Search for news
Sear results - All news (365 days)
- Battery research - SkaLiS project funded with 2.2 million eurosPowerful, 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 qualityTin 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.
- Faster development of efficient solar cells and LEDs thanks to HZB spin-offScientists from the Helmholtz Innovation Lab HySPRINT at HZB spun off the technology company QYB Quantum Yield Berlin GmbH at the beginning of April 2021. The spin-off is launching LuQY Pro, a ready-to-use measurement instrument that can help develop and optimise optoelectronic components such as solar cells and LEDs in a more efficient and resource-saving manner.
- Virtual visits at HZB and 360° PanoramaDue 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.
- Colleague Felicia Laberer takes part in the Paralympics!Felicia Laberer has been selected to take part in the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. 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. We are keeping our fingers crossed for the competitions in Tokyo, from 2. September on.
- Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronicsA 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.
- Hi ERN - New headquarters of the Helmholtz Institute in Erlangen inauguratedThe Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg, Hi ERN, in which the HZB is involved, has moved into its new building.
Almost exactly four years lie between the groundbreaking ceremony and the festive inauguration: the new research building of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies (Hi ERN) is another address for cutting-edge research. [...]
- DAPHNE - Data for Photon and Neutron ExperimentsData 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 approachA 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 researchInformation 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
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 EuropeThe 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 discoveredIn 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 catalystsThe 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 formationUsing 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
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"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 beamlinesMetal-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 measuredThe 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”
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. [...]
- 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? [...]
- Berlin Energy Days: Integrated photovoltaics - active areas for the energy transitionThe 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. [...]
- MYSTIIC at BESSY II: New X-ray microscope put into operationA 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 hostBattery 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 limitsMetal 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!
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 drugsAt 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 bonesModern 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 perovskitesIn 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.
- 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. [...]
- New issue of "lichtblick" onlineThe 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. [...]
- Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscaleSolar 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 againHZB 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 catalystsThin 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 vibrationsTechnological 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 DFGHow 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 sourcesAn 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
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 cellsA 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 crystalA 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 nowThe 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 theoryThe 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 efficienciesPhotoanodes 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.
- HZB and Humboldt University agree to set up a catalysis laboratoryHelmholtz-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.
- How complex oscillations in a quantum system simplify with timeWith 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.
- 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.
- 21.01.: Seminar zu klimaneutralem Planen, Bauen und BetreibenBauwerkintegrierte 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.
- Corona Update 07.01.2021 / restriced operationAfter 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 resilientIn 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 RadiationThis 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 MunichAt 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% efficiencyAn 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 awardedAn 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
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 manufacturingFor 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 investigatedRechargeable 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 electrolyteHydrogen 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 perovskitesScientists 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 revealedGermanium 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 discoveredFor 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 simulationsA 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
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 microscopyA 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. [...]
- Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskitesSolar 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.
- HZB is one of the best trainers in BerlinThe 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. [...]
- 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 dissertationDr. 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 materialsOn 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 testingSolar-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"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
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 IIBirgit 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 HZBRadio 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Upconversion of photons at low light intensities – the key to new applications in energy and bioengineeringThe 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 PetitDr. 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 storageResearchers 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- 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 quicklyMany 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 fieldsOne 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 LüningProf. 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
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. [...]