- 21.12.2017 (german)
Wir wünschen Ihnen ein frohes Fest und ruhige, besinnliche Feiertage. Wir bedanken uns bei allen Kooperations- und Geschäftspartnern für die gute Zusammenarbeit. Den Leserinnen und Lesern unserer Webseite danken wir für ihre Treue. Wir wünschen Ihnen ein schönes Restjahr und freuen uns auf ein ereignisreiches neues Jahr 2018! [...].
The German “National Academy of Science and Engineering – acatech” has admitted Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech, an expert in renewable energies, into its circle of members. Bernd Rech has headed the Institute of Silicon Photovoltaics at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) since 2006 and has been the acting Scientific Director of HZB since May 2017. For many years, and in many capacities, he has been a champion for knowledge transfer. “This appointment is an accolade for his scientific accomplishment, and at the same time involves an honorary mandate,” acatech writes in its press release. The federal- and state-funded academy advises social and political actors on technological matters. [...].
More than 600 scientists registered this year for the 9th annual BER II and BESSY II User Meeting from Wednesday to Friday, 13-15 December 2017. The Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin recognised outstanding work in the field of synchrotron radiation with an Innovation Award, and the best doctoral dissertation with the Ernst-Eckard-Koch prize. [...].
EU group project presents its results: high efficiencies with less material
A workshop entitled "European Solar Technology Forum – from Research to Industrial Application" took place at HZB to conclude of the European CHEETAH project on November 30, 2017. More than 100 participants from the most important European research institutes in the field of photovoltaics and from numerous universities came together with representatives from industry in order to discuss the progress achieved by CHEETAH. [...].
A research team at the HZB has precisely characterised for the first time the various types of defects in kesterite semiconductors. They achieved this with the help of neutron scattering at the BER II research reactor and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA. The findings point to a means of guided optimisation for kesterite solar cells. [...].
Catherine Dubourdieu has become a full professor at the Freie Universität Berlin commencing December 2017. The Freie Universität Berlin is one of eleven German elite universities in the German Universities Excellence Initiative. Her position will be that of W3-S, which enables her to continue her research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) in joint role. The physicist is an expert in the field of functional metal oxides that are interesting candidates for future information technologies. [...].
The triple axis spectrometer FLEXX at BER II provides a new detector module for user service. It measures many angles and multiple energy transfers simultaneously and thus increases the amount of data measured per hour by about a factor of ten. This enables neutron users to make optimal use of their beam time. [...].
The Competence Centre Thin-Film- and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB) is contributing its expertise to improving copper-indium-gallium-sulphide (CIGS) thin-film production in the MyCIGS collaborative research project. CIGS-module manufacturer AVANCIS in Munich is coordinating this project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Oldenburg University) and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) are also partners in the project. [...].
User Coordination receives the ISO 9001 certificate from TÜV Süd
HZB has established a comprehensive quality management system for its User Service at BESSY II. TÜV Süd put this system through intensive testing and, on 21 November 2017, awarded it the ISO 9001 certificate. BESSY II is thus the first European synchrotron radiation source to have its user service approved under these strict quality criteria. [...].
- 24.11.2017 (german)
Potsdams Oberbürgermeister Jann Jakobs informiert sich am Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin über die Pläne zum Rückbau des Forschungsreaktors BER II.
Jann Jakobs, Oberbürgermeister der brandenburgischen Landeshauptstadt Potsdam hat am Donnerstag, den 23. 11., das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) in Berlin-Wannsee besucht. Dabei informierte er sich über die Pläne, die das Zentrum an der Grenze zwischen Berlin und Potsdam für seine weitere Entwicklung hat. „Wir müssen unsere Perspektive ändern“, sagte Jakobs bei seinem Besuch: „Der Forschungscampus des HZB liegt nur auf den ersten Blick an der Landesgrenze. Auf den zweiten Blick liegt der weltweit renommierte Forschungsstandort mitten zwischen den beiden Hauptstädten und verbindet deren Forschungsszenen wunderbar.“ Eine Sichtweise, die auch der kommissarische Geschäftsführer des HZB, Professor Bernd Rech teilt: „Diese verbindende Position müssen wir nutzen, um neue gemeinsame Forschungsprojekte zwischen Berlin und Potsdam ins Leben zu rufen, etwa für die Energieversorgung der Zukunft.“ [...].
Applications as light-emitting diodes and solar cells
Doping organic semiconductors with negative charges is especially difficult. Now a German-American research team has applied a trick: as a first step, they transformed the fragile charge-donor molecules (the n-dopants) into dimers (a coupled pair) that are far more stable. These dimers can be introduced into organic semiconductors, but they do not contribute to the conductivity right away. However, short exposure to light changes that. The team showed that light breaks the dimers into the individual n-dopant molecules again through a multi-stage, irreversible chemical process, increasing the conductivity of the organic semiconductor by a factor of 100,000. The findings have now been published in Nature Materials. [...].
