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>Sketch of the structure of both metal oxide layers. Interesting new properties can arise at the interface. Credit: M. Bibes</p>04.02.2016

    Metal Oxide Sandwiches: New option to manipulate properties of interfaces

    A Franco-German cooperation has investigated a sandwich system of transition metal oxides at BESSY II. The scientists discovered a new option to control properties of the interface between the two layers, for instance the amount of charge transferred from one layer to the other or the emergence of ferromagnetism.  Their insights might help to create new properties at the interface, not present in the primary materials, maybe even novel forms of High Tc superconductivity. [...].

  • <p>The work of Galina Gurieva, Franziska Huschmann and Alex Redinger is introduced <a href="/angebote/ausbildung/postdocs/postdoc-of-the-month_en.html" class="Extern">here. </a></p>05.02.2016

    Hint: HZB Postdoc Association introduces a Postdoc of the Month on their webpage

    What have Galina Gurieva, Franziska Huschmann, Alex Redinger in common? They are postdocs working at HZB. For connecting each other and providing an channel for networking the HZB Postdoc Association introduces each month the work of one of the researchers at HZB-website. The young scientists write briefly about their work, their favorite paper and name the instruments and beamlines they are working with. Moreover, to get a good impression of their work they show some pictures about their laboratories, instruments and beamlines. Here you can find the interesting page of the Postdoc Association.


  • <p>Nano-island of graphene in which iron-nitrogen complexes are embedded. The FeN<sub>4</sub> complexes (shown in orange) are catalytically active. Image: S. Fiechter/HZB</p>27.01.2016

    An alternative to platinum: iron-nitrogen compounds as catalysts in graphene

    Teams at HZB and TU Darmstadt have produced a cost-effective catalyst material for fuel cells using a new preparation process which they analysed in detail. It consists of iron-nitrogen complexes embedded in tiny islands of graphene only a few nanometres in diameter. It is only the FeN4 centres that provide the excellent catalytic efficiency – approaching that of platinum. The results are interesting for solar fuels research as well and have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. [...].

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