), and Tsinghua University in Beijing have used a laser to manipulate electron bunches at PTB's Metrology Light Source so that they emitted intense light pulses having a laser-like character. Using this method, specialised synchrotron radiation sources would potentially be able to fill a gap in the arsenal of available light sources and offer a prototype for industrial applications. The work was published on 24 February 2021 in the leading scientific publication Nature.

  • The 4000th eye tumour patient treated with protons at HZB
    News
    24.02.2021
    The 4000th eye tumour patient treated with protons at HZB

    On 19 February 2021, the 4000th eye tumour patient received irradiation with protons, performed by a joint team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The number of patients treated in 2020 remained at the previous year's level despite the more difficult corona conditions. The treatment in Berlin-Wannsee is only available for uveal melanomas of the eye. The proton accelerator at HZB is the only therapy site for this disease in Germany.

  • The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cells
    Science Highlight
    22.02.2021
    The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cells
    A long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from abundant materials. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now come a step closer to achieving this. They have improved a process for vertically depositing a solution made from an inexpensive perovskite solute onto a moving substrate below. Not only have they discovered the crucial role played by one of the solvents used, but they have also taken a closer look at the aging and storage properties of the solution.

  • World's first video recording of a space-time crystal
    Science Highlight
    10.02.2021
    World's first video recording of a space-time crystal
    A German-Polish research team has succeeded in creating a micrometer-sized space-time crystal consisting of magnons at room temperature. With the help of the scanning transmission X-ray microscope MAXYMUS at Bessy II at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, they were able to film the recurring periodic magnetization structure in a crystal. The research project was a collaboration between scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart, Germany, the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań in Poland.

  • The HZB Graduate Center is here now
    News
    04.02.2021
    The HZB Graduate Center is here now
    The HZB “DR coordination” is now the HZB Graduate Center. Since the beginning of 2018, the DR coordination has been continuously expanding the offers and standards at the HZB for doctoral researchers and their advisors. The ideas and suggestions that were collected in discussions with numerous stakeholders and in various HZB committees on this topic are leading the path and are incorporated in the set up of a uniform HZB-wide umbrella structure for doctoral researchers and their advisors - the HZB Graduate Center.

  • An efficient tool to link X-ray experiments and ab initio theory
    Science Highlight
    28.01.2021
    An efficient tool to link X-ray experiments and ab initio theory
    The electronic structure of complex molecules and their chemical reactivity can be assessed by the method of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) at BESSY II. However, the evaluation of RIXS data has so far required very long computing times. A team at BESSY II has now developed a new simulation method that greatly accelerates this evaluation. The results can even be calculated during the experiment. Guest users could use the procedure like a black box.

  • Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of α-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies
    Science Highlight
    26.01.2021
    Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of α-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies
    Photoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. α-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. Combined with theoretical methods, the measurement data reveal the presence of an oxide layer that impairs the efficiency of the photoanode.


  • How complex oscillations in a quantum system simplify with time
    Science Highlight
    25.01.2021
    How complex oscillations in a quantum system simplify with time
    With a clever experiment, physicists have shown that in a one-dimensional quantum system, the initially complex distribution of vibrations or phonons can change over time into a simple Gaussian bell curve. The experiment took place at the Vienna University of Technology, while the theoretical considerations were carried out by a joint research group from the Freie Universität Berlin and HZB.

  • HZB and Humboldt University agree to set up a catalysis laboratory
    News
    25.01.2021
    HZB and Humboldt University agree to set up a catalysis laboratory
    Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) have signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of establishing a joint research laboratory for catalysis in the IRIS research building of HU in Adlershof. The IRIS research building offers optimal conditions for the research and development of complex material systems.

  • Corona Update 07.01.2021 / restriced operation
    News
    07.01.2021
    Corona Update 07.01.2021 / restriced operation
    After careful assessment of the situation, the HZB management has decided that HZB continue to operate in a very restricted mode. From 11.01.2021 on, the laboratories and BESSY II are opened exclusively for in-house research. Eye tumor therapy continue to take place.
  • Accelerator Physics: HF-Couplers for bERLinPro prove resilient
    News
    07.01.2021
    Accelerator Physics: HF-Couplers for bERLinPro prove resilient
    In synchrotron light sources, an electron accelerator brings electron bunches to almost the speed of light so that they can emit the special "synchrotron light". The electron bunches get their enormous energy and their special shape from a standing electromagnetic alternating field in so-called cavities. With high electron currents, as required in the bERLinPro project, the power needed for the stable excitation of this high-frequency alternating field is enormous. The coupling of this high power is achieved with special antennas, so-called couplers, and is considered a great scientific and technical challenge. Now, a first measurement campaign with optimised couplers at bERLinPro shows that the goal can be achieved.

  • Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award Synchrotron Radiation
    News
    15.12.2020
    Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award Synchrotron Radiation
    This year, the Friends of HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to Dr. Martin Bluschke (MPI for Solid State Research and TU Berlin) for his outstanding doctoral thesis. The European Innovation Award for Synchrotron Radiation went to a team of four physicists for their work on the FERMI free electron laser at the Elettra synchrotron source in Trieste. The award ceremony took place at this year's HZB user meeting, which had to be held digitally this year.
  • Two neutron instruments from HZB move to Munich
    News
    11.12.2020
    Two neutron instruments from HZB move to Munich
    At the end of 2019, the neutron source used for materials research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was shut down as planned. Now the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) in Munich is taking over two scientific instruments from the HZB. The Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF) is funding the relocation and adaptation with 5.62 million euros.

  • Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiency
    Science Highlight
    11.12.2020
    Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiency
    An HZB team has published a report in the journal Science on the development of its current world record of 29.15% efficiency for a tandem solar cell made of perovskite and silicon. The tandem cell provided stable performance for 300 hours – even without encapsulation. To accomplish this, the group headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht investigated physical processes at the interfaces to improve the transport of the charge carriers.

  • Architectural Design drafts for new CatLab Center awarded
    News
    07.12.2020
    Architectural Design drafts for new CatLab Center awarded
    An innovative laboratory and office building for catalysis research will be built in Berlin-Adlershof: CatLab is to become an international beacon for catalysis research and drive forward the development of novel catalyst materials, which are urgently required for the production of green hydrogen for the energy transition. In an architectural competition four winning designs have now been selected. All designs include climate friendly solutions.

  • CatLab - A beacon for future hydrogen research
    News
    01.12.2020
    CatLab - A beacon for future hydrogen research

    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and two Max Planck institutes are building a catalysis research platform named CatLab to achieve leaps of innovation in hydrogen research

    Hydrogen as a sustainable fuel source will play a key role in our energy system for the future. Hydrogen-based chemical energy media are needed as long-term storage repositories in the energy system and are crucial for climate-neutral design of industrial processes. The German federal government's National Hydrogen Strategy clearly identifies the great need for research in this area, which will be the foundation for breakthroughs and leaps in innovation. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and two Max Planck institutes – the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) – are pooling their expertise for this purpose and together with Humboldt Universität zu Berlin they are jointly establishing the CatLab research platform in Berlin. CatLab is intended as a bridge between pure research and industry, and is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with more than 50 million euros. In total, the five-year development project will cost about 100 million euros.

  • Perovskite Solar Cells: paving the way for rational ink design for industrial-scale manufacturing
    Science Highlight
    27.11.2020
    Perovskite Solar Cells: paving the way for rational ink design for industrial-scale manufacturing
    For the production of high-quality metal-halide perovskite thin-films for large area photovoltaic modules often optimized inks are used which contain a mixture of solvents. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed the crystallisation processes within such mixtures. A model has also been developed to assess the kinetics of the crystallisation processes for different solvent mixtures. The results are of high importance for the further development of perovskite inks for industrial-scale deposition processes of these semiconductors.

  • User research at BESSY II: Graphite electrodes for rechargeable batteries investigated
    Science Highlight
    20.11.2020
    User research at BESSY II: Graphite electrodes for rechargeable batteries investigated
    Rechargeable graphite dual ion batteries are inexpensive and powerful. A team of the Technical University of Berlin has investigated at the EDDI Beamline of BESSY II how the morphology of the graphite electrodes changes reversibly during cycling (operando). The 3D X-ray tomography images combined with simultaneous diffraction now allow a precise evaluation of the processes, especially of changes in the volume of the electrodes. This can help to further optimise graphite electrodes.

  • Green hydrogen: buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyte
    Science Highlight
    19.11.2020
    Green hydrogen: buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyte
    Hydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualise convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model. The results can support the design and scaling up of this technology and have been published in the renowned journal Energy and Environmental Science.

  • Solar cells: Mapping the landscape of Caesium based inorganic halide perovskites
    Science Highlight
    16.11.2020
    Solar cells: Mapping the landscape of Caesium based inorganic halide perovskites
    Scientists at HZB have printed and explored different compositions of caesium based halide perovskites (CsPb(BrxI1−x)3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1)). In a temperature range between room temperature and 300 Celsius, they observe structural phase transitions influencing the electronic properties. The study provides a quick and easy method to assess new compositions of perovskite materials in order to identify candidates for applications in thin film solar cells and optoelectronic devices.

  • Future Information Technologies: Germanium telluride's hidden properties at the nanoscale revealed
    Science Highlight
    05.11.2020
    Future Information Technologies: Germanium telluride's hidden properties at the nanoscale revealed
    Germanium Telluride is an interesting candidate material for spintronic devices. In a comprehensive study at BESSY II, a Helmholtz-RSF Joint Research Group has now revealed how the spin texture switches by ferroelectric polarization within individual nanodomains.

  • Order in the disorder: density fluctuations in amorphous silicon discovered
    Science Highlight
    29.10.2020
    Order in the disorder: density fluctuations in amorphous silicon discovered
    For the first time, a team at HZB has identified the atomic substructure of amorphous silicon with a resolution of 0.8 nanometres using X-ray and neutron scattering at BESSY II and BER II. Such a-Si:H thin films have been used for decades in solar cells, TFT displays, and detectors. The results show that three different phases form within the amorphous matrix, which dramatically influences the quality and lifetime of the semiconductor layer. The study was selected for the cover of the actual issue of Physical Review Letters.

  • Modelling shows which quantum systems are suitable for quantum simulations
    Science Highlight
    27.10.2020
    Modelling shows which quantum systems are suitable for quantum simulations
    A joint research group led by Prof. Jens Eisert of Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown a way to simulate the quantum physical properties of complex solid state systems. This is done with the help of complex solid state systems that can be studied experimentally. The study was published in the renowned journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
  • Solar hydrogen: Let’s consider the stability of photoelectrodes
    Science Highlight
    26.10.2020
    Solar hydrogen: Let’s consider the stability of photoelectrodes

    As part of an international collaboration, a team at the HZB has examined the corrosion processes of high-quality BiVO4 photoelectrodes using different state-of-the-art characterisation methods. The result is the first operando stability study of high-purity BiVO4 photoanodes during the photoelectrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER). This work shows how the stability of photoelectrodes and catalysts can be compared and enhanced in the future.

  • Nanopatterns of proteins detected by cryo-electron microscopy
    Science Highlight
    15.10.2020
    Nanopatterns of proteins detected by cryo-electron microscopy
    A team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) used cryo electron microscopy to detect regular, two-dimensional structures in the form of Pascal triangles in a shock frozen protein material.  The samples have been synthesized by a Chinese research group. The method of cryo electron microscopy has the potential for new insights into energy materials as well.
  • HZB is one of the best trainers in Berlin
    News
    12.10.2020
    HZB is one of the best trainers in Berlin
    The Berlin-South Employment Agency has awarded the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for an innovative  procedure to select applicants for apprenticeships and dual studies not only on the basis of their grades, but also to include communicative and social skills. A total of eight Berlin companies were awarded the Certificate for Young Talent Promotion 2019/2020.
  • Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskites
    Science Highlight
    12.10.2020
    Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskites
    Solar cells based on hybrid halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies. These mixed organic-inorganic semiconductors are usually produced as thin films of microcrystals. An investigation with the Laue camera at the neutron source BER II could now clarify that twinning occurs during crystallisation even at room temperature. This insight is helpful for optimising production processes of halide perovskites. 

  • University of Kassel and HZB establish Joint Lab for the use of artificial intelligence
    News
    06.10.2020
    University of Kassel and HZB establish Joint Lab for the use of artificial intelligence

    The University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin are setting up a joint laboratory for the use of artificial intelligence, where they will be developing new experimental methods and improving the analysis of data from experiments performed at BESSY II.

