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>Nanostructures of silicon shown in scanning electron microscope image. The diameter of the nanocolumns is 570 nm. By comparison, the nanocones taper from their upper diameter of 940 nm down to 360 nm at their base. Credit: MPL</p>26.11.2015

    Whispering gallery modes in Silicon nanocones intensify luminescence

    Silicon, a semiconducting material, reveals new talents when reduced to nanoscopic dimensions. A joint team at the HZB Institute of Nanoarchitectures for Energy Conversion and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) has demonstrated this. Silicon nanocones generate 200 times as much infrared luminescence as comparably sized nanocolumns when excited by visible light. Modelling and experimental results show that due to their geometry, cones are able to sustain what is referred to as whispering gallery modes at infrared wavelengths which can intensify the silicon luminescence. New applications are conceivable, including silicon-based nanolasers. [...].

  • <p>Die Verleihung der <em>PVSEC-25 Paper Awards</em>. Links: Jan-Peter B&auml;cker und Dritter von rechts: Marc Daniel Heinemann.</p>26.11.2015

    Zwei PVcomB-Beiträge auf der PVSEC-25 ausgezeichnet


    Auf der 25th International Photovoltaic Science & Engineering Conference (PVSEC) sind zwei Beiträge aus dem HZB-Institut PVcomB ausgezeichnet worden: Jan-Peter Bäcker und Marc Daniel Heinemann erhielten den PVSEC-25 Paper Award für ihre Forschung zu Chalkogenid-Solarzellen (CIGS). Die PVSEC fand in diesem Jahr vom 15. bis 20. November in Busan, Korea, statt. [...].

  • <p>Sketch of the new set-up at EDDI. The high-speed camera (blue box) is on top of the sample holder. Credit: Marlen Paeplow/HZB</p>19.11.2015

    Filming microscopic and macroscopic changes within materials

    The EDDI beamline at BESSY II is now offering even more options. It has recently become possible to also obtain high-resolution three-dimensional images of microscopic structure with it, up to four such tomographies per second are possible. X-ray diffraction (energy-dispersive diffraction) can simultaneously be carried out to draw conclusions about the crystal structure of the material just as before. [...].

  • <p>Photo: HZB/M. Setzpfandt</p>18.11.2015

    ZEISS and the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin establish partnership

    Nanotechnology in support of leading research on renewable energy

    To conduct cutting-edge research on novel materials with the most modern ZEISS electron microscopes available – that is the mission of the ZEISS labs@location at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The laboratories that have been set up for the Institute of Nano-Architectures for Energy Conversion, headed by Prof. Silke Christiansen, were officially opened on Monday, November 16, 2014. [...].

  • <p>Anziehend oder absto&szlig;end? Viel Spa&szlig; hatten die Sch&uuml;lerinnen und Sch&uuml;ler mit der mit Magneten best&uuml;ckten Duplo-Eisenbahn. Foto: HZB/S.Zerbe</p>17.11.2015

    Helmholtz-Tag im HZB-Schülerlabor


    Die Schülerlabore der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft veranstalten am 17. November zum vierten Mal den Helmholtz-Tag. Mit dabei ist auch das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Schülerinnen und Schüler erhalten einen Einblick in die Forschungsarbeit von Hermann von Helmholtz und können in den Laboren selbst experimentieren. Der Namenspatron der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft gehörte zu den bedeutendsten Naturwissenschaftlern des 19. Jahrhunderts. [...].

  • 13.11.2015

    rbb-Inforadio: Andreas Jankowiak im Gespräch über bERLinPro

  • 11.11.2015

    BESSY II electron highway gets second lane

  • 10.11.2015

    Uppsala Berlin Joint Laboratory “Our willingness to cooperate is our strength”

  • 05.11.2015

    Shutdown at BESSY II: An extremely productive break

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