Welcome to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

At the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) we explore materials and complex material systems that help to face current and future challenges, such as the energy transition - “Energiewende”. One of the HZB’s research emphases is on materials for thin-film photovoltaics and for the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy carriers (e.g. molecular hydrogen).

To be able to study material structures and processes in detail, the HZB operates two separate large-scale research facilities – the neutron source BER II and the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II – used by some 3,000 guest scientists from all around the World every year. At both facilities, HZB teams have developed in some cases unparalleled instruments and are continuing to work on increasing their measurement precision to allow for new insights to be gleaned.

The HZB is a member of the Helmholtz Association and co-founder of the Competence Centre for Thin-Film and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB), whose mission it is to promote the technology transfer to industry.

News and Press Releases

  • <p><span class="st">&nbsp;</span></p>29.08.2016

    European project for thin film Kesterite Solar cells has reached its goals

    Eleven partners from different countries have joined forces in the EU-research project KESTCELLS from September 2012 until 31. August 2016. The mission was to train a new generation of experts and to increase the efficiencies of Kesterite solar cells. Now, at the end of the project, these goals have been perfectly reached. [...].

  • <p>Lithium ions migrate through the electrolyte (yellow) into the layer of crystalline silicon (c-Si). During the charging cycle, a 20-nm layer (red) develops on the silicon electrode adsorbing extreme quantities of lithium atoms. Credit:HZB</p>08.08.2016

    Lithium-ion batteries: Capacity might be increased by six times

    The capacity of lithium-ion batteries might be increased by six times by using anodes made of silicon instead of graphite. A team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) Institute of Soft Matter and Functional Materials has observed for the first time in detail how lithium ions migrate into thin films of silicon. It was shown that extremely thin layers of silicon would be sufficient to achieve the maximal load of lithium. The results ar published in the journal ACSnano (DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b02032). [...].

  • <p>18 students from nine countries are hosted at HZB for the next two months. Photo: S. Zerbe/HZB.</p>03.08.2016

    Started: International Summer Student Programme

    Coming from all over the world, 18 students have joined HZB as guests for this summer. From August 1 until September 23 they take part in the international summer student programme, HZB is organising since over 25 years. During the following weeks, the students can work in close cooperation with HZB teams on a project in energy materials research. 


  • 27.06.2016

    Data policy finalized for research data at HZB

    Researchers retain exclusive access to their data for five years
    The instruments at the large facilities of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin produce large quantities of raw data. These data must be stored long-term and should also be openly accessible. The rules for handling such data at HZB are now defined in its data policy. The management finalized the policy on 14 June 2016. It stipulates that, as a rule, raw data should become openly accessible after five years. [...].

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