News and press releases 2018

  • <p>The review panel of the research field "Matter" visited the HZB on 11th January 2018.<strong><br /></strong></p> <p>Photo. HZB/J. Bierbaum</p>19.04.2018

    Results of evaluation by international panel of experts: support for HZB’s future, calls for rapid planning of BESSY III

    The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has received an evaluation of “excellent” in a review of science programmes undertaken at all Helmholtz Research Centres. This provides the foundation for future financing of HZB.

    Two committees of leading international scientists visited the HZB for a week each at the beginning of this year. They evaluated the HZB's contributions to the Helmholtz programmes in the research areas of “Matter” and “Energy”. Now the written evaluations are available. The team spirit of all employees involved in the HZB was particularly emphasised. [...].

  • <p>Photo: HZB/J.Bierbaum</p>18.04.2018

    A high ranked Chinese delegation led by Mr. Yin, Vice Mayor of Beijing, visited HZB in Adlershof

    On 11 April 2018, the Vice Mayor of Beijing, the Minister Counsellor and the Secretary-General of the Chinese Embassy in Germany paid a visit to Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The delegation came to learn more about the research topics, infrastructures and user service at HZB. The plan is to establish Beijing as one of three major national innovation centres with large-scale facilities for the international user community. [...].

  • <p>Laser light for writing and erasing information &ndash; a strong laser pulse disrupts the arrangement of atoms in an alloy and creates magnetic structures (left). A second, weaker, laser pulse allows the atoms to return to their original lattice sites (right). Image: Sander M&uuml;nster / HZDR</p>18.04.2018

    Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

    Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA have found a way to write and delete magnets in an alloy using a laser beam – a surprising effect. The reversibility of the process opens up new possibilities in the fields of material processing, optical technology, and data storage. [...].

  • <p>The magnetosomes form a chain inside the bacteria's cell shows the electron cryotomography (ECT). Credit:10.1039/C7NR08493E</p>16.04.2018

    BESSY II sheds light on how the internal compass is constructed in magnetotactic bacteria

    Bacteria exist in many shapes and with very different talents. Magnetotactic bacteria can even sense the earth’s magnetic field by making use of magnetic nanoparticles in their interior that act as an internal compass. Spanish teams and experts at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now examined the magnetic compass of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense at BESSY II. Their results may be helpful in designing actuation devices for nanorobots and nanosensors for biomedical applications. [...].

  • <p>Foto: HZB/K.Kolatzki</p>10.04.2018

    HZB-Schülerlabor: Jetzt Termine für das 1. Schulhalbjahr 2018/2019 buchen


    Die Schülerlabore des HZB in Wannsee und Adlershof sind sehr beliebt. Bis zu 3000 Schülerinnen und Schüler experimentieren pro Jahr zu Themen wie Magnetismus und Supraleitung, Solarenergieforschung und Licht und Farben in der forschungsnahen Umgebung des HZB. Für das neue Schulhalbjahr (August 2018 - Januar 2019) bietet das Schülerlabor 76 Projekttage für Grund- und Oberschulen an. Die Projekttage sind kostenfrei, einige Restplätze können noch gebucht werden. [...].

Archived news

  • <p class="Default">The picture shows the typical arrangement of cations in a kesterite type structure. In the background the crystal structure is shown, a unit cell is highlighted. Credit: HZB</p>29.03.2018

    Kesterite solar cells: germanium promises better opto-electronic properties than tin

    Specific changes in the composition of kesterite-type semiconductors make it possible to improve their suitability as absorber layers in solar cells. As a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed, this is particularly true for kesterites in which tin was replaced by germanium. The scientists examined the samples using neutron diffraction at BER II and other methods. The work was selected for the cover of the journal CrystEngComm. [...].

  • 23.03.2018

    New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

    At the Interdisciplinary conference on „INNOVATION IN SOLAR BUILDING SKINS & ENERGY EFFICIENCY TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE CITIES”, 19th to 20th march in Berlin, experts from the building sector, politics, finance and photovoltaics have discussed the implementation of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). In a very lively and active workshop, drivers and barriers were identified. [...].

