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- HZB receives funding to make innovations usable more quicklyThe Helmholtz Association has selected three new innovation platforms that will now be funded. HZB is involved in two of them: The Innovation Platform on Accelerator Technologies HI-ACTS is intended to open up modern accelerators for a wide range of applications, while the Innovation Platform Solar TAP is intended to bring new ideas from the laboratories of photovoltaics research more quickly into an application. In total, HZB will receive 4.2 million euros in grants from the Pact for Research and Innovation over the next three years.
- Green hydrogen: How photoelectrochemical water splitting may become competitiveSunlight can be used to produce green hydrogen directly from water in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells. So far, systems based on this "direct approach" have not been energetically competitive. However, the balance changes as soon as some of the hydrogen in such PEC cells is used in-situ for a catalytic hydrogenation reaction, resulting in the co-production of chemicals used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The energy payback time of photoelectrochemical "green" hydrogen production can be reduced dramatically, the study shows.
- Perovskite solar cells from the slot die coater - a step towards industrial productionSolar cells made from metal halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies and their production from liquid inks requires only a small amount of energy. A team led by Prof. Dr. Eva Unger at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is investigating the production process. At the X-ray source BESSY II, the group has analyzed the optimal composition of precursor inks for the production of high-quality FAPbI3 perovskite thin films by slot-die coating. The solar cells produced with these inks were tested under real life conditions in the field for a year and scaled up to mini-module size.
- Superstore MXene: New proton hydration structure determinedMXenes are able to store large amounts of electrical energy like batteries and to charge and discharge rather quickly like a supercapacitor. They combine both talents and thus are a very interesting class of materials for energy storage. The material is structured like a kind of puff pastry, with the MXene layers separated by thin water films. A team at HZB has now investigated how protons migrate in the water films confined between the layers of the material and enable charge transport. Their results have been published in the renowned journal Nature Communications and may accelerate the optimisation of these kinds of energy storage materials.
- Electrocatalysis under the atomic force microscopeA further development in atomic force microscopy now makes it possible to simultaneously image the height profile of nanometre-fine structures as well as the electric current and the frictional force at solid-liquid interfaces. A team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) of the Max Planck Society has succeeded in analysing electrocatalytically active materials and gaining insights that will help optimise catalysts. The method is also potentially suitable for studying processes on battery electrodes, in photocatalysis or on active biomaterials.
- TU Berlin appoints Renske van der Veen as professorFor the past two years, Dr Renske van der Veen has led a research group in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy at HZB. Her research focuses on catalytic processes that enable, for example, the production of green hydrogen. She has now been appointed to a S-W2 professorship at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics (IOAP) at the Technische Universität Berlin.
- Electrocatalysis – Iron and Cobalt Oxyhydroxides examined at BESSY IIA team led by Dr. Prashanth W. Menezes (HZB/TU-Berlin) has now gained insights into the chemistry of one of the most active anode catalysts for green hydrogen production. They examined a series of Cobalt-Iron Oxyhydroxides at BESSY II and were able to determine the oxidation states of the active elements in different configurations as well as to unveil the geometrical structure of the active sites. Their results might contribute to the knowledge based design of new highly efficient and low cost catalytical active materials.
- Maria Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for Artem MusiienkoDr. Artem Musiienko has earned a prestigious Maria Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship for his research project HyPerGreen. In the group of Prof. Antonio Abate, HZB, Musiienko will explore and improve lead-free perovskite solar cells with the goal to increase their efficiency to more than 20 %.
- Our thoughts go out to the earthquake victims from Turkey and SyriaThe earthquake has struck Turkey and Syria in the heart, with large parts of the region destroyed to an unimaginable extent. We are dismayed by the extent of the destruction, the many victims and injured. The earthquake is causing inconceivable human suffering that we find difficult to comprehend. Our thoughts are with our colleagues who have family, friends, and acquaintances in the affected regions.
- Stability of perovskite solar cells reaches next milestonePerovskite semiconductors promise highly efficient and low-cost solar cells. However, the semi-organic material is very sensitive to temperature differences, which can quickly lead to fatigue damage in normal outdoor use. Adding a dipolar polymer compound to the precursor perovskite solution helps to counteract this. This has now been shown in a study published in the journal Science by an international team led by Antonio Abate, HZB. The solar cells produced in this way achieve efficiencies of well above 24 %, which hardly drop under rapid temperature fluctuations between -60 and +80 Celsius over one hundred cycles. That corresponds to about one year of outdoor use.
- HZB physicist appointed to Gangneung-Wonju National University, South KoreaSince 2016, accelerator physicist Ji-Gwang Hwang has been working at HZB in the department of storage rings and beam physics. He has made important contributions to beam diagnostics in several projects at HZB. He is now returning to his home country, South Korea, having accepted a professorship in physics at Gangneung-Wonju National University.
- Scientists Develop New Technique to Image Fluctuations in MaterialsA team of scientists, led by researchers from the Max Born Institute in Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin in Germany and from Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States has developed a revolutionary new method for capturing high-resolution images of fluctuations in materials at the nanoscale using powerful X-ray sources. The technique, which they call Coherent Correlation Imaging (CCI), allows for the creation of sharp, detailed movies without damaging the sample by excessive radiation. By using an algorithm to detect patterns in underexposed images, CCI opens paths to previously inaccessible information. The team demonstrated CCI on samples made of thin magnetic layers, and their results have been published in Nature.
- Recommended reading: Bunsen magazine with focus on molecular water researchWater not only has some well-known anomalies, but is still full of surprises. The first issue 2023 of the Bunsen Magazine is dedicated to molecular water research, from the ocean to processes in electrolysis. The issue presents contributions from researchers cooperating within the framework of a European research initiative in the "Centre for Molecular Water Science" (CMWS). A team at HZB presents results from the synchrotron spectroscopy of water. Modern X-ray sources can be used to study molecular and electronic processes in water in detail.
- Helmholtz Visiting Researcher GrantAre you a doctoral researcher or Postdoc and your research has a strong link to (applied) data and information sciences?
- Ombudspersons for good scientific practise appointedManfred Weiss, Sebastian Fiechter, Annette Pietzsch and Michael Tovar have been available to you as ombudspersons since 1 January 2023. They will be happy to advise you on all questions regarding good scientific practice at the HZB.
- Call for “Helmholtz young investigator groups”: apply now!We are looking for young excellent scientists with leadership skills. Do you want to perform an innovative research project in one of HZB's research fields? Then apply by 20.02.2023!
- High-energy X-rays leave a trace of destruction in bone collagenA team of medical researchers at Charité has analyzed damage by focused high energetic X-rays in bone samples from fish and mammals at BESSY II. With a combination of microscopy techniques, the scientists could document the destruction of collagen fibres induced by electrons emitted from the mineral crystals. X-ray methods might impact bone samples when measured for a long time they conclude.
- Neutron experiments reveal what maintains bones in good functionWhat keeps bones able to remodel themselves and stay healthy? A team from Charité Berlin has discovered clues to the key function of non-collagen protein compounds and how they help bone cells react to external load. The scientists used fish models to examine bone samples with and without bone cells to elucidate differences in microstructures and the incorporation of water. Using 3D neutron tomography at the Berlin research reactor BER II, they succeeded for the first time in precisely measuring the water diffusion across bone material - with a surprising result.
- New software based on Artificial Intelligence helps to interpret complex dataExperimental data is often not only highly dimensional, but also noisy and full of artefacts. This makes it difficult to interpret the data. Now a team at HZB has designed software that uses self-learning neural networks to compress the data in a smart way and reconstruct a low-noise version in the next step. This enables to recognise correlations that would otherwise not be discernible. The software has now been successfully used in photon diagnostics at the FLASH free electron laser at DESY. But it is suitable for very different applications in science.
- World record back at HZB: Tandem solar cell achieves 32.5 percent efficiencyThe current world record of tandem solar cells consisting of a silicon bottom cell and a perovskite top cell is once again at HZB. The new tandem solar cell converts 32.5 % of the incident solar radiation into electrical energy. The certifying institute European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) in Italy measured the tandem cell and officially confirmed this value which is also included in the NREL chart of solar cell technologies, maintained by the National Renewable Energy Lab, USA.
- lichtblick is online: new format, new topics - read it now!We cordially invite you to read our new magazine "lichtblick". The time was ripe for a new format that can now be read comfortably on the screen. Take a look into the new issue!
- On the way to mass production: perovskite silicon tandem cellsIn order to transfer tandem solar cells from laboratory scale to production, HZB is cooperating with the solar module manufacturer Meyer Burger, which has great expertise in heterojunction technology (HJT) for silicon modules. Within the framework of this cooperation, mass production-ready silicon bottom cells based on heterojunction technology are to be combined with a top cell based on perovskite technology.
- 4000th protein structure decoded at BESSY IIThe 4000th structure is the molecule FKBP51, which is linked to stress-induced diseases such as depression, chronic pain and diabetes. The team led by Prof. Felix Hausch, TU Darmstadt, is using the knowledge of the three-dimensional structure to develop new strategies for the design of suitable drugs.
- Tiburtius Prize for Eike KöhnenOn Tuesday, 6 December 2022, Dr. Eike Köhnen received the Tiburtius Prize (First Place) for outstanding dissertations. Eike Köhnen has contributed to significantly increasing the efficiency of tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon, to the point of setting world records.
- Two women, one mission: living diversity at HZBAt the end of October 2022, the management appointed Ana Sofia Anselmo and Silvia Zerbe as new diversity officers. Together they will address diversity at HZB and drive it forward with employees. Ana works in the Director’s Office and is responsible for International Affairs. Silvia is deputy press spokesperson at HZB and is dedicated to internal communication at the centre.
- Nanodiamonds can be activated as photocatalysts with sunlightNanodiamond materials have potential as low-cost photocatalysts. But until now, such carbon nanoparticles required high-energy UV light to become active. The DIACAT consortium has therefore produced and analysed variations of nanodiamond materials. The work shows: If the surface of the nanoparticles is occupied by sufficient hydrogen atoms, even the weaker energy of blue sunlight is sufficient for excitation. Future photocatalysts based on nanodiamonds might be able to convert CO2 or N2 into hydrocarbons or ammonia with sunlight.
- New monochromator optics for tender X-raysUntil now, it has been extremely tedious to perform measurements with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution using X-ray light in the tender energy range of 1.5 - 5.0 keV. Yet this X-ray light is ideal for investigating energy materials such as batteries or catalysts, but also biological systems. A team from HZB has now solved this problem: The newly developed monochromator optics increase the photon flux in the tender energy range by a factor of 100 and thus enable highly precise measurements of nanostructured systems. The method was successfully tested for the first time on catalytically active nanoparticles and microchips.
- Tomography shows high potential of copper sulphide solid-state batteriesSolid-state batteries enable even higher energy densities than lithium-ion batteries with high safety. A team led by Prof. Philipp Adelhelm and Dr. Ingo Manke succeeded in observing a solid-state battery during charging and discharging and creating high-resolution 3D images. This showed that cracking can be effectively reduced through higher pressure.
- International Summer Student Programme – apply now!Would you like to spend a great summer in Berlin and gain unique experience in research? Then come and join us at HZB from 3 July to 25 August 2023! We invite students from all over the world to drive their own research project at HZB for eight weeks. Gain interesting insights and experience. We look forward to seeing you!
- European pilot line for innovative photovoltaic technology based on tandem solar cellsPEPPERONI, a four-year Research and Innovation project co-funded under Horizon Europe and jointly coordinated by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Qcells, will support Europe in reaching its renewable energy target of climate neutrality by 2050. The project will help advance perovskite/silicon tandem photovoltaics (PV) technology’s journey towards market introduction and mass manufacturing.
- Quantum algorithms save time in the calculation of electron dynamicsQuantum computers promise significantly shorter computing times for complex problems. But there are still only a few quantum computers worldwide with a limited number of so-called qubits. However, quantum computer algorithms can already run on conventional servers that simulate a quantum computer. A team at HZB has succeeded to calculate the electron orbitals and their dynamic development on the example of a small molecule after a laser pulse excitation. In principle, the method is also suitable for investigating larger molecules that cannot be calculated using conventional methods.
- How photoelectrodes change in contact with waterPhotoelectrodes based on BiVO4 are considered top candidates for solar hydrogen production. But what exactly happens when they come into contact with water molecules? A study in the Journal of the American Chemical Society has now partially answered this crucial question: Excess electrons from dopants or defects aid the dissociation of water which in turn stabilizes so-called polarons at the surface. This is shown by data from experiments conducted at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. These insights might foster a knowledge-based design of better photoanodes for green hydrogen production.
- Obituary for Professor Alexei ErkoWe mourn the loss of our former colleague Prof. Dr. Alexei Erko who passed away on the 22nd of October 2022 at the age of 70 after a short and severe illness.
