The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie explores materials and complex material systems that help to face current and future challenges, such as the “Energiewende”. Energy conversion and efficient use of energy and resources in information technology but also other innovative fields depend largely on the research and testing of new material systems.

Research at the HZB: e.g. on starting materials for catalysts. CuInS2, TaS2 or PtS2 monocrystals that were synthetically produced at the HZB.

The scientists investigate where the macroscopic properties of materials derive from which microscopic or molecular structures. This understanding is a prerequisite for the design of tailored materials and drugs for tomorrow. One of the HZB’s research emphases is on materials that are needed for a secure and sustainable energy supply, such as materials for thin-film photovoltaics and for the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy carriers (e.g. molecular hydrogen).


BESSY II, photo: HZB / S. Maletzki

To solve those scientific problems, HZB operates two large research infrastructures of international importance – the neutron source BER II and the 3rd generation synchrotron radiation source BESSY II. HZB’s user platform coordinates access to these infrastructures. Both scientific instrumentation and the large machines are continually being developed to stay at the cutting-edge. To make sure to offer optimal research conditions also in the future, HZB is working on so called “Future Projects” and reports on planning and realization of these projects on this website.

As part of the strategic research funding (POF) of the Helmholtz Association, the HZB involved in the Helmholtz Research Fields MATTER and ENERGY.

Very relevant topics are also training and support of young scientists and the intensification of research collaborations, in particular with universities.