HZB Newsroom

Sear results - All news (365 days)

  • <p>The illustration shows two quantum dots "communicating" with each other by exchanging light.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Renske van der Veen has a lot of experience with ultrafast x-ray measurements.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>View into a MOF crystal exemplified by DUT-8. The massive pores are clearly discernible.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Orbital hybridization between organic and inorganic components of MAPI perovskite in ground-state geometry.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Prof. Dr. Udo Heinemann works at the Max Delbr&uuml;ck Center for Molecular Medicine and initiated the setting up of the MX beamlines almost 20 years ago. His group contributed more than 250 structures to the Protein Data Bank.</p>
    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. [...]

  • Nachricht
    07.05.2021
    Hörtipp: Genies – das Vermächtnis von Virchow und Helmholtz

    Wir möchten Ihnen eine interessante Folge des rbb-Podcast „Talking Science“ empfehlen: Die beiden Universalgenies Rudolf Virchow und Hermann von Helmholtz haben die Wissenschaft am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts geprägt. Ohne sie hätten wir heute weder eine Kanalisation noch den Magnetresonanztomografen. Was können wir von den beiden für unsere heutige Zeit lernen? [...]

  • <p>CIGS PV modules are integrated into the fa&ccedil;ade of the HZB testing hall in Berlin-Adlershof. A team analyses the yield and development of the modules under real conditions.</p>
    News
    23.04.2021
    Berlin Energy Days: Integrated photovoltaics - active areas for the energy transition
    The energy transition needs photovoltaics, and photovoltaics need space. There are large areas that have hardly been used so far: For example, solar cells can be integrated into the shell of buildings and vehicles, or installed in traffic routes, over farmland and flooded opencast mines. On Wednesday, 28 April 2021, experts from the HZB consulting office for builiding integrated PV (BAIP) and other research institutions will present these options. The event will take place as part of the Berlin Energy Days, and participation is free of charge after registration. [...]
  • <p class="MsoListParagraph">The first image taken by MYSTIIC: a standard image used to calibrate and measure the resolution of the new STXM.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>From the measurement data, the team was able to determine that the xenon atoms first accumulate on the inner walls of the pores (state 1), before they fill them up (state 2). The X-ray beam penetrates the sample from below.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>The HZB team was able to determine the photoconductivity in the thin layers of rust using time-resolved microwave measurements; here is a picture of the measurement setup.</p>
    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.

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  • News
    15.04.2021
    Vitual 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. [...]

  • <p>Electron density map of the most antiviral active ingredient calpeptin (yellow) binding at the main protease.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>An impression of the placoderm fish living 380 million years ago.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Movie showing the 3D crystal structure as a function of the cell modulation phase. (grey: Pb, brown: Br, black: C, blue: N; white: H)</p>
    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.

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  • News
    18.03.2021
    New issue of "lichtblick" online
    The new issue of lichtblick is about many things that are currently driving us at the Centre: we show that our staff continue to be very creative in their dealings with Corona and are doing everything they can to ensure that research can continue - for example, the development of new prototypes for accelerator components. [...]
  • <p>Radio TEDDY presenter Leo hosts the "Experimentierkasten" on air and explains everything very simply so that everyone can join in.</p>
    News
    18.03.2021
    The Radio TEDDY experimental show with the HZB - tune in on Saturdays at 2.40 pm!

    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Radio TEDDY continue their successful cooperation. In the next round, we will provide ideas for six exciting experiments that the Radio TEDDY moderator Leo will conduct for the children in front of the radio. Participating, having fun and arousing curiosity - that's the top priority. Tune in now: every Saturday at 2.40 p.m. and of course you can also listen to the programme online. [...]

  • <p></p> <p>A conductive AFM tip is used to scan the sample surface of an a-Si:H/c-Si interface under ultra-high vacuum on the nm scale, revealing the transport channels of the charge carriers via defects in the a-Si:H (red states in the magnified section).</p> <p></p>
    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.

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  • <p>The new audit logo for long-time certified companies</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p></p> <p>A new instrument at BESSY II can be used to study molybdenum-sulfide thin films that are of interest as catalysts for solar hydrogen production. A light pulse triggers a phase transition from the semiconducting to the metallic phase and thus enhances the catalytic activity.</p> <p></p>
    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.

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  • <p></p> <p>Electron microscopy shows the graphene sample (gray) in which the helium beam has created a hole pattern so that the density varies periodically. This results in the superposition of vibrational modes and the emergence of a mechanical band gap. The frequency of this phononic system can be adjusted between 50 MHz and 217 MHz by mechanical tension.&nbsp;</p> <p></p>
    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.

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  • <p>Artificial and natural interzones on a tooth restored with non-degradable biomaterials are exposed to mechanical (left: stresses acting in compression, tension and shear) and biological challenges (right: bacterial attachment, penetration, and other interactions with biological media).</p>
    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).

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  • 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.

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  • <p>Overview: Number of patients treated with prontons at HZB from 1998 to 2020.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
    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.