- BESSY II: Influence of protons on water moleculesHow hydrogen ions or protons interact with their aqueous environment has great practical relevance, whether in fuel cell technology or in the life sciences. Now, a large international consortium at the X-ray source BESSY II has investigated this question experimentally in detail and discovered new phenomena. For example, the presence of a proton changes the electronic structure of the three innermost water molecules, but also has an effect via a long-range field on a hydrate shell of five other water molecules.
- Obituary for Professor Michael SteinerWe mourn the loss of our former long-serving scientific director Prof. Dr. Michael Steiner who passed away on the 5th of November 2022 at the age of 79 in Berlin. He was a brilliant researcher to whom we owe a great deal.
- Photocatalysis: Processes in charge separation recorded experimentallyCertain metal oxides are considered good candidates for photocatalysts to produce green hydrogen with sunlight. A Chinese team has now published exciting results on copper(I) oxide particles in Nature, to which a method developed at HZB contributed significantly. Transient surface photovoltage spectroscopy showed that positive charge carriers on surfaces are trapped by defects in the course of microseconds. The results provide clues to increase the efficiency of photocatalysts.
- A perfect match: perovskite meets perovskiteTandem solar cells, which combine two different perovskite semiconductors, promise high efficiencies and can be produced with very little energy input. Such modules could even be bendable. Together with partners from industry and research, HZB expert Prof. Steve Albrecht is working to realise this vision. His team recently succeeded in producing an all-perovskite tandem solar cell with a certified efficiency of 27.2 %. A conversation about the opportunities and challenges of the perovskite-perovskite technology.
- LEAPS research infrastructures to tackle societal crisesAgainst a backdrop of the energy crisis, scientists and policymakers convened at Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Switzerland and set out a vision for European accelerator based photon sources to address current and future societal challenges together.
- Berlin Science Week: Discovering research made in HZBThe HZB is participating in the programme of Berlin Science Week and Falling Walls with a wide range of events. In this overview, we briefly summarise where you can find research from HZB and discuss it with scientists. Please note that you have to register for the events. Participation is free of charge.
- Batteries without critical raw materialsThe market for rechargeable batteries is growing rapidly, but the necessary raw materials are limited. Sodium-ion batteries, for example, could offer an alternative. A joint research group from HZB and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has investigated new combinations of electrolyte solutions and electrode materials for this purpose.
- Federal science minister in Berlin-AdlershofThe Federal Minister for Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, was in Berlin-Adlershof today to visit the Catalysis Laboratory (CatLab). CatLab is a research platform of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Max Planck Society, dedicated to catalysis research that will deliver important innovations for achieving a green hydrogen economy. Upon her visit to the CatLab, the minister gained an insight into the latest technological advancements on producing and characterising thin-film catalysts and special methods for operando analytics and digital catalysis.
- Tandem solar cells with perovskite: nanostructures help in many waysBy the end of 2021, teams at HZB had presented perovskite silicon tandem solar cells with an efficiency close to 30 percent. This value was a world record for eight months, a long time for this hotly contested field of research. In the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology, the scientists describe how they achieved this record value with nanooptical structuring and reflective coatings.
- Spintronics: A new tool at BESSY II for chirality investigationsInformation on complex magnetic structures is crucial to understand and develop spintronic materials. Now, a new instrument named ALICE II is available at BESSY II. It allows magnetic X-ray scattering in reciprocal space using a new large area detector. A team at HZB and Technical University Munich has demonstrated the performance of ALICE II by analysing helical and conical magnetic states of an archetypal single crystal skyrmion host. ALICE II is now available for guest users at BESSY II.
- “The market itself will push this issue” - Interview on the role of synthetic kerosene for aviationIn the research consortium CARE-O-SENE, scientists are looking for more efficient ways to produce synthetic kerosene for use in aviation. We interviewed Tobias Sontheimer of HZB and Dirk Schär of the participating company Sasol about what has to be done, what obstacles there are, and how aviation can be decarbonised.
- High entropy alloys: structural disorder and magnetic propertiesHigh-entropy alloys (HEAs) are promising materials for catalysis and energy storage, and at the same time they are extremely hard, heat resistant and demonstrate great variability in their magnetic behaviour. Now, a team at BESSY II in collaboration with Ruhr University Bochum, BAM, Freie Universität Berlin and University of Latvia has gained new insights into the local environment of a so-called high-entropy Cantor alloy made of chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt and nickel, and has thus also been able to partially explain the magnetic properties of a nanocrystalline film of this alloy.
- 40-million-euro sustainable kerosene research project CARE-O-SENE receives fundingThe international research project CARE-O-SENE (Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene) was granted 30 million euros in funding by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Additionally, the industrial consortium partners contribute 10 million euros. The aim of the project is to develop novel, next-generation Fischer-Tropsch catalysts and thus to optimise the production of sustainable kerosene – or Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) – on an industrial scale. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is part of this collaboration.
- Prof. Rutger Schlatmann is Chair of the European Platform for PhotovoltaicsRutger Schlatmann is a solar expert from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and professor at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. At the HZB he heads the Competence Centre for Photovoltaics, which successfully brings together solar research and industry. Now the expert has been elected as chairman of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV). It provides independent advice on energy policy issues and the expansion of photovoltaics in Europe.
- New at HZB: Tomography lab for AI-assisted battery researchAt HZB, a laboratory for automated X-ray tomography on solid-state batteries is being set up. The special feature: 3D data during charge/discharge processes (operando) can be evaluated quickly and in a more versatile way using artificial intelligence (AI) methods. The Federal Ministry of Research and Education is funding the "TomoFestBattLab" project with 1.86 million euros.
- Green hydrogen: faster progress with modern X-ray sourcesIn order to produce green hydrogen, water can be split up via electrocatalysis, powered by renewable sources such as sun or wind. A review article in the journal Angewandte Chemie Int. Ed. shows how modern X-ray sources such as BESSY II can advance the development of suitable electrocatalysts. In particular, X-ray absorption spectroscopy can be used to determine the active states of catalytically active materials for the oxygen evolution reaction. This is an important contribution to developing efficient catalysts from inexpensive and widely available elements.
- Listen to the Tagesschau Future Podcast: Solar panels on every roof? So what then?Let's assume there are solar systems on every roof. And what happens if the sun doesn't shine for a while? Follow the thought experiment of the Tagesschau Podcast. Our solar expert and architect Thorsten Kühn joins us.
- For strong non-university research in BerlinThe non-university research institutions in Berlin will work even more closely together in the future. Their association Berlin Research 50 (BR50), founded in 2020, has joined forces to form a registered non-profit association on 4. October 2022. Together, the research institutions want to further develop and strengthen Berlin as a science location.
- Fassaden-PV und die BauweltAuf dem Programm stehen ein Rundgang durch das Reallabor des Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin gefolgt von Fachvorträgen sowie einem Austausch mit Experten*innen vor Ort.
- Dynamics in one-dimensional spin chains newly elucidatedNeutron scattering is considered the method of choice for investigating magnetic structures and excitations in quantum materials. Now, for the first time, the evaluation of measurement data from the 2000s with new methods has provided much deeper insights into a model system – the 1D Heisenberg spin chains. A new toolbox is available for elucidating future quantum materials has been achieved.
- BESSY II: Localisation of d-electrons determinedTransition metals have many applications in engineering, electrochemistry and catalysis. To understand their properties, the interplay between atomic localisation and delocalisation of the outer electrons in the d orbitals is crucial. This insight is now provided by a special end station at BESSY II with highest precision, as demonstrated by a study of copper, nickel and cobalt with interesting quantitative results. The Royal Society of Chemistry has selected the paper as a HOT Article 2022.
- Rhombohedral graphite as a model for quantum magnetismGraphene is an extremely exciting material. Now a graphene variant shows another talent: rhombohedral graphite made of several layers slightly offset from each other could enlighten the hidden physics in quantum magnets.
- Highlight Report 2021 publishedThe Highlight Report 2021 presents compact information on important developments at HZB and a selection of the scientific results published in renowned journals.
- 40 years of research with synchrotron light in BerlinPress release _ Berlin, 14 September: For decades, science in Berlin has been an important driver of innovation and progress. Creative, talented people from all over the world come together here and develop new ideas from which we all benefit as a society. Many discoveries – from fundamental insights to marketable products – are made by doing research with synchrotron light. Researchers have had access to this intense light in Berlin for 40 years. It inspires many scientific disciplines and is an advantage for Germany.
- New road towards spin-polarised currentsThe transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) series are a family of promising candidate materials for spintronics. A study at lightsource BESSY II has unveiled that in one of those materials even simple linear polarised light is sufficient to selectively manipulate spins of different orientations. This result provides an entirely new route for the generation of spin-polarised currents and is a milestone for the development of spintronic and opto-spintronic devices.
- SNI2022: 400 experts met in BerlinAround 400 scientists exchanged ideas at the German Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities (SNI2022), which took place in Berlin from 05-07 September 2022. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was the organiser of the conference. The Committee Research with Neutrons (KFN) awarded prizes to two young scientists. The prizes went to Dr Navid Qureshi (Institut Laue-Langevin, ILL, France) and Artur Glavic (Paul Scherrer Institute, PSI, Switzerland).
- Special edition of lichtblick: The HZB - that's us50 issues of lichtblick have been published since 2009 and that inspired us to do something special. In this issue, we focus on employees who do a great voluntary work or have an exciting hobby. They represent the many, many people who make HZB an vibrant and diverse place.
- 15 young people start their careers at HZBOn 1 September, HZB welcomed 15 new employees who are starting an apprenticeship, a dual study programme or a voluntary year at HZB. At an introductory event at the Wannsee site, HZB's Administrative Director Thomas Frederking welcomed the new employees and wished them a good start at the research centre.
- Professorship at the University of Augsburg for Felix BüttnerFelix Büttner has led a junior research group at HZB. Now he has accepted a call to the University of Augsburg. As head of a joint research group, he will continue his studies of magnetic skyrmions at BESSY II.
- BESSY II resumes operation after a long shutdownOn 30 August, BESSY II ligth source will resume user operation: the research centre will then welcome guest researchers from all over the world and support them in their various experiments. The 14-week shutdown was the longest in BESSY II history. Among other works, the main supply was completely renewed. The successful completion of the work was celebrated with all those involved.
- Podcast | Der Klimawandel und die Stadt: Mehr Grün oder mehr Photovoltaik?Wie umgehen mit begrenztem Platz? Städte und Kommunen müssen sich jetzt auf die Folgen des Klimawandels vorbereiten. Gründächer, begrünte Fassaden und großflächige Entsiegelungen könnten zu einem besseren Mikroklima beitragen. Aber wird der Platz nicht auch für Photovoltaik benötigt?
In einem kontroversen Gespräch loten die Experten Björn Rau (HZB, BAIP) und Jens Hasse (Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik) die Optionen aus und finden neue Lösungen.
- Humboldt Fellow Alexander Gray comes to HZBAlexander Gray from Temple University in Philadelphia, USA, is working with HZB physicist Florian Kronast to investigate novel 2D quantum materials at BESSY II. With the fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he can now deepen this cooperation. At BESSY II, he wants to further develop depth-resolved X-ray microscopic and spectroscopic methods in order to investigate 2D quantum materials and devices for new information technologies even more thoroughly.
- Green hydrogen: Nanostructured nickel silicide shines as a catalystElectrical energy from wind or sun can be stored as chemical energy in hydrogen, an excellent fuel and energy carrier. The prerequisite for this, however, is efficient electrolysis of water with inexpensive catalysts. For the oxygen evolution reaction at the anode, nanostructured nickel silicide now promises a significant increase in efficiency. This was demonstrated by a group from the HZB, Technical University of Berlin and the Freie Universität Berlin as part of the CatLab research platform with measurements among others at BESSY II.
- Young investigator research group on electrocatalysis at HZBDr. Michelle Browne establishes her own young investigator group at the HZB . Starting in August, the group is co-funded by the Helmholtz Association for the next five years. The electrochemist from Ireland concentrates on electrolytically active novel material systems and wants to develop next-generation electrocatalysts, for example hydrogen production. At HZB she will find the perfect environment to conduct her research.
- Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than grapheneC60 molecules on a gold substrate appear more complex than their graphene counterparts, but have much more ordinary electronic properties. This is now shown by measurements with ARPES at BESSY II and detailed calculations.
- Fine particles back into the raw material cycleIndustrial processes always produce fine-grained residues. These rarely find their way back into the industrial value chain, but are usually disposed of and represent a potential environmental risk. The FINEST project records and investigates various of these fine-grained material flows with the aim of developing new concepts to keep them in the cycle and safely dispose of remaining residues.
