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><strong>Watching the sky:</strong> The kindergarten Kids built spectroscopes and used them to study the different kinds of light.</p>24.06.2015

    40 kindergarten kids jointed the School Lab on Little Scientists’ Day

    Young guests visiting the School Lab of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is nothing unusual. But on the 23rd of June 2015, even the tiniest were allowed to get into the role of researcher and conduct their own experiments. The School Lab took part in the Germany-wide campaign “Tag der Kleinen Forscher” (Little Scientists’ Day), and invited 40 children of ages five to seven to the Adlershof campus. Here, they built spectroscopes and used them to study the different kinds of light. After a good hour of intensive experimenting, each child proudly held his or her “researcher’s diploma” in hand. [...].

  • <p>The illustration shows how maleimide compounds bind to the graphene surface. The graphene monolayer lies on a thin film of silicon nitride (red) that in turn is on a quartz microbalance (blue) and can be subjected to a potential via a gold contact (yellow).<br /><br />Illustration: Marc Gluba/HZB</p>24.06.2015

    Towards graphene biosensors

    For the first time, a team of scientists has succeeded in precisely measuring and controlling the thickness of an organic compound that has been bound to a graphene layer. This might enable graphene to be used as a sensitive detector for biological molecules in the future. [...].

  • <p>Illustration of the complex biostructure of dentin: the dental tubuli (yellow hollow cylinders, diameters appr. 1 micrometer) are surrounded by layers of mineralized collagen fibers (brown rods). The tiny mineral nanoparticles are embedded in the mesh of collagen fibers and not visible here. Credit: JB Forien @Charit&eacute;.</p>24.06.2015

    Strong teeth: Nanostructures under stress make teeth crack resistant

    Human teeth have to serve for a lifetime, despite being subjected to huge forces. But the high failure resistance of dentin in teeth is not fully understood. An interdisciplinary team led by scientists of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has now analyzed the complex structure of dentin. At the synchrotron sources BESSY II at HZB, Berlin, Germany, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF, Grenoble, France, they could reveal that the mineral particles are precompressed. The internal stress works against crack propagation and increases resistance of the biostructure. [...].

  • 16.06.2015

    50 PhD students from the HZB attended the PhD Retreat in Liebenwalde

    From the 3rd to the 5th of June, 2015, this year’s PhD Retreat took place in Liebenwalde, with more than fifty PhD students from the HZB taking part. Among other topics, the programme included seminars on scientific writing, time management and learning intercultural competence. The practical workshop received great interest. The participants also found many opportunities in the venue’s idyllic setting to network with those from other departments and locations. [...].

  • <p>From the 5th to the 8th of June, 1,200 sports enthusiasts from 36 European research centres came to Mol, Belgium, for the Atomiade. The HZB team&rsquo;s trip was an outstanding success.</p>16.06.2015

    37 medals for HZB athletes at the Atomiade

    3rd place overall in the Games
    From the 5th to the 8th of June, 1,200 sports enthusiasts from 36 European research centres came to Mol, Belgium, for the Atomiade. The HZB team’s trip was an outstanding success: In the team competitions, the 34 participants from HZB earned 37 medals (8 gold, 12 silver and 17 bronze) and 2 cups (tennis and badminton). In the overall ranking, the HZB team took third place. [...].

  • 15.06.2015

    BESSY II - What can I do for you?

  • 11.06.2015

    Öffentliche Einweihung des Lise-Meitner-Denkmal am 13. Juni zur Langen Nacht der Wissenschaften


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