Helmholtz Energy Materials Foundry (HEMF)

The HZB is establishes laboratories for synthesising energy materials and coordinates the Helmholtz-wide laboratory platform HEMF

Researchers want to develop new materials for our future energy supply that produce and store electricity efficiently and cleanly. This poses an enormous challenge – and requires a joint effort. The Helmholtz Association is now investing 46 million euros in the creation of a large laboratory platform for the production (synthesis) of energy materials. These materials should contribute to the success of the energy turnaround.


Six Helmholtz Centres are involved in establishing the “Helmholtz Energy Materials Foundry” (HEMF). The HZB is coordinating the project and contributing substantially towards setting up Helmholtz-wide laboratories.


Photo: F. Kochanski

Ultra-modern laboratories for material synthesis at the HZB Wannsee campus

On the HZB’s Wannsee campus, there is active planning for a new high-tech lab: Opposite the E-building, a HEMF laboratory is being set up for the development and synthesis of novel energy materials.

“Planned for the HZB are, in particular, synthesis laboratories in which perovskite thin films, catalytically active nanoparticles and thin films for producing solar fuels can be produced. Facilities are also being set up for nanostructuring of materials,” says Roel van de Krol. He is head of the HZB Institute for “Solar Fuels” and for the coordination of the Helmholtz project HEMF. In April 2016, the HZB gained renowned researcher Catherine Dubourdieu to set up one of the most advanced labs for materials synthesis.

Laboratory platforms will make the Helmholtz Centres highly demanded cooperation partners

The Helmholtz Centres involved are setting up a series of laboratories that will all complement one another excellently. The scientific focus is on materials systems that convert or store energy. These include, for example, solar fuels, solar cells, fuel cells, battery systems, and thermoelectric and thermochemical materials. One overarching theme is novel catalysts used in energy conversion and storage.

“With the HEMF platform, the Helmholtz Association is strengthening its competences in the synthesis of materials indispensable for the energy turnaround. The platform will also draw in new, attractive cooperation partners who are pursuing the same research goals,” says Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, scientific director of the HZB.

Laboratories for the international user community and industry

Not only in-house researchers will be working in the joint HEMF laboratories for energy materials. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and other Helmholtz Centres are also keeping their labs open to the international user community. The laboratories will accordingly be available to research groups from universities, non-university research establishments and industry.

Helmholtz Centres involved

> HEMF Website