FINEST was successful in the Helmholtz Association's sustainability competition and will now receive 5 million euros in funding.
- Third-highest oxidation state secures rhodium a place on the podiumOxidation states of transition metals describe how many electrons of an element are already engaged in bonding, and how many are still available for further reactions. Scientists from Berlin and Freiburg have now discovered the highest oxidation state of rhodium, indicating that rhodium can involve more of its valence electrons in chemical bonding than previously thought. This finding might be relevant for the understanding of catalytic reactions involving highly-oxidized rhodium. The result was recognized as a „very important paper“ in Angewandte Chemie.
- Environmental impact of perovskite-on-silicon solar PV modules lower than silicon aloneSolar photovoltaics is a reliable and sustainable way to generate energy. A study has evaluated for the first time the lifecycle environmental impact of industrially produced perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar modules, provided by Oxford PV. The conclusion: these innovative tandem solar modules are even more environmentally friendly than conventional silicon heterojunction modules over their lifetimes. The study has now been published by the peer reviewed journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels.
- Potential energy surfaces of water mapped for the first timeLiquids are more difficult to describe than gases or crystalline solids. An HZB team has now mapped the potential energy surfaces of water molecules in liquid water under ambient conditions for the first time at the Swiss Light Source SLS of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland. This contributes to a better understanding of the chemistry of water and in aqueous solutions. These investigations can soon be continued at the newly built METRIXS station at the X-ray source BESSY II.
- Spintronics: Giant Rashba semiconductors show unconventional dynamics with potential applicationsGermanium telluride is a strong candidate for use in functional spintronic devices due to its giant Rashba-effect. Now, scientists at HZB have discovered another intriguing phenomenon in GeTe by studying the electronic response to thermal excitation of the samples. To their surprise, the subsequent relaxation proceeded fundamentally different to that of conventional semimetals. By delicately controlling the fine details of the underlying electronic structure, new functionalities of this class of materials could be conceived.
- The Long Night of Science at HZB: Huge interest and lots of funA cheerful mood prevailed last Saturday, 2 July 2022: After two years of online format due to the Corona pandemic, the event could finally take place on site again. This time, HZB opened its doors at the Adlershof site and invited people to take tours of BESSY II and visit the Energy Street. Almost 2700 people came to HZB and had a good time until midnight.
- Long night of Sciences at HZB: Experience science up close!Important info: At the HZB, FFP2 masks are mandatory indoors from the age of 14 during this event.
How can solar cells be produced even more efficiently? Why is "green" hydrogen so important for our future? Why does Berlin need an accelerator to screen materials? The answers are available at the Long Night of the Sciences. On July 2, 2022, 5 p.m. to midnight, HZB opens its doors at the Adlershof site and invites young and old to experiment.
- Atomic displacements in High-Entropy Alloys examinedHigh-entropy alloys of 3d metals have intriguing properties that are interesting for applications in the energy sector. An international team at BESSY II has now investigated the local order on an atomic scale in a so-called high-entropy Cantor alloy of chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt and nickel. The results from combined spectroscopic studies and statistical simulations expand the understanding of this group of materials.
- HZB researcher Olga Kasian honored as young scientistThe Werner-von-Siemens-Ring Foundation has accepted Prof. Dr. Olga Kasian into its network in recognition of her outstanding scientific achievements. Olga Kasian heads a junior research group on electrocatalysis at HZB and is a professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). The foundation has been honoring young researchers in the technical and natural sciences since 1977 and offers them unique opportunities for interdisciplinary networking.
- Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore visits HZBOn Friday, 17 June, a delegation from Singapore visited HZB. Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, was accompanied by the Ambassador to Singapore in Germany, Laurence Bay, as well as representatives from research and industry.
- Helmholtz Association opens an experimental station at the SESAME X-ray source in JordanHESEB extends research possibilities to soft X-rays
A new experimental station has been opened at the X-ray source SESAME in Jordan: HESEB, the Helmholtz-SESAME Beamline, has been designed by five research centres of the Helmholtz Association under the leadership of DESY. It considerably expands the experimental possibilities of the facility.
- Calculating the "fingerprints" of molecules with artificial intelligenceWith conventional methods, it is extremely time-consuming to calculate the spectral fingerprint of larger molecules. But this is a prerequisite for correctly interpreting experimentally obtained data. Now, a team at HZB has achieved very good results in significantly less time using self-learning graphical neural networks.
- Water distribution in the fuel cell made visible in 4DTeams from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and University College London (UCL) have visualised the water distribution in a fuel cell in three dimensions and in real time for the first time by evaluating neutron data from the Berlin Experimental Reactor shut down in 2019. The analysis opens new possibilities for more efficient and thus more cost-effective fuel cells.
- New cookbook "Science-Food" - download now!People from many different countries work at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and enrich our atmosphere. For our cookbook, employees and guest researchers from six continents have contributed their favorite recipes.
- HZB researcher follows the call to the Hebrew University in JerusalemRonen Gottesman has been a scientist at the HZB Institute for Solar Fuels for the past five years, establishing the pulsed laser deposition team and developing novel complex metal-oxide semiconducting lightabsorbers for photoelectrochemical water splitting to produce "green" hydrogen. Now he is following a call to the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel (HUJI), where he will lead his own research group.
- New discoveries into how the body stores zincZinc deficiency is a global health problem affecting many people and results in a weak immune system in adults and especially in children. This is a challenge for health systems and is quite evident in the Mexican population, for example. Seeking explanations, researchers in Mexico teamed up with international synchrotron experts and gained new insights from studying Drosophila fruit flies, which are known to be a decent model system for human zinc metabolism.
Thanks to beamtime at BESSY II and at the SLS (PSI), they were able to show that the zinc stores in Drosophila flies depend on the tryptophan content of their diet.
- International consortium to advance decarbonisation of the aviation sectorJOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 24 May 2022: CARE-O-SENE research project will develop advanced catalysts for sustainable aviation fuels
The company Sasol and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will lead a consortium to develop and optimise next-generation catalysts that will play a key role in decarbonising the aviation sector through sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
- Shutdown at BESSY II: new supply technology ensures long-term operationThe X-ray source BESSY II is in a three-month period of shutdown. During this period, the low voltage main distribution panel in the supply building outside the electron storage ring is being renovated. This will secure the long-term operation of BESSY II over the next decade.
- Thermal insulation for quantum technologiesNew energy-efficient IT components often only operate stably at extremely low temperatures. Therefore, very good thermal insulation of such elements is crucial, which requires the development of materials with extremely low thermal conductivity. A team at HZB has now used a novel sintering process to produce nanoporous silicon aluminium samples in which pores and nanocrystallites impede the transport of heat and thus drastically reduce thermal conductivity. The researchers have developed a model for predicting the thermal conductivity, which was confirmed using experimental data on the microstructure of the samples and their thermal conductivity. Thus, for the first time, a method is available for the targeted development of complex porous materials with ultra-low thermal conductivity.
- Magnetic nanoparticles in biological vehicles individually characterisedMagnetic nanostructures are promising tools for medical applications. Incorporated into biological structures, they can be steered via external magnetic fields inside the body to release drugs or to destroy cancer cells. However, until now, only average information on the magnetic properties of those nanoparticles could be obtained, thus limiting their successful implementations in therapies. Now a team at HZB conceived and tested a new method to assess the characteristic parameters of every single magnetic nanoparticle.
- A high-ranking Brazilian delegation visited HZBOn 16 May 2022, HZB received a delegation from the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). Vice-Minister of Science Sergio Freitas de Almeida was visibly impressed by the many research activities being done at HZB to drive the transition to a climate-neutral energy supply in society forward.
- Royal visit from Sweden at HZBKing Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden as well as a group of business leaders from large corporations such as Ericsson, Nordholt, Vattenfall, ABB, Schneider Electric and Swedish representatives from the public sector and academia visited the Adlershof Technology Park on 11 May 2022.
- Light for cutting-edge research from Germany: an exchange with German MPsOn 13 May, three research centres of the Helmholtz Association - DESY, HZDR and HZB - presented their joint strategy for accelerator-based light sources to German MPs.
- Jan Lüning heads HZB Institute for Electronic Structure DynamicsThe HZB Institute for Electronic Structure Dynamics, newly founded on 1 May, develops experimental techniques and infrastructures to investigate the dynamics of elementary microscopic processes in novel material systems. This will help to optimise functional materials for sustainable technologies.
- How electron spin coupling affects catalytic oxygen activationA team at the EPR4Energy joint lab of HZB and MPI CEC has developed a new THz EPR spectroscopy method to study the catalytic activation of molecular oxygen by copper complexes. The method allows insights into previously inaccessible spin-spin interactions and the function of novel catalytic and magnetic materials.
- HZB hosts Humboldt Research Award Winner Alexei GruvermanProfessor Alexei Gruverman was granted a Humboldt Research Award in October 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic, he could not travel until this year. For a few months he is now hosted by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin at the Institute “Functional oxides for energy efficient information technology”.
- BESSY Facility Speaker: “I am absolutely thrilled at how international we have become”For 75 years, synchrotron radiation sources have been indispensable for gaining knowledge. Antje Vollmer talks about international networking, a new record at the X-ray source BESSY II – and how she can tell from the research applications alone which social problems are particularly pressing at the moment.
- Perovskite solar cells: Properties still remain enigmaticIn order to explain the particularly favourable properties of perovskite semiconductors for solar cells, various hypotheses are circulating. Polarons or a giant Rashba effect, for example, are thought to play a major role. A team at BESSY II has now experimentally disproved these hypotheses. In doing so, they further narrow down the possible causes for the transport properties and enable better approaches for the targeted optimisation of this class of materials.
- PhD Amran Al-Ashouri: Doubling down for the energy transitionClimate change has Amran Al-Ashouri concerned. As a physicist, he knows how urgently and quickly measures need to be taken to limit the global temperature increase to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. In his private life, the 29-year-old scientist is accordingly a member of the association “climactivity”, which aims to educate as many people as possible about important matters in climate protection.
- SNI2022 – Abstract submission extended to 1 May 2022The 5th Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities takes place form 5 - 7 September 2022 in Berlin. In response to a great demand the deadline for the abstract submission to the SNI2022 conference has been extended to 1 May. Take this opportunity and submit your abstract by Sunday!
- Quantsol Summer School 2022 – Call for ApplicationFrom September 4th to 11th Quantsol Summer School 2022 will inform on basic principles of solar energy conversion.
The International Summer School on Photovoltaics and New Concepts of Quantum Solar Energy Conversion (Quantsol) will be held in September 2022 in Hirschegg, Kleinwalsertal, Austria. Applications can be submitted through the school’s homepage until June 7th 2022. The school is organised by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Ilmenau.
- Die neue lichtblick ist da!In der neuen Ausgabe der lichtblick stellen wir Renske van der Veen in der Titelgeschichte vor. Sie ist seit Sommer 2021 am HZB und baut eine neue Forschungsgruppe auf. Warum sie aus den USA nach Deutschland gekommen ist und wo die kulturellen Unterschiede liegen, erzählt sie darin.
- Researchers discover why tendons are strong as wire ropesA team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPICI) has discovered with help of BESSY II new properties of collagen: During the intercalation of minerals in collagen fibers, a contraction tension is generated that is hundreds of times stronger than muscle strength. The associated changes in the collagen structure were observed using X-ray diffraction at the BESSY II synchrotron in Berlin-Adlershof while mineralization was taking place.
- Solar hydrogen: Better photoelectrodes through flash heatingProducing low-cost metal-oxide thin films with high electronic quality for solar water splitting is not an easy task. Especially since quality improvements of the upper metal oxide thin films need thermal processing at high temperatures, which would melt the underlying glass substrate. Now, a team at HZB-Institute for Solar Fuels has solved this dilemma: A high intensity and rapid light pulse directly heats the semiconducting metal-oxide thin film, allowing to achieve the optimal heating conditions without damaging the substrate.
- Quantum complexity grows linearly for an exponentially long timePhysicists know about the huge chasm between quantum physics and the theory of gravity. However, in recent decades, theoretical physics has provided some plausible conjecture to bridge this gap and to describe the behaviour of complex quantum many-body systems, for example black holes and wormholes in the universe. Now, a theory group at Freie Universität Berlin and HZB, together with Harvard University, USA, has proven a mathematical conjecture about the behaviour of complexity in such systems, increasing the viability of this bridge. The work is published in Nature Physics.
- Newsletter made snazzyWe have refreshed the newsletters from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Even clearer, even more concise, you will now receive an overview of the most important news from the HZB every month.
- We condemn the military attack on UkraineIt is with great dismay that we are witnessing Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, launched on 24 February 2022. We condemn this grave breach of international law. We are concerned for all the inhabitants of Ukraine and in particular for the researchers and students affected by the war. They have our unconditional solidarity.
