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>Combining the results from radiative and non-radiative relaxation processes enabled a complete picture of the filled and unfilled energy levels to be obtained. Credit: R.Golnak/HZB</p>11.05.2016

    Ferrous chemistry in aqueous solution unravelled

    An HZB team has combined two different analytical methods at the BESSY II synchrotron source in order to extract more information about the chemistry of transition-metal compounds in solution. These kinds of compounds can act as catalysts to promote desirable reactions in energy materials, but their behaviour has not been completely understood thus far.  The team demonstrated how a detailed picture of the electronic states can be ascertained by systematically comparing all of the interactive electronic processes in a simple system of aqueous iron(II).  The results have now been published in Scientific Reports, the open access journal from Nature Group publishing. [...].

  • 10.05.2016

    Helmholtz Innovation Labs: HySPRINT at HZB

    HZB will be setting up the new Helmholtz HySPRINT Innovation Lab for jointly developing new combinations of materials and processes in energy applications with commercial partners. Silicon and metal-organic perovskite crystals will be the centre point of the Lab’s work. The Helmholtz Association is supporting the project for the next five years with 1.9 million Euros from its Initiative and Networking Fund, with additional contributions from HZB itself as well as from industry. [...].

  • <p>Akademie Schm&ouml;ckwitz, Berlin</p>04.05.2016

    Autumn School on Microstructural Characterization and Modelling of Thin-Film Solar Cells

    After the successful first edition of this school in 2014, we invite you cordially to join this Autumn School to be held at Akademie Schmöckwitz, Berlin, Germany, October 9-14, 2016. Application submission will be possible until June 30, 2016.

    Please find all information and the submission site for your applications at /events/autumn-school/index_en.html [...].

  • <p>Sebastian Schmidt demonstrating one of the CIGS-Modules. Credit: HZB</p>04.05.2016

    HZB receives financial support for improving the manufacturing process for CIGS solar cells


  • <p>The illustration depicts the characteristic spin orientation (arrows) of electrons in a topological insulator (below). Using an initial circular polarised laser pulse, the spins are excited and point up or down. This can be proven by a second linearly polarised laser pulse (above).</p>29.04.2016

    Spintronics for future information technologies: spin currents in topological insulators controlled

    An international team headed by HZB researcher Jaime Sánchez-Barriga has shown how spin-polarised currents can be initiated in a controlled manner within samples of topological insulator material. In addition, they were able to manipulate the orientation of the spins of these currents. They thereby demonstrated that this class of materials is suitable for data processing based on spin. The work has been published in the renowned periodical Physical Review B and was selected as “Editor’s Suggestion” article. [...].

  • 14.04.2016

    Registration open: Quantsol Summer School on solar energy conversion

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