Welcome to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

At the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), we conduct research on complex systems of materials that contributes to dealing with challenges such as the energy transition. The HZB research portfolio includes solar cells, solar fuels, thermoelectrics, and materials for new, energy-efficient information technologies (spintronics) or electrochemical energy storage. Research on these energy materials is closely connected with the operation and advanced development of the BESSY II photon source. And our research approach always concentrates on thin-film technologies. Find out more at this About us.

News and Press Releases

  • <p>Bassi presented results on new phases in the quaternary Fe-Ti-W-O system for application as photoelectrocatalyst in light-assisted water splitting.</p>NEWS      20.05.2019

    Posterprize for HZB postdoc Prince Saurabh Bassi

    Dr. Prince Saurabh Bassi was awarded the poster prize at “International Bunsen-Discussion-Meeting on Fundamentals and Applications of (Photo) Electrolysis for Efficient Energy Storage”. He is a postdoctoral fellow working with Prof. Sebastian Fiechter in the Institute for Solar Fuels. [...]

  • NEWS      17.05.2019

    Obituary for Prof. em. Dr. Hans-Joachim Lewerenz

    We are mourning the death of Prof. em. Dr. Hans-Joachim Lewerenz, who passed away on 24 April 2019 at the age of 70. From 1981 to 2014 he worked as a scientist and as department head in the field of renewable energies at our research institute. He was a pioneer in his research in photoelectrochemistry and photovoltaics. Prof. Hans-Joachim Lewerenz was a highly esteemed colleague and discussion partner far beyond the Center. We pay tribute to his work in the obituary.  [...]

  • <p>Seven sheep and two lambs are now grazing on the campus in Berlin-Wannsee, replacing the lawn mower.</p>NEWS      17.05.2019

    Sheep graze the Lise-Meitner-Campus in Wannsee

    On 15 May 2019 they arrived at the campus in Berlin-Wannsee: Seven female sheep and two lambs of the domestic sheep breed "Skudde". By autumn, they will graze the semi-natural campus and thus contribute to biodiversity. By doing without extensive mowing, natural wild meadows are to be created that are particularly insect- and bee-friendly. [...]

  • <p>HZB-Teams are exploring and developing new technologies for perovskite based solar cells in the innovation lab HySPRINT.</p>NEWS      16.05.2019

    LAUNCH OF EPKI: European Perovskite Initiative for the development of Perovskite based solar technology

    Perovskite based solar cells have made tremendous progress over the last decade achieving lab-scale efficiencies of 24.2% early 2019 in single-junction architecture and up to 28% in tandem (perovskite associated with crystalline silicon), turning it into the fastest-advancing solar technology to date. With the HySPRINT project and the recruitment of highly talented young scientists, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has built up a considerable research capacity in the field of perovskite materials in recent years and is participating in the European Perovskite Initiative EPKI that has now been launched. [...]

  • NEWS      14.05.2019

    Bernd Stannowski is Professor at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin

    Prof. Dr. Bernd Stannowski has received and accepted a call for a joint S-Professorship for "Photovoltaics" at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. The physicist heads the working group "Silicon Photovoltaics" at the Competence Center Thin Film and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB) of the HZB. [...]

  • <p>Experiments at the femtoslicing facility of BESSY II revealed the ultrafast angular momentum flow from Gd and Fe spins to the lattice via orbital moment during demagnetization of GdFe alloy.</p>SCIENCE HIGHLIGHT      10.05.2019

    Laser-driven Spin Dynamics in Ferrimagnets: How does the Angular Momentum flow?

    When exposed to intense laser pulses, the magnetization of a material can be manipulated very fast. Fundamentally, magnetization is connected to the angular momentum of the electrons in the material. A team of researchers led by scientists from the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) has now been able to follow the flow of angular momentum during ultrafast optical demagnetization in a ferrimagnetic iron-gadolinium alloy at the femtoslicing facility of BESSY II. Their results are helpful to understand the fundamental processes and their speed limits. The study is published in Physical Review Letters. [...]

  • <p>A green laser pulse initially excites the electrons in the Cu<sub>2</sub>O; just fractions of a second later, a second laser pulse (UV light) probes the energy of the excited electron.</p>SCIENCE HIGHLIGHT      09.05.2019

    Copper oxide photocathodes: laser experiment reveals location of efficiency loss

    Solar cells and photocathodes made of copper oxide might in theory attain high efficiencies for solar energy conversion. In practice, however, large losses occur. Now a team at the HZB has been able to use a sophisticated femtosecond laser experiment to determine where these losses take place: not so much at the interfaces, but instead far more in the interior of the crystalline material. These results provide indications on how to improve copper oxide and other metal oxides for applications as energy materials. [...]

  • <p>Tomography of a lithium electrode in its initial condition.</p>SCIENCE HIGHLIGHT      06.05.2019

    3D tomographic imagery reveals how lithium batteries age

    Lithium batteries lose amp-hour capacity over time. Microstructures can form on the electrodes with each new charge cycle, which further reduces battery capacity. Now an HZB team together with battery researchers from Forschungszentrum Jülich, the University of Munster, and partners in China have documented the degradation process of lithium electrodes in detail for the first time. They achieved this with the aid of a 3D tomography process using synchrotron radiation at BESSY II (HZB) as well at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG). Their results have been published open access in the scientific journal "Materials Today". [...]

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