21 summer students from across the world are doing research at the HZB

HZB's eight-week summer program is popular with students of physics and materials science. As in previous years, this year there was a high demand for the twenty-one available spots in the program. Through September 27, the summer students will be working independently on their individual research projects under the supervision by experienced HZB scientists. The program has a strong international focus; this year, HZB's summer students hail from Columbia, Russia, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, and Brazil, to name only a few.

"The students are working on their own research projects. Naturally, we are thrilled if our summer students enjoy their research at HZB and take away a wealth of new experiences. For the supervisors, HZB's summer student program is also a really great opportunity to get to know other students from related fields of study. If the collaboration works out well, there is a possibility that they might see each other again at the time when they graduate with their Ph.D. degrees," explains Gabriele Lampert, HZB's Ph.D. program coordinator,  in reference to one of the summer program's many benefits.

In addition to spending a lot of time working on their own research projects, an extensive curriculum awaits the summer crowd. Scheduled activities include tours of the Berlin-Wannsee neutron guide hall, HZB's own light source BESSY II, and the laboratories at the Institute for Silicon Photovoltaics. Another highlight is "Experimentation Day" in the school lab of HZB. This year, under Michael Tovar's and the student supervisors' guidance, the summer students built a dye-sensitized solar cell (also called a "Grätzel cell") using glass plates, titanium dioxide, and fruit tea. With the help of a specific measuring instrument, the students were able to ensure that their cell was capable of delivering up to 25 percent the amount of tension of a commercial battery. The pictures (left) shows the summer students during their "solar puzzle" in the lobby in front of the lecture hall, symbolically reconstructing the individual layers of the dye-sensitized solar cell using moss rubber plates. Also as part of this action day, the students toured HZB's femtosecond (E-16) and cleanroom (E-13) labs.

Gabriele Lampert is thrilled that this year as every year the HZB was able to offer a number of suitable projects for the summer students and has expressed her heartfelt thanks to the supervisors. "One of our greatest successes is the fact that several of our summer students have actually told me that the program has already made waves on their home university campuses and that it is being actively advertised there. This year, we have five participants from Columbia alone. It illustrates how much the HZB research experience appeals to students."

Silvia Zerbe