- An ultrafast X-ray glance into photoacid electronic structurePhotoacids are molecules that release a proton upon electronic excitation, thus enhancing the acidity of a liquid. Pioneering work by Theodor Förster has shown the direct relationship between the wavelength position of optical absorption and acidity properties with which the increase in acidity in the first electronic excited state can be quantified. However, underlying full microscopic explanations for the photoacidity phenomenon have remained sparse. With ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, locally probing the electronic structure of a proton donating group of an amine aromatic photoacid has now provided direct insight in the changes of electronic structure. The long standing open question for photoacidity has now finally been resolved: major electronic structure changes occur on the base side of the so-called Förster cycle, whereas the acid side plays a minor role.
- Fermi Arcs in an Antiferromagnet detected at BESSY IIAn international cooperation has analysed samples of NdBi crystals which display interesting magnetic properties. In their experiments including measurements at BESSY II they could find evidence for so called Fermi arcs in the antiferromagnetic state of the sample at low temperatures. This observation is not yet explained by existing theoretical ideas and opens up exciting possibilities to make use of these kind of materials for innovative information technologies based on the electron spin rather than the charge.
- The State Secretary Armaghan Naghipour visits HZBOn Friday, 18 March 2022, the State Secretary Armaghan Naghipour was in Adlershof and visited the HZB.
- Unravelling tautomeric mixtures: RIXS at BESSY II allows to see clearlyA team at HZB has developed a method of experimentally unravelling tautomeric mixtures. Based on resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) at BESSY II, not only proportions of the tautomers can be deduced, but the properties of each individual tautomer can be studied selectively. This method could yield to detailed information on the properties of molecules and their biological function. In the present study, now advertised on the cover of “The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters” the technique was applied to the prototypical keto-enol equilibrium.
- HZB has signed the “Charta der Vielfalt” (Diversity Charter)
HZB is an employer that comprehensively strengthens and cares for the diversity of its employees. HZB publicly acknowledges this by signing the Diversity Charter. The charter is run by an association that works to anchor diversity in the working world.
- "We can be proud that it worked out": BESSY and the Transregio-SFB on ultrafast spin dynamics
Collaborative Research projects as “Sonderforschungsbereiche” funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft enable universities to build up their own research capacities. In the Transregio Sonderforschungsbereich 227 Ultrafast Spin Dynamic, the Freie Universität Berlin and the University in Halle-Wittenberg have also included HZB as a partner. The slicing facility of BESSY II plays a central role in this collaboration. With excellent results from the first phase, the Transregio-SFB 227 has completed its first interim review and is now preparing for the challenges ahead. A conversation with the two HZB physicists Niko Pontius and Christian Schüßler-Langeheine about the importance of such funding programmes for the research field.
- Knowledge transfer: BAIP consulting office becomes permanent at HZBThe BAIP consulting office for building-integrated photovoltaics has been launched as a knowledge transfer project in 2019, funded by the Helmholtz Association's Initiative and Networking Fund. In order to build a bridge between the world of construction and photovoltaics, the consulting office provides comprehensive knowledge for architects, planners, builder-owners, investors and urban developers. After an excellent evaluation, the BAIP consulting office will be permanently financed by HZB.
- From Dublin to Berlin as a Humboldt Research FellowDr. Katarzyna Siewierska joins the group of Prof. Alexander Föhlisch as a postdoctoral Humboldt Research fellow. She has earned her PhD at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and plans in the next two years to explore the electronic structure and spin dynamics of half-metallic thin films at BESSY II. Understanding these spintronic materials better may pave the way for more energy efficient data storage technologies.
- From Lab to Fab: World Record Solar Cell Goes from Lab to IndustryQ CELLS and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin achieve a new world record efficiency for a 2-terminal tandem solar cell combining a mass-production ready silicon bottom cell based on Q.ANTUM technology and a top-cell based on perovskite technology. The efficiency is 28.7%.
- Predicting solar cell performance from terahertz and microwave spectroscopyMany semiconducting materials are possible candidates for solar cells. In recent years, perovskite semiconductors in particular have attracted attention, as they are both inexpensive and easy to process and enable high efficiencies. Now a study with 15 participating research institutions shows how terahertz (TRTS) and microwave spectroscopy (TRMC) can be used to reliably determine the mobility and lifetime of the charge carriers in new semiconducting materials. Using these measurement data it is possible to predict the potential efficiency of the solar cell in advance and to classify the losses in the finished cell.
- SNI2022 Registration and Call for Abstracts is open!
The 5th Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities takes place form 5.-7. September 2022 in Berlin. The registration for this event organised by HZB is now open! The Early Bird rate is valid until 26. June.
- “Workhorse” of silicon photovoltaics combined with perovskite in tandem for the first timeSo-called PERC cells are used in mass production of silicon solar cells, they are considered the workhorses of photovoltaics, dominating the market. Now two teams from HZB and the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin (ISFH) have shown that such standard silicon cells are also suitable as a basis for tandem cells with perovskite top cells. Currently, the efficiency of the tandem cell is still below that of optimised PERC cells alone, but could be increased to up to 29.5% through targeted optimisation. The research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics as part of a joint project.
- International research at BESSY II continued even in the corona year 2021
2021 was not an easy year for international research: owing to lockdowns and travel bans, science was hit hard by the pandemic situation. Nevertheless, experiments continued at a high level at the BESSY II light source in Berlin Adlershof – thanks in part to new remote service offers. Here are the figures at a glance.
- Lithium-Sulfur batteries: First multimodal analysis in pouch cell formatLithium-sulphur (Li/S) batteries have significantly higher energy densities than conventional lithium-ion batteries, but age very quickly. Now, for the first time, a team at HZB has investigated Li/S batteries in the industry-relevant pouch cell format with different electrolytes during operation. Teams from TU Dresden and the Fraunhofer IWS were also involved in the study. With a specially developed measuring cell, impedance, temperature and pressure can be recorded at different times and combined with radiographic images. The evaluation shows how the electrolyte affects the formation of unwanted sulphur particles and polysulphides. The study has been published in the renowned journal Advanced Energy Materials.
- Dissertation Prize Adlershof 2021 goes to Amran Al-Ashouri
On February 17, 2022, the Adlershof Dissertation Prize was awarded for the 20th time. Dr. Amran Al-Ashouri (3rd from right) from the HZB young investigator research group "Perovskite tandem solar cells" received the prize endowed with 3,000 euros. The physicist is researching how new organic contact layers can be used to optimize highly efficient perovskite silicon tandem solar cells.
- Innovative catalysts: An expert reviewHighly efficient (electro-)catalysts are essential for the production of green hydrogen, the chemical industry, fertiliser production and other sectors of the economy. In addition to transition metals, a variety of other metallic or non-metallic elements have now moved into the focus of research. In a review article, experts from CatLab and Technische Universität Berlin present an overview on current knowledge and a perspective on future research questions.
- New board „HZB Succeed“ has been foundedTo support the development of young scientists at HZB in the best possible way - this has been a long-standing goal of the HZB. Now this task will be pursued even more strategically. To this end, the new board “HZB Succeed” has been founded in January 2022.
- Restructuring in HZB managementIn a special meeting of the HZB Supervisory Board on 8 February 2022, Prof. Jan Lüning retreated from his position of Scientific Director of HZB. Lüning asked in December to be dismissed and the Supervisory Board has now acquiesced to his request.
- Our new career page is online!Starting this year, the HZB has a new career website.
- Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin appoints Eva Unger to professorshipEva Unger was now appointed as W2 professor at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Prof. Dr. Eva Unger leads a research group at HZB. She develops scalable technologies for the production of perovskite semiconductors for low-cost and highly efficient solar cells.
- User research at BESSY II: Unveiling the secrets of biofilmsMost bacteria have the ability to form communities, biofilms, that adhere to a wide variety of surfaces and are difficult to remove. This can lead to major problems, for example in hospitals or in the food industry. Now, an international team led by Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and the Technical University Dresden, has studied a model system for biofilms at the synchrotron radiation facilities BESSY II at HZB and the ESRF and found out what role the structures within the biofilm play in the distribution of nutrients and water.
- New 12 T magnet on BESSY II’s experimental floor strengthens energy and magnetism researchElectron paramagnetic resonance (THz-EPR) at BESSY II provides important information on the electronic structure of novel magnetic materials and catalysts. In mid-January 2022, the researchers brought a new, superconducting 12-T magnet into operation at this end station, which promises new scientific insights.
- A sundial of a different kindTurning a scientific question into a product is the requirement that the winners of the HZB Technology Transfer Prize should fulfil. The team led by Tobias Henschel, Bernd Stannowski and Sebastian Neubert won more than just a prize.
- Call for “Helmholtz young investigator groups”: apply now!We are looking for young excellent scientists looking for leadership! Do you want to perform an innovative research project in one of HZB's research fields? Then apply by 28.02.2022!
- An electronic rainbow – perovskite spectrometer by inkjet printingResearchers from Innovation Lab HySPRINT at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU) have used an advanced inkjet printing technique to produce a large range of photodetector devices based on a hybrid perovskite semiconductor. By mixing of only three inks, the researchers were able to precisely tune the semiconductor properties during the printing process. Inkjet printing is already an established fabrication method in industry, allowing fast and cheap solution processing. Extending the inkjet capabilities from large area coating towards combinatorial material synthesis opens the door for new possibilities for the fabrication of different kind of electronic components in a single printing step.
- A Wiki for Perovskite Solar Cell ResearchAn international team of experts has collected data on metal halide perovskite solar cells from more than 15,000 publications and developed a database with visualisation options and analysis tools. The database is open source and provides an overview of the rapidly growing knowledge as well as the open questions in this exciting class of materials. The study was initiated by HZB scientist Dr. Eva Unger and implemented and coordinated by her postdoc Jesper Jacobsson.
- New issue of lichtblick is out - with a big Christmas puzzle!In the cover story this time we introduce Felicia Laberer. At the age of 20, the trainee has already achieved a lot, for example third place at the Paralympics. The canoeist talks about her life between vocational school, work and training at the Olympic base.
- Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award on Synchrotron RadiationThis year, the Friends of HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to the outstanding doctoral thesis of Dr Fredrik Johansson (Institut des NanoSciences de Paris, CNRS, Sorbonne). The European Innovation Award on Synchrotron Radiation went to Professor Marianne Liebi and Dr Manuel Guizar-Sicairos, both from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Switzerland). The award ceremony took place at this year's HZB user meeting, which had to be held digitally again this year and attracted nearly 400 participants.
- Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen: Aufruf zu mehr Sachlichkeit in KrisensituationenZur aktuellen Berichterstattung der BILD-Zeitung im Zusammenhang mit der Coronavirus-Pandemie erklärt die Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen:
„Die BILD-Zeitung setzt mit dem Beitrag „Die Lockdown-Macher“ vom 4. Dezember 2021 ihre im vergangenen Jahr begonnene einseitige Berichterstattung gegen Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler fort, die ihre fachliche Expertise in den Dienst von Politik und Gesellschaft stellen, um der Coronavirus-Pandemie und ihren gerade in diesen Tagen dramatisch sichtbaren Folgen zu begegnen.
- Liquid crystals for fast switching devicesAn international team has investigated a newly synthesized liquid-crystalline material that promises applications in optoelectronics. Simple rod-shaped molecules with a single center of chirality self-assemble into helical structures at room temperature. Using soft X-ray resonant scattering at BESSY II, the scientists have now been able to determine the pitch of the helical structure with high precision. Their results indicate an extremely short pitch at only about 100 nanometres which would enable applications with particularly fast switching processes.
- Green information technologies: Superconductivity meets SpintronicsSuperconducting coupling between two regions separated by a one micron wide ferromagnetic compound has been proved by an international team. This macroscopic quantum effect, known as Josephson effect, generates an electrical current within the ferromagnetic compound made of superconducting Cooper-pairs. Magnetic imaging of the ferromagnetic region at BESSY II has contributed to demonstrate that the spin of the electrons forming the Cooper pairs are equal. These results pave the way for low-power consumption superconducting spintronic-applications where spin-polarized currents can be protected by quantum coherence.
- Neutron data help to reveal “spooky” entanglement in quantum magnetsUsing data from the British neutron source ISIS from the year 2000, research teams have now demonstrated the viability of a “quantum entanglement witness” capable of proving the presence of entanglement between magnetic particles, or spins, in a quantum material. A team from HZB led by Prof. Bella Lake was also involved in the analysis.
- BIPV – Chance für die Photovoltaik im urbanen Kontext: Jetzt anmeldenDas Webinar „Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) – Chance für die Photovoltaik im urbanen Kontext“ widmet sich der Photovoltaik im Gebäudesektor, der für die Klimaneutralität eine wichtige Rolle spielt.
