Welcome to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
At the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), we conduct research on complex systems of materials that contributes to dealing with challenges such as the energy transition. The HZB research portfolio includes solar cells, solar fuels, thermoelectric, and the materials with which you can construct new, energy-efficient information technologies such as spintronics. Research on these energy materials is closely connected with the operation and advanced development of the BESSY II photon source. And our research approach always concentrates on thin-film technologies. Find out more at this overview of HZB.
News and Press Releases
Magnetic ground states spectroscopically ascertained
An international team from Sweden, Japan, and Germany has set a new temperature record for what are known as quadrupole ion traps that capture electrically charged molecular ions. They succeeded in cooling about ten million ions down to 7.4 K (approx. -265.8 degrees Celsius) using a buffer gas. That is a new record. Previously it was only possible to cool down about one thousand ions to 7.5 K using buffer gas. However, a thousand ions are not nearly enough for spectroscopic analyses. The ion trap with this new method provides a new opportunity to use cryogenic X-ray spectroscopy to study the magnetism and ground states of molecular ions. This is the foundation needed to develop new materials for energy-efficient information technologies. The work has been published in the Journal of Chemical Physics.
Singlet fission could have a central role in the future development of solar cells.
Physicists from HZB, Freie Universität Berlin and University of Cambrigde have successfully employed a powerful technique for studying electrons generated through singlet fission, a process which it is believed will be key to more efficient solar energy production in years to come. Their approach, reported in the journal Nature Physics, employed lasers, microwave radiation and magnetic fields to analyse the spin of excitons, which are energetically excited particles formed in molecular systems. Their experiments have been performed at the Joint EPR Lab, which is jointly funded by HZB and FU Berlin. Their results are published in Nature Physics. [...].
PVSEC-26, one of the largest international conferences in the field of photovoltaics, took place in Singapore at the end of October. Prof. Martina Schmid received a “Best Oral Presentation Award” for her talk in the field of New Materials and Concepts. [...].
The storage of excess solar and wind power is one of the greatest challenges in Germany’s energy transition. To address this, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has created the “Power-to-X” (P2X) project under its Kopernikus programme. P2X will advance research into converting electrical energy from the sun and wind into basic chemical compounds, gaseous energy media, and fuels. A total of 17 research institutions, 26 industrial enterprises, as well as three non-governmental organisations are involved, and the BMBF is funding the first development phase of the project at a level of 30 million Euros. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin will participate in the planned research, using the advanced synthesis capabilities and the BESSY II synchrotron-based X-ray characterization tools at the recently inaugurated EMIL@BESSY II laboratory complex. [...].
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