Do you know who Hermann von Helmholtz was? At this question, most of the primary school kids shook their head. Yet, the namesake of the Helmholtz Association was one of the most important natural scientists of the 19th century, and one of the last universal scholars. To keep his memory alive, Helmholtz Day has been held regularly, this sixth time in the Helmholtz Association’s School Lab. HZB invited 5th grade pupils from Nauen (Brandenburg) to Wannsee to conduct their own experiments in the School Lab. [...].
A Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) team together with experts at Ulm University and the University of Stuttgart have designed an electron spin resonance spectrometer that fits a box 10 cm on a side. The team presented the device to a technology jury at the international IEEE Sensors 2017 conference in Glasgow, Scotland and received the first prize of the best live demonstration award. ESR spectroscopy is extremely useful for research in energy-related materials such as catalysts, solar cells, and battery electrodes. [...].
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Argentinian Neutron Beams Laboratory, LAHN (Laboratorio Argentino de Haces de Neutrones). Through this cooperation, HZB will be advising Argentinian researchers on the construction of two neutron instruments. Also planned is an exchange programme for researchers from both countries. [...].
A new strategic group comprising the organisations operating European accelerator-based light sources has been founded in Brussels. The goal of the LEAPS consortium (League of European Accelerator-Based Photon Sources) is to elevate European collaboration on these “super microscopes” to a new level for the purpose of helping solve global challenges through concerted scientific excellence, as well as boost European competitiveness and integration. Representatives from 16 institutions issued a common declaration in the presence of the European Union’s Director General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits. [...].
- 14.11.2017 (german)
Ende 2019 schaltet das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) den Berliner Experimentierreaktor BER II endgültig ab. Über die gesetzlich vorgeschriebene Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung hinaus möchte das HZB deshalb mit allen interessierten Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in einen Dialog über Stilllegung und Rückbau des BER II treten. Dafür lädt das Forschungszentrum zu einer Informationsveranstaltung ein am Dienstag, den 21. November 2017, von 18 Uhr bis ca. 21 Uhr in der Aula der Johannes-Tews-Grundschule in der Wasgenstraße 50 in 14129 Berlin. [...].
Die Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft und das Büro des chinesischen Postdoc-Beirates (Office of China Postdoctoral Council - OCPC) etablieren ein gemeinsames Austauschprogramm für chinesische Postdoktoranden. Die jungen Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler werden an acht Helmholtz-Zentren für zwei Jahre forschen und anschließend nach China zurückkehren. Auch das HZB beteiligt sich am Austauschprogramm, das von 2017 bis 2021 läuft. [...].
HZB scientists have identified a mechanism with which it may be possible to develop a form of magnetic storage that is faster and more energy-efficient. They compared how different forms of magnetic ordering in the rare-earth metal named dysprosium react to a short laser pulse. They discovered that the magnetic orientation can be altered much faster and with considerably less energy if the magnetic moments of the individual atoms do not all point in the same direction (ferromagnetism), but instead point are rotated against each other (anti-ferromagnetism). The study was published in Physical Review letters on 6. November 2017 and on the cover of the print edition. [...].
Some artikels from our magazine lichtblick are available in English: You can find these articles here: http://hz-b.de/lichtblick-en [...].
A large EU-sponsored research project on tandem solar cells in which HZB is participating begins in November 2017. The goal is to combine thin-film semiconductors made of silicon and kesterites into especially cost-effective tandem cells having efficiencies of over 20 per cent. Several large research institutions from Europe, Morocco, the Republic of South Africa, and Belarus will be working on the project, as well as two partners from industry. [...].
At the IUPAC NMS-XIII conference in Nanjing, Professor Dr. Norbert Koch has been awarded the "Distinguished Award 2017 for Novel Materials and their Synthesis "of IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and of the Conference Committee. Koch received the award for his research on hybrid electronic materials and their interfaces in electronic and optoelectronic components. He is Professor at the Department of Physics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, member of IRIS Adlershof and head of a joint research group at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. [...].
Monika Raja Thulasimani is working on hybrid thermoelectrics at the Graduate School MatSec at HZB. During the European Conference on Thermoelectrics 2017 her poster contribution was selected for an award. The young scientist described a solution based synthesis in order to design more efficient thermoelectric materials. [...].
No fewer than 70 participants attended the first Industry Day of the Helmholtz Innovation Lab HySPRINT devoted to the topic of perovskite solar cells at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) on 13 October 2017. This far exceeded the expectations of the event hosts. The knowledge shared on Industry Day will serve as the basis for deepening the collaboration even further with strategically important companies in the scope of HySPRINT. [...].
Philipp Janusch completed an apprenticeship at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin to become a “precision engineer”, and passed his journeyman’s examination as the best of his year in the State of Berlin. What is more, he achieved this despite shortening his three-year apprenticeship by a whole year. In November, Janusch will be participating in the 2017 German Federal Skills Competition for Metalworking on behalf of the State of Berlin. [...].