- World record again at HZB: Almost 30 % efficiency for next-generation tandem solar cellsThree HZB teams led by Prof. Christiane Becker, Prof. Bernd Stannowski and Prof. Steve Albrecht have jointly managed to increase the efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cells fabricated completely at HZB to a new record value of 29.80 %. The value has now been officially certified and is documented in the NREL-charts. This brings the 30 percent mark within reach.
- Germany on the road to net zero: a new Web Atlas shows the optionsWhich technical and nature-based options as well as political decisions can support Germany in being CO2-neutral? These questions are answered by the new web atlas of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon. The new tool is aimed at politicians, experts and the public. The HZB has also contributed to the web atlas.
- Walter-Schottky-Award for Felix BüttnerThe Walter Schottky Prize honours outstanding work by young physicists in solid-state research. For 2022, the award goes to HZB physicist Dr Felix Büttner for his groundbreaking achievements in the field of magnetic skyrmions.
- "Green" chemistry: BESSY II sheds light on mechanochemical synthesisIn mechanochemistry, reagents are finely ground and mixed so that they combine to form the desired product, even without need for solvent. By eliminating solvent, this technology promises to contribute significantly towards ‘green’ and environmentally benign chemical manufacture in the future. However, there are still major gaps in understanding the key processes that occur during mechanical treatment and reaction. A team led by the Federal Institute for Materials Research (BAM) has now developed a method at BESSY II to observe these processes in situ with X-ray scattering.
- Vote for Felicia Laberer as young sportswoman of the year!At her first Paralympics participation, Felicia Laberer won bronze in Tokyo. For the 20-year-old athlete, this is a dream come true - after hard weeks of training. Support Felicia in her election as Young Sportswoman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year in Berlin!
- Live broadcast at HZB - now as podcast!After a live broadcast the programme "Die Profis" is now online as a podcast.
- 20 Years Russian-German Joint Laboratory at BESSY IITo mark its 20th anniversary, the Russian-German Laboratory at the BESSY II storage ring for synchrotron radiation in Berlin is organising an online workshop on 18 and 19 November. Scientists will discuss the future perspectives of Russian-German cooperation as well as innovative projects and new goals of the laboratory.
- Stifterverband certifies Helmholtz Centre Berlin for strategies in dealing with diversityThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is the first non-university research institution to have undergone the Stifterverband's diversity audit "Vielfalt gestalten". The certification attests to the HZB's opportunity-oriented concepts and measures for diverse groups of people.
- Professorship for Antonio Abate at Bielefeld UniversityDr. Antonio Abate investigates perovskite semiconductors for low-cost and highly efficient solar cells and heads a large research group at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin. Now he has accepted a W2 professorship in the Department of Chemistry at Bielefeld University.
- Spintronics: Exotic ferromagnetic order in two-dimensionsAn international team has detected at HZB's vector magnet facility VEKMAG an unusual ferromagnetic property in a two-dimensional system, known as “easy-plane anisotropy”. This could foster new energy efficient information technologies based on spintronics for data storage, among other things. The team has published its results in the renowned journal Science.
- Life Time Achievement Award for Roland MüllerAccelerator and control systems expert Roland Müller received the ICALEPCS Lifetime Achievement Award. In the more than thirty years of his career at BESSY, the physicist has advanced many projects on control systems at accelerators and has been particularly committed to the international exchange of knowledge.
- Ultrafast magnetism: heating magnets, freezing timeMagnetic solids can be demagnetized quickly with a short laser pulse, and there are already so-called HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) memories on the market that function according to this principle. However, the microscopic mechanisms of ultrafast demagnetization remain unclear. Now, a team at HZB has developed a new method at BESSY II to quantify one of these mechanisms and applied it to the rare-earth element Gadolinium, whose magnetic properties are caused by electrons on both the 4f and the 5d shells. This study is completing a series of experiments done by the team on Nickel, Iron-Nickel Alloys. Understanding these mechanisms is useful for developing ultrafast data storage devices.
- Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg appoints Olga KasianDr. Olga Kasian is investigating why catalysts for hydrogen production by water electrolysis are limited in efficiency. The chemist has now accepted a professorship at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). The W2 professorship is entitled "Materials for Electrochemical Energy Conversion" and is located at the Faculty of Engineering.
- Portrait Annette Pietzsch: Researching fundamental phenomena of our worldAnnette Pietzsch has many jobs: the physicist develops instruments for BESSY II that researchers can use to observe how molecules interact with each other. She mostly prefers to use the instruments to do her own research. This is what brought her from Sweden to HZB ten years ago.
- Perovskite solar cells: Defects trap charge carriers - and release them againAn international team at HZB and Charles University Prague has investigated how charge carriers in so called MAPI-perovskite semiconductors interact with different defects. They show that a large proportion of defects quickly releases trapped charge carriers. These results could help to further improve the properties of perovskite solar cells.
- Solar energy for a sport watch: HZB Technology Transfer Prize 2021 awardedAt first glance, it looks like an ordinary wristwatch. But its glass taps the energy of the sun. A research group at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has made this possible. Their transparent photovoltaics have now even made it into mass production, securing the team this year's HZB Technology Transfer Award.
- A sharp look into tiny ferroelectric crystalsWhat happens to ferroelectric materials when their dimensions are greatly reduced? A team of researchers at HZB has now been able to show how this question can be answered in a detailed way.
- Beam diagnostics for future laser wakefield acceleratorsFor decades, particle accelerators have been getting bigger and bigger. In the meantime, ring accelerators with circumferences of many kilometres have reached a practical limit. Linear accelerators in the GHz range also require very long construction lengths. For some years now, however, an alternative is explored: "tabletop particle accelerators" based on the laser excitation of charge waves in plasmas (laser wakefield). Such compact particle accelerators would be particularly interesting for future accelerator-driven light sources, but are also being investigated for high-energy physics. A team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has developed a method to precisely measure the cross-section of electron bunches accelerated in this way. This brings applications of these new accelerator technologies for medicine and research closer.
- New world record in materials research - X-ray microscopy with 1000 tomograms per secondTomoscopy is an imaging method in which three-dimensional images of the inside of materials are calculated in rapid succession. Now a team led by HZB physicist Francisco García Moreno has achieved a new world record at the TOMCAT beamline of the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute: with 1000 tomograms per second, it is now possible to non-destructively document very fast processes and developments in materials on the micrometre scale, such as the burning of a sparkler or the foaming of a metal alloy for the production of stable lightweight materials.
- BR50: How Berlin could be developed into a world-leading science metropolisOn 26 September, not only the Bundestag but also the Berlin House of Representatives will be newly elected. In a position paper, the non-university institutions in the capital that are united in Berlin Research 50 now emphasise what is important for research after the election. In it, they outline 10 demands that the future Senate should implement in order to further strengthen Berlin as a science metropolis.
- Technology Transfer Award ceremony on 5.10.: Visit the poster exhibitionsOn 5 October, the best innovation project from HZB will be awarded the Technology Transfer Prize 2021. The award ceremony will be broadcast online from the BESSY II lecture hall from 2 pm. You can already find out about all the submitted projects in our exhibition, which can be found from 21.09 in Wannsee in front of the colloquium room and in Adlershof in front of the BESSY cafeteria.
- Royal Society of Chemistry praises HZB team’s paper on hybrid perovskite structuresFor the 10th anniversary collection of its journal, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) selected a paper published by a team from HZB. The paper from HZB is described as one of the most important contributions in the field of solar energy in recent years. The journal praised 23 selected papers that had been often cited or downloaded, and which offered a valuable advantage for further research.
- Surface analysis at BESSY II: sharper insights into thin-film systems
Interfaces in semiconductor components or solar cells play a crucial role for functionality. Nevertheless, until now it has often been difficult to investigate adjacent thin films separately using spectroscopic methods. An HZB team at BESSY II has combined two different spectroscopic methods and used a model system to demonstrate how well they can be distinguished.
- A warm welcome at HZB for our bronze medal winner Felicia LabererWhat a race! At just 20 years old, Felicia Laberer outdistanced the competition in the single kayak at the Paralympics final in Tokyo and won bronze for Germany.
- HZB uses electricity-producing facade wall as real laboratoryIn the presence of the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations of the State of Berlin, Christian Rickerts, the HZB officially commissioned the solar façade of a new research building on 6 September 2021. What makes it so special is that the elegant façade not only generates up to 50 kilowatts of electricity (peak power). It also provides important insights into the behaviour of the solar modules under different weather conditions.
- Paralympics: Colleague Felicia Laberer wins bronze medalFelicia Laberer wins a bronze medal in canoeing at the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. We are happy with her and congratulate very much. At HZB, the 20-year-old is currently an apprentice as an office management assistant. In June, the canoeist had already earned the European Championship.
- Disorder brings out quantum physical talentsQuantum effects are most noticeable at extremely low temperatures, which limits their usefulness for technical applications. Thin films of MnSb2Te4, however, show new talents due to a small excess of manganese. Apparently, the resulting disorder provides spectacular properties: The material proves to be a topological insulator and is ferromagnetic up to comparatively high temperatures of 50 Kelvin, measurements at BESSY II show. This makes this class of material suitable for quantum bits, but also for spintronics in general or applications in high-precision metrology.
- On the trail of lithium dendrites: How destructive formations develop in batteriesTiny formations inside lithium batteries can severely limit the operating life of an energy storage device. A research team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now investigated the process behind these formations in greater detail. Their results provide anchor points for the future development of longer-lasting and safer lithium batteries.
- HZB Highlight Report 2019/2020 is online
What was going on at HZB in 2019 and 2020? Quite a lot! Just take a look at our highlight report, in which we briefly present the most important scientific highlights, for example our world records for tandem solar cells, which teams from HZB were able to achieve.
- Precision measurements lead to breakthroughs: HZB is planning the construction of a new accelerator-based light sourceFor the 200th birthday of Hermann von Helmholtz, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is celebrating by hosting a festive event in Berlin-Adlershof. The polymath Helmholtz still inspires researchers to this day, now notably in the planning of an accelerator-based light source of the latest generation, which HZB is presenting at the event. It will generate light of special quality for research. Governing Mayor Michael Müller has stressed the importance of a new light source for the research location Berlin.
- New issue of "lichtblick" is online
New technological solutions are needed to curb climate change. Experts agree that green hydrogen is an important building block. By joining forces with internationally renowned research partners and industry, novel catalysts are now to be developed and launched. They are crucial so that green hydrogen can be produced cheaply and efficiently. You can read more about the ambitious goals of the project on the centre page.
- Perovskite solar cells: Interfacial loss mechanisms revealed
Metal-organic perovskite materials promise low-cost and high-performance solar cells. Now a group at HZB managed to de-couple the different effects of self-assembled monolayers of organic molecules (SAMs) that reduce losses at the interfaces. Their results help to optimise such functional interlayers.
- Neutron instrument VSANS will move to Penn State University, USA
At the end of 2019, the Berlin neutron source BER II was shut down as scheduled. To ensure that the high-quality instruments can continue to be used for research, they are moving to suitable neutron sources in Germany and abroad. Now, another move has been agreed upon: The Very Small Angle Scattering Instrument (VSANS) will find a new home at the Breazeale Research Reactor at Penn State University, USA, in spring 2022.
- Review: X-ray scattering methods with synchrotron radiationSynchrotron light sources provide brilliant light with a focus on the X-ray region and have enormously expanded the possibilities for characterising materials. In the Reviews of Modern Physics, an international team now gives an overview of elastic and inelastic X-ray scattering processes, explains the theoretical background and sheds light on what insights these methods provide in physics, chemistry as well as bio- and energy related themes.
- Registration open: HZB Machine Learning Summer School & Hackathon 2021
Registration for the HZB Machine Learning Summer School is now open! Building on the great response last year, the HZB Machine Learning Summer School will be offered again in 2021. You will be able to learn from experts how to leverage machine learning to solve problems in the natural sciences and how to apply your knowledge in exciting real-world hackathon projects, all free of charge. Applications can be submitted until August 22, 2021.
- HZB coordinates European collaboration to develop active agents against CoronaX-ray structure analysis at BESSY II enables the systematic testing of many thousands of molecules that could inhibit the reproduction and virulence of SARS-CoV2 viruses. Now, a team at HZB with partners from Austria and the Czech Republic has set up the NECESSITY project to investigate more than 8000 compounds in a high-throughput procedure and develop active agents against COVID-19.