  • Carl-Ramsauer-Award for excellent dissertation
    News
    29.09.2020
    Carl-Ramsauer-Award for excellent dissertation
    Dr. Raphael Jay has received this year's Carl-Ramsauer-Prize of the German Physical Society of Berlin (DPGzB). The prize honours outstanding dissertations in physics and related fields and will be awarded during a festive colloquium on 18 November 2020 in the Magnus-Haus.

  • HZB & IKZ bundle their competencies In crystalline energy and quantum materials
    News
    29.09.2020
    HZB & IKZ bundle their competencies In crystalline energy and quantum materials
    On September 11, 2020, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung (IKZ) signed a cooperation agreement to advance joint research on energy and quantum materials. As part of the cooperation, new types of X-ray optics for synchrotron radiation sources are also being developed.
  • Solar-cell façade at HZB undergoes real-life testing
    News
    24.09.2020
    Solar-cell façade at HZB undergoes real-life testing
    Solar-modules shimmer bright blue on the cladding of a new building at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). They are special CIGS thin-film modules custom-developed and produced in Germany for integration into the building’s envelope. The solar cladding not only meets part of the power requirement, but is also a realistic laboratory in and of itself: an HZB team is monitoring the long-term behaviour of the modules under varying environmental conditions and evaluating the data. 

  • Climate Strike on Friday: HZB-Direktor welcomes engagement for climate protection
    News
    23.09.2020
    Climate Strike on Friday: HZB-Direktor welcomes engagement for climate protection
    "I find it remarkable and encouraging that more and more citizens are joining the protests of the younger generation and calling for a turnaround for climate protection," says Prof. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). In an open video message on the occasion of the worldwide climate day planned for Friday, he welcomes the fact that HZB staff members want to participate in the actions. At the same time he calls on people not to be afraid of technical changes. "The technologies for a climate-friendly energy supply are available. We must now use them quickly, but we must also improve them and create new options".

  • HZB is member of the IGAFA initiative in Adlershof
    News
    21.09.2020
    HZB is member of the IGAFA initiative in Adlershof

    Since September 2020, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is again a member of IGAFA - the Initiative of Non-University Research Institutions in Adlershof. Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning, scientific director of the HZB, was elected to the association's board.

  • HZB and TU Berlin: New joint research group at BESSY II
    News
    21.09.2020
    HZB and TU Berlin: New joint research group at BESSY II
    Birgit Kanngießer is setting up a joint research group to combine X-ray methods in laboratories and at large-scale facilities. In particular, the physicist wants to investigate how X-ray experiments on smaller laboratory instruments can be optimally complemented with more complex experiments that are only possible at synchrotron sources such as BESSY II. 
  • Radio Teddy berichtet über Experimente aus dem HZB
    Nachricht
    17.09.2020
    Radio Teddy berichtet über Experimente aus dem HZB
    Radio TEDDY macht ein beliebtes Programm für Familien und Kinder nach dem Motto: „Macht Spaß! Macht schlau!“ Nun waren Reporterteams von Radio TEDDY am HZB zu Gast. In den kommenden zwölf Wochen berichten sie nun jeden Samstag um 14:40 über spannende Experimente aus dem HZB: von selbstgebauten Solarzellen über Materialien mit Gedächtnis bis zum Elektromagnetismus. Auf einer Webseite zum "Experiment der Woche" sind auch Videoreportagen über die HZB-Besuche zu sehen.
  • Silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells: New facilities pave the way for industrial-scale production
    Science Highlight
    07.09.2020
    Silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells: New facilities pave the way for industrial-scale production

    Perovskites are regarded as promising materials for solar cells, able to be manufactured at low cost while at the same time being extremely efficient. They are particularly suitable for tandem solar cells that combine a cell made of silicon and one of perovskite. As a result, sunlight is more completely used when generating electrical energy. So far, the advantages of such cells have only been available for use at small laboratory scale. With two new, highly innovative production facilities, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are now creating the basis for future production on an industrial scale.

  • A new cooling tower flying to BESSY's roof
    News
    07.09.2020
    A new cooling tower flying to BESSY's roof
    Early September a huge crane near BESSY II could be seen from afar. A series of pictures for you to discover the exciting installation of the fourth cooling tower.
  • Upconversion of photons at low light intensities – the key to new applications in energy and bioengineering
    Science Highlight
    04.09.2020
    Upconversion of photons at low light intensities – the key to new applications in energy and bioengineering
    The region of the spectrum that can be utilised for producing electrical energy can be considerably extended by converting low-energy (longer wavelength) photons into high-energy (shorter wavelength) photons. But so far, this has only been possible at high intensities of light. Now for the first time, scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) have been able to produce a usable effect from relatively weak light by combining certain nanoparticles with what is known as a meta-surface. This paves the way for future applications in photovoltaics, for the detection of biological substances, and for electrical-field sensors.
  • New Materials for Energy Storage: ERC Starting Grant for Tristan Petit
    News
    03.09.2020
    New Materials for Energy Storage: ERC Starting Grant for Tristan Petit
    Dr. Tristan Petit has received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council for 1.5 million euros over the next five years. The materials researcher will use the grant to investigate a new class of materials known as MXenes for storing electrical energy. MXenes can store and deliver large amounts of electrical energy extremely quickly. They might play an important role in energy storage alongside batteries and supercapacitors. The ERC Starting Grant is one of the most important European research grants.

  • Molecular architecture: New class of materials for tomorrow's energy storage
    Science Highlight
    26.08.2020
    Molecular architecture: New class of materials for tomorrow's energy storage
    Researchers at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) have created a new family of semiconductors, the properties of which were investigated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The researchers christened the first member “TUB75”. The material belongs to the class called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs for short, and could open up new opportunities for energy storage. The work was published in Advanced Materials.
  • Research team provides concrete approach to improve the performance of CIGS solar cells
    Science Highlight
    21.08.2020
    Research team provides concrete approach to improve the performance of CIGS solar cells

    A team of researchers used electron microscopes and computer simulations to investigate where losses occur in thin-film solar cells. The researchers from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) provide specific information on how the already high efficiency of CIGS solar cells can be improved. The results were published in the journal Nature Communication.

  • Mathematical tool helps calculate properties of quantum materials more quickly
    Science Highlight
    14.08.2020
    Mathematical tool helps calculate properties of quantum materials more quickly
    Many quantum materials have been nearly impossible to simulate mathematically because the computing time required is too long. Now a joint research group at Freie Universität Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has demonstrated a way to considerably reduce the computing time. This could accelerate the development of materials for energy-efficient IT technologies of the future.

  • Best electrolyser/photovoltaics combinations demonstrated in test fields
    News
    04.08.2020
    Best electrolyser/photovoltaics combinations demonstrated in test fields
    One of the most promising ways to increase the availability of solar energy is to convert excess production into hydrogen. The PECSYS project has investigated the best possible material and technology combinations to facilitate such an operation.

  • Humboldt-University Berlin appoints Jan Lüning
    News
    31.07.2020
    Humboldt-University Berlin appoints Jan Lüning
    Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning, Scientific Director at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), was appointed to an S-W3 professorship at Humboldt University in Berlin in July. The professorship is entitled "Electronic Properties of Materials/X-ray Analysis" and is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Humboldt University Berlin.
  • Hope for better batteries – researchers follow the charging and discharging of silicon electrodes live
    Science Highlight
    29.07.2020
    Hope for better batteries – researchers follow the charging and discharging of silicon electrodes live

    Using silicon as a material for electrodes in lithium-ion batteries promises a significant increase in battery amp-hour capacity.The shortcoming of this material is that it is easily damaged by the stress caused by charging and discharging.Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) have now succeeded for the first time in observing this process directly on crystalline silicon electrodes in detail.Operando experiments using the BESSY II synchrotronprovided new insights into how fractures occur in silicon – and also how the material can nevertheless be utilised advantageously.

  • Seminar für Architekt*innen Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur – Gestaltung und Ausführung
    Nachricht
    16.07.2020
    Seminar für Architekt*innen Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur – Gestaltung und Ausführung
    Im September veranstaltet die Beratungsstelle für bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) „BAIP“ zusammen mit der Architektenkammer Niedersachsen ein Seminar für Architekt*innen zum Thema Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur-Gestaltung und Ausführung
  • New substance library to accelerate the search for active compounds
    Science Highlight
    13.07.2020
    New substance library to accelerate the search for active compounds
    In order to accelerate the systematic development of drugs, the MX team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Drug Design Group at the University of Marburg have established a new substance library. It consists of 1103 organic molecules that could be used as building blocks for new drugs. The MX team has now validated this library in collaboration with the FragMAX group at MAX IV. The substance library of the HZB is available for research worldwide and also plays a role in the search for substances active against SARS-CoV-2.

  • Robust high-performance data storage through magnetic anisotropy
    Science Highlight
    10.07.2020
    Robust high-performance data storage through magnetic anisotropy
    The latest generation of magnetic hard drives is made of magnetic thin films, which are invar materials. They allow extremely robust and high data storage density by local heating of ultrasmall nano-domains with a laser, so called heat assisted magnetic recording or HAMR. The volume in such invar materials hardly expands despite heating. A technologically relevant material for such HAMR data memories are thin films of iron-platinum nanograins. An international team led by the joint research group of Prof. Dr. Matias Bargheer at HZB and the University of Potsdam has now observed experimentally for the first time how a special spin-lattice interaction in these iron-platinum thin films cancels out the thermal expansion of the crystal lattice. The study has been published in Science Advances.

  • Launch of new catalysis centre in HZB-Adlershof
    News
    08.07.2020
    Launch of new catalysis centre in HZB-Adlershof
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is launching a major new project through an interdisciplinary architectural competition: an innovative laboratory and office building for expanding joint catalysis research between the HZB and the Max Planck Society (MPS). Catlab is to become an international beacon for catalysis research that will advance the development of novel catalyst materials urgently needed for the energy transition.

  • Optimize opto-electronic devices with new compact measuring system
    News
    19.06.2020
    Optimize opto-electronic devices with new compact measuring system

    In order to develop efficient opto-electronic devices such as solar cells or LEDs, it is crucial to improve the quality of the semiconductors. To achieve this, it is necessary to determine the luminescence yield of the semiconductor material. For this characterization, a research team at HZB has developed a new measuring device that precisely determines the luminescence and is also very compact. In order to evaluate the potential for commercial applications, the team now receives a Field Study Fellowship from the Helmholtz Association.

  • Printed perovskite LEDs – an innovative technique towards a new standard process of electronics manufacturing
    Science Highlight
    12.06.2020
    Printed perovskite LEDs – an innovative technique towards a new standard process of electronics manufacturing

    A team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has succeeded for the first time in producing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from a hybrid perovskite semiconductor material using inkjet printing.This opens the door to broad application of these materials in manufacturing many different kinds of electronic components.The scientists achieved the breakthrough with the help of a trick: "inoculating" (or seeding) the surface with specific crystals.

  • User research at BESSY II: Formation of a 2D meta-stable oxide in reactive environments
    Science Highlight
    10.06.2020
    User research at BESSY II: Formation of a 2D meta-stable oxide in reactive environments

    The chemical behaviour of solid material surfaces is an important physical characteristic for applications of catalysis, chemical sensors, fuel cells and electrodes. A research team from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion has now described an important phenomenon that can occur when metal alloys are exposed to reactive environments at the synchrotron source BESSY II.

  • Start your accelerator tour - the Long Night of Science in a different way
    News
    05.06.2020
    Start your accelerator tour - the Long Night of Science in a different way
    Due to corona restrictions, unfortunately there will be no Long Night of Science this year. This is not only a pity for all those interested in science, but also for us! We look forward to it every year when many people come to us, asking us questions or being amazed by the huge facilities and laboratories in which we do our research. To make sure that the long night doesn't fall flat, we take you on a virtual journey through our accelerator BESSY II.