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  • <p>The liquid solution of perovskite precursor, solvent, and additive flows from a slit-shaped nozzle onto the glass substrate being conveyed below.</p>
    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • <p>The electronic structure of complex molecules can be assessed by the method of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) at BESSY II.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>TEM-Image of a &alpha;-SnWO<sub>4 </sub>film (pink) coated with 20 nm NiO<sub>x </sub>(green). At the interface of &alpha;-SnWO<sub>4</sub> and NiO<sub>x</sub> an additional interfacial layer can be observed.</p>
    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.


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  • <p>The phonons distribution is complex (upper curves) and then simplifies with time to a Gaussian bell curve (lower curve).</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Part of the IRIS research labs will be equipped for research on catalysts. Photo</p>
    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.

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  • News
    19.01.2021
    Call for Application “Helmholtz young investigator groups”

    We are looking for young excellent scientists looking for leadership! To participate in the pre-selection, please apply with a two-page outline of your project by February 28, 2020.

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  • Nachricht
    12.01.2021
    21.01.: Seminar zu klimaneutralem Planen, Bauen und Betreiben
    Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) bietet in Städten und Gemeinden enorme Möglichkeiten, aktiv zum Klimaschutz beizutragen. Im Seminar geht es um die baurechtlichen Anforderungen, den Brandschutz und den Einsatz verschiedener PV-Materialien.

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  • 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. [...]
  • <p>For the measurement campaign, two couplers were mounted in a horizontal test position under a local clean room tent.</p>
    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.

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  • News
    18.12.2020
    December issue of lichtblick
    On the cover, we introduce Catherine Dubourdieu, who is not only an excellent researcher but also likes the craftsmanship in her work.

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  • <p>Martin Bluschke (MPI for Solid State Research, TU Berlin) receives the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize from Mathias Richter for his outstanding dissertation.</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>Two structure powder diffractometers next to each other: the high structure powder diffractometer SPODI (above) in the MLZ experimental hall will be neighbouring FIREPOD.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>The illustration visualizes the composition of the tandem solar cell.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>1st Place: h4a Gessert + Randecker Architekten</p>
    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.

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  • 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.

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  • <p>Schematic illustration: the solvants (ink) are used to produce a thin film of polycrystalline perovskite.&nbsp;</p>
    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.

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  • <p>The tomogram during the charging process shows the spatially resolved changes in the graphite electrode thickness of a rechargeable aluminium ion battery in a discharged and charged state.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>The distribution of local pH change (&Delta;pH) with time in an electrolyte containing 0.5 M K<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4.</sub></p>
    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.

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  • <p>Nine samples with mixtures from CsPbBr<sub>2</sub>I (ink 1, left) to pure CsPbI<sub>3</sub> (ink 2 right).</p>
    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.

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  • <p>The Fermi surface of multidomain GeTe (111) bulk single crystal&nbsp;measured with high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission at BESSY II.</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Structural model of highly porous a-Si:H, which was deposited very quickly, calculated based on measurement data. Densely ordered domains (DOD) are drawn in blue and cavities in red. The grey layer represents the disordered a-Si:H matrix. The round sections show the nanostructures enlarged to atomic resolution (below, Si atoms: grey, Si atoms on the surfaces of the voids: red; H: white)</p>
    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.

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  • <p>Ultracold atoms in an optical lattice have been considered for quantum simulation.</p>
    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). [...]
  • <p>Scalable large area BiVO<sub>4</sub> photoanode on FTO with Ni current collectors.</p>
    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. [...]

  • <p>(a,b) Cryo-electron microscopy of the 2D-grating and the diffraction pattern of a section. (c-e) Magnification shows the 2D Pascal triangular pattern, with the inserted protein molecules.</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>Dr. Michael Tovar working at FALCON at the neutron Source BER II.</p>
    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. 

    [...]

  • <p>Christina Herold (right) accepted the award on behalf of the instructors at HZB. Together with the HZB, eight companies in Berlin were honoured by the employment agency for outstanding training.</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>View into the experimental hall of the electron accelerator BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Researchers carry out experiments at approximately 50 beamlines. The aim of the cooperation between the University of Kassel and the HZB is to use artificial intelligence to evaluate these data more efficiently.</p>
    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. [...]

  • <p>The participants after signing the cooperation agreement between IKZ and HZB in corona-conform distance: (from left to right) Dr. Andreas Popp (IKZ), Dr. Manuela Urban (FVB), Dr. Peter Gaal (IKZ), Prof. Dr. Catherine Dubourdieu (HZB), Prof. Dr. Thomas Schr&ouml;der (IKZ), Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech (HZB), Thomas Frederking (HZB).</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>Dr. Raphael Jay has received this year's Carl-Ramsauer-Prize of the German Physical Society of Berlin.</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • <p>This is how the extension hall will look after the scaffolding has been removed. The blue modules enclose the building like a bracket.</p>
    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. 

    [...]

  • <p>"I am convinced that we must act on climate change to prevent dramatic developments," says Bernd Rech. The technologies are available, and research is already working on further options. You can start the video by clicking the picture.</p>
    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".

    [...]

  • 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. [...]