  • 22.03.2018

    LEAPS join forces with the European Commission to strengthen Europe’s leading role in science

    “A world where European science is a catalyst for solving global challenges, a key driver for competitiveness and a compelling force for closer integration and peace through scientific collaboration.” This is the vision of LEAPS, League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources, on which the LEAPS Strategy 2030 is based. Director Jean-David Malo, DG Research and Innovation, received the strategy today at the Bulgarian Presidency Flagship Conference on Research Infrastructures. [...].

  • 20.03.2018

    HZB has once again been recertified as a family-friendly employer

    Since 2011, HZB has held the “Career and Family” certificate of the non-profit Hertie Foundation. Every three years, HZB’s schemes for balancing work and family/life have to be put under review. In March 2018, independent reviewers confirmed that HZB is still a certified family-friendly employer. [...].

  • <p>Dr. Nele Thielemann-K&uuml;hn was awarded the Innomag Dissertation Award 2018.</p>19.03.2018

    HZB scientist got the dissertation prize at the spring conference of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft

    Dr. Nele Thielemann-Kühn was awarded the dissertation prize of the magnetism research group at the spring conference of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German physical society/DPG) in Berlin. The prize is awarded for outstanding research in the field of magnetism. [...].

  • <p>A synchrotron source point image of a bending magnet of the Twin Orbit modus. The second orbit closes after three revolution and is winding around the standard orbit at the center. Credit: HZB</p>15.03.2018

    Twin Orbit operation successfully tested at BESSY II

    The first “Twin Orbit User Test week” at BESSY II in February 2018 was a big success and can be considered as an important step towards real user operation. Physicists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have been able to store two separate electron beams in one storage ring. The twin orbit operation mode can serve users with different needs of the time structure of the photon pulses simultaneously and offers elegant options regarding the future project BESSY VSR. [...].

  • 12.03.2018

    Register now: Smart City - Interdisciplinary conference on solar energy and architecture


    Experts from the construction industry, photovoltaic research field, and the financial sector will discuss innovative solutions for solar facades in combination with energy efficiency in buildings and cities. Photovoltaics integrated into buildings represent an important component for energy-efficient cities of the future.

    Online registration is open until wednesday 14th March. 
    Students are admitted for a reduced fee. [...].

  • 08.03.2018

    Message to residents: false alarm at the research reactor BER II on 7 March 2018

    We wold like to inform you that a false alarm was triggered at 9:19 p.m. on Wednesday the 7th of March 2018 at the Berliner Experimental Reactor BER II. At the time the alarm went off, BER II was still operating normally and continuously. After clarifying the trigger of the false alarm, a verbal all-clear was given over the campus PA system. [...].

  • <p>PCN nanolayers under sunlight can split water. Image: Nannan Meng /Tianjin University</p>28.02.2018

    Solar–to-hydrogen conversion: nanostructuring increases efficiency of metal-free photocatalysts by factor eleven

    Polymeric carbon nitrides exhibit a catalytic effect in sunlight that can be used for the production of hydrogen from solar energy. However, the efficiency of these metal-free catalysts is extremely low. A team at the Tianjin University in China, in collaboration with a group at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, has increased the catalytic efficiency of these polymeric carbon nitrides by a factor eleven through a simple process resulting in a larger surface area. The paper was published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. [...].

  • <p>Benjamin Rotenberg is a guest researcher at the HZB-Institute for Solar Fuels in 2018. Photo:CNRS/Cyril Fresillon</p>23.02.2018

    Guest researcher at HZB: Bessel Prize Winner Benjamin Rotenberg

    Prof. Benjamin Rotenberg has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for 2018 and will be spending time regularly as a guest researcher at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Rotenberg is a researcher of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and heads a research group in Sorbonne Université in Paris. He works in an interdisciplinary area spanning physics and chemistry for modelling transport processes in materials, at interfaces, and in electrolytes. [...].