  • BESSY II: Experiment shows for the first time in detail how electrolytes become metallic
    Science Highlight
    05.06.2020
    BESSY II: Experiment shows for the first time in detail how electrolytes become metallic
    An international team has developed a sophisticated experimental technique at BESSY II to observe the formation of a metallic conduction band in electrolytes. To accomplish this, the team first prepared cryogenic solutions of liquid ammonia containing different concentrations of alkali metals. The colour of the solutions changes with concentration from blue to golden as the individual atoms of metal in solution transition to a metallic compound. The team then examined these liquid jets using soft X-rays at BESSY II and subsequently has been able to analyse this process in detail from the data they acquired combined with theoretical predictions. The work has been published in Science and appears even on the cover.
  • Catalysts: Efficient hydrogen production via structure
    Science Highlight
    02.06.2020
    Catalysts: Efficient hydrogen production via structure

    Regeneratively produced hydrogen is considered the ecological raw material of the future. In order to produce it efficiently by electrolysis of water, researchers today also investigate perovskite oxides. The Journal of Physics: Energy invited Dr. Marcel Risch from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) to outline the current state of research.

  • They are back: Sheep and goats graze the Wannsee campus again
    News
    15.05.2020
    They are back: Sheep and goats graze the Wannsee campus again

    The meadows are lush green, the ice saints (almost) over: Now is the perfect time for the sheep and goats to return from their winter quarters! Until late autumn, they will now graze the near-natural HZB campus in Wannsee and serve the natural preservation of the landscape - completely without a lawn mower.

  • New charging points for electric cars installed in Adlershof
    News
    14.05.2020
    New charging points for electric cars installed in Adlershof
    On 14 May 2020, two charging points for electric cars were installed near the BESSY II main building. But not only the hybrid company car fleet is to be charged here. Soon, employees will also have the opportunity to charge their private cars at one of the charging points.

  • On the road to non-toxic and stable perovskite solar cells
    Science Highlight
    11.05.2020
    On the road to non-toxic and stable perovskite solar cells
    The promising halide perovskite materials for solar energy conversion show high efficiencies, but this comes at a cost: The best perovskite materials incorporate toxic lead which poses a hazard to the environment. To replace lead by less toxic elements is not easy since lead-free perovskites show lower stability and poor efficiencies. Now, an international collaboration has engineered a new hybrid perovskite material with promising efficiency and stability.
  • Future information technologies: 3D Quantum Spin Liquid revealed
    Science Highlight
    11.05.2020
    Future information technologies: 3D Quantum Spin Liquid revealed
    Quantum Spin Liquids are candidates for potential use in future information technologies. So far, Quantum Spin Liquids have usually only been found in one or two dimensional magnetic systems only. Now an international team led by HZB scientists has investigated crystals of PbCuTe2O6 with neutron experiments at ISIS, NIST and ILL. They found spin liquid behaviour in 3D, due to a so called hyper hyperkagome lattice. The experimental data fit extremely well to theoretical simulations also done at HZB.
  • User research at BESSY II: Insights into the visual perception of plants
    Science Highlight
    07.05.2020
    User research at BESSY II: Insights into the visual perception of plants
    Plants use light not only for photosynthesis. Although the plant cell does not have eyes, it can still perceive light and thus its environment. Phytochromes, certain turquoise proteins, play the central role in this process. How exactly they function is still unclear. Now a team led by plant physiologist Jon Hughes (Justus Liebig University Gießen) has been able to decipher the three-dimensional architecture of various plant phytochrome molecules at BESSY II. Their results demonstrate how light alters the structure of the phytochrome so that the cell transmits a signal to control the development of the plant accordingly.
  • 04.05.2020 - #Corona: HZB resumes operation step by step
    News
    04.05.2020
    04.05.2020 - #Corona: HZB resumes operation step by step
    After a careful assessment of the situation, the management decided that operations at HZB would be resumed step by step from 4 May onwards. Strict security regulations apply. BESSY II will be available again for in-house research from 11 May. For Sars-CoV-2-relevant measurements a fast access to BESSY II has been established.
  • User research at BESSY II: How new materials increase the efficiency of direct ethanol fuel cells
    Science Highlight
    04.05.2020
    User research at BESSY II: How new materials increase the efficiency of direct ethanol fuel cells
    A group from Brazil and an HZB team have investigated a novel composite membrane for ethanol fuel cells. It consists of the polymer Nafion, in which nanoparticles of a titanium compound are embedded by the rarely explored melt extrusion process. At BESSY II they were able to observe in detail, how the nanoparticles in the Nafion matrix are distributed and how they contribute to increase proton conductivity.
  • Corona research: Consortium of Berlin research and industry seeks active ingredients
    News
    29.04.2020
    Corona research: Consortium of Berlin research and industry seeks active ingredients

    The Berlin biotech company Molox GmbH and a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have initiated a consortium of regional research groups and BASF. Together, they want to identify a starting point for the development of a potential active substance against the new coronavirus. Targets of potential inhibitors will be SARS-CoV2 proteins that promote the spread or infectivity of the viruses. Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin are also involved in the research work.

  • Portrait: The athlete in the lab coat
    Portrait
    23.04.2020
    Portrait: The athlete in the lab coat
    Steve Albrecht is researching on perovskite solar cells and holds several efficiency world records with his team. Back in his schooldays, he was going to become either a competitive gymnast or a scientist. He chose science, but the same athletic ambition still drives his research forward.
  • New interaction between light and matter discovered at BESSY II
    Science Highlight
    23.04.2020
    New interaction between light and matter discovered at BESSY II
    A German-Chinese team led by Gisela Schütz from the MPI for Intelligent Systems has discovered a new interaction between light and matter at BESSY II. They succeeded in creating nanometer-fine magnetic vortices in a magnetic layer. These are so-called skyrmions, and candidates for future information technologies.
  • Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther as W2 professor
    News
    22.04.2020
    Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther as W2 professor

    On April 6, 2020 Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther to the joint W2 professorship "Theory of Novel Quantum Materials”. The physicist will conduct research at both Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Freie Universität Berlin. The joint appointment will build a bridge between experimental and theoretical physics.

  • Tandem solar cell world record: New branch in the NREL chart
    Science Highlight
    14.04.2020
    Tandem solar cell world record: New branch in the NREL chart
    A special branch in the famous NREL-chart for solar cell world records refers to a newly developed tandem solar cell by HZB teams. The world-record cell combines the semiconductors perovskite and CIGS to a monolithic "two-terminal" tandem cell. Due to the thin-film technologies used, such tandem cells survive much longer in space and can even be produced on flexible films. The new tandem cell achieves a certified efficiency of 24.16 percent.
  • Happy Easter Holidays!
    News
    09.04.2020
    Happy Easter Holidays!
    After three weeks of home office and minimal operation, Bernd Rech addresses all employees again with a short video message. He thanks them for their creativity and open-mindedness and wishes everyone a Happy Easter!
  • Neutron research: Magnetic monopoles detected in Kagome spin ice systems
    Science Highlight
    07.04.2020
    Neutron research: Magnetic monopoles detected in Kagome spin ice systems
    Magnetic monopoles are actually impossible. At low temperatures, however, certain crystals can contain so-called quasi-particles that behave like magnetic monopoles. Now an international cooperation has proven that such monopoles also occur in a Kagome spin ice system. Decisive factors were, among others, measurements with inelastic neutron scattering at the NEAT instrument of the Berlin neutron source BER II*. The results have been published in the journal Science.
  • Condensed Matter Physics: Long-standing prediction of quantum physics experimentally proven
    Science Highlight
    06.04.2020
    Condensed Matter Physics: Long-standing prediction of quantum physics experimentally proven
    90 years ago, the physicist Hans Bethe postulated that unusual patterns, so-called Bethe strings, appear in certain magnetic solids. Now an international team has succeeded in experimentally detecting such Bethe strings for the first time. They used neutron scattering experiments at various neutron facilities including the unique high-field magnet of BER II* at HZB. The experimental data are in excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction of Bethe and prove once again the power of quantum physics.
  • Corona research at BESSY II: Two days of measuring operation to find the right key
    News
    02.04.2020
    Corona research at BESSY II: Two days of measuring operation to find the right key
    The Berlin Synchrotron Source BESSY II of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will resume operation for two days. Scientists intend to use the intense X-ray radiation from BESSY II to search for active substances against the corona virus SARS-CoV2. Almost two hundred samples from an important protein of the virus will be examined in the coming hours. The samples are saturated with different molecules that could be used as components of active substances. The analyses will show whether certain molecules can dock particularly well to the protein molecule and thus hinder the reproduction of the virus. These molecules are best candidates as components of a future drug. 
  • BESSY II: Ultra-fast switching of helicity of circularly polarized light pulses
    Science Highlight
    01.04.2020
    BESSY II: Ultra-fast switching of helicity of circularly polarized light pulses
    At the BESSY II storage ring, a joint team of accelerator physicists, undulator experts and experimenters has shown how the helicity of circularly polarized synchrotron radiation can be switched faster - up to a million times faster than before. They used an elliptical double-undulator developed at HZB and operated the storage ring in the so-called two-orbit mode. This is a special mode of operation that was only recently developed at BESSY II and provides the basis for fast switching. The ultra-fast change of light helicity is particularly interesting to observe processes in magnetic materials and has long been expected by a large user community.
  • HZB donates urgently needed protective equipment for doctors’ surgery
    News
    27.03.2020
    HZB donates urgently needed protective equipment for doctors’ surgery
    The situation in Berlin's doctors’ surgery is becoming increasingly acute due to the lack of important protective clothing and disinfectants. Some practices have already had to close for this reason. The HZB has therefore decided to provide quick help and is donating 65 boxes of protective clothing that are normally used for work in the laboratories and clean rooms. The boxes were handed over to the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Berlin on 27.03.2020.
  • Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug development
    Science Highlight
    19.03.2020
    Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug development
    A coronavirus is keeping the world in suspense. SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious and can cause severe pneumonia with respiratory distress (COVID-19). Scientists are doing research in order to prevent the viruses from multiplying. A team from the University of Lübeck and from Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has now found a promising approach. Using the high-intensity X-ray light from the Berlin synchrotron source BESSY II, they have decoded the three-dimensional architecture of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. This protein is involved in the reproduction of the virus. Analysing its 3D architecture allows the systematic development of drugs which inhibit the reproduction of the virus.
  • Fast and furious: New class of 2D materials stores electrical energy
    Science Highlight
    02.03.2020
    Fast and furious: New class of 2D materials stores electrical energy
    Two dimensional titanium carbides, so-called MXenes, are being discussed as candidates for the rapid storage of electrical energy. Like a battery,MXenes can store large amounts of electrical energy through electrochemical reactions- but unlike batteries,can be charged and discharged in a matter of seconds. In collaboration with Drexel University, a team at HZB showed that the intercalation of urea molecules between the MXene layers can increase the capacity of such "pseudo-capacitors" by more than 50 percent. At BESSY II they have analysed how changes of the MXene surface chemistry after urea intercalation are responsible for this.
  • New Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at HZB
    News
    28.02.2020
    New Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at HZB
    Dr. Felix Büttner will establish a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group (YIG) on topological solitons at the HZB beginning in March 2020. Topological solitons occur in magnetic quantum materials and can contribute to extremely energy-efficient switching processes. Büttner wants to develop a new imaging technique at BESSY II to study these quasi-particles.
  • 20 percent more patients were treated with proton therapy in 2019
    News
    25.02.2020
    20 percent more patients were treated with proton therapy in 2019

    For more than 20 years, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have jointly offered the irradiation of eye tumors with protons. In 2019, more patients were treated in Berlin-Wannsee than ever before. 276 patients - 20 percent more than in the previous year - underwent proton therapy. The treatment is specialized in choroidal melanomas of the eye. The proton accelerator at HZB is the only treatment facility for this disease in Germany. 

  • Berlins außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtungen schließen sich zusammen
    Nachricht
    20.02.2020
    Berlins außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtungen schließen sich zusammen
    Berlin als internationale Wissenschaftsmetropole zu stärken, ist Ziel einer gemeinsamen Initiative der außeruniversitären Forschungseinrichtungen der Hauptstadt. Sie haben sich zur BR 50 (Berlin Research 50) zusammengeschlossen, um künftig gemeinsam Strategien für die Forschung und den Austausch mit Politik und Gesellschaft zu entwickeln. Auch das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin hat sich der Initiative angeschlossen. Die Kooperation mit den Berliner Universitäten wird hierdurch erleichtert und verstärkt.
  • New detector accelerates protein crystallography
    News
    17.02.2020
    New detector accelerates protein crystallography

    Last week a new detector was installed at one of the three MX beamlines at HZB. Compared to the old detector the new one is better, faster and more sensitive. It allows to acquire complete data sets of complex proteins within a very short time.

