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>Instagram ist ideal, um tolle Bilder aus der Forschung zu kommunizieren, hier zum Beispiel einen Lichtofen f&uuml;r die Kristallzucht. Foto: N. Islam/HZB</p>02.03.2015

    Das HZB auf Instagram


    Immer mehr Menschen nutzen ihr Smartphone, um zum Beispiel in einer Pause ein paar Bilder mit kurzen Infos anzusehen. Nun können sie beim Stöbern in dem beliebten Bildernetzwerk Instagram auch auf Themen aus dem HZB stoßen. Seit Neuestem postet dort die Kommunikationsabteilung besonders schöne, spektakuläre Bilder, die knapp erläutert und mit Links zu mehr Informationen versehen sind. [...].

  • 26.02.2015

    Universität Bielefeld und HZB kooperieren zu Nanoschichten und komplexen Materialien


    Im Februar 2015 haben Uni-Rektor Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Uni-Kanzler Dr. Stephan Becker und die Geschäftsführer des HZB, Professorin Dr.-Ing. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla und Thomas Frederking eine Vereinbarung über die Zusammenarbeit unterschrieben. Darin heißt es: „Die Kooperation soll zur Steigerung der wissenschaftlichen Exzellenz der Partner und zur Entwicklung regionaler Kompetenznetzwerke in Forschung, Lehre und Ausbildung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses beitragen.“ [...].

  • <p></p> <p>The scanning electron microscopies (SEM) show how regularly the funnels etched in a silicon substrate are arranged (left: the line segment = 5 microns; right: 1 micron). The funnels measure about 800 nanometres in diameter above and run down to about a hundred nanometres at the tip. Credit: S. Schmitt / MPL</p>24.02.2015

    Learning by eye: silicon micro-funnels increase the efficiency of solar cells

    A biological structure in mammalian eyes has inspired a team headed by Silke Christiansen to design an inorganic counterpart for use in solar cells. With the help of conventional semiconductor processes, they etched micron-sized vertical funnels shoulder-to-shoulder in a silicon substrate. Using mathematical models and experiments, they tested how these kind of funnel arrays collect incident light and conduct it to the active layer of a silicon solar cell. Their result: this arrangement of funnels increases photo absorption by about 65% in a thin-film solar cell fitted with such an array and is reflected in considerably increased solar cell efficiency, among other improved parameters. [...].

  • <p>Dichromium: both chromium atoms "share" the&nbsp; 12 valence electrons which leads to a multible bond. Graphics: HZB</p>23.02.2015

    Stretch and relax! – Losing one electron switches magnetism on in dichromium

    An international team of scientists from Berlin, Freiburg and Fukuoka has provided the first direct experimental insight into the secret quantum life of dichromium. Whereas in its normal state the 12 valence electrons form a strong multiple bond between the two chromium atoms, removing only one electron changes the situation dramatically: 10 electrons localize and align their spins, thus resulting in ferromagnetic behavior of the dichromium-kation. The bonding is done by one electron only, resulting in a much weaker bond. The scientists used the unique Nanocluster Trap experimental station at the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and published their results in the Journal Angewandte Chemie. [...].

  • <p><br />The High-Field Magnet (HFM) has attained 26 tesla in an initial test and thereby exceeded expectations. The HFM team is pleased about the well-deserved success.<br /><br />Credit: HZB/Ingo Kniest</p>19.02.2015

    The BER II neutron source is back in operation and available for experiments following the interruption in availability

    Maintenance work has been successfully concluded – the High-Field Magnet has successfully attained 26 tesla in initial testing. New scientific experiments have become possible.

    Berlin, February 2015: following conclusion of more than a of year of repairs and refurbishing, the BER II neutron source will shortly be available to its international user group again. The facility was powered up on Wednesday, February 18 and attained its nominal power level of 9,5 megawatts. Scientists of HZB are meanwhile preparing the measurement equipment so that experimental work can resume following a brief start-up period. [...].

  • 13.02.2015

    BerOSE - Joint Lab für Modellierung von Nanooptischen Strukturen

  • 12.02.2015

    Details of a crucial reaction: Physicists uncover oxidation process of carbon monoxide on a ruthenium surface

  • 12.02.2015

    Forschungsmagazin „Sichtbar“: Große Forschung, interessante Leute, neue Perspektiven


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