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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>Crystal structure of human MTH1 in complex with a key inhibitor.<br />Source: Stockholm University, Prof. Pal Stenmark.</p>08.04.2014

    A new concept for the treatment of cancer

    A team of researchers from five Swedish universities has identified a new way to treat cancer. They present their concept in the journal „Nature“. It is based on inhibiting a specific enzyme called MTH1. Cancer cells, unlike normal cells, need MTH1 to survive. Without this enzyme, oxidized nucleotides are incorporated into DNA, resulting in lethal DNA double-strand breaks in the cancer cells. The research group at Stockholm University has determined the structure of MTH1 based on diffraction measurements at HZB´s MX-beamline at BESSY II. These detailed structural studies are important for the development of efficient inhibitors targeting MTH1.


    DOI: 10.1038/nature13181. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13181.

    Doi: 10.1038/nature13194. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13194 [...].

  • <p>The topography of the sample surface can be seen here (white lines around the nano-particles) as well as the local optical excitations. The image displays several &ldquo;hot spots&rdquo; (yellow) that arise through interactions of the nanoparticles with the light and also with one another.<br />Image: HZB/CalTech</p>07.04.2014

    Even thinner solar cells through use of nanoparticles

    Nanostructures could enable more light to be directed into the active layer of solar cells, increasing their efficiency. Prof. Martina Schmid (HZB und Freie Univ. Berlin) has now measured how irregularly distributed silver particles influence the absorption of light. She demonstrated that nanoparticles interact with one another via their electromagnetic near-fields, so that local “hot spots” arise where light is concentrated especially strongly. [...].

  • <p>Advanced analytics for both thin film technologies with silicon as well as CIGS: Beside highly developed deposition tools, a comprehensive infrastructure was set up at PVcomB. Here, a glass substrate is loaded into a multi-chamber deposition tool where it will be deposited with only a few micrometers of silicon layers forming finally the active part a solar cell.</p> <p>Foto: Berlin Partner f&uuml;r Wirtschaft und Technologie / Monique W&uuml;stenhagen</p>02.04.2014

    New Thin Film Photovoltaic World Record announced on Conference in Berlin

    The 5th International Workshop on CIGS Solar Cell Technology organized bei Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) started with a bang. Katsumi Kushiya by the Japanese company Solar Frontier presented the approximately 100 participants a new world record conversion efficiency for thin-film-photovoltaic technologies. Their new thin-film CIGS cells can convert 20.9 percent of the incident sunlight into electrical energy beating the previous Solar Frontier- record of 19.7 percent conversion efficiency. The previous best value for all thin-film photovoltaic technologies was 20.8 percent. [...].

  • <p>Roel van de Krol, head of the HZB Institute for Solar Fuels, coordinates the global research project PECDEMO.Photo: P.Dera/HZB</p>31.03.2014

    PECDEMO: sunlight to hydrogen

  • <p></p> <p></p>28.03.2014

    Nearly 100 girls visited HZB for Girls' Day

  • <p>The picture shows the characteristic spin texture (arrows) in a topological insulator (bottom) and how it is either probed by circularly polarized light (top) or manipulated by it (middle). Picture: Rader/Sachez-Barriga/HZB</p>27.03.2014

    Controlling electron spins by light

  • 17.03.2014

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


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