  • Doctoral student receives Erhard Höpfner Thesis Award
    News
    14.02.2020
    Doctoral student receives Erhard Höpfner Thesis Award
    On 11 February 2020, Max Grischek received the Erhard Höpfner Thesis Prize, worth 2000 euros, which is awarded by a jury of the Berlin Scientific Society for outstanding theses. Grischek studied at the Technische Universität Berlin and wrote his master thesis in the young investigator research group "Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells" at HZB.
  • X-ray microscopy at BESSY II: Nanoparticles can change cells
    Science Highlight
    12.02.2020
    X-ray microscopy at BESSY II: Nanoparticles can change cells
    Nanoparticles easily enter into cells. New insights about how they are distributed and what they do there are shown for the first time by high-resolution 3D microscopy images from the lightsources BESSY II and ALBA. For example, certain nanoparticles accumulate preferentially in certain organelles of the cell. This can increase the energy costs in the cell. "The cell looks like it has just run a marathon, apparently, the cell requires energy to absorb such nanoparticles" says lead author James McNally.
  • Not everything is ferromagnetic in high magnetic fields
    Science Highlight
    10.02.2020
    Not everything is ferromagnetic in high magnetic fields
    High magnetic fields have a potential to modify the microscopic arrangement of magnetic moments because they overcome interactions existing in zero field. Usually, high fields exceeding a certain critical value force the moments to align in the same direction as the field leading to ferromagnetic arrangement. However, a recent study showed that this is not always the case. The experiments took place at the high-field magnet at HZB's neutron source BER II, which generates a constant magnetic field of up to 26 Tesla. This is about 500,000 times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. Further experiments with pulsed magnetic fields up to 45 Tesla were performed at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). 
  • Battery research: Using neutrons and X-rays to analyse the ageing of lithium batteries
    Science Highlight
    07.02.2020
    Battery research: Using neutrons and X-rays to analyse the ageing of lithium batteries
    An international team has used neutron and X-ray tomography to investigate the dynamic processes that lead to capacity degradation at the electrodes in lithium batteries. Using a new mathematical method, it was possible to virtually unwind electrodes that had been wound into the form of a compact cylinder, and thus actually observe the processes on the surfaces of the electrodes. The study was published in Nature Communications.
  • CIGSe thin-film solar cells: EU Sharc25 project increases efficiency
    News
    05.02.2020
    CIGSe thin-film solar cells: EU Sharc25 project increases efficiency
    Thin-film solar cells made of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGSe) are cost-effective to produce and now achieve efficiencies of significantly more than 20 percent. This level of performance was achieved through post-processing with alkali elements, and the procedures are suitable for industrial-scale production. Insights into the beneficial effect of these alkali treatments from the EU Sharc25 project have now been collected in an article published in Advanced Energy Materials.
  • Perovskite solar cells: International consensus on ageing measurement protocols
    Science Highlight
    31.01.2020
    Perovskite solar cells: International consensus on ageing measurement protocols
    Experts from 51 research institutions have now agreed on the procedures for measuring the stability of perovskite solar cells and assessing their quality. The consensus statement was published in Nature Energy and is considered a milestone for the further development of this new type of solar cell on its way to industrial application.
  • World Record: Efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cell jumps to 29.15 per cent
    Science Highlight
    29.01.2020
    World Record: Efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cell jumps to 29.15 per cent
    In the race for ever higher efficiency levels, an HZB development team has once again pulled ahead. The groups of Steve Albrecht and Bernd Stannowski have developed a tandem solar cell made of the semiconductors perovskite and silicon, that converts 29.15 per cent of the incident light into electrical energy. This value has been officially certified by the CalLab of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and means that surpassing the 30 per cent efficiency mark is now within reach.
  • Unique X-ray experiments for school classes: The X-ray mobile will arrive at the HZB
    News
    28.01.2020
    Unique X-ray experiments for school classes: The X-ray mobile will arrive at the HZB
    What is ultraviolet radiation? What are X-rays used for? And what is radioactivity again? These questions are on the curriculum in physics lessons, but vivid experiments on these topics are rare. From 5 to 13 March 2020, pupils can conduct experiments on these topics in the HZB's school laboratory in Berlin-Adlershof. The public is invited to attend on 12 March.
  • Farewell to the research reactor BER II: brochure on 50 years of neutron research in Berlin-Wannsee
    News
    24.01.2020
    Farewell to the research reactor BER II: brochure on 50 years of neutron research in Berlin-Wannsee

    Many guests from politics and academia and employees attended the colloquium on January 13, 2020, at Freie Universität Berlin. They joined us to say goodbye to the exciting and highly productive time of neutron research at BER II.

  • Plants absorb lead from perovskite solar cells more than expected
    Science Highlight
    21.01.2020
    Plants absorb lead from perovskite solar cells more than expected
    Lead from metal-organic perovskite compounds can be absorbed particularly easily by plants. The bioavailability is significantly higher than that of lead from inorganic compounds as found in batteries. This is shown in a study by HZB researcher Antonio Abate with partners in China and Italy, published in Nature communications.
  • Watching complex molecules at work
    Science Highlight
    14.01.2020
    Watching complex molecules at work
    A new method of infrared spectroscopy developed at BESSY II makes single-measurement observation and analysis of very fast as well as irreversible reaction mechanisms in molecules feasible for the first time. Previously, thousands of such reactions have had to be run and measured for this purpose. The research team has now used the new device to investigate how rhodopsin molecules change after activation by light – a process that is the basis of how we see.
  • HZB is now using green electricity
    News
    09.01.2020
    HZB is now using green electricity
    Since 1 January 2020, HZB is drawing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energies. This reduces CO2 emissions by around 17,400 tons per year (related to 2018). By switching to green electricity, HZB acknowledges its responsibility to contribute to climate protection.
  • Topological materials for information technology offer lossless transmission of signals
    Science Highlight
    18.12.2019
    Topological materials for information technology offer lossless transmission of signals
    New experiments with magnetically doped topological insulators at BESSY II have revealed possible ways of lossless signal transmission that involve a surprising self-organisation phenomenon. In the future, it might be possible to develop materials that display this phenomenon at room temperature and can be used as processing units in a quantum computer, for example. The study has been published in the renowned journal Nature.
  • Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Award and Innovation Award for Research in Synchrotron Radiation
    News
    13.12.2019
    Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Award and Innovation Award for Research in Synchrotron Radiation
    This year, the circle of friends of the HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to two young scientists for their outstanding PhD theses. The European Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Award went to a team of physicists from DESY and the Paul Scherrer Institute. The award ceremony took place at this year's User Meeting of the HZB, which was very well attended with over 500 participants and more than 50 exhibitors.
  • Cancer research at BESSY II: Binding Mechanisms of Therapeutic Substances Deciphered
    Science Highlight
    12.12.2019
    Cancer research at BESSY II: Binding Mechanisms of Therapeutic Substances Deciphered
    In tumor cells, the DNA is altered in comparison to normal body cells. How such changes can be prevented or inhibited is an exciting field of research with great relevance for the development of cancer treatments. An interdisciplinary team has now analysed the possible binding mechanisms in certain therapeutic substances from the tetrazole hydrazide group using protein crystallography at BESSY II.
  • Operation of the BER II research reactor ends on 11 December 2019
    News
    11.12.2019
    Operation of the BER II research reactor ends on 11 December 2019
    After 46 years of successful research with neutrons, the operation of the Berlin research reactor BER II ends on 11 December 2019. This date was announced by the HZB Supervisory Board on 25 June 2013. The early announcement has enabled the HZB to focus its profile on research into energy materials and the further development of the electron storage ring BESSY II. The BER II is to be dismantled over the next few years.
  • Invitation: Climate change - from knowledge to action
    News
    03.12.2019
    Invitation: Climate change - from knowledge to action

    Climate change and its causes are undisputed. But how do we get from knowledge to action? What can science contribute to this? On Thursday, 5.12.2019 at 17:00 Clara Mayer (Fridays for Future), Volker Quaschning (HTW Berlin and Scientists for Future), Bernd Rech (scientific director of the HZB) and Kira Vinke (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) will discuss these questions. The event takes place in the Bunsen lecture hall of WISTA in Adlershof and is open to the public. Admission is free.

  • More information from microscopy images by computing power
    News
    28.11.2019
    More information from microscopy images by computing power
    The first meeting of the Helmholtz Ptychography 4.0 Incubator Project took place at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) on November 27, 2019. Seven Helmholtz Centres intend to jointly develop advanced image data analysis and processing methods in order to extract more information from electron and X-ray microscopy images. In particular, the approach will be to use “virtual lenses” to correct imaging errors and thus considerably increase the resolution of images.
  • HZB-Award for Technology Transfer 2019: A chip with many application options
    News
    18.11.2019
    HZB-Award for Technology Transfer 2019: A chip with many application options

    Klaus Lips (HZB) and Jens Anders (Univ. of Stuttgart) have won the 2019 HZB Technology Transfer Prize for their electron spin resonance chip that will revolutionise spin analysis (“EPR On A Chip - Eine Revolution in der spinbasierten Analytik“).

  • Der landesbeste Feinwerkmechaniker 2019 kommt aus dem HZB
    Interview
    14.11.2019
    Der landesbeste Feinwerkmechaniker 2019 kommt aus dem HZB
    Bereits im dritten Jahr in Folge darf sich das HZB über einen außergewöhnlichen Erfolg bei der Feinwerkmechaniker-Ausbildung freuen. Shayne Fraiss beendete seine Ausbildung als Bester seines Jahrgangs in Berlin. Wir haben ihn und seine Ausbilder gefragt, was das Geheimrezept für diesen Erfolg ist.
  • Perovskite solar cells: Possible aspects of high efficiency uncovered
    Science Highlight
    13.11.2019
    Perovskite solar cells: Possible aspects of high efficiency uncovered
    Using crystallographic analyses at the Diamond Light Source (DLS) synchrotron in the United Kingdom, an HZB team has demonstrated that hybrid halide perovskites crystallise without inversion centre. Interactions between the organic molecules and adjacent iodine atoms can lead to the formation of ferroelectric domains, which, indirectly, can result in higher solar-cell efficiencies. The formation of these ferroelectric domains cannot occur in purely inorganic perovskites.
  • Berlin Science Award: Young Talent Award for Steve Albrecht
    News
    07.11.2019
    Berlin Science Award: Young Talent Award for Steve Albrecht
    On November 7, 2019, Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research, honoured outstanding research achievements for the twelfth time. Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht was honoured this year with the "Nachwuchspreis" (Young Talent Award) for his research on novel tandem solar cells. Albrecht teaches as a junior professor at the Institute for High Frequency and Semiconductor System Technologies at the Technical University of Berlin and heads the research group "Perovskite Tandem Cells" at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. The Young Talent Award is given to scientists who are not older than 35 years and is endowed with 10,000 euros.
  • X-ray microscopy at BESSY II reveals how antimalaria-drugs might work
    Science Highlight
    30.10.2019
    X-ray microscopy at BESSY II reveals how antimalaria-drugs might work
    Malaria is one of the most threatening infectious diseases in the world. An international team has now been able to investigate malaria pathogens in red blood cells in vivo using the BESSY II X-ray microscope and the ALBA and ESRF synchrotron sources. The scientists reveal the mechanisms used by active substances to attack the pathogen. This could contribute to improve treatment strategies and drug design.
  • Reaching climate targets with building integrated Photovoltaics
    News
    28.10.2019
    Reaching climate targets with building integrated Photovoltaics
    By 2050, the building stock in Germany must be almost climate-neutral in order to achieve the climate targets - an ambitious goal. Especially in cities with multi-storey buildings, roof areas alone do not offer sufficient space to cover a significant portion of the electricity demand with photovoltaics. There is now a wide range of façade elements that generate photovoltaic electricity. So far, however, such building-integrated PV modules have rarely been installed. The Advisory Centre for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BAIP) at HZB wants to change this:

  • New instrument at BESSY II commences user operation
    News
    28.10.2019
    New instrument at BESSY II commences user operation
    A new instrument became available to the users of BESSY II on Oct. 28, 2019. The new beamline and apparatus for spin- and angular-resolved photoemission in the Russian-German Laboratory at BESSY II have successfully completed their test phase. They facilitate precise measurements of the electron band structure and spin of different material classes such as topological insulators and magnetic sandwich structures, as well as novel perovskite-based solar-cell materials. A photoelectron microscope has also been developed which is particularly important for nanoscopic structures.