A specific uranium compound has puzzled researchers for thirty years. Although the crystal structure is simple, no one understands exactly what is happening once it is cooled below a certain temperature. Apparently, a “hidden order” emerges, whose nature is completely unknown.Now physicists have characterised this hidden order state more precisely and studied it on a microscopic scale. To accomplish this, they utilised the High-Field Magnet at the HZB that permits neutron experiments to be conducted under conditions of extremely high magnetic fields. [...].
In September, 63 employees in the HZB team competed in the Germany-wide CITY CYCLING campaign. Over three weeks, they rode a total of 16,240 kilometres, landing them in seventh place – right behind the Berlin fire brigade and TU Berlin. And the best part is, together, the HZB colleagues saved 2306 kilograms of carbon dioxide. [...].
HZB-Physicists at BESSY II have investigated a class of materials that exhibit characteristics of topological insulators. During these studies they discovered a transition between two different topological phases, one of which is ferroelectric, meaning a phase in the material that exhibits spontaneous electric polarisation and can be reversed by an external electric field. This could lead to new applications such as switching between differing conductivities. [...].
As many as 150 coffee-to-go cups are used every day in the Wannsee canteen. These cups cannot be reasonably recycled, and instead end up as land fill. Now, the canteen is putting an end to this wastage. As of the 16th of October, coffee to go can only be bought in the new HZB returnable cups (available for 5 euros at the checkout) or served in your own cup, which you bring from home.
- 12.10.2017 (german)
Am 14. Oktober findet die jährliche Notfallübung am Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin in Wannsee statt. Die Übung dauert von 8.30 bis ca. 12 Uhr. Während dieser Zeit fahren viele Feuerwehrfahrzeuge zum Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Auch der Einsatz von Theaterrauch ist geplant. Bitte seien Sie unbesorgt, es handelt sich um eine Übung. An der landesweiten Katastrophenschutzübung beteiligten sich auch die Berliner Feuerwehr und mehrere Berliner Behörden. Der Zutritt zum HZB ist während der Übungszeit nicht möglich, auch nicht für HZB-Mitarbeiter. [...].
An anecdote from the canteen, a curious lab photo, and an exciting encounter – there are many stories which just need to be written up . Now we have the Campus Blog of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin for this. You will read in the blog, for example, that a HZB staffer cleared paths with a chain saw the whole night long during the Xavier storm, and other interesting stories. [...].
HZB scientists have developed a novel spectrometer at BESSY II that enables researchers to obtain detailed insights about catalytic processes in metalloenzymes. Their international collaboration was successful in delineating individual steps in the catalytic oxidation of water to dioxygen in photosystem II. They published their study in the journal Structural Dynamics. Photosystem II is a part of the of photosynthetic electron transport chain, a process that is responsible for the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in plants, algae and cyanobacteria. [...].
Tuesday 3. October 2017 is a special day in Germany. In order to help kids to understand the world, a "Day of open Doors" is organised by the educational TV Programme "Sendung mit der Maus". Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has invited kids from age of four years on with their families to visit the experimental hall of BESSY II. [...].
For four days, the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg will be a creative lab for musical experimentation, staging concerts, artist talks, and workshops. With its 28 debuts and premieres, and more than 100 artists from 27 countries, the 2nd edition of KONTAKTE is the hub for electroacoustic music and sound art in Berlin. [...].
Graphene possesses extreme properties and can be utilised in many ways. Even the spins of graphene can be controlled through use of a trick. This had already been demonstrated by a HZB team some time ago: the physicists applied a layer of graphene onto a nickel substrate and introduced atoms of gold in between (intercalation). The scientists now show why this has such a dramatic influence on the spins in a paper published in 2D Materials. As a result, graphene can also be considered as a material for future information technologies that are based on processing spins as units of information.
On 13 October, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin will be hosting its first Industry Day on the topic of Perovskite Solar Cells. Following a recap of the current state of research and development and the future potential of perovskite solar cells, participants from industry will be able to give a brief presentation to show their company’s interest in the field. Intensive discussions during the Industry Day will be the starting point for future cooperation. [...].
A modern company’s most important calling card is its website. HZB has an extensive online presence that has grown steadily over the years. There is a lot of exciting content – so much, in fact, that it becomes more and more difficult to surf. To make it user friendly once again, our website needs a relaunch, and will continue to need periodical relaunches in future. This is where you can help! What do you use the HZB website for? What do you like about it, and what don’t you like? [...].
When the EMIL laboratory (Energy-Materials In-Situ Laboratory Berlin) was ceremoniously inaugurated a year ago in the presence of Federal Minister for Research Johanna Wanka, it was a major milestone for energy materials research at HZB. Ever since, HZB has been building the system that will bring X-ray beams all the way from BESSY II to the EMIL apparatuses. Until the BESSY light is fully available, the scientists have been working with X-rays from a conventional laboratory source. Now, the beamline operators have succeeded in guiding the X-rays from Undulator UE48 in the BESSY II experimental hall to the CAT experiment in the EMIL laboratory. There, it was quantitatively measured using a focus measuring chamber. [...].
