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>SEM &ndash; model of a metallic nano-network with periodic arrangement ( left) and visual representation of a fractal pattern (right). Credit: M. Giersig/HZB</p>27.09.2016

    Nanotechnology for energy materials: Electrodes like leaf veins

    Nano-sized metallic wires are attracting increasing attention as conductive elements for manufacturing transparent electrodes, which are employed in solar cells and touch screen panels. In addition to high electric conductivity, excellent optical transmittance is one of the important parameters for an electrode in photovoltaic applications. An international team headed by HZB scientist Prof. Michael Giersig has recently demonstrated for these applications that networks of metallic mesh possessing fractal-like nano-features surpass other metallic networks in utility. These findings have now been published in the most recent edition of the renowned journal Nature Communications. [...].

  • <p>The newly developed expert system was used to analyse 364 data sets of a specidfic protein crystal, soaked in different fragments.&nbsp; Credit:Structure 2016: doi: 10.1016/j.str.2016.06.010</p>26.09.2016

    Advancing methodology at BESSY II: Automated evaluation speeds up the search for new active substance

    The macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines at the BESSY II X-ray source are specially designed to highly automated structural analyses of protein crystals. With up to now more than 2000 solved structures of protein molecules, these beamlines are by far the most productive ones in Germany and are in vigorous demand by groups from either an academic and industrial research area. Now teams from HZB and Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany have automated the evaluation of data records as well (Structure (2016)). The newly developed expert system identifies small molecule fragments bound to proteins in the raw X-ray diffraction data. These fragments represent suitable starting points for the development of an active substance. Using a series of 364 samples, the collaborating partners demonstrated that the expert system works reliably and can speed up the search for a suitable active agents. [...].

  • <p>Lesen Sie <a href="/media/media/aktuell/print//lichtblick/155/hzb_lichtblick-29_september-2016_extern_web.pdf">hier </a>die Online-Ausgabe.</p>26.09.2016

    Neue HZB-Zeitung "lichtblick" erschienen


    In der neuen Ausgabe erwarten Sie viele interessante Themen. Unter anderem erzählt Simone Raoux, warum sich viele Forscherinnen und Forscher auf die Eröffnungen des Energy Materials In-situ Laboratory (EMIL)-Labors am 31. Oktober 2016 freuen. Mit dem Anschluss an das Synchrotronlicht von BESSY II können die Forschenden eine unglaubliche Vielfalt an Energie-Materialien charakterisieren. Hier geht es zur Online-Ausgabe. [...].

  • <p>Participants of QENS 2016 and WINS 2016</p>12.09.2016

    International conference QENS 2016 and Workshop WINS 2016 in Potsdam

    From 5th to 9th of September HZB has hosted two international scientific events dedicated to the study of the dynamics at nanoscale, QENS and WINS 2016. While Quasielastic Neutron scattering conference (QENS 2016) was dedicated to the scientific applications, international Workshop on Inelastic spectrometers WINS 2016 allowed to touch on the instrumental aspects. 108 scientists from all over the world participated in these events organized in the heart of the Potsdam. [...].

  • <p>A new generation of sensors: The scales of the petrified cone move upward against gravity, and on drying back to their starting positions. Photo: BP, WZS</p> <p></p>09.09.2016

    User research at BESSY II: How water moves glass

    In the realm of plants, capillary forces are a widely observed impetus for actuation. They are the physical basis for the expansion of porous materials during uptake of fluid. Such materials include the cones of conifers with their readily observable movement during drying or wetting. Scientists at the Chair of Biogenic Polymers of the Technical University Munich, located at the Science Center Straubing, have succeeded in retaining this plant-derived movement when the respective plant has been replaced by an artificial petrification process. Elaborate analyses at the synchrotron source BESSY II in Berlin showed that the internal structure of the pine cone was retained. Thereby, they laid the foundations for a new generation of sensoric materials.


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