  • Jahrestagung FVEE zu aktuellen Herausforderungen der Energiewende
    Nachricht
    23.10.2019
    Jahrestagung FVEE zu aktuellen Herausforderungen der Energiewende
    „Energy Research for Future – Forschung für die Herausforderungen der Energiewende“ ist das Motto für die Jahrestagung des ForschungsVerbunds Erneuerbare Energien am 22. und 23. Oktober 2019 im Umweltforum Berlin. Auf der Tagung zeigen die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler u.a. auch aus dem HZB den dringenden Handlungsbedarf auf. Sie analysieren, wo Hemmnisse für eine schnelle Energiewende liegen und wie sie überwunden werden können. Leitplanke für alle Maßnahmen der Politik sollten die Klimaziele von Paris sein.
  • HZB awards prize for technology transfer project
    News
    16.10.2019
    HZB awards prize for technology transfer project
    On 15 November, the best innovation project from the HZB will be awarded the Technology Transfer Prize 2019. The award ceremony is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. in the BESSY II auditorium at the HZB location in Berlin-Adlershof. All projects submitted to the competition will be presented in an exhibition starting Monday, October 21, initially in Wannsee, and starting November 4 in Adlershof.
  • Dynamic pattern of Skyrmions observed
    Science Highlight
    15.10.2019
    Dynamic pattern of Skyrmions observed
    Tiny magnetic vortices known as skyrmions form in certain magnetic materials, such as Cu2OSeO3. These skyrmions can be controlled by low-level electrical currents – which could facilitate more energy-efficient data processing. Now a team has succeeded in developing a new technique at the VEKMAG station of BESSY II for precisely measuring these vortices and observing their three different predicted characteristic oscillation modes (Eigen modes).
  • Poster award for Götz Schuck
    News
    11.10.2019
    Poster award for Götz Schuck
    At the 5th International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics (PSCO-19) Dr. Götz Schuck received a prize for his poster contribution. The international conference took place from 30.09.2019 to 02.10.2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Joint research group for quantum computing and simulation
    Interview
    10.10.2019
    Joint research group for quantum computing and simulation
    Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) are now strengthening their cooperation in the field of quantum computing with a new research group. Quantum materials exhibit very interesting properties, which researchers want to use to make data processing significantly faster and more efficient than is currently possible. They can study these materials excellently at synchrotron radiation sources such as BESSY II. It has proven especially promising to predict the material properties in quantum simulations before running the experiments. Taking this approach allows such experiments to be conducted more targetedly.
  • Helmholtz Association promotes HZB cooperation with Slovenia on perovskite silicon tandem solar cells
    News
    09.10.2019
    Helmholtz Association promotes HZB cooperation with Slovenia on perovskite silicon tandem solar cells
    A HZB team has successfully raised funds from the “Helmholtz European Partnering Program” of the Helmholtz Association to expand cooperation with partners of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The topics of the cooperation are tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon and, in particular, their precise characterisation.
  • HZB Researcher on the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society
    News
    30.09.2019
    HZB Researcher on the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society
    In September 2019, Prof. Dr. Catherine Dubourdieu was elected into the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society (MRS). The MRS is one of the largest scientific associations and has almost 14000 members from various areas of the natural sciences and engineering.
  • Faster than ever - neutron tomography detects water uptake by roots
    Science Highlight
    25.09.2019
    Faster than ever - neutron tomography detects water uptake by roots
    A team of researchers from Potsdam, Berlin and Grenoble was able to visualize the transport of water in soil as well as through roots of lupine plants using ultrafast 3D neutron imaging. The high-speed neutron tomography developed at HZB generates a complete 3D image every 1.5 seconds and is thus seven times faster than before. The method facilitates a better understanding of water and nutrient uptake of crop plants. The measurements were performed at the neutron source of the Laue Langevin Institute (ILL) in Grenoble, France. The method can also be applied to investigate transport processes in various porous material systems.
  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between University of Jena and HZB
    News
    19.09.2019
    Memorandum of Understanding signed between University of Jena and HZB
    Thuringa’s minister of science gives the green light for the cooperation on research into new energy stores: Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) today have laid the foundation for close collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The Centre for Energy and Environmental Chemistry Jena (CEEC Jena) and HZB want to join forces to research novel energy storage materials and systems in the future.
  • FOCUS TOPIC: From MIT to Wannsee
    Portrait
    19.09.2019
    FOCUS TOPIC: From MIT to Wannsee

    For Marcel Risch, it feels like a homecoming: as a student, he had previously run experiments at the Berlin particle accelerator BESSY II. After working for several years at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and then in Göttingen, he is now establishing his own group at HZB – supported by funding from the European Research Council.

  • Results of the survey on short-haul flights and information on the climate strike on 20.9.2019
    News
    18.09.2019
    Results of the survey on short-haul flights and information on the climate strike on 20.9.2019
    173 HZB-employees took part in the internal survey on short-haul flights (as of Wednesday afternoon). 146 of them would be prepared to accept train journeys of up to 12 hours to replace a flight. This result shows a great willingness among the researchers to act in a climate-friendly manner, many of whom are also privately involved and, for example, are taking part in the Climate Strike on 20 September in Berlin (more info below in the text).
  • HZB postdoctoral researcher receives Humboldt Fellowship
    News
    17.09.2019
    HZB postdoctoral researcher receives Humboldt Fellowship
    Since September 2019, Yaolin Xu is doing research on the development of advanced lithium batteries with a Humboldt Foundation fellowship. In the future, these batteries could store significantly more energy than conventional lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).
  • New sample holder for protein crystallography
    Science Highlight
    16.09.2019
    New sample holder for protein crystallography
    An HZB research team has developed a novel sample holder that considerably facilitates the preparation of protein crystals for structural analysis. A short video by the team shows how proteins in solution can be crystallised directly onto the new sample holders themselves, then analysed using the MX beamlines at BESSY II. A patent has already been granted and a manufacturer found.
  • In Memoriam: Charles S. Fadley, Longstanding Collaboration Partner, Power User, Advisor
    News
    13.09.2019
    In Memoriam: Charles S. Fadley, Longstanding Collaboration Partner, Power User, Advisor

    Charles ‘Chuck’ S. Fadley, a pioneer in photoemission spectroscopy and internationally renowned Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of California, Davis, and Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, passed away on the 1st of August 2019. He remained an active and avid researcher until a few weeks before his death at age 77.

  • World record for tandem perovskite-CIGS solar cell
    Science Highlight
    09.09.2019
    World record for tandem perovskite-CIGS solar cell
    A team headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht from the HZB will present a new world-record tandem solar cell at EU PVSEC, the world's largest international photovoltaic and solar energy conference and exhibition, in Marseille, France on September 11, 2019. This tandem solar cell combines the semiconducting materials perovskite and CIGS and achieves a certified efficiency of 23.26 per cent. One reason for this success lies in the cell’s intermediate layer of organic molecules: they self-organise to cover even rough semiconductor surfaces. Two patents have been filed for these layers.
  • HZB strengthens its technology transfer
    News
    09.09.2019
    HZB strengthens its technology transfer
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) wants to bring technologies to market faster together with industrial partners and use its expertise in materials and energy research to investigate questions from industry in joint projects. The newly established "Technology Transfer and Innovation" department will identify cooperation partners and applications that are of industrial interest.
  • Nanoparticles in lithium-sulphur batteries detected with neutron experiment
    Science Highlight
    06.09.2019
    Nanoparticles in lithium-sulphur batteries detected with neutron experiment
    An HZB team has for the first time precisely analysed how nanoparticles of lithium sulphide and sulphur precipitate onto battery electrodes during the course of the charging cycle. The results can help increase the service life of lithium-sulphur batteries.
  • Poster award for HZB doctoral student
    News
    06.09.2019
    Poster award for HZB doctoral student

    Javier Villalobos has been awarded for the best poster at the International Workshop on Correlated Dynamics in Energy Conversion (IWCE 19) in Göttingen. The doctoral student works in the young investigator group "Oxygen Evolution Mechanism Engineering". His research contributes to a better understanding of electrocatalytic oxygen evolution.

  • HZB doctoral student won Young Scientist Award
    News
    05.09.2019
    HZB doctoral student won Young Scientist Award

    The "Journal of Magnetic Resonance" and the ISMAR (International Society of Magnetic Resonance) awarded Silvio Künstner with a Young Scientist Award for his talk "Rapid Scan EPR-on-a-chip". The doctoral student from the HZB institute for Nanospectroscopy presented current progress in the development of a miniaturized electron spin resonance spectrometer.

  • Stellungnahme des FVEE: Ausbaudeckel für Photovoltaik behindert erfolgreiche Klimapolitik
    Nachricht
    02.09.2019
    Stellungnahme des FVEE: Ausbaudeckel für Photovoltaik behindert erfolgreiche Klimapolitik
    Der im EEG von 2012 festgelegte Stopp der Einspeisevergütung durch den 52 GW-Deckel läuft dem erforderlichen massiven Ausbau der Photovoltaik und damit auch den deutschen Klimaschutzzielen diametral entgegen. Stattdessen sollte PV-Strom, der nicht lokal verbraucht werden kann, auch nach Erreichen von 52 GW installierter Leistung ins Netz eingespeist und vergütet werden. Der Forschungsverbund Erneuerbare Energien (FVEE) empfiehlt daher, so schnell wie möglich eine Anschlussregelung zu finden, die den für die Klimaschutzziele erforderlichen Solarausbau sichert.
  • Save time using maths: analytical tool designs corkscrew-shaped nano-antennae
    Science Highlight
    23.08.2019
    Save time using maths: analytical tool designs corkscrew-shaped nano-antennae
    For the first time, an HZB team has derived analytically how corkscrew-shaped nano-antennas interact with light. The mathematical tool can be used to calculate the geometry that a nano-antenna must have for specific applications in sensor technology or information technology.
  • World record in tomography: Watching how metal foam forms
    Science Highlight
    21.08.2019
    World record in tomography: Watching how metal foam forms
    An international research team at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) has set a new tomography world record using a rotary sample table developed at the HZB. With 208 three-dimensional tomographic X-ray images per second, they were able to document the dynamic processes involved in the foaming of liquid aluminium. The method is presented in the journal Nature Communications.
  • Archaeology at BESSY II: “Invisible ink” on antique Nile papyrus revealed
    Science Highlight
    14.08.2019
    Archaeology at BESSY II: “Invisible ink” on antique Nile papyrus revealed
    Researchers from the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Berlin universities and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin studied a small piece of papyrus that was excavated on the island of Elephantine on the River Nile a little over 100 years ago. The team used serval methods including non-destructive techniques at BESSY II. The researchers’ work, reported in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, blazes a trail for further analyses of the papyrus collection in Berlin.
  • FOCUS TOPIC: Catching more light in solar cells
    Portrait
    05.08.2019
    FOCUS TOPIC: Catching more light in solar cells
    Christiane Becker uses microscopic structures to increase the amount of light captured in solar cells and is currently scaling up the technology for industrial application. “On top of everything else, there’s this spirit at HZB that we are working on the renewable energies of the future, and that is incredibly inspiring,” she relates in portrait.
  • FOCUS TOPIC: Using BESSY II to combat plastic waste
    News
    30.07.2019
    FOCUS TOPIC: Using BESSY II to combat plastic waste
    Plastics are excellent materials: extremely versatile and almost eternally durable. But this is also exactly the problem, because after only about 100 years of producing plastics, plastic particles are now found everywhere – in groundwater, in the oceans, in the air, and in the food chain.

