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>Die M&auml;dchen untersuchen die selber gez&uuml;chteten Kristalle am Mikroskop.</p>23.04.2015

    Raus aus der Schule, rein ins Labor: 90 Schülerinnen beim Girls'Day am Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin


    90 Mädchen kamen dieses Jahr zum Girls’ Day in das HZB nach Wannsee und Adlershof. In Laboren und Werkstätten erlebten die Teilnehmerinnen, wie spannend die Arbeit in einem Forschungszentrum ist, und lernten Frauen kennen, die in naturwissenschaftlichen-technischen Berufen arbeiten. Angeboten wurden 16 verschiedene Workshops, von denen die Mädchen zwei auswählten. Sie konnten unter anderem Kristalle züchten, Strom aus Zitronen erzeugen oder ein Schmuckstück vergolden. [...].

  • <p>A view of what had been the practically empty segment at EMIL in the experimental hall; the beam tubes for EMIL are already being marked out on the brand-new flooring. Photo: Ingo M&uuml;ller/HZB<strong><br /></strong></p>21.04.2015

    BESSY II is ready for user service

    BESSY II will be ready for user service once again on April 21 2015. The storage ring was shut down as scheduled from February 9th until the end of March for refurbishment and modernization. The accelerator is operational once again, and has been running since the beginning of April, beginning with beam scrubbing to increase the lifetime of the electrons in the storage ring and to improve operation. At the same time teams have been working on the calibration and commissioning of their instruments.


  • <p>One of the new solid state transmitters: the power supplies are located in the left rack (black), the RF section is located behind the grey doors in the middle and in the right rack the control units can be seen.Credit: HZB</p>20.04.2015

    BESSY II changes over to solid state RF amplifiers

    BESSY II storage ring has four cavity resonators that are excited with high-power oscillating electromagnetic fields to compensate for the energy lost by the electron beam. Four Klystrons, as they are called (large high-power linear RF vacuum tubes), have provided extremely pure 500-MHz RF power for exciting these cavity resonators up to now. But there are no replacement klystrons available on the market. Wolfgang Anders and his team at the HZB’s Institute SRF – Science and Technology have therefore used the shutdown to replace two of the klystrons with modern solid-state RF amplifiers. The other klystrons are to be replaced until the end of the year. [...].

  • <p>Symmetrien; Bildrecht: K.Berthold</p>16.04.2015

    Eröffnung der Ausstellung "Das Bild entsteht im Kopf" am 20. April um 17 Uhr bei BESSY


    Ab dem 20. April 2015 zeigt K. Berthold ihre Arbeiten im BESSY II-Gebäude. Sie ist Meisterschülerin der Universität der Künste Berlin und seit über 20 Jahren als Bildhauerin und Bildgestalterin tätig. In der Ausstellung zeigt die Künstlern über 40 Bilder, die als Collagen aus Zeichnungen, Fotografien und Makroaufnahmen entstanden sind. Wir laden Sie herzlich zur Eröffnung ein. [...].

  • <p>Solar Solutions, hand made by the students. And they all work. Credit: HZB</p>30.03.2015

    Call for Applications open: International Summer University on Energy, Falera/Switzerland

    Excellent Master, Diploma, and PhD Students from all over the world from different disciplines are invited to participate in the international summer university ISUenergy2015. The ISUenergy2015 will take place from Aug. 23rd - Sept. 4th 2015 in Falera/Switzerland. [...].

more  news and press releasesnews RSS