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BESSY II Light Source

BESSY II generates brillant light for energy and materials research

BESSY II is a third-generation synchrotron radiation source that produces extremely bright X-ray light. Researchers from all over the world can use this light for their experiments. BESSY II is a universal tool for studying an endless variety of samples, for example solar cells, materials for solar hydrogen production and quantum materials. Proteins can be studied for the development of new medicines, and meteorites and archaeological finds can be investigated using the soft X-ray light from BESSY II.

The picture shows the Emil building from outside

BESSY II – more light for research: The electron storage ring BESSY II delivers brilliant X-ray pulses which allow observation of physical and chemical processes in materials.

BESSY II is THE soft X-ray synchrotron in Germany

With its focus on soft X-rays, BESSY II is unique in Germany. In this sense, the facility is the complement to PETRA III of DESY in Hamburg, which serves the hard X-ray spectrum. At our electron storage ring BESSY II, we have an average of 2700 visits from guest researchers per year. They appreciate the high reliability and stability of the photon source.

Our users work on one of the 40 experimental stations, each of which offers the latest methods in spectroscopy and microscopy. BESSY II has an outstanding international reputation for its method development. Currently HZB is working on the conception of the successor source BESSY III.

Strong in partnership

HZB has strong partners engaged in the continual advancement of BESSY II. Strategic partners include the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), the Max Planck Society, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung (BAM) and as well as many research groups at universities, all of whom are forever contributing new ideas.

Innovative instruments for operando experiments

At BESSY II materials are more and more investigated “at work” (operando), for example, a battery during charging and discharging. This type of experiments is indispensable particularly for applied materials research. For this purpose, HZB and its partners develop globally unique instrumentation for operando investigations with soft X-rays.


The picture shows visitors at the Long Night of Sciences 2018 at HZB Adlershof - enlarged view

BESSY II can be visited on the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften © HZB / M. Setzpfandt

Aerial view from BESSY II in 2018 - enlarged view

Aerial view of BESSY II at the Wilhelm-Conrad-Röntgen Campus of HZB in Berlin Adlershof © HZB/Dirk Laubner

Explore what happens behind the walls of the BESSY II light source in Germany. This synchrotron at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin attracts researchers from all over the world with its exceptionally bright light.