  • Traditional HZB Neutron School will be continued at ANSTO in Australia
    News
    24.07.2019
    Traditional HZB Neutron School will be continued at ANSTO in Australia
    This summer, researchers at the Australian neutron source ACNS organised a joint neutron school at Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation ANSTO. The HZB-ANSTO neutron school will take place every two years. 
  • Accelerator physics: alternative material investigated for superconducting radio-frequency cavity resonators
    Science Highlight
    15.07.2019
    Accelerator physics: alternative material investigated for superconducting radio-frequency cavity resonators
    In modern synchrotron sources and free-electron lasers, superconducting radio-frequency cavity resonators are able to supply electron bunches with extremely high energy. These resonators are currently constructed of pure niobium. Now an international collaboration has investigated the potential advantages a niobium-tin coating might offer in comparison to pure niobium.
  • Summer in the laboratory: 24 students from all over the world start their summer project
    News
    10.07.2019
    Summer in the laboratory: 24 students from all over the world start their summer project
    For eight weeks the summer students are now working on a research project at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin. Experienced scientists of the HZB will support them. On Thursday, 30 August, they will present their results.
  • Oldest completely preserved lily discovered
    Science Highlight
    10.07.2019
    Oldest completely preserved lily discovered
    Already 115 million years ago, tropical flowering plants were apparently very diverse and showed all typical characteristics. This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers led by Clément Coiffard, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The team reported in the renowned journal Nature Plants on the oldest completely preserved lily, Cratolirion bognerianum, which was discovered at a site in present-day Brazil. With the help of 3D computer tomography at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, details on the back of the fossilised plant could also be analysed. The results raise new questions about the role of the tropics in the development of past and present ecosystems.
  • Charge transfer within transition-metal dyes analysed
    Science Highlight
    09.07.2019
    Charge transfer within transition-metal dyes analysed
    Transition-metal complexes in dye-based solar cells are responsible for converting light into electrical energy. A model of spatial charge separation within the molecule has been used to describe this conversion. However, an analysis at BESSY II shows that this description of the process is too simple. For the first time, a team there has investigated the fundamental photochemical processes around the metal atom and its ligands. The study has now been published in “Angewandte Chemie, international Edition” and is displayed on the cover.
  • Utrafast magnetism: electron-phonon interactions examined at BESSY II
    Science Highlight
    28.06.2019
    Utrafast magnetism: electron-phonon interactions examined at BESSY II
    How fast can a magnet switch its orientation and what are the microscopic mechanisms at play ? These questions are of first importance for the development of data storage and computer chips. Now, an HZB team at BESSY II has for the first time been able to experimentally assess the principal microscopic process of ultra-fast magnetism. The methodology developed for this purpose can also be used to investigate interactions between spins and lattice oscillations in graphene, superconductors or other (quantum) materials.
  • Steve Albrecht wins the 2019 Karl Scheel Prize
    News
    28.06.2019
    Steve Albrecht wins the 2019 Karl Scheel Prize
    This year's Karl Scheel Prize from the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin honours Steve Albrecht of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie for his work in the field of highly efficient tandem solar cell absorbers made of metal-halide perovskites.
  • Support for the sheep at Campus Wannsee
    News
    19.06.2019
    Support for the sheep at Campus Wannsee
    Since mid-May, sheep have been grazing on the Wannsee campus and contributing to landscape conservation. They have now been reinforced: Since 14 June 19, five sheep and five goats have been supporting the existing herd in its "work". Since the goats prefer to eat blackberries and thorny plants, they find ideal conditions on the natural property.
  • 1st place for "Glowing Silicon Lake" at the HZB photo competition for the Long Night of Science
    News
    18.06.2019
    1st place for "Glowing Silicon Lake" at the HZB photo competition for the Long Night of Science
    More than 200 people have chosen their favourite pictures in the photo competition "Moments at the HZB" during the Long Night of Science. The winners have now been chosen, but the decision was extremely close.
  • 1300 visitors at the HZB location Wannsee at the Long Night of Science
    News
    17.06.2019
    1300 visitors at the HZB location Wannsee at the Long Night of Science

    Despite high summer temperatures, the HZB was able to welcome more than 1300 people to the Long Night of Science at Wannsee. This is about 15 percent more than the last time (2017) when the location took part. Visitor magnets were the guided tours through the energy research laboratories and the experimental halls around the research reactor.

  • Silver plaque "Sustainable building" for laboratory building in Wannsee
    News
    17.06.2019
    Silver plaque "Sustainable building" for laboratory building in Wannsee

    In Wannsee, a new laboratory building for organic chemistry (LE building) was built in just one and a half years, which has now been awarded the silver plaque "Sustainable Building". It is the first HZB building to be certified according to the strict criteria. On the ground floor there is a physical-chemical laboratory for the institute "Functional Oxides for Energy-Efficient Information Technologies (EM-IFOX)".

  • Members of the Berlin House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus) visit Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
    News
    17.06.2019
    Members of the Berlin House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus) visit Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
    On 17 June 2019, representatives of the Committee for Science and Research of the Berlin House of Representatives met with the management and scientists of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). During their two-hour visit, they visited energy research laboratories and discussed the campus's prospects for the site after the final shutdown of the BER II research reactor.
  • Long Night of Science at HZB's Wannsee site: Solar cells, environmentally friendly hydrogen and a visit to the experimental halls of the research reactor
    News
    11.06.2019
    Long Night of Science at HZB's Wannsee site: Solar cells, environmentally friendly hydrogen and a visit to the experimental halls of the research reactor
    The sun provides an enormous amount of energy. But can we really use it to cover our energy needs? Can solar energy actually be stored? And how powerful will innovative batteries be? During the Long Night of Science on 15 June 2019 (17:00 - 24:00) at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin in Wannsee, visitors can talk to researchers, discover secret places and interesting details.Bring your identity card with you!
  • Photovoltaics are growing faster than expected in the global energy system
    News
    05.06.2019
    Photovoltaics are growing faster than expected in the global energy system
    Dramatic cost reductions and the rapid expansion of production capacities make photovoltaics one of the most attractive technologies for a global energy turnaround. Not only the electricity sector, but also transport, heating, industry and chemical processes will in future be supplied primarily by solar power, because it is already the cheapest form of electricity generation in large parts of the world. This is where opportunities and challenges lie - at the level of the energy system as well as for research and industry. Leading international photovoltaic researchers from the Global Alliance for Solar Energy Research Institutes describe the cornerstones of future developments in an article published in the journal "Science" on 31 May.
  • Organic electronics: a new semiconductor in the carbon-nitride family
    Science Highlight
    05.06.2019
    Organic electronics: a new semiconductor in the carbon-nitride family
    Teams from Humboldt-Universität and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have explored a new material in the carbon-nitride family. Triazine-based graphitic carbon nitride (TGCN) is a semiconductor that should be highly suitable for applications in optoelectronics. Its structure is two-dimensional and reminiscent of graphene. Unlike graphene, however, the conductivity in the direction perpendicular to its 2D planes is 65 times higher than along the planes themselves.
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has new scientific management
    News
    04.06.2019
    Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has new scientific management

    As of 1 June 2019, Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech and Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning are the new scientific directors of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. Bernd Rech is responsible for the “Energy and Information” department and Jan Lüning heads the “Matter” department. Thus the HZB Supervisory Board has appointed two internationally recognised experts at the top of HZB.

  • Development of a miniaturised EPR spectrometer
    News
    04.06.2019
    Development of a miniaturised EPR spectrometer
    Several research institutions are developing a miniaturized electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) device with industrial partner Bruker to investigate semiconductor materials, solar cells, catalysts and electrodes for fuel cells and batteries. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the "EPR-on-a-Chip" or EPRoC project with 6.7 million euros. On June 3, 2019, the kick-off meeting took place at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
  • 90 preschool children experiment in the school lab for the Day of the Little Researchers
    News
    29.05.2019
    90 preschool children experiment in the school lab for the Day of the Little Researchers

    Once a year the school lab says: Open doors for daycare children! 90 preschool children from five kindergartens experimented in the HZB school lab in Berlin-Adlershof for the nationwide Day of Little Researchers. Using homemade spectroscopes, they studied the properties of light and looked at poster snippets under the microscope. Actions are also planned at the Wannsee site.

  • Adolfo Velez Saiz is a professor of accelerator physics at TU Dortmund
    News
    28.05.2019
    Adolfo Velez Saiz is a professor of accelerator physics at TU Dortmund

    Technische Universität Dortmund and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have jointly appointed Prof. Adolfo Velez Saiz as a professor of accelerator physics. He heads the Cavity Development workgroup at the HZB institute SRF – Science and Technology. With this appointment, HZB is expanding its expertise in the development of new accelerator technologies.

  • HZB-Doktorand receives poster award
    News
    24.05.2019
    HZB-Doktorand receives poster award
    At the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society, Jakob Bombsch received an award for his poster on CIGSe absorbers for thin-film photovoltaics. Bombsch is a researcher in the department for Interface Design headed by Prof. Marcus Bär. 
  • Energy for Antarctica: solar hydrogen as an alternative to crude oil?
    News
    22.05.2019
    Energy for Antarctica: solar hydrogen as an alternative to crude oil?
    Volkswagen Foundation funds feasibility study by HZB experts in artificial photosynthesis

    The sun shines at the South Pole as well – and in summer almost around the clock. Instead of supplying research stations in the Antarctic with crude oil for producing the electricity and heating they need, solar hydrogen could be produced from sunlight in summer as an alternative. Hydrogen has a high energy density, is easy to store, and can be used as fuel when needed later without polluting the environment. An intriguingly simple idea - but one that raises many questions. Matthias May (HZB) and Kira Rehfeld (Heidelberg University) now want to examine how feasible this kind of solar fuel generation might be in Antarctica. The project is receiving financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation.

  • Posterprize for HZB postdoc Prince Saurabh Bassi
    News
    20.05.2019
    Posterprize for HZB postdoc Prince Saurabh Bassi
    Dr. Prince Saurabh Bassi was awarded the poster prize at “International Bunsen-Discussion-Meeting on Fundamentals and Applications of (Photo) Electrolysis for Efficient Energy Storage”. He is a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. Sebastian Fiechter in the Institute for Solar Fuels.
  • Sheep graze the Lise-Meitner-Campus in Wannsee
    News
    17.05.2019
    Sheep graze the Lise-Meitner-Campus in Wannsee

    On 15 May 2019 they arrived at the campus in Berlin-Wannsee: Seven female sheep and two lambs of the domestic sheep breed "Skudde". By autumn, they will graze the semi-natural campus and thus contribute to biodiversity. By doing without extensive mowing, natural wild meadows are to be created that are particularly insect- and bee-friendly.

  • Bernd Stannowski is Professor at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin
    News
    14.05.2019
    Bernd Stannowski is Professor at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin

    Prof. Dr. Bernd Stannowski has received and accepted a call for a joint S-Professorship for "Photovoltaics" at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. The physicist heads the working group "Silicon Photovoltaics" at the Competence Center Thin Film and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB) of the HZB.