The 16th Atomiade will be held in Varese, Italy, from 8 to 11 June 2018. The hosts request that people register informally now so that they can optimally plan the event. Every three years, employees of European research institutes take part in the Atomiade sporting competition. The event is held in the name of pleasure of sports and the mutual sharing of news and information. [...].
Scientists analysed how a special treatment improves cheap metal oxide photoelectrodes
Metal oxides are promising candidates for cheap and stable photoelectrodes for solar water splitting, producing hydrogen with sunlight. Unfortunately, metal oxides are not highly efficient in this job. A known remedy is a treatment with heat and hydrogen. An international collaboration has now discovered why this treatment works so well, paving the way to more efficient and cheap devices for solar hydrogen production. [...].
A research team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown for the first time how laser modulation of magnetic properties in materials is influenced by thermal effects and how the process occurs under moderate experimental parameters. At the same time, the scientists discovered a previously unknown dependence on the thickness of the magnetic layer. This is an important clue for our theoretical understanding of optically controlled magnetic data storage media. The findings are published today in the journal Scientific Reports. [...].
22 students from all over the world are working at HZB for eight weeks
The summer programme of HZB has a good reputation among students, and every year HZB receives a lot more applications than it can fund. Now, 22 young people have come from 15 different countries to start their research project in a HZB team. They will present their results at the end of September. [...].
A group of theoretical physicists have devised a mathematical model of two different molecules reacting within so called nanoreactors that act as catalysts. They gained surprising new insights as to what factors promote reactions and how to control and select them. The model is relevant for a wide range of research fields, from biophysics to energy materials. [...].
„The photon is our strength", said Bernd Rech. Since the 1st of May 2017, he has been the acting Scientific Director of HZB. In our new magazine "lichtblick" we spoke with him about his most important duties, the strengths of HZB, and surprises the job held in store. [...].
Lupins not only produce colourful blossoms but also nutritious beans rich in proteins. Just how these plants draw water approaching their roots in soil has now for the first time been observed in three dimensions by a University of Potsdam team at the HZB-BER II neutron source in Berlin. To accomplish this, they worked with the HZB imaging group to improve the temporal resolution of neutron tomography more than onehundred-fold so that a detailed 3D image was generated every ten seconds. This ultrafast neutron tomography is generally suitable as well for analyses of dynamic processes in porous materials. [...].
The University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin founded the HyPerCells Graduate School just two years ago with focus on metal halide perovskites for solar applications. Now, groups involved in the graduate school have demonstrated perovskite solar cells with record-efficiencies of over 20 percent. This confirms the graduate school is at the forefront of this research in Germany and internationally highly competitive. [...].
For the first time an international team realized direct writing of silver nanostructures using an electron beam applied to a substrate. Silver nanostructures have the potential to concentrate visible light at the nanoscale. Potential applications include sensor design to detect extremely small traces of specific molecules, as well as devices for optical information processing. [...].
A modern information brochure, illustrated throughout with a fusion of photos and sketches, serves as the new business card of HZB. In concise and understandable language, it describes the centre’s most important research focuses, introduces the large-scale facilities and laboratories, and shows why HZB is an internationally attractive place to work. [...].
Rising 18 metres into the air, the nitrogen tank on the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin campus in Adlershof was installed on 18 July 2017. It can store up to 80 cubic metres of liquid nitrogen. This nitrogen will be used for pre-cooling the cooling system which is necessary for operating the new energy recovery linear accelerator (bERLinPro). The HZB experts are currently setting up a prototype for testing the potential of this accelerator technology. [...].
The Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have created a Joint Lab for “functional quantum materials” and under its umbrella a Young Investigator Group.
- 26.06.2017 (german)
Das HZB begrüßte zur „Klügsten Nacht des Jahres“ am 24. Juni 2017 mehr als tausend Gäste, darunter viele Kinder und Jugendliche. Quirliges Treiben auf unserer Wissenschaftsstraße, großer Andrang bei den Mitmach-Experimenten und beim Schülerlabor, interessierte Fragen zum Forschungsreaktor: Die Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften am HZB war bunt und facettenreich – und bot für jeden Geschmack etwas. Hier haben wir die schönsten Momente zusammengestellt. [...].
Kindergarten children are inquisitive and want to know how everything works – and they ask a great deal of questions. On the Germany-wide "Day of Little Researchers" on 19 June, around 100 kids visited the HZB School Labs in Adlershof and Wannsee and investigated the colours of light. [...].
- 20.06.2017 (german)
Das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin lädt am Samstag auf dem Campus Wannsee zur Langen Nacht der Wissenschaft ein. Unsere Highlights für Sie: Führungen durch die Experimentierbereiche um den Forschungsreaktor, durch die Energie-Labore und den Beschleuniger für die Augentumortherapie, eine Wissenschafts-Show und ein vielseitiges Kinderprogramm. [...].