  • <p>The GaAs nanocrystal has been deposited on top of a silicon germanium needle, as shown by this SEM-image. The rhombic facets have been colored artificially. Image: S. Schmitt/HZB</p>22.02.2018

    Luminescent nano-architectures of gallium arsenide

    A team at the HZB has succeeded in growing nanocrystals of gallium arsenide on tiny columns of silicon and germanium. This enables extremely efficient optoelectronic components for important frequency ranges to be realised on silicon chips. [...].

  • <p>Dr. Raul Garcia Diez was awarded for his PhD Thesis with the Dissertationspreis Adlershof 2017.</p>20.02.2018

    Dr. Raul Garcia Diez wins the Dissertationspreis Adlershof 2017

    With his talk on the properties of nanoparticles and how they can be measured more accurately at BESSY II, Dr. Raul Garcia Diez convinced the jury and was awarded the Dissertationspreis Adlershof 2017. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, IGAFA e. V. and the WISTA MANAGEMENT GmbH are the sponsors of this prize endowed with 3000 Euros. Garcia Diez completed his PhD in 2017 at PTB and TU Berlin and is now active as a post-doctoral researcher at HZB. [...].

  • <p>Hier geht es zur<a href="/media/media/aktuell/print//lichtblick/206/hzb_lichtblick-34_februar-2018_web_extern.pdf"> Online-Ausgabe.</a></p>19.02.2018

    Neue HZB-Zeitung lichtblick erschienen


    Perowskit-Solarzellen haben einen rasanten Aufstieg hingelegt – und vermutlich einen noch steileren vor sich. Die Materialien sind so interessant, dass jetzt schon Industriepartner auf den Zug aufspringen, um diese Entwicklung nicht zu verpassen. Lesen Sie in der neuen Ausgabe, was die Solarzellen so besonders macht und warum Oxford PV, ein führender Anbieter auf diesem Gebiet, jetzt mit dem HZB kooperiert (Seite 3 und Seite 6-7). [...].

  • <p>Pencil, paper and co-polymer varnish are sufficient for a thermoelectrical device. Credit: HZB</p>16.02.2018

    Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper

    Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest of components: a normal pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint are sufficient to convert a temperature difference into electricity via the thermoelectric effect. This has now been demonstrated by a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. [...].

  • 12.02.2018

    Joint graduate school for data science sponsors its first projects

    The Helmholtz Association, the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) and the universities of Berlin are creating a new PhD programme in Berlin for the field of data science. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is involved in several of the projects. The first training positions are already advertised.  [...].

  • <p>Sketch of the stripe order: The charge stripes, which are superconducting, are shown in blue. Reprinted with modifications from Physical Review Letters.</p>09.02.2018

    User research at BER II: New insights into high-temperature superconductors

    After 30 years of research, there are still many unsolved puzzles about high-temperature superconductors - among them is the magnetic “stripe order” found in some cuprate superconductors. A Danish research team has taken a closer look at these stripes, using high-resolution neutron scattering at the spectrometers FLEXX (HZB) and ThALES (ILL, Grenoble). Their results, now published in Physical Review Letters, challenge the common understanding of stripe order, and may contribute to unveil the true nature  of high-temperature superconductivity. [...].

  • <p>Electrons with differing energies are emitted along various crystal axes in the interior of the sample as well as from the surface. These can be measured with the angular-resolved photoemission station (ARPES) at BESSY II. Left image shows the sample temperature at 25 K, right at only 1 K. The energy distribution of the conducting and valence band electrons can be derived from these data. The surface remains conductive at very low temperature (1 K). Credit: HZB</p>06.02.2018

    40-year controversy in solid-state physics resolved

    An international team at BESSY II headed by Prof. Oliver Rader has shown that the puzzling properties of samarium hexaboride do not stem from the material being a topological insulator, as it had been proposed to be. Theoretical and initial experimental work had previously indicated that this material, which becomes a Kondo insulator at very low temperatures, also possessed the properties of a topological insulator. The team has now published a compelling alternative explanation in Nature Communications, however. [...].