- Green hydrogen: Why do certain catalysts improve in operation?Crystalline cobalt arsenide is a catalyst that generates oxygen during electrolytic water splitting in the production of hydrogen. The material is considered to be a model system for an important group of catalysts whose performance increases under certain conditions in the course of electrolysis. Now a HZB-team headed by Marcel Risch has observed at BESSY II how two simultaneous mechanisms are responsible for this. The catalytic activity of the individual catalysis centres decreases in the course of electrolysis, but at the same time the morphology of the catalyst layer also changes. Under favourable conditions, considerably more catalysis centres come into contact with the electrolyte as a result, so that the overall performance of the catalyst increases.
- Mehr als nur "Fassade": Nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch SolarfassadenEin Beitrag über die nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch Solarfassaden
- When vibrations increase on cooling: Anti-freezing observedAn international team has observed an amazing phenomenon in a nickel oxide material during cooling: Instead of freezing, certain fluctuations actually increase as the temperature drops. Nickel oxide is a model system that is structurally similar to high-temperature superconductors. The experiment shows once again that the behaviour of this class of materials still holds surprises.
- Helmholtz anniversary exhibition opens in Potsdam
Helmholtz, who was born in Potsdam, is considered one of the most influential natural scientists of his time. 31 August is the 200th anniversary of his birth. To mark the anniversary, the proWissen Potsdam association and the University of Potsdam, in cooperation with the Helmholtz Association, are paying tribute to Helmholtz, the polymath and genius from the Havel, with a two-part exhibition on the red construction fence next to the Education Forum and in the Science Floor in Potsdam.
- Water as a metal - detected at BESSY IIUnder normal conditions, pure water is an almost perfect insulator. Water only develops metallic properties under extreme pressure, such as exists deep inside of large planets. Now, an international collaboration has used a completely different approach to produce metallic water and documented the phase transition at BESSY II. The study is published now in Nature.
- Battery research - SkaLiS project funded with 2.2 million eurosPowerful, compact, and affordable batteries are needed for the energy transition. Groups at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) led by Prof. Yan Lu, Dr. Ingo Manke, and Dr. Sebastian Risse are conducting this research. They are investigating and developing novel types of electrode materials based on sulphur and silicon. Risse is now also coordinating a large project involving teams from HZB as well as from the University of Potsdam near Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden.
- Lead-free perovskite solar cells - How fluoride additives improve qualityTin halide perovskites are currently considered the best alternative to their lead-containing counterparts, which are, however, still significantly less efficient and stable. Now, a team led by Prof. Antonio Abate from HZB has analysed the chemical processes in the perovskite precursor solution and the fluoride compounds in detail. Using a clever combination of measurement methods at BESSY II and with NMR at the Humboldt-University Berlin, they were able to show that fluoride prevents the oxidation of tin and leads to a more homogeneous film formation with fewer defects, increasing the quality of the semiconductor layer.
- Virtual visits at HZB and 360° PanoramaDue to Corona, it is currently not possible to welcome groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through the facility. Nevertheless, we open our doors virtually for you and provide insights into research facilities and labs at HZB. Make yourself comfortable and start your own virtual tour through BESSY II. Move through 360-degree images, have a look and linger at selected stations.
- Faster development of efficient solar cells and LEDs thanks to HZB spin-offScientists from the Helmholtz Innovation Lab HySPRINT at HZB spun off the technology company QYB Quantum Yield Berlin GmbH at the beginning of April 2021. The spin-off is launching LuQY Pro, a ready-to-use measurement instrument that can help develop and optimise optoelectronic components such as solar cells and LEDs in a more efficient and resource-saving manner.
- Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronicsA team led by HZB physicist Dr. Jaime Sánchez-Barriga has gained new insights into the ultrafast response of topological states of matter to femtosecond laser excitation. Using time- and spin-resolved methods at BESSY II, the physicists explored how, after optical excitation, the complex interplay in the behavior of excited electrons in the bulk and on the surface results in unusual spin dynamics. The work is an important step on the way to spintronic devices based on topological materials for ultrafast information processing.
- Hi ERN - New headquarters of the Helmholtz Institute in Erlangen inauguratedThe Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg, Hi ERN, in which the HZB is involved, has moved into its new building.
Almost exactly four years lie between the groundbreaking ceremony and the festive inauguration: the new research building of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies (Hi ERN) is another address for cutting-edge research.
- DAPHNE - Data for Photon and Neutron ExperimentsData in the petabyte range are produced annually at large-scale facilities. This research data must be stored for at least ten years. Now 19 scientific institutions in Germany, among them HZB, aim to develop common standards for software, data exchange and data repositories to make research data permanently available. The DAPHNE4NFDI project will be funded over the next five years as part of the National Research Data Infrastructure and is coordinated by DESY.
- Solar hydrogen for Antarctica - study shows advantages of thermally coupled approachA team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Ulm University, and Heidelberg University has now investigated how hydrogen can be produced at the South Pole using sunlight, and which method is the most promising. Their conclusion: in extremely cold regions, it can be considerably more efficient to attach the PV modules directly to the electrolyser, i.e. to thermally couple them. This is because the waste heat from the PV modules increases the efficiency of electrolysis in this environment. The results of this study, which has now been published in Energy & Environmental Science, are also relevant for other cold regions on Earth, such as Alaska, Canada, and high mountain regions, for example. In these places, solar hydrogen could replace fossil fuels such as oil and petrol.
- Synchrotrons accelerate corona researchInformation by the German Committee Research with Synchrotron Radiation (KFS).
Synchrotron light sources were originally built to study particles. Today, they are even used in the fight against COVID-19. The projects are as diverse as the fields of the synchrotron users, who come from universities, research institutions and companies like BioNTech.
- Tailwind for top research in Germany
Three research centres in the Helmholtz Association have developed a joint future plan for the research conducted at the scientific light sources they operate in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. The upgrades proposed in the strategy for their world-class accelerator-based facilities will strengthen Germany as a research location and promote innovations in many different fields. The strategy paper was presented on 28 June at the Helmholtz Symposium “Research Infrastructures of the Future” as a component of the Helmholtz Roadmap.
- VIPERLAB: EU project aims to boost perovskite solar industry in EuropeThe HZB is coordinating a major European collaborative project to open up new opportunities for the European solar industry. The VIPERLAB project involves 15 renowned research institutions from Europe, as well as Switzerland and Great Britain. It will be funded within the framework of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme for the next three and a half years with a total of 5.5 million euros, from which the HZB will receive just under 840,000 euros.
- BESSY II: universal mechanism of regulation in plant cells discoveredIn pioneering work, a German-Japanese research team at BESSY II has been able to determine the 3D structure of a metalloprotein that plays an important role as a catalyst in all plant cells. This involves the DYW deaminase domain of what is referred to as the RNA editosome. The DYW domain alters messenger RNA nucleotides in chloroplasts and mitochondria and contains a zinc ion whose activity is controlled by a very unusual mechanism. The team has now been able to describe this mechanism in detail for the first time. Their study, published in Nature Catalysis, is considered a breakthrough in the field of plant molecular biology and has far-reaching implications for bioengineering.
- CatLab - Starting signal for a new generation of catalystsThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Society (MPG) are launching CatLab, their new joint catalysis research centre in Berlin. The inauguration ceremony took place on June 21st in the presence of Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, the Innovation Officer for Green Hydrogen at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Member of the federal Bundestag. High-ranking representatives from science, government, and industry took part.
- Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights into early stages of structure formationUsing small-angle scattering at the PTB X-ray beamline of BESSY II, an HZB team was able to experimentally investigate the colloidal chemistry of perovskite precursor solutions used for solar cell production. The results contribute to the targeted and systematic optimization of the manufacturing process and quality of these exciting semiconductor materials.
- How quantum dots can "talk" to each other
A group at HZB has worked out theoretically how the communication between two quantum dots can be influenced with light. The team led by Annika Bande also shows ways to control the transfer of information or energy from one quantum dot to another. To this end, the researchers calculated the electronic structure of two nanocrystals, which act as quantum dots. With the results, the movement of electrons in quantum dots can be simulated in real time.
- Renske van der Veen heads new department "Atomic Dynamics in Light-Energy Conversion"From June 2021, Dr. Renske van der Veen is setting up a new research group at HZB. The chemist is an expert in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy and studies catalytic processes that enable the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy.
- BESSY II: New insights into switchable MOF structures at the MX beamlinesMetal-organic framework compounds (MOFs) are widely used in gas storage, material separation, sensor technology or catalysis. A team led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Kaskel, TU Dresden, has now investigated a special class of these MOFs at the MX beamlines of BESSY II. These are "switchable" MOFs that can react to external stimuli. Their analysis shows how the behaviour of the material is related to transitions between ordered and disordered phases. The results have now been published in Nature Chemistry.
- Perovskite solar cells: Hydrogen bonds measuredThe evaluation of X-ray measurements on methylammonium perovskite semiconductors now shows what role hydrogen bonds play in these materials. In addition, the HZB team showed that radiation damage by soft X-rays to this sensitive class of materials occurs even faster than often expected. Both results provide important information for perovskites materials research for solar cells.
- “The gain in insights for structural biology has continued for five decades”
Prof. Dr. Udo Heinemann works at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, where he has been researching in structural biology for 40 years. From 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the Advisory Board for the Protein Data Bank in Europe. In an interview, he speaks of the value added by the Protein Data Bank for research today, and why it is important that there are specialised beamlines for structural biology analysis in Berlin.
- Hörtipp: Genies – das Vermächtnis von Virchow und Helmholtz
Wir möchten Ihnen eine interessante Folge des rbb-Podcast „Talking Science“ empfehlen: Die beiden Universalgenies Rudolf Virchow und Hermann von Helmholtz haben die Wissenschaft am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts geprägt. Ohne sie hätten wir heute weder eine Kanalisation noch den Magnetresonanztomografen. Was können wir von den beiden für unsere heutige Zeit lernen?
- Berlin Energy Days: Integrated photovoltaics - active areas for the energy transitionThe energy transition needs photovoltaics, and photovoltaics need space. There are large areas that have hardly been used so far: For example, solar cells can be integrated into the shell of buildings and vehicles, or installed in traffic routes, over farmland and flooded opencast mines. On Wednesday, 28 April 2021, experts from the HZB consulting office for builiding integrated PV (BAIP) and other research institutions will present these options. The event will take place as part of the Berlin Energy Days, and participation is free of charge after registration.
- MYSTIIC at BESSY II: New X-ray microscope put into operationA new X-ray microscope has started operation at the Energy Materials in situ Lab (EMIL). It is a scanning transmission X-ray microscope designed to examine both sample surfaces and bulk sample. With the soft X-ray light from BESSY II, it is even possible to localise individual elements and chemical compounds; the spatial resolution is below 20 nanometres.
- Direct observation of the ad- and desorption of guest atoms into a mesoporous hostBattery electrodes, storage devices for gases, and some catalyst materials have tiny functional pores that can accommodate atoms, ions, and molecules. How these guest atoms are absorbed into or released from the pores is crucial to understanding the porous materials' functionality. However, usually these processes can only be observed indirectly. A team from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has employed two experimental approaches using the ASAXS instrument at the PTB X-ray beamline of the HZB BESSY II synchrotron to directly observe the adsorption process of atoms in a mesoporous model system. The work lays the foundations for new insights into these kinds of energy materials.
- Green hydrogen: "Rust" as a photoanode and its limitsMetal oxides such as rust are intriguing photoelectrode materials for the production of green hydrogen with sunlight. They are cheap and abundant, but in spite of decades of research, progress has been limited. A team at HZB, together with partners from Ben Gurion University and the Technion, Israel, has now analysed the optoelectronic properties of rust (haematite) and other metal oxides in unprecedented detail. Their results show that the maximum achievable efficiency of haematite electrodes is significantly lower than previously assumed. The study demonstrates ways to assess new photoelectrode materials more realistically.
- Virtual tours: Experience the HZB in 360 degrees!
Unfortunately, due to Corona, we are currently unable to receive groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through our centre. Despite Corona, we would like to provide you with insights into HZB. Simply follow our 360-degree tours and experience how we conduct research at the BESSY II accelerator. Further tours are being planned.
- X-ray lightsource at DESY identifies promising candidates for COVID drugsAt DESY's high-brilliance X-ray light source PETRA III, a team from more than 30 research institutions has identified several candidates for active substances against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. They bind to an important protein of the virus and could thus be the basis for a drug against Covid-19. The MX team from HZB examined part of the measurement data with special analysis algorithms in order to identify suitable active substances. The study has now been published in the renowned journal Science.
- Tomography brings insights into the early evolution of bonesModern biology considers bone cells (osteocytes) as essential for bone development and health. However, when bone initially evolved some 400-million years ago, it did not contain bone cells. So why did bone cells evolve? Why was it so advantageous that most subsequent vertebrates have bone cells? A joint team of palaeontologists at Berlin’s natural history museum has now for the first time analysed these structures in 400 million-year-old fossils of marine life at unprecedentedly high resolution and in 3D. To be able to view these structures, tomography experts at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) examined the samples under the focussed ion beam of a scanning electron microscope to calculate 3D images from the data, achieving resolutions in the nanometre range using technology that was initially developed to study battery corrosion.
