Welcome to the website of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) operates two large facilities for materials research: the neutron source BER II and the synchrotron source BESSY II, which provide deep insights into the structure of materials and the processes within complex systems. Each year around 3,000 scientists are using the HZB infrastructures. One important focus of HZB research is thin film photovoltaics and solar fuels. HZB is a member of the Helmholtz Association and has co-founded the Photovoltaic Competence Centre (PVcomB), to promote the transfer of technology and knowledge into industry.

News and Press Releases

  • <p>Prof. Dr. Leone Spiccia will spent research time at HZB next spring.</p>01.07.2014

    Australian top-chemist gains Helmholtz International Fellowship to visit HZB and HZDR

    Prof. Dr. Leone Spiccia from the Monash University Melbourne was awarded the Helmholtz International Fellowship. In addition to the prize money of €20,000 each, he is invited to conduct research at HZB in Berlin and HZDR in Dresden. At HZB he is expected in spring 2015 in the group of Prof. Dr. Emad Aziz. The award honours excellent research and supports establishing new cooperation structures with international research institutions. [...].

  • <p>Ammonium tungstate/PSS film surface:&nbsp; (a) SEM picture before pyrolysis; (b &amp; c) SEM picture after pyrolysis. credit:EMPA</p>01.07.2014

    Collecting light with artificial moth eyes

    Scientists at EMPA in Zürich and University of Basel have developed a photoelectrochemical cell, recreating a moth’s eye to drastically increase its light collecting efficiency. The cell is made of cheap raw materials – iron and tungsten oxide. Analyses at BESSY II have revealed which chemical processes are useful to facilitate the absorption of light. [...].

  • <p>SEM image of the membrane. Credit: MPIKGF</p>01.07.2014

    “Muscled skin”: Simple formulas describe complex behaviors

    HZB researchers help chemists understand polymeric "biomimetic" materials' mechanical properties

    Sea cucumbers change the stiffness of their skin, Venus flytraps roll up their leaves and even pine cones are capable of closing up their scales. In the course of evolution, Nature has managed to give rise to complex materials capable of responding to external stimuli by way of mechanical movement. Which is exactly what chemists are now trying to do as well - and with considerable success! Dr. Jiayin Yuan's team at the MPI of Colloids and Interfaces in Golm, Germany, recently scored a particularly exciting breakthrough. The researchers managed to synthesize a membrane capable of rolling up extremely rapidly when exposed to fumes.
    Now, Prof. Dr. Joe Dzubiella, a theoretical physicist at the HZB, has managed to identify those factors that are responsible for the high speed. [...].

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