  • 01.02.2018

    HZB launches Helmholtz International Research School in collaboration with Israel

    On 1st February 2018, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has established the Helmholtz International Research School HI-SCORE, which will be oriented towards solar energy research. To accomplish this, HZB is collaborating with the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, the Israeli Institute of Technology (Technion) in Haifa, and three Israeli universities as well as universities in Berlin and Potsdam.


  • <p>The new building block (left, red outline) comprises two modified starting molecules connected to each other by a silver atom (blue). This leads to complex, semiregular tessellations (right, microscope image). Image: Klappenberger and Zhang / TUM</p>23.01.2018

    User experiment at BESSY II: Complex tessellations, extraordinary materials

    Simple organic molecules form complex materials through self-organization

    An international team of researchers lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a reaction path that produces exotic layers with semiregular structures. These kinds of materials are interesting because they frequently possess extraordinary properties. In the process, simple organic molecules are converted to larger units which form the complex, semiregular patterns. With experiments at BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin this could be observed in detail. [...].

  • 22.01.2018

    Application open for Young Investigator Workshop

    The Virtual Institute (VI) “Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes” explores the governing principles of material functions and is internationally highly visible. Young scientists are invited to participate in the Young Investigators Workshop which takes place from 22 to 27 April 2018 in Grainau. Please apply by 20th February 2018.   [...].

  • <p class="MsoNoSpacing">SEM-images of the different perovskite solar cell architectures, left with planar interface, right with mesoporous interface. Images are coloured: metal oxide (light blue), interface (red), perovskite (brown), hole conducting layer (dark blue), topped with contact (gold). &nbsp;Scale bar is 200 nm. Image: A. Gagliardi/TUM</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>18.01.2018

    Perovskite solar cells: mesoporous interface mitigates the impact of defects

    The nominal cell operating life of perovskite solar cells is strongly influenced by their inner architecture.This was shown by two scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Munich. They combined experiments with numerical simulations in order to explain this observation. [...].

  • <p>Simplified cross-section of a perovskite solar cell: the perovskite layer does not cover the entire surface, but instead exhibits holes. The scientists could show that a protective layer is being built up which prevents short circuits. Picture: HZB</p>15.01.2018

    Perovskite solar cells: perfection not required!

    Experiments at BESSY II reveal why even inhomogeneous perovskite films are highly functional 

    Metal-organic perovskite layers for solar cells are frequently fabricated using the spin coating technique. If you follow the simplest synthesis pathway and use industry-relevant compact substrates, the perovskite layers laid down by spin coating generally exhibit numerous holes, yet attain astonishingly high levels of efficiency. The reason that these holes do not lead to significant short circuits between the front and back contact and thus high-rate charge carrier recombination has now been discovered by a HZB team headed by Dr.-Ing. Marcus Bär in cooperation with the group headed by Prof. Henry Snaith (Oxford Univ.) at BESSY II.


  • <p>Oxford PV &ndash; The Perovskite Company's industrial site in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany where the company is working rapidly to transfer its advanced perovskite on silicon tandem solar cell technology to an industrial scale process. Credit: Oxford PV</p>09.01.2018

    Oxford PV collaborates with HZB to move perovskite solar cells closer to commercialisation

    Perovskite solar technology leader Oxford PV collaborates with leading German research centre to support the accelerated transfer of its technology into silicon cell manufacturing lines. [...].

  • <p>A look into the lab where the components of the electron source were tested.</p>08.01.2018

    Milestone reached: electron source for bERLinPro produces its first beam

    On the HZB Adlershof campus, researchers are building a prototype of an energy-recovery linear accelerator (bERLinPro). Intensive research has been going on for years to develop the worldwide unique key components required for this accelerator. Now, the scientists and engineers have reached a very important milestone: from the interactions between cathode, laser pulse and electric field inside the cavity, the first electrons have been produced and accelerated. [...].