  • Laser-driven Spin Dynamics in Ferrimagnets: How does the Angular Momentum flow?
    Science Highlight
    10.05.2019
    Laser-driven Spin Dynamics in Ferrimagnets: How does the Angular Momentum flow?
    When exposed to intense laser pulses, the magnetization of a material can be manipulated very fast. Fundamentally, magnetization is connected to the angular momentum of the electrons in the material. A team of researchers led by scientists from the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) has now been able to follow the flow of angular momentum during ultrafast optical demagnetization in a ferrimagnetic iron-gadolinium alloy at the femtoslicing facility of BESSY II. Their results are helpful to understand the fundamental processes and their speed limits. The study is published in Physical Review Letters.
  • Copper oxide photocathodes: laser experiment reveals location of efficiency loss
    Science Highlight
    09.05.2019
    Copper oxide photocathodes: laser experiment reveals location of efficiency loss
    Solar cells and photocathodes made of copper oxide might in theory attain high efficiencies for solar energy conversion. In practice, however, large losses occur. Now a team at the HZB has been able to use a sophisticated femtosecond laser experiment to determine where these losses take place: not so much at the interfaces, but instead far more in the interior of the crystalline material. These results provide indications on how to improve copper oxide and other metal oxides for applications as energy materials.
  • 3D tomographic imagery reveals how lithium batteries age
    Science Highlight
    06.05.2019
    3D tomographic imagery reveals how lithium batteries age
    Lithium batteries lose amp-hour capacity over time. Microstructures can form on the electrodes with each new charge cycle, which further reduces battery capacity. Now an HZB team together with battery researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich, the University of Munster, and partners in China have documented the degradation process of lithium electrodes in detail for the first time. They achieved this with the aid of a 3D tomography process using synchrotron radiation at BESSY II (HZB) as well at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG). Their results have been published open access in the scientific journal "Materials Today".
  • Inorganic perovskite absorbers for use in thin-film solar cells
    Science Highlight
    29.04.2019
    Inorganic perovskite absorbers for use in thin-film solar cells
    A team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has succeeded in producing inorganic perovskite thin films at moderate temperatures using co-evaporation – making post-tempering at high temperatures unnecessary. The process makes it much easier to produce thin-film solar cells from this material. In comparison to metal-organic hybrid perovskites, inorganic perovskites are more thermally stable. The work has been published in Advanced Energy Materials.
  • High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: new insights into tin selenide
    Science Highlight
    24.04.2019
    High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: new insights into tin selenide
    Tin selenide might considerably exceed the efficiency of current record holding thermoelectric materials made of bismuth telluride. However, it was thought its efficiency became enormous only at temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius. Now measurements at the BESSY II and PETRA III synchrotron sources show that tin selenide can also be utilised as a thermoelectric material at room temperature – so long as high pressure is applied.
  • "Molecular scissors" for plastic waste
    Science Highlight
    12.04.2019
    "Molecular scissors" for plastic waste
    A research team from the University of Greifswald and Helmholtz-Zentrum-Berlin (HZB) has solved the molecular structure of the important enzyme MHETase at BESSY II. MHETase was discovered in bacteria and together with a second enzyme - PETase - is able to break down the widely used plastic PET into its basic building blocks. This 3D structure already allowed the researchers to produce a MHETase variant with optimized activity in order to use it, together with PETase, for a sustainable recycling of PET. The results have been published in the research journal Nature Communications.
  • PhD student of HZB earns Best Presentation Award of the Young Crystallographers
    News
    11.04.2019
    PhD student of HZB earns Best Presentation Award of the Young Crystallographers
    Frederike Lehmann received a prize for her presentation at the annual conference of the German Society of Crystallography in Leipzig on 28 March 2019. She is doing her doctorate in the Department of Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials at the HZB under Prof. Dr. Susan Schorr at the Graduate School HyPerCell.
  • Catalyst research for solar fuels: Amorphous molybdenum sulphide works best
    Science Highlight
    04.04.2019
    Catalyst research for solar fuels: Amorphous molybdenum sulphide works best
    Efficient and inexpensive catalysts will be required for production of hydrogen from sunlight. Molybdenum sulphides are considered good candidates. A team at HZB has now explained what processes take place in molybdenum sulphides during catalysis and why amorphous molybdenum sulphide works best. The results have been published in the journal ACS Catalysis.
  • HZB contributions to special edition on Ultrafast Dynamics with X-ray Methods
    Science Highlight
    02.04.2019
    HZB contributions to special edition on Ultrafast Dynamics with X-ray Methods
    In the new special issue of the "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London", internationally renowned experts report on new developments in X-ray sources and ultrafast time-resolved experiments. HZB physicists have also been invited to contribute.
  • Godehard Wüstefeld receives the Horst Klein Research Prize
    News
    25.03.2019
    Godehard Wüstefeld receives the Horst Klein Research Prize
    The physicist Dr. Godehard Wüstefeld was awarded the Horst Klein Research Prize at the annual conference of the German Physical Society. The award recognizes his outstanding scientific achievements in accelerator physics in the development of BESSY II and BESSY VSR.
  • X-ray analysis of carbon nanostructures helps material design
    Science Highlight
    13.03.2019
    X-ray analysis of carbon nanostructures helps material design
    Nanostructures made of carbon are extremely versatile: they can absorb ions in batteries and supercapacitors, store gases, and desalinate water. How well they cope with the task at hand depends largely on the structural features of the nanopores. A new study from the HZB has now shown that structural changes that occur due to morphology transition with increasing temperature of the synthesis can also be measured directly – using small-angle X-ray scattering. The results have now been published in the journal Carbon.
  • Poster award for Johannes Sutter
    News
    07.03.2019
    Poster award for Johannes Sutter
    Johannes Sutter, PhD student at HZB, was awarded a poster prize at the "International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells, Photonics and Optoelectronics (NIPHO19)". The conference took place from 25-27 February 2019 in Jerusalem.
  • Marcel Risch to form research group at the HZB with an ERC Starting Grant
    News
    01.03.2019
    Marcel Risch to form research group at the HZB with an ERC Starting Grant
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will be further strengthened in its research on solar fuels. Dr. Marcel Risch, who recently obtained an ERC Starting Grants, is moving from Georg August Universität, Göttingen to the HZB. Starting in March 2019, the materials physicist will set up his own research group to analyse and improve catalytic materials for water splitting.
  • Thin-film PV is key technology to drive global energy transition
    News
    28.02.2019
    Thin-film PV is key technology to drive global energy transition
    The German research institutes ZSW and HZB see huge potential in CIGS for both climate and business. CIGS thin-film PV is set to become a key pillar of the global transition towards renewable energy sources. With its high performance, low costs, small carbon footprint, and visual appearance, CIGS has some considerable advantages against other technologies, especially when it comes to highly demanding applications like buildings and vehicles. A new whitepaper compiled by ZSW and HZB describes in detail the benefits of CIGS and the huge business opportunities arising from it.
  • Water is more homogeneous than expected
    Science Highlight
    20.02.2019
    Water is more homogeneous than expected
    In order to explain the known anomalies in water, some researchers assume that water consists of a mixture of two phases even under ambient conditions. However, new X-ray spectroscopic analyses at BESSY II, ESRF and Swiss Light Source show that this is not the case. At room temperature and normal pressure, the water molecules form a fluctuating network with an average of 1.74 ± 2.1% donor and acceptor hydrogen bridge bonds per molecule each, allowing tetrahedral coordination between close neighbours.
  • Spintronics by “straintronics”: Superferromagnetism with electric-field induced strain
    Science Highlight
    14.02.2019
    Spintronics by “straintronics”: Superferromagnetism with electric-field induced strain
    Data storage in today’s magnetic media is very energy consuming. Combination of novel materials and the coupling between their properties could reduce the energy needed to control magnetic memories thus contributing to a smaller carbon footprint of the IT sector. Now an international team led by HZB has observed at the HZB lightsource BESSY II a new phenomenon in iron nanograins: whereas normally the magnetic moments of the iron grains are disordered with respect each other at room temperature, this can be changed by applying an electric field: This field induces locally a strain on the system leading to the formation of a so-called superferromagnetic ordered state.
  • HZB to participate in two Clusters of Excellence
    News
    11.02.2019
    HZB to participate in two Clusters of Excellence
    Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) are researching novel systems of materials that can convert or store energy. The HZB will now also be contributing this expertise to the "MATH+" and "UniSysCat" Excellence Clusters being coordinated by Berlin universities. Over the next three years, the Helmholtz Association will fund HZB's participation under the Helmholtz Excellence Network with a total of 1.8 million euros.
  • Towards the Climate Neutral City: Independent consulting office for integrating photovoltaics into buildings
    News
    04.02.2019
    Towards the Climate Neutral City: Independent consulting office for integrating photovoltaics into buildings
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is opening a national consulting office for integrating photovoltaics into buildings (BAIP) this spring. The consulting office will support building owners, architects, and municipal planners in activating building envelopes for power generation. The project is being funded by the Helmholtz Association over a period of four years as part of its knowledge transfer programme.

  • Ultra-thin and extremely efficient: Thin-film tandem cells made of perovskite and CIGSe semiconductors
    Science Highlight
    31.01.2019
    Ultra-thin and extremely efficient: Thin-film tandem cells made of perovskite and CIGSe semiconductors
    An HZB team has fabricated and characterised a thin-film tandem solar cell made of perovskite and CIGSe. They relied on a simple, robust fabrication process that is also suitable for scaling up to large surface areas. The tandem solar cell is a fully thin film device with an impressive efficiency of 21.6 %. With further improvements it might reach efficiencies above 30 %.
  • Batteries with silicon anodes: Neutron experiments show how formation of surface structures reduces amp-hour capacity
    Science Highlight
    28.01.2019
    Batteries with silicon anodes: Neutron experiments show how formation of surface structures reduces amp-hour capacity
    In theory, silicon anodes could store ten times more lithium ions than graphite anodes, which have been used in commercial lithium batteries for many years. However, the amp-hour capacity of silicon anodes so far has been declining sharply with each additional charge-discharge cycle. Now an HZB team at BER II of the HZB in Berlin and the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble has utilised neutron experiments to establish what happens at the surface of the silicon anode during charging and what processes reduce this capacity.
  • Climate change: How could artificial photosynthesis contribute to limiting global warming?
    Science Highlight
    16.01.2019
    Climate change: How could artificial photosynthesis contribute to limiting global warming?

    If CO2 emissions do not fall fast enough, then CO2 will have to be removed from the atmosphere in the future to limit global warming. Not only could planting new forests and biomass contribute to this, but new technologies for artificial photosynthesis as well. An HZB physicist and a researcher at the University of Heidelberg have estimated how much surface area such solutions would require. Although artificial photosynthesis could bind CO2 more efficiently than the natural model, there are still no large modules that are stable over the long term. The team published their calculations in "Earth System Dynamics".

  • Two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups will start in 2019
    News
    15.01.2019
    Two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups will start in 2019

    Starting in 2019, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will be establishing two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups and thereby strengthening its competencies in catalysis research. The Helmholtz Association will be funding each group with 150,000 euros annually over a period of five years, and HZB will be matching that sum with its own funds.

  • Marcus Bär accepts W2 professorship for X-ray spectroscopy in Erlangen-Nuremberg
    News
    11.01.2019
    Marcus Bär accepts W2 professorship for X-ray spectroscopy in Erlangen-Nuremberg
    Prof. Marcus Bär has accepted a professorship for X-ray spectroscopy at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Bär heads the Department of Interface Design at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The new W2 professorship was established in cooperation with HZB and Forschungszentrum Jülich in order to strengthen the Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg für Renewable Energy (HI ERN). In the future, Bär will also be working on HI ERN research topics at HZB, thereby contributing to the intensification of cooperation.
  • Neutronenforschung hilft bei der Entwicklung von zerstörungsfreien Prüfverfahren
    Science Highlight
    21.12.2018
    Neutronenforschung hilft bei der Entwicklung von zerstörungsfreien Prüfverfahren
    Materialermüdung zeigt sich häufig zuerst daran, dass im Innern des Materials Bereiche mit stark unterschiedlichen Eigenspannungen aneinandergrenzen. An der Neutronenquelle BER II am HZB hat ein Team der Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM) die Eigenspannungen von Schweißnähten aus ferromagnetischem Stahl analysiert. Die Ergebnisse helfen zerstörungsfreie elektromagnetische Prüfverfahren zu verbessern.
  • Outstanding master thesis on the structure and function of a bacterial enzyme honoured
    News
    20.12.2018
    Outstanding master thesis on the structure and function of a bacterial enzyme honoured
    On December 17, 2018, Lena Graß, a PhD student from the Structural Biochemistry Group at Freie Universität Berlin, was awarded the Master Prize of the Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie e.V. (Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) (GBM). For her master thesis at Freie Universität Berlin and the MX beamlines of BESSY II, she deciphered the structure and function of a so-called RNA helicase.
  • Slovenian president awards HZB scientist with "Apple of Inspiration"
    News
    19.12.2018
    Slovenian president awards HZB scientist with "Apple of Inspiration"
    Marko Jošt, Steve Albrecht and Bernd Rech, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) receive a rare award today, 19 December 2018. In the slovenian Grand Hall of Presidential Palace, the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor, presents them with the "Apple of Inspiration". It honours achievements in culture, science, sport and society. The Berlin scientists are the first foreigners who receive the prize together with colleagues from the University of Ljubljana.
  • Steve Albrecht is Junior Professor at the Technical University of Berlin
    News
    19.12.2018
    Steve Albrecht is Junior Professor at the Technical University of Berlin
    The Technische Universität Berlin (TU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have appointed Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht to the joint junior professorship "perovskite solar cells" as of December 15, 2018. Since 2016, Albrecht has headed the junior investigator group "Perovskit Tandem Solar Cells" at the HZB, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

  • Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Award
    News
    12.12.2018
    Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Award
    On December 6, 2018, the Association of Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize for an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of research with synchrotron radiation at the HZB or at DESY as well as the European Innovation-Award on Synchrotron Radiation. The award ceremonies took place during the 10th User Meeting at the HZB.
  • Milestone for bERLinPro: photocathodes with high quantum efficiency
    Science Highlight
    07.12.2018
    Milestone for bERLinPro: photocathodes with high quantum efficiency
    A team at the HZB has improved the manufacturing process of photocathodes and can now provide photocathodes with high quantum efficiency for bERLinPro.
  • Key competencies for BESSY III: Undulators
    News
    06.12.2018
    Key competencies for BESSY III: Undulators
    HZB undulators are not only used in the BESSY II synchrotron lightsource. They also enjoy great popularity at other large-scale research facilities. HZB has already supplied undulators to renowned centres such as the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, DESY in Hamburg, and MAX IV in Sweden. Undulators are key components in the operation of synchrotron lightsources.
  • Delegation from Jordan visited the HZB
    News
    04.12.2018
    Delegation from Jordan visited the HZB
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will intensify its cooperation with Jordanian large-scale research facilities. This was agreed between Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning and representatives of a high-ranking Jordanian research delegation, which visited the HZB at the end of November 2018. 
  • HZB builds undulator for SESAME in Jordan
    News
    26.11.2018
    HZB builds undulator for SESAME in Jordan
    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is building an APPLE II undulator for the SESAME synchrotron light source in Jordan. The undulator will be used at the Helmholtz SESAME beamline (HESEB) that will be set up there by five Helmholtz Centres. The Helmholtz Association is investing 3.5 million euros in this project coordinated by DESY.
  • Molecules that self-assemble into monolayers for efficient perovskite solar cells
    Science Highlight
    23.11.2018
    Molecules that self-assemble into monolayers for efficient perovskite solar cells
    A team at the HZB has discovered a new method for producing efficient contact layers in perovskite solar cells. It is based on molecules that organise themselves into a monolayer. The study was published in Advanced Energy Materials and appeared on the front cover of the journal.
  • "Make our Planet great again": New Research Group at the HZB institute of Silicon Photovoltaics
    News
    22.11.2018
    "Make our Planet great again": New Research Group at the HZB institute of Silicon Photovoltaics
    The physicist Dr. Yutsung Tsai is setting up his own research group on  at the Institute of Silicon Photovoltaics at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. His goal is to develop two-dimensional transparent solar cells. Tsai receives research funding from the Franco-German programme "Make Our Planet Great Again – German Research Initiative“ (MOPGA-GRI), which is funded by the German Ministry or Education and Research. 
  • Alexander Petsch awarded the Young Investigators Prize of the German Thermoelectric Society
    News
    19.11.2018
    Alexander Petsch awarded the Young Investigators Prize of the German Thermoelectric Society
    Alexander Petsch from the HZB Department Methods and Characterization of Transport Phenomena in Energy Materials was awarded the Young Scientist Prize 2018 of the German Thermoelectrics Society e.V. (DTG) for his outstanding Bachelor thesis.
  • Transition metal complexes: mixed works better
    Science Highlight
    14.11.2018
    Transition metal complexes: mixed works better
    A team at BESSY II has investigated how various iron-complex compounds process energy from incident light. They were able to show why certain compounds have the potential to convert light into electrical energy. The results are important for the development of organic solar cells. The study has now been published in the journal PCCP, and its illustration selected for the cover.
  • New records in perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells through improved light management
    Science Highlight
    12.11.2018
    New records in perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells through improved light management
    Using microstructured layers, an HZB team has been able to increase the efficiency of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells, achieving 25.5 %, which is the highest published value to date. At the same time, computational simulations were utilized to investigate light conversion in various device designs with different nanostructured surfaces. This enabled optimization of light management and detailed energy yield analyses. The study has now been published in Energy & Environmental Science.
  • Veranstaltungstipp: Theaterstück Kernfragen über Lise Meitner  am 13.11.2018
    Nachricht
    12.11.2018
    Veranstaltungstipp: Theaterstück Kernfragen über Lise Meitner am 13.11.2018
    Am 13. November 2018 wird an der Freien Universität ein Theaterstück zu Lise Meitner uraufgeführt, das durch das PORTRAITTHEATER aus Wien realisiert wird. Das Stück "KERNFRAGEN" basiert auf dokumentarischem Material, unter anderem dem umfangreichen Briefwechsel zwischen Lise Meitner und Max von Laue, der bislang wenig öffentlich bekannt ist. Der Eintritt ist frei, um Anmeldung wird gebeten.
  • Graphene on the way to superconductivity
    Science Highlight
    10.11.2018
    Graphene on the way to superconductivity
    Scientists at HZB have found evidence that double layers of graphene have a property that may let them conduct current completely without resistance. They probed the bandstructure at BESSY II with extremely high resolution ARPES and could identify a flat area at a surprising location.
  • ERC Synergy grant with HZB participation
    News
    23.10.2018
    ERC Synergy grant with HZB participation
    Novel X-ray microscope to produce microstructural images in situ and in vivo
  • Poster award to HZB doctoral student
    News
    19.10.2018
    Poster award to HZB doctoral student
    Frederike Lehmann from the HZB Department Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials received a poster award at an international conference, the ICTMC-21 in Boulder, Colorado, USA. She presented her results on the synthesis and characterization of hybrid perovskite materials, which are considered interesting candidates for novel solar cells.
  • Nanodiamonds as photocatalysts
    Science Highlight
    18.10.2018
    Nanodiamonds as photocatalysts
    Diamond nanomaterials are considered hot candidates for low-cost photocatalysts. They can be activated by light and can then accelerate certain reactions between water and CO2 and produce carbon-neutral "solar fuels". The EU project DIACAT has now doped such diamond materials with boron and shown at BESSY II how this could significantly improve the photocatalytic properties.
  • Andrea Denker is Professor of "Accelerator Physics for Medicine"
    News
    16.10.2018
    Andrea Denker is Professor of "Accelerator Physics for Medicine"
    The Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have appointed Prof. Dr. Andrea Denker to the joint professorship "Accelerator Physics for Medicine" as of October 1, 2018. Since 2006, Andrea Denker is head of the department "Proton Therapy" at the HZB, which operates the accelerator for eye tumor therapy. The therapy, offered in cooperation with the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the HZB, is unique in Germany.
  • Blue phosphorus - mapped and measured for the first time
    Science Highlight
    15.10.2018
    Blue phosphorus - mapped and measured for the first time
    Until recently, the existence of "blue" phosphorus was pure theory: Now an HZB team was able to examine samples of blue phosphorus at BESSY II for the first time and confirm via mapping of their electronic band structure that this is actually this exotic phosphorus modification. Blue phosphorus is an interesting candidate for new optoelectronic devices. The results have been published in Nano Letters.
  • Poster award for HZB PhD student
    News
    12.10.2018
    Poster award for HZB PhD student
    Eike Köhnen received an award for his poster on perovskite silicon tandem cells at the 4th International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics (PSCO) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a PhD student in the Junior Research Group on Perovskite Tandem Cells led by Dr. Steve Albrecht.
  • Am 15. Oktober startet die Ringvorlesung der Freien Universität Berlin– Zum Gedenken an Lise Meitner
    Nachricht
    10.10.2018
    Am 15. Oktober startet die Ringvorlesung der Freien Universität Berlin– Zum Gedenken an Lise Meitner
    Lise Meitner ist eine der bedeutendsten Wissenschaftlerinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Die Freie Universität Berlin würdigt im Rahmen einer Ringvorlesung die Leistungen Lise Meitners und arbeitet deren Bedeutung für die Wissenschaft und Kultur auf. Die Veranstaltung findet immer montags von 18.15 bis 19.45 Uhr statt, Beginn ist am 15. Oktober.
  • Collaboration between HZB and the University of Freiburg
    News
    08.10.2018
    Collaboration between HZB and the University of Freiburg
    Through a Joint Research Group entitled “Simulation of Energy Materials“ Prof. Joachim Dzubiella of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg will be able to continue his collaboration with the HZB. The theoretical physicist headed the “Theory and Simulation“ group at the HZB until recently and worked closely together with colleagues conducting experimental research. The new research group will concentrate on electrochemical energy storage and solar fuels.
  • Neutrons scan magnetic fields inside samples
    Science Highlight
    02.10.2018
    Neutrons scan magnetic fields inside samples
    With a newly developed neutron tomography technique, an HZB team has been able to map for the first time magnetic field lines inside materials at the BER II research reactor. Tensorial neutron tomography promises new insights into superconductors, battery electrodes, and other energy-related materials.
  • HZB researchers boost the efficiency of silicon solar cells
    Science Highlight
    02.10.2018
    HZB researchers boost the efficiency of silicon solar cells
    The efficiency of a solar cell is one of its most important parameters. It indicates what percentage of the solar energy radiated into the cell is converted into electrical energy. The theoretical limit for silicon solar cells is 29.3 percent due to physical material properties. In the journal Materials Horizons, researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and international colleagues describe how this limit can be abolished. The trick: they incorporate layers of organic molecules into the solar cell. These layers utilise a quantum mechanical process known as singlet exciton fission to split certain energetic light (green and blue photons) in such a way that the electrical current of the solar cell can double in that energy range.
  • Berlin’s best apprentice for precision mechanic comes from the HZB
    News
    28.09.2018
    Berlin’s best apprentice for precision mechanic comes from the HZB
    Milena Meschenmoser completed her apprenticeship as a precision mechanic as the best in Berlin. From 2014 to 2018, she completed the practical part of her training at the HZB workshop in Wannsee.
  • Scientific delegation from China visited the HZB
    News
    28.09.2018
    Scientific delegation from China visited the HZB
    On 28 September 2018, a 25-member delegation from China gathered information about materials research at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. Representatives from various research institutes, universities and industrial companies visited the Lise-Meitner Campus in Wannsee and had discussions with the HZB researchers.
  • Machine learning helps improving photonic applications
    Science Highlight
    28.09.2018
    Machine learning helps improving photonic applications
    Photonic nanostructures can be used for many applications, not just in solar cells, but also in optical sensors for cancer markers or other biomolecules, for example. A team at HZB using computer simulations and machine learning has now shown how the design of such nanostructures can be selectively optimised. The results are published in Communications Physics.
  • Atoosa Meseck is a professor of accelerator physics at the University of Mainz
    News
    24.09.2018
    Atoosa Meseck is a professor of accelerator physics at the University of Mainz
    On 1 September 2018, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz appointed Atoosa Meseck to the joint professorship “Accelerator physics – collective effects and nonlinear beam dynamics”. Prof. Dr. Atoosa Meseck is researching at HZB into novel concepts for undulators, as are indispensable for producing high brightness synchrotron radiation. Among other things, she is developing undulator concepts for the successor facility BESSY III, for which the concept is currently being developed at HZB.
  • Newsletter and Highlightreport
    Science Highlight
    24.09.2018
    Newsletter and Highlightreport
    Exactly twenty years ago, BESSY II went into operation. In the current September newsletter, which we are sending out this week, we present the anniversary website, report on the new highlight report 2017 and on successes in technology transfer. Have you already registered for the newsletter? Here is the registration link.
  • Spectacular transport: Undulator moved to the electron storage ring BESSY II
    News
    21.09.2018
    Spectacular transport: Undulator moved to the electron storage ring BESSY II
    A worldwide unique undulator developed at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was installed in the storage ring BESSY II on September 20, 2018. It supplies the "Energy Materials In-Situ Lab EMIL" with the hard X-ray light from BESSY II. The transport of the six-ton device was spectacular: several cranes were used to transport the undulator just a few hundred meters from the production building to the storage ring.
  • Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface
    Science Highlight
    17.09.2018
    Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface
    Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
  • Hanwha Q-Cells Quantsol Awards 2018
    News
    09.09.2018
    Hanwha Q-Cells Quantsol Awards 2018
    Six young researchers received a Hanwha Q-Cells Quantsol Award for their self-developed Photovoltaics. This award is presented by the organizers of the international summer school Quantsol together with the industry.
  • Neue HZB-Zeitung „lichtblick“ erschienen
    Nachricht
    04.09.2018
    Neue HZB-Zeitung „lichtblick“ erschienen
    Das Potenzial der Solarenergie ist längst nicht ausgereizt. Es gibt viele Stellschrauben, um den Wirkungsgrad weiter zu erhöhen. So beschichtet Christiane Becker Gläser mit winzigen Strukturen, um den Lichteinfang in Solarzellen zu erhöhen – eine Technologie, die auch für die Industrie höchst interessant ist. In der Titelgeschichte der neuen "lichtblick" stellen wir die Physikerin vor, die sich beinahe für eine Laufbahn als Musikerin entschieden hätte. Bis sie auf das Thema der Erneuerbaren Energien stieß.
  • The HZB welcomes new apprentices and students
    News
    03.09.2018
    The HZB welcomes new apprentices and students
    On September 3, 2018, 14 new colleagues who are undertaking an apprenticeship, a dual course of study or a voluntary scientific year at the HZB officially started their careers.