- New insights into the structure of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskitesIn photovoltaics, organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites have made a rapid career. But many questions about the crystalline structure of this surprisingly complex class of materials remain unanswered. Now, a team at HZB has used four-dimensional modelling to interpret structural data of methylammonium lead bromide (MAPbBr3), identifying incommensurable superstructures and modulations of the predominant structure. The study is published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters and was selected by the editors as an Editor's Choice.
- Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscaleSolar cells made of crystalline silicon achieve peak efficiencies, especially in combination with selective contacts made of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). However, their efficiency is limited by losses in these contact layers. Now, for the first time, a team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Utah, USA, has experimentally shown how such contact layers generate loss currents on the nanometre scale and what their physical origin is. Using a conductive atomic force microscope, they scanned the solar cell surfaces in ultra-high vacuum and detected tiny, nanometre-sized channels for the detrimental dark currents, which are due to disorder in the a-Si:H layer.
- HZB re-certified as a compatibility-friendly company againHZB has been certified as a family-friendly employer since 2011. Now the research centre has successfully completed the re-auditing process and developed further measures to promote a life phase conscious working culture. The certificate is considered a seal of quality for the company's compatibility policy and is awarded by the board of trustees of berufundfamilie Service GmbH.
- Instrument at BESSY II shows how light activates MoS2 layers to become catalystsThin films of molybdenum and sulfur belong to a class of materials that can be considered for use as photocatalysts. Inexpensive catalysts such as these are needed to produce hydrogen as a fuel using solar energy. However, they are still not very efficient as catalysts. A new instrument at the Helmholtz-Berlin Zentrum’s BESSY II now shows how a light pulse alters the surface properties of the thin film and activates the material as a catalyst.
- New skills of Graphene: Tunable lattice vibrationsTechnological innovation in the last century was mainly based on the control of electrons or photons. Now, in the emerging research field of phononics, phonons or vibrations of the crystal lattice attract attention. A team at Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed a graphene-based phononic crystal whose resonant frequency can be tuned over a broad range and has used a helium-ion microscope to produce such a crystal. This is a real breakthrough in the field of phononics, now published in Nano Letters.
- Dental materials science: HZB is part of a research project funded by DFGHow can dental restorations – such as fillings and crowns – be made to last longer? A new research group centered at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Technische Universität (TU) Berlin plans to address this topic by utilizing approaches from both materials science and dentistry. The interdisciplinary ‘InterDent’ research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It will receive an initial funding of €2.1 million Euro over three years. Partners also include the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI-KG).
- Accelerator physics: Experiment reveals new options for synchrotron light sourcesAn international team has shown through a sensational experiment how diverse the possibilities for employing synchrotron light sources are. Accelerator experts from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), the German federal metrology institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), and Tsinghua University in Beijing have used a laser to manipulate electron bunches at PTB's Metrology Light Source so that they emitted intense light pulses having a laser-like character. Using this method, specialised synchrotron radiation sources would potentially be able to fill a gap in the arsenal of available light sources and offer a prototype for industrial applications. The work was published on 24 February 2021 in the leading scientific publication Nature.
- The 4000th eye tumour patient treated with protons at HZB
On 19 February 2021, the 4000th eye tumour patient received irradiation with protons, performed by a joint team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The number of patients treated in 2020 remained at the previous year's level despite the more difficult corona conditions. The treatment in Berlin-Wannsee is only available for uveal melanomas of the eye. The proton accelerator at HZB is the only therapy site for this disease in Germany.
- The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cellsA long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from abundant materials. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now come a step closer to achieving this. They have improved a process for vertically depositing a solution made from an inexpensive perovskite solute onto a moving substrate below. Not only have they discovered the crucial role played by one of the solvents used, but they have also taken a closer look at the aging and storage properties of the solution.
- World's first video recording of a space-time crystalA German-Polish research team has succeeded in creating a micrometer-sized space-time crystal consisting of magnons at room temperature. With the help of the scanning transmission X-ray microscope MAXYMUS at Bessy II at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, they were able to film the recurring periodic magnetization structure in a crystal. The research project was a collaboration between scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart, Germany, the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań in Poland.
- The HZB Graduate Center is here nowThe HZB “DR coordination” is now the HZB Graduate Center. Since the beginning of 2018, the DR coordination has been continuously expanding the offers and standards at the HZB for doctoral researchers and their advisors. The ideas and suggestions that were collected in discussions with numerous stakeholders and in various HZB committees on this topic are leading the path and are incorporated in the set up of a uniform HZB-wide umbrella structure for doctoral researchers and their advisors - the HZB Graduate Center.
- An efficient tool to link X-ray experiments and ab initio theoryThe electronic structure of complex molecules and their chemical reactivity can be assessed by the method of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) at BESSY II. However, the evaluation of RIXS data has so far required very long computing times. A team at BESSY II has now developed a new simulation method that greatly accelerates this evaluation. The results can even be calculated during the experiment. Guest users could use the procedure like a black box.
- Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of α-SnWO4 promise high efficienciesPhotoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. α-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. Combined with theoretical methods, the measurement data reveal the presence of an oxide layer that impairs the efficiency of the photoanode.
- HZB and Humboldt University agree to set up a catalysis laboratoryHelmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) have signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of establishing a joint research laboratory for catalysis in the IRIS research building of HU in Adlershof. The IRIS research building offers optimal conditions for the research and development of complex material systems.
- How complex oscillations in a quantum system simplify with timeWith a clever experiment, physicists have shown that in a one-dimensional quantum system, the initially complex distribution of vibrations or phonons can change over time into a simple Gaussian bell curve. The experiment took place at the Vienna University of Technology, while the theoretical considerations were carried out by a joint research group from the Freie Universität Berlin and HZB.
- Corona Update 07.01.2021 / restriced operationAfter careful assessment of the situation, the HZB management has decided that HZB continue to operate in a very restricted mode. From 11.01.2021 on, the laboratories and BESSY II are opened exclusively for in-house research. Eye tumor therapy continue to take place.
- Accelerator Physics: HF-Couplers for bERLinPro prove resilientIn synchrotron light sources, an electron accelerator brings electron bunches to almost the speed of light so that they can emit the special "synchrotron light". The electron bunches get their enormous energy and their special shape from a standing electromagnetic alternating field in so-called cavities. With high electron currents, as required in the bERLinPro project, the power needed for the stable excitation of this high-frequency alternating field is enormous. The coupling of this high power is achieved with special antennas, so-called couplers, and is considered a great scientific and technical challenge. Now, a first measurement campaign with optimised couplers at bERLinPro shows that the goal can be achieved.
- Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award Synchrotron RadiationThis year, the Friends of HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to Dr. Martin Bluschke (MPI for Solid State Research and TU Berlin) for his outstanding doctoral thesis. The European Innovation Award for Synchrotron Radiation went to a team of four physicists for their work on the FERMI free electron laser at the Elettra synchrotron source in Trieste. The award ceremony took place at this year's HZB user meeting, which had to be held digitally this year.
- Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiencyAn HZB team has published a report in the journal Science on the development of its current world record of 29.15% efficiency for a tandem solar cell made of perovskite and silicon. The tandem cell provided stable performance for 300 hours – even without encapsulation. To accomplish this, the group headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht investigated physical processes at the interfaces to improve the transport of the charge carriers.
- Two neutron instruments from HZB move to MunichAt the end of 2019, the neutron source used for materials research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was shut down as planned. Now the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) in Munich is taking over two scientific instruments from the HZB. The Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF) is funding the relocation and adaptation with 5.62 million euros.
- Architectural Design drafts for new CatLab Center awardedAn innovative laboratory and office building for catalysis research will be built in Berlin-Adlershof: CatLab is to become an international beacon for catalysis research and drive forward the development of novel catalyst materials, which are urgently required for the production of green hydrogen for the energy transition. In an architectural competition four winning designs have now been selected. All designs include climate friendly solutions.
- CatLab - A beacon for future hydrogen research
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and two Max Planck institutes are building a catalysis research platform named CatLab to achieve leaps of innovation in hydrogen research
Hydrogen as a sustainable fuel source will play a key role in our energy system for the future. Hydrogen-based chemical energy media are needed as long-term storage repositories in the energy system and are crucial for climate-neutral design of industrial processes. The German federal government's National Hydrogen Strategy clearly identifies the great need for research in this area, which will be the foundation for breakthroughs and leaps in innovation. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and two Max Planck institutes – the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) – are pooling their expertise for this purpose and together with Humboldt Universität zu Berlin they are jointly establishing the CatLab research platform in Berlin. CatLab is intended as a bridge between pure research and industry, and is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with more than 50 million euros. In total, the five-year development project will cost about 100 million euros.
- Perovskite Solar Cells: paving the way for rational ink design for industrial-scale manufacturingFor the production of high-quality metal-halide perovskite thin-films for large area photovoltaic modules often optimized inks are used which contain a mixture of solvents. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed the crystallisation processes within such mixtures. A model has also been developed to assess the kinetics of the crystallisation processes for different solvent mixtures. The results are of high importance for the further development of perovskite inks for industrial-scale deposition processes of these semiconductors.
- User research at BESSY II: Graphite electrodes for rechargeable batteries investigatedRechargeable graphite dual ion batteries are inexpensive and powerful. A team of the Technical University of Berlin has investigated at the EDDI Beamline of BESSY II how the morphology of the graphite electrodes changes reversibly during cycling (operando). The 3D X-ray tomography images combined with simultaneous diffraction now allow a precise evaluation of the processes, especially of changes in the volume of the electrodes. This can help to further optimise graphite electrodes.
- Green hydrogen: buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyteHydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualise convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model. The results can support the design and scaling up of this technology and have been published in the renowned journal Energy and Environmental Science.
- Solar cells: Mapping the landscape of Caesium based inorganic halide perovskitesScientists at HZB have printed and explored different compositions of caesium based halide perovskites (CsPb(BrxI1−x)3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1)). In a temperature range between room temperature and 300 Celsius, they observe structural phase transitions influencing the electronic properties. The study provides a quick and easy method to assess new compositions of perovskite materials in order to identify candidates for applications in thin film solar cells and optoelectronic devices.
- Future Information Technologies: Germanium telluride's hidden properties at the nanoscale revealedGermanium Telluride is an interesting candidate material for spintronic devices. In a comprehensive study at BESSY II, a Helmholtz-RSF Joint Research Group has now revealed how the spin texture switches by ferroelectric polarization within individual nanodomains.
- Order in the disorder: density fluctuations in amorphous silicon discoveredFor the first time, a team at HZB has identified the atomic substructure of amorphous silicon with a resolution of 0.8 nanometres using X-ray and neutron scattering at BESSY II and BER II. Such a-Si:H thin films have been used for decades in solar cells, TFT displays, and detectors. The results show that three different phases form within the amorphous matrix, which dramatically influences the quality and lifetime of the semiconductor layer. The study was selected for the cover of the actual issue of Physical Review Letters.
- Modelling shows which quantum systems are suitable for quantum simulationsA joint research group led by Prof. Jens Eisert of Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown a way to simulate the quantum physical properties of complex solid state systems. This is done with the help of complex solid state systems that can be studied experimentally. The study was published in the renowned journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).
- Solar hydrogen: Let’s consider the stability of photoelectrodes
As part of an international collaboration, a team at the HZB has examined the corrosion processes of high-quality BiVO4 photoelectrodes using different state-of-the-art characterisation methods. The result is the first operando stability study of high-purity BiVO4 photoanodes during the photoelectrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER). This work shows how the stability of photoelectrodes and catalysts can be compared and enhanced in the future.
- Nanopatterns of proteins detected by cryo-electron microscopyA team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) used cryo electron microscopy to detect regular, two-dimensional structures in the form of Pascal triangles in a shock frozen protein material. The samples have been synthesized by a Chinese research group. The method of cryo electron microscopy has the potential for new insights into energy materials as well.
- HZB is one of the best trainers in BerlinThe Berlin-South Employment Agency has awarded the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for an innovative procedure to select applicants for apprenticeships and dual studies not only on the basis of their grades, but also to include communicative and social skills. A total of eight Berlin companies were awarded the Certificate for Young Talent Promotion 2019/2020.
- Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskitesSolar cells based on hybrid halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies. These mixed organic-inorganic semiconductors are usually produced as thin films of microcrystals. An investigation with the Laue camera at the neutron source BER II could now clarify that twinning occurs during crystallisation even at room temperature. This insight is helpful for optimising production processes of halide perovskites.
