15 years of Russian–German cooperation at BESSY II

At an event at HZB, 70 employees and guests were eagerly awaiting a package from Siberia. It arrived a little late, but thankfully just in time: in the package was a relief by a Russian sculptor, which is now ceremoniously unveiled for the 15th anniversary of the “Russian–German Laboratory”. This was in December 2017.

The artwork is now mounted near the beamline of the “Russian–German Laboratory” in the experimental hall of BESSY II. It commemorates the late Russian physicist Vera Adamchuk. She was a pioneer for cooperation in the field of synchrotron radiation between the two countries, and was one of the founders of the “Russian–German Laboratory” at BESSY II a good 15 years ago.

The workgroups from the two countries are cooperating highly successfully at BESSY II. Just how lively this cooperation is can be seen from the many high-ranking papers, completed PhDs and junior researchers with successful careers. Contributing on the German side are the Freie Universität Berlin, TU Dresden, TU Freiberg and HZB. Contributing on the Russian side are the Staatliche Universität St. Petersburg, Kurchatov Institute (Moscow), Ioffe Institute (St. Petersburg) and Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography (Moscow).

“We have already achieved a great deal together. Our beamline is extremely productive scientifically, but we aren’t resting on those laurels,” says Eckart Rühl of Freie Universität Berlin. “At our meeting in December, we were able to talk with Sergej Molodtsov, one of the directors of the European XFEL. We are interesting in establishing a long-term Russian–German cooperation at the newly opened European XFEL as well.”

Oliver Rader, who supervises the “Russian–German Laboratory” at HZB adds: “over the past few years at BESSY II, we have set up not only the dipole beamline but also a powerful measuring station for spin- and angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy at an undulator beamline. This measuring station, which was built in cooperation with the Universities in Berlin and Dresden, will be available to Russian and German user teams in future.”

The experiments cover a broad spectrum. The dipole beamline is for absorption spectroscopy measurements for analysing different material classes – from functionalised graphene and new battery materials to biological samples. The new undulator beamline is designed primarily for analysing topological insulators and magnetic sandwich structures. These are novel material systems that allow switching processes with very low energy input, for example, and are considered candidates for energy-efficient information technologies.