The EU is providing ten million euros in funding for the project CALIPSOplus, submitted by 19 European light sources. The project consortium, of which Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is a member, kicked off on May 2017. CALIPSOplus is aimed at promoting the international exchange of scientists and transnational access to the light sources in Europe. Other priorities are to integrate the relatively less active regions of Europe and to initiate research projects with small and mid-sized companies. [...].
Dr. Klaus Habicht has successfully completed the university-level teaching accreditation process in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Potsdam and received his official university-level teaching qualification for the physics of condensed matter. Habicht has conducted numerous lectures and seminars at the University of Potsdam since 2011, in particular in solid-state physics and methods in neutron research. He heads the Department of Methods for Characterisation of Transport Phenomenon in Energy Materials at the HZB.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has expanded its series of CoreLabs for energy materials research. In addition to the five established CoreLabs, it has now set up a CoreLab for Quantum Materials. A research team from the HZB Institute for Quantum Phenomena in New Materials is responsible for the CoreLab and its modern equipment. The CoreLab is also open to experimenters from other research institutes. [...].
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is establishing a joint lab together with the Max Planck Society (MPS) to study electrochemical phenomenon at solid/liquid interfaces. The Berlin Joint Lab for Electrochemical Interfaces, or BElChem for short, will employ X-rays from BESSY II to analyse materials for renewable energy production. [...].
Focussed ion beams are highly useful tools for researchers in various disciplines. Samples can be etched in the micro- and nanometre range with them. Modern ion microscopes as well as their complementary methods and techniques are available at the HZB and can be utilised by scientists from universities and institutes from the world over. Now for the first time, the HZB is organising a workshop to introduce these methods and their areas of application. It will take place November 6th and 7th. The deadline for submitting abstracts is June 15. [...].
With the transformation of the BESSY II light source into a variable-pulse-length storage ring, Berlin will become even more attractive as a location for science to researchers from the world over
The Senate of the Helmholtz Association resolved on June 1st, 2017 to support the transformation of BESSY II into a variable-pulse-length storage ring (BESSY-VSR). The Helmholtz Association will provide funding of 11.9 million euros for the upgrade project, with 10.1 million euros provided by internal resources of its operator, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). Following the upgrade, BESSY-VSR will be the first synchrotron light source in the world to deliver brilliant X-ray pulses with user-selectable durations: short and long light pulses will be simultaneously produced in the same ring. This will open up new opportunities for researchers, including new studies on energy materials that contribute to sustainable energy supplies and storage. [...].
A paper on X-ray tomography of various types of batteries has been published as a highlight in the exclusive special edition of the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. Two groups at the HZB along with a team from Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, contributed to the article. [...].
At the major international photovoltaics exhibition from 31 May to 2 June 2017, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will be exhibiting solar energy research projects and presenting opportunities for industrial cooperation in the field of photovoltaics (PV). [...].
Perovskite solar cells have been the big surprise over the last while: inside of only a few years, their efficiency level has been increased from just under 10 % to fully 22 %. There has never been such rapid progress in a new material for solar cells. Scientists around the world are therefore working on this new class of materials. Eva Unger and Steve Albrecht from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have evaluated trends in the advancement of perovskite materials in an invited review article in Journal of Materials Chemistry A. They point out what opportunities exist for advancing this class of materials, combining them with other semiconductors, and where limitations lie. [...].
An international research team has for the first time investigated the optical properties of three-dimensional nanoporous graphene at the IRIS infrared beamline of the BESSY II electron storage ring. The experiments show that the plasmonic excitations (oscillations of the charge density) in this new material can be precisely controlled by the pore size and by introducing atomic impurities. This could facilitate the manufacture of highly sensitive chemical sensors. [...].
A team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has for the first time fabricated a nanomaterial made from nanoparticles of a titanium oxide compound (Ti4O7) that is characterised by an extremely large surface area, and tested it as a cathode material in lithium-sulphur batteries. The highly porous nanomaterial possesses high storage capacity that remains nearly constant over many charging cycles. [...].
Dr. Matthew T. Mayer is setting up a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group in the field of energy materials research at HZB. He investigates how carbon dioxide and water can be converted electrochemically into hydrocarbons such as methane and methanol by using renewable energies. Matthew Mayer will receive 300,000 euros per year over a period of five years for his Young Investigator Group. [...].
In May this year, the joint research group “X-Ray Microscopy” was launched, combining the expertise of teams led by Prof. Dr. Gerd Schneider (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Helge Ewers (Freie Universität Berlin). While Ewers’ group contributes its experience in the field of optical microscopy and biological research, the HZB workgroup is responsible for X-ray microscopy at the synchrotron source BESSY II. The two methods help researchers to gain a detailed insight into the processes taking place inside cells. [...].