  • <p>Prof. Birgit Kanngie&szlig;er heads a joint research group on X-ray methods, which is funded by TU Berlin and HZB.</p>
    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.  [...]
  • <p>Radio Teddy hat eine eigene Webseite f&uuml;r das Experiment der Woche eingerichtet, auf der die Videos gezeigt werden.</p>
    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. [...]
  • News
    15.09.2020
    HZB newspaper lichtblick published

    In the new lichtblick we look with Bernd Rech, spokesman of the scientific management, at the upcoming funding period of the Helmholtz Association, the POF IV. What does it mean for our center? And what exciting topics will be accompanying us in the near future? You will find the answers in the interview on page 2. [...]

  • <p>Image of a silicon perovskite tandem solar cell</p>
    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. [...]

  • <p>The truck transporting the crane arrives early on Wednesday, September 2. Grey clouds over Adlershof, but that doesn't stop the team from setting up the crane.</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>Periodic metasurfaces (grey) can enhance photon upconversion of nanoparticles (yellow) by more than three orders of magnitude.</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>Dr. Tristat Petit receives the ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council for his research on a new class of materials for the storage of electrical energy, the so-called MXenes.</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • <p>Structure of TUB75: the entire MOF architecture (top) and its conductive inorganic unit (bottom)</p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>Preparing the Undulator "castling": Next year, the undulator will be set up in a different location. So that it then goes quickly, the wiring is now being done.</p>
    News
    25.08.2020
    The shutdown at BESSY II: busy activity in the ring

    The storage ring BESSY II is down for nine weeks this year while urgent maintenance is being performed and new components are being installed. That sounds like a lot of down time, but there is a long list of work to be done. There is much going on behind the scenes to ensure that BESSY II will be available as reliably as ever for our guest researchers. [...]

  • <p>Daniel Abou-Ras and his team identify the microscopic structure of a very good CIGS thin-film solar cell (top). It serves as a model for a computer simulation (below).</p>
    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. [...]

  • <p>Intelligent mathematical tools for the simulation of spin systems reduce the computing time required on supercomputers. Some of the fastest supercomputers in the world are currently located at Forschungszentrum J&uuml;lich (shown here is JUWELS).</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • <p>Integrated PV-EC device during performance tests in the outdoor test bed for realistic operating condition.</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • <p>Jan L&uuml;ning, Scientific Director at HZB for "Matter", holds a professorship at Humboldt University in Berlin.</p> <p></p>
    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. [...]
  • <p>The structure of crystalline silicon electrodes changes into a chessboard-like fracture pattern as a result of loading and unloading. At the HZB it has now been observed that these defects do not become larger during charging and discharging but remain in their pattern.</p>
    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. [...]

  • <p>Grosspeter Tower, Basel 2016</p>
    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 [...]
  • <p>For the study, the enzyme endothiapepsin (grey) was combined with molecules from the fragment library. The analysis shows that numerous substances are able to dock to the enzyme (blue and orange molecules). Every substance found is a potential starting point for the development of larger molecules.</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • <p>This is how the experiment went: Two laser pulses hit the thin film of iron-platinum nanoparticles at short intervals: The first laser pulse destroys the spin order, while the second laser pulse excites the now unmagnetised sample. An X-ray pulse then determines how the lattice expands or contracts.</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • News
    09.07.2020
    Facts, Research, Expertise: Helmholtz Climate Initiative starts new website

    The Helmholtz Climate Initiative has intensively reworked its website. Starting immediately, the Initiative now offers articles, background knowledge, fact sheets, and much more on the current state of climate research at www.helmholtz-klima.de. In a new expert inquiry, the Initiative connects with Helmholtz climate scientists. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) contributes research on the conversion of CO2 into fuels and basic materials to reach the goal of "Net Zero 2050". [...]

  • <p>The new CatLab (blue area) will be built in close proximity to BESSY II and other laboratories.</p>
    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.

    [...]

  • News
    02.07.2020
    Enjoy your holidays: Video greetings from Bernd Rech, vol. 4
    The summer holidays have been startet, time to catch our breath and recharge our batteries. In a video message Bernd Rech reports from the Scientific Retreat. He thanks all colleagues for the creativity with which they found new ways of working together during the pandemic. He is looking forward to the second half of the year, but for now he wishes everyone nice holidays and thanks all those who are holding down the fort at HZB.  [...]
  • <p>At quantum physics atoms, molecules or photons are used to store information.</p>
    Science Highlight
    20.06.2020
    Benchmarking for quantum technologies
    Does a device do what it's supposed to? This question is not only asked in everyday life. Researchers working with quantum technologies also want to know what novel instruments can do. A team led by Prof. Jens Eisert, a physicist at the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems of Freie Universität Berlin and at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, together with researchers from the Sorbonne University in Paris, have published an overview of tools that can currently be used to compare and certify quantum devices. The review article is published in Nature Reviews Physics.

    [...]

  • <p>The LumY Pro is an easy-to-use, non-invasive and versatile system with unparalleled compactness to swiftly quantify absolute electro- and photoluminescence photon fluxes of thin film absorbers, layer stacks or complete devices under various operating conditions.</p>
    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. [...]