We cordially invite you to the next “HZB Distinguished Lecture”, which will also be a commemorative event for our friend and colleague, Prof. Leone Spiccia, who passed away in December 2016. Leone held a professorship at Monash University in Australia and was connected with us through Humboldt and Helmholtz International Fellowships. To continue our work in his spirit, a close friend and collaborator of Leone, Prof. Douglas R. MacFarlane from Monash University, will deliver the key lecture on “Hydrogen and Ammonia as Energy Carriers and for Energy Storage – Progress and Perspectives”. [...].
24 scientists from various countries participated in the Young Investigators Workshop 2017 on Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes in Grainau am Eibsee in the Bavarian Alps. This workshop which was organized by Professor Alexander Föhlisch was dedicated to study the research topics of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute 419. It included both experimental and theoretical projects on molecular and chemical dynamics, phase transitions and switching as well as fundamental light-matter interaction.
The X-ray microscope (HZB-TXM) is back in operation. The TXM offers significantly better quality images compared to the former X-ray microscopy station. [...].
- 03.05.2017 (german)
Am 2. Mai haben wir Prof. Dr. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla mit einem Festkolloquium feierlich verabschiedet. Über 200 Mitarbeitende, Gäste und Wegbegleiter aus der Wissenschaft und Politik sind gekommen, um ihr für die hervorragende Zusammenarbeit und ihr großes Engagement für das HZB zu danken. Unser Fotograf hat die schönsten Momente eingefangen. [...].
Following the succession of long-serving Scientific Director Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla to President of TU Braunschweig, the Supervisory Board of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has appointed Prof. Bernd Rech as provisional Scientific Director. He assumes this position as of May 1, 2017. Bernd Rech has headed the Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics at the HZB since 2006 and is highly esteemed worldwide as an expert in renewable energies. [...].
- 27.04.2017 (german)
Wie sieht die Arbeit von Wissenschaftlerinnen, Ingenieurinnen oder Programmiererinnen aus? Beim Girls‘ Day können Mädchen MINT-Berufe (Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaften und Technik) kennenlernen, die noch immer nicht besonders beliebt bei den Berufsanfängerinnen sind. Die 70 Plätze für den Girl’s Day an den beiden HZB-Standorten waren schnell vergeben. [...].
An international team has shed light onto interactions between nanodiamonds and water molecules. Experiments at synchrotron sources showed how hydrogenated groups on nanodiamond surfaces change the network of hydrogen bonds in the aqueous environment and may potentially influence the catalytic properties of nanodiamonds, for instance for the production of solar fuels from CO2 and light. [...].
The Conference will take place from 5 th to 7th July - please register until April 30th
Do you know your peers from other Helmholtz Centers? Have you ever wondered what working beyond your doctoral research could look like? The second NextGen@Helmholtz Conference 2017 – organized by Docs for Docs – is where you´ll find the answers. It will take place at GEOMAR in Kiel from July 5 to 7, 2017. Do you want to join? Please register here until April 30th. The fee is 50 €. [...].
Newcomers and young scientists in solar energy research can register now for the 10. International Summer School on Photovoltaics and New Concepts of Quantum Solar Energy Conversion (Quantsol). The school is organized by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Ilmenau and will be held from 3. to 10. September 2017 in Hirschegg, Kleinwalsertal, Austria. Applications can be submitted through the school’s homepage until May 21st, 2017. [...].
- 24.04.2017 (german)
HZB ist "wichtiger Impulsgeber für die Zukunft der Brain City Berlin"
Der Regierende Bürgermeister und Wissenschaftssenator, Michael Müller, hat das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) an seinem Standort Adlershof besucht. Während des zirka anderhalb Stunden dauernden Besuchs hat er sich mit den Forschungsthemen des HZB vertraut gemacht und zahlreiche wichtige, auch forschungspolitische Themen mit den Geschäftsführenden, Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla und Thomas Frederking besprochen. [...].
Physicists achieved a robust and reliable magnetization switching process by domain wall displacement without any applied fields. The effect is observed in tiny asymmetric permalloy rings and may pave the way to extremely efficient new memory devices. The results have been published in Physical Review Applied, highlighted as an Editors' Suggestion. [...].
- 18.04.2017 (german)
In ihrem letzten Interview als Geschäftsführerin des HZB erläutert Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, warum sie gerade jetzt geht, obwohl sie eigentlich noch gern geblieben wäre. Nils Martensson lernen wir als Pendler zwischen Nobel-Komitee und HZB kennen. Und Marcus Bär erzählt, warum es sich in jedem Fall lohnt, bei den Kopernikus-Projekten der Bundesregierung dabei zu sein und warum die Forscherinnen und Forscher aus verschiedenen Disziplinen dabei erst einmal Vokabeln lernen müssen. (Online-Ausgabe) Auf der Mittelseite der lichtblick stellen wir das Projekt näher vor, an dem sich das HZB beteiligt. [...].
Dr. Yan Lu is a group leader at the Institute for “Soft Matter and Functional Materials”. At HZB, she is researching functional hybrid materials that consist of colloid particles. As of 1 April 2017, Yan Lu has been appointed as W2 Professor for Polymer-based Hybrid Materials at the University of Potsdam. [...].
Global demand for photovoltaic systems is rising sharply. CIGS thin-film modules have become a hot topic for the solar industry. International experts will convene in Stuttgart on May 30, 2017, at the annual IW-CIGSTech workshop to discuss past and potential future technical and industrial advances in this solar technology. The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are hosting the eighth installment of this workshop, which caters to scientists, engineers and industry specialists. [...].
A team at the HZB together with researchers in Sweden and the USA has analysed a mecanism which protects biomolecules such as the DNA against damage by light: they observed how the energy of incoming photons can be absorbed by the molecule without destroying important bonds. The experiments took place at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) free-electron laser in California as well as the BESSY II synchrotron source at the HZB in Berlin, where with resonant inelastic X-ray-diffraction a very sensitive method is available. [...].
A milestone has been reached in the expansion of energy materials research at the Lise-Meitner Campus: on 23 March 2017, the celebration was held for laying the foundation stone of a laboratory building that will offer a multitude of methods for synthesising and characterising energy materials. [...].
A team has investigated more than one hundred iron-nickel catalysts containing various admixtures of chromium. At BESSY II, they also analysed the configurations of the electrons in the individual elements. The team showed that an increasing proportion of chromium primarily influences the energy levels of the iron electrons, which are important for the catalytic effect. The results of this high-throughput study will assist the knowledge-based search for better specific catalysts. [...].
Prof. Dr. Christiane Becker has accepted the call to a W2 professorship for the field of “Experimental physics focusing on material sciences and photonics” at HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences. Since October 2012, she has headed a Young Investigator Group funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF. [...].
From 15 to 16 March, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde, DGM (German association of materials science), held its closed board meeting and Advisory Council meeting at HZB. The experts took the occasion to visit the synchrotron source BESSY II and the neutron source BER II, gaining an insight into important future projects of HZB. [...].
Dr. Antonio Abate sets up a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin from now on. His aim: He wants to improve Perovskite solar cells which are one of the most promising material classes to be discovered in the last few years. The scientist will study the materials and interfaces of perovskite solar cells in order to improve their long-term stability.
The new Young Investigator Group Hy-Per-FORME led by Dr. Eva Unger is working on scaling all processing steps to enable manufacturing of perovskite solar cells on larger areas, thus brigding he gap between lab and industry. [...].
From 14 to 24 March, the first Photon School takes place at HZB. 20 students from 8 countries get an unique opportunity for a first-hand training covering a wide range of experimental and theoretical methods for probing the molecular structure, function, and dynamics of complex material systems. Leading experts from all fields of spectroscopy give lectures, share their latest results, and present future research strategies. [...].
World-reknowned physicist Dr. Uschi Steigenberger has been honoured with one of the highest decorations in Great Britain for her services to the sciences. She was awarded the Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal by the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Mr. Jo Johnson. Uschi Steigenberger has also chaired the Scientific Advisory Council of the HZB for many years. [...].
Nanoparticles at the back help harvesting the light.
Ultrathin CIGSe solar cells need much less rare earth elements and energy for production. Unfortunately, they are much less efficient too. Now a team at HZB together with a group in the Netherlands has shown how to prevent the absorption loss of ultrathin CIGSe cells. They designed nanostructured back contacts for light trapping and could achieve a new record value of the the short circuit current density, reaching nearly the best values for thicker CIGSe-cells. [...].
Scientists of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Universität Heidelberg, and the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague have empirically detected a very specialised type of electron transfer in an aqueous salt solution, one which had only been predicted theoretically up to now. Based on these results, they now expect to have an extremely sensitive method for detecting ion pairs in solutions. [...].
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in Poland agreed to transfer and rebuild three of HZB’s neutron scattering instruments at the Polish research reactor MARIA in 2019. With support from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the facility near Warsaw is currently being upgraded with latest generation technology, offering attractive research opportunities for neutron scientists from Germany and Europe. [...].
For eight years, HZB’s “Macromolecular Crystallography” workgroup has been successfully cooperating with the “Structural Biochemistry” research group headed by Prof. Markus Wahl at the Freie Universität Berlin. They are about to intensify this cooperation. The two institutes are establishing a joint research group dedicated to studying the biochemistry of genetic information processing. This research group benefits in particular from access to the three MX beamlines, where it can study protein crystals using the synchrotron light from BESSY II. [...].
- 02.03.2017 (german)
Am 27. April 2017 ist wieder Girls' Day! An diesem Tag schnuppern Schülerinnen der Klassen 5 bis 10 deutschlandweit in die Welt der Technik, Ingenieur- und Naturwissenschaften. Auch am Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin finden zum Girls‘ Day wieder spannende Workshops statt. Jetzt startet die Anmeldung dafür auf der zentralen GirlS’Day-Webseite. Es stehen an beiden Standorten insgesamt 70 Plätze zur Verfügung. [...].
The aim of the Helmholtz school labs is to make science fun for children and adolescents. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has run a school lab on the Wannsee campus since 2004 and on the Adlershof campus since 2010. During this time, more than 20,000 visitors have participated in the age-appropriate project days at HZB – and the numbers continue to rise. [...].
As reported, the neutron instrument BioRef will be set up at the “Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering” of ANSTO. Approximately 257 components were safely packed in 43 wooden crates weighing just under 30 tonnes for the sea voyage from Hamburg to Port Botany, Australia. On 14 February the colleagues from ANSTO told us: the three shipping containers arrived safely after a two-month journey from Germany. [...].
The newly built time of flight spectrometre NEAT has welcomed its first users: Jie Ma from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and his colleague Zhilun Lu examined magnetic excitations in crystalline samples and enjoyed fast data rate and high flexibility of instrumental configurations. NEAT team is now looking forward to further new studies and user experiments! [...].
Alex Redinger will be receiving two million euros in funding from the Luxembourg National Research Fund for expanding his research into solar cells materials. This is combined with an assistant professorship at the University of Luxembourg with the possibility of tenure. Alex Redinger works as a postdoc in the “Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials” department. [...].
A team at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now treated its 3000th ocular tumour patient with an individualised proton radiation protocol. This involves irradiating the tumour with fast hydrogen nuclei (protons) that have been accelerated to precisely set energies. These protons penetrate the healthy tissue and only release their energy in the tumour itself. [...].
The General Assembly of the Helmholtz Association has unanimously endorsed the realisation of a unique accelerator project at the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source
The General Assembly of the Helmholtz Association unanimously supports the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin’s proposed concept for upgrading BESSY II into a variable-pulse-length storage ring (BESSY- VSR). The body of chairpersons from the 18 Helmholtz Centres has unanimously suggested to the Senate of the Helmholtz Association the financial subsidising of BESSY-VSR to the sum of 11.9 million euros. Converting BESSY II into a variable-pulse-length storage ring is a unique project in accelerator research and has attracted great interest and support from the expert community. [...].
As of 1 January 2017, Dr. Pierre Schnizer is the new Technical Project Manager for BESSY VSR. In close coordination with the Scientific Project Managers Prof. Andreas Jankowiak and Prof. Jens Knobloch, Schnizer is supervising, among other things, the construction, infrastructure and integration of the necessary modules into the storage ring. In short, his responsibility in the project team is to ensure the successful technical construction of BESSY VSR. [...].
Development of demonstrators measuring up to ten square meters in area planned
The HZB is coordinating a Horizon 2020 EU project that is expected to develop an economically feasible technology for solar based hydrogen generation. Solar energy shall thereby be converted into chemical energy that can be stored as fuel by hydrogen. The project’s approach shall ensure that the levelised cost of hydrogen production remains below five Euros per kilogramme. The partners hailing from Germany, Sweden and Italy plan to ultimately build an array of modules covering ten square meters to demonstrate stable device performance on a large area. The project runs for four years and is funded with 2.5 million euros. [...].
The Virtual Institute explores the governing principles of material’s function in an internationally highly visible centre of excellence. Young scientists (PhD students, master students, and young postdocs) are invited to participate in the Young Investigators Workshop that takes place from 23rd to 28th April 2017 at the Eibsee-Hotel in the Bavarian Alps. It focuses on the research topics of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute 419 and includes both experimental and theoretical projects on molecular and chemical dynamics, phase transitions and switching as well as fundamental light-matter interaction. [...].
Sunpartner Technologies and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin sign license agreement
The French company Sunpartner Technologies has been developing innovative solar solutions for nearly 10 years. One of these is Wysips,® an invisible or transparent photovoltaic film that transforms any surface into a solar panel that can generate electricity using the sun’s light. To create Wysips® Crystal and Wysips® Reflect, Sunpartner Technologies paired with the German research centre Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) to develop a special solar material that could be integrated into the company’s technology. [...].
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is receiving 7.4 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE). The money is being used to set up the application laboratory “SupraLab@HZB” for the advancement of high-current superconducting cavities. These components will be needed for operating the next generation of novel, high-performance lightsources. The laboratory will also provide complex superconducting component test beds for use by companies and research institutes in the region. [...].
The first students of the graduate school MatSEC (Materials for Solar Energy Conversion) have defended successfully their PhD thesis. The graduate school, which is organised jointly by Dahlem Research School of Freie Universität Berlin, is now open for new PhD-students. The research portfolio, which was focused on kesterites, does now include wide bandgap semiconductors and thermoelectrica as well. [...].
The BioRef neutron instrument commenced its roughly two-month journey from HZB to Australia on December 19, 2016. It will be set up again at the OPAL neutron source there, part of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Sydney. It is expected to be available to the international scientific community beginning in 2018 under the name "Spatz". [...].
On 1 January 2017, Martina Schmid assumed the W2 professorship of “experimental physics” in the Physics department of the University of Duisburg Essen. From 2012 to the end of 2016, Martina Schmid headed the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group “Nano-Optical Concepts for Photovoltaics” at HZB. [...].