- University of Kassel and HZB establish Joint Lab for the use of artificial intelligence
The University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin are setting up a joint laboratory for the use of artificial intelligence, where they will be developing new experimental methods and improving the analysis of data from experiments performed at BESSY II.
- Carl-Ramsauer-Award for excellent dissertationDr. Raphael Jay has received this year's Carl-Ramsauer-Prize of the German Physical Society of Berlin (DPGzB). The prize honours outstanding dissertations in physics and related fields and will be awarded during a festive colloquium on 18 November 2020 in the Magnus-Haus.
- HZB & IKZ bundle their competencies In crystalline energy and quantum materialsOn September 11, 2020, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung (IKZ) signed a cooperation agreement to advance joint research on energy and quantum materials. As part of the cooperation, new types of X-ray optics for synchrotron radiation sources are also being developed.
- Solar-cell façade at HZB undergoes real-life testingSolar-modules shimmer bright blue on the cladding of a new building at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). They are special CIGS thin-film modules custom-developed and produced in Germany for integration into the building’s envelope. The solar cladding not only meets part of the power requirement, but is also a realistic laboratory in and of itself: an HZB team is monitoring the long-term behaviour of the modules under varying environmental conditions and evaluating the data.
- Climate Strike on Friday: HZB-Direktor welcomes engagement for climate protection"I find it remarkable and encouraging that more and more citizens are joining the protests of the younger generation and calling for a turnaround for climate protection," says Prof. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). In an open video message on the occasion of the worldwide climate day planned for Friday, he welcomes the fact that HZB staff members want to participate in the actions. At the same time he calls on people not to be afraid of technical changes. "The technologies for a climate-friendly energy supply are available. We must now use them quickly, but we must also improve them and create new options".
- HZB and TU Berlin: New joint research group at BESSY IIBirgit Kanngießer is setting up a joint research group to combine X-ray methods in laboratories and at large-scale facilities. In particular, the physicist wants to investigate how X-ray experiments on smaller laboratory instruments can be optimally complemented with more complex experiments that are only possible at synchrotron sources such as BESSY II.
- HZB is member of the IGAFA initiative in Adlershof
Since September 2020, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is again a member of IGAFA - the Initiative of Non-University Research Institutions in Adlershof. Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning, scientific director of the HZB, was elected to the association's board.
- Radio Teddy berichtet über Experimente aus dem HZBRadio TEDDY macht ein beliebtes Programm für Familien und Kinder nach dem Motto: „Macht Spaß! Macht schlau!“ Nun waren Reporterteams von Radio TEDDY am HZB zu Gast. In den kommenden zwölf Wochen berichten sie nun jeden Samstag um 14:40 über spannende Experimente aus dem HZB: von selbstgebauten Solarzellen über Materialien mit Gedächtnis bis zum Elektromagnetismus. Auf einer Webseite zum "Experiment der Woche" sind auch Videoreportagen über die HZB-Besuche zu sehen.
- Silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells: New facilities pave the way for industrial-scale production
Perovskites are regarded as promising materials for solar cells, able to be manufactured at low cost while at the same time being extremely efficient. They are particularly suitable for tandem solar cells that combine a cell made of silicon and one of perovskite. As a result, sunlight is more completely used when generating electrical energy. So far, the advantages of such cells have only been available for use at small laboratory scale. With two new, highly innovative production facilities, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are now creating the basis for future production on an industrial scale.
- A new cooling tower flying to BESSY's roofEarly September a huge crane near BESSY II could be seen from afar. A series of pictures for you to discover the exciting installation of the fourth cooling tower.
- Upconversion of photons at low light intensities – the key to new applications in energy and bioengineeringThe region of the spectrum that can be utilised for producing electrical energy can be considerably extended by converting low-energy (longer wavelength) photons into high-energy (shorter wavelength) photons. But so far, this has only been possible at high intensities of light. Now for the first time, scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) have been able to produce a usable effect from relatively weak light by combining certain nanoparticles with what is known as a meta-surface. This paves the way for future applications in photovoltaics, for the detection of biological substances, and for electrical-field sensors.
- New Materials for Energy Storage: ERC Starting Grant for Tristan PetitDr. Tristan Petit has received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council for 1.5 million euros over the next five years. The materials researcher will use the grant to investigate a new class of materials known as MXenes for storing electrical energy. MXenes can store and deliver large amounts of electrical energy extremely quickly. They might play an important role in energy storage alongside batteries and supercapacitors. The ERC Starting Grant is one of the most important European research grants.
- Molecular architecture: New class of materials for tomorrow's energy storageResearchers at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) have created a new family of semiconductors, the properties of which were investigated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The researchers christened the first member “TUB75”. The material belongs to the class called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs for short, and could open up new opportunities for energy storage. The work was published in Advanced Materials.
- Research team provides concrete approach to improve the performance of CIGS solar cells
A team of researchers used electron microscopes and computer simulations to investigate where losses occur in thin-film solar cells. The researchers from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) provide specific information on how the already high efficiency of CIGS solar cells can be improved. The results were published in the journal Nature Communication.
- Mathematical tool helps calculate properties of quantum materials more quicklyMany quantum materials have been nearly impossible to simulate mathematically because the computing time required is too long. Now a joint research group at Freie Universität Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has demonstrated a way to considerably reduce the computing time. This could accelerate the development of materials for energy-efficient IT technologies of the future.
- Best electrolyser/photovoltaics combinations demonstrated in test fieldsOne of the most promising ways to increase the availability of solar energy is to convert excess production into hydrogen. The PECSYS project has investigated the best possible material and technology combinations to facilitate such an operation.
- Humboldt-University Berlin appoints Jan LüningProf. Dr. Jan Lüning, Scientific Director at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), was appointed to an S-W3 professorship at Humboldt University in Berlin in July. The professorship is entitled "Electronic Properties of Materials/X-ray Analysis" and is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Humboldt University Berlin.
- Hope for better batteries – researchers follow the charging and discharging of silicon electrodes live
Using silicon as a material for electrodes in lithium-ion batteries promises a significant increase in battery amp-hour capacity.The shortcoming of this material is that it is easily damaged by the stress caused by charging and discharging.Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) have now succeeded for the first time in observing this process directly on crystalline silicon electrodes in detail.Operando experiments using the BESSY II synchrotronprovided new insights into how fractures occur in silicon – and also how the material can nevertheless be utilised advantageously.
- Seminar für Architekt*innen Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur – Gestaltung und AusführungIm September veranstaltet die Beratungsstelle für bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) „BAIP“ zusammen mit der Architektenkammer Niedersachsen ein Seminar für Architekt*innen zum Thema Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur-Gestaltung und Ausführung
- New substance library to accelerate the search for active compoundsIn order to accelerate the systematic development of drugs, the MX team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Drug Design Group at the University of Marburg have established a new substance library. It consists of 1103 organic molecules that could be used as building blocks for new drugs. The MX team has now validated this library in collaboration with the FragMAX group at MAX IV. The substance library of the HZB is available for research worldwide and also plays a role in the search for substances active against SARS-CoV-2.
- Robust high-performance data storage through magnetic anisotropyThe latest generation of magnetic hard drives is made of magnetic thin films, which are invar materials. They allow extremely robust and high data storage density by local heating of ultrasmall nano-domains with a laser, so called heat assisted magnetic recording or HAMR. The volume in such invar materials hardly expands despite heating. A technologically relevant material for such HAMR data memories are thin films of iron-platinum nanograins. An international team led by the joint research group of Prof. Dr. Matias Bargheer at HZB and the University of Potsdam has now observed experimentally for the first time how a special spin-lattice interaction in these iron-platinum thin films cancels out the thermal expansion of the crystal lattice. The study has been published in Science Advances.
- Launch of new catalysis centre in HZB-AdlershofThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is launching a major new project through an interdisciplinary architectural competition: an innovative laboratory and office building for expanding joint catalysis research between the HZB and the Max Planck Society (MPS). Catlab is to become an international beacon for catalysis research that will advance the development of novel catalyst materials urgently needed for the energy transition.
- Optimize opto-electronic devices with new compact measuring system
In order to develop efficient opto-electronic devices such as solar cells or LEDs, it is crucial to improve the quality of the semiconductors. To achieve this, it is necessary to determine the luminescence yield of the semiconductor material. For this characterization, a research team at HZB has developed a new measuring device that precisely determines the luminescence and is also very compact. In order to evaluate the potential for commercial applications, the team now receives a Field Study Fellowship from the Helmholtz Association.
- Printed perovskite LEDs – an innovative technique towards a new standard process of electronics manufacturing
A team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has succeeded for the first time in producing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from a hybrid perovskite semiconductor material using inkjet printing.This opens the door to broad application of these materials in manufacturing many different kinds of electronic components.The scientists achieved the breakthrough with the help of a trick: "inoculating" (or seeding) the surface with specific crystals.
- User research at BESSY II: Formation of a 2D meta-stable oxide in reactive environments
The chemical behaviour of solid material surfaces is an important physical characteristic for applications of catalysis, chemical sensors, fuel cells and electrodes. A research team from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion has now described an important phenomenon that can occur when metal alloys are exposed to reactive environments at the synchrotron source BESSY II.
- Start your accelerator tour - the Long Night of Science in a different wayDue to corona restrictions, unfortunately there will be no Long Night of Science this year. This is not only a pity for all those interested in science, but also for us! We look forward to it every year when many people come to us, asking us questions or being amazed by the huge facilities and laboratories in which we do our research. To make sure that the long night doesn't fall flat, we take you on a virtual journey through our accelerator BESSY II.
- BESSY II: Experiment shows for the first time in detail how electrolytes become metallicAn international team has developed a sophisticated experimental technique at BESSY II to observe the formation of a metallic conduction band in electrolytes. To accomplish this, the team first prepared cryogenic solutions of liquid ammonia containing different concentrations of alkali metals. The colour of the solutions changes with concentration from blue to golden as the individual atoms of metal in solution transition to a metallic compound. The team then examined these liquid jets using soft X-rays at BESSY II and subsequently has been able to analyse this process in detail from the data they acquired combined with theoretical predictions. The work has been published in Science and appears even on the cover.
- Catalysts: Efficient hydrogen production via structure
Regeneratively produced hydrogen is considered the ecological raw material of the future. In order to produce it efficiently by electrolysis of water, researchers today also investigate perovskite oxides. The Journal of Physics: Energy invited Dr. Marcel Risch from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) to outline the current state of research.
- They are back: Sheep and goats graze the Wannsee campus again
The meadows are lush green, the ice saints (almost) over: Now is the perfect time for the sheep and goats to return from their winter quarters! Until late autumn, they will now graze the near-natural HZB campus in Wannsee and serve the natural preservation of the landscape - completely without a lawn mower.
- New charging points for electric cars installed in AdlershofOn 14 May 2020, two charging points for electric cars were installed near the BESSY II main building. But not only the hybrid company car fleet is to be charged here. Soon, employees will also have the opportunity to charge their private cars at one of the charging points.
- On the road to non-toxic and stable perovskite solar cellsThe promising halide perovskite materials for solar energy conversion show high efficiencies, but this comes at a cost: The best perovskite materials incorporate toxic lead which poses a hazard to the environment. To replace lead by less toxic elements is not easy since lead-free perovskites show lower stability and poor efficiencies. Now, an international collaboration has engineered a new hybrid perovskite material with promising efficiency and stability.
- Future information technologies: 3D Quantum Spin Liquid revealedQuantum Spin Liquids are candidates for potential use in future information technologies. So far, Quantum Spin Liquids have usually only been found in one or two dimensional magnetic systems only. Now an international team led by HZB scientists has investigated crystals of PbCuTe2O6 with neutron experiments at ISIS, NIST and ILL. They found spin liquid behaviour in 3D, due to a so called hyper hyperkagome lattice. The experimental data fit extremely well to theoretical simulations also done at HZB.
- User research at BESSY II: Insights into the visual perception of plantsPlants use light not only for photosynthesis. Although the plant cell does not have eyes, it can still perceive light and thus its environment. Phytochromes, certain turquoise proteins, play the central role in this process. How exactly they function is still unclear. Now a team led by plant physiologist Jon Hughes (Justus Liebig University Gießen) has been able to decipher the three-dimensional architecture of various plant phytochrome molecules at BESSY II. Their results demonstrate how light alters the structure of the phytochrome so that the cell transmits a signal to control the development of the plant accordingly.
- User research at BESSY II: How new materials increase the efficiency of direct ethanol fuel cellsA group from Brazil and an HZB team have investigated a novel composite membrane for ethanol fuel cells. It consists of the polymer Nafion, in which nanoparticles of a titanium compound are embedded by the rarely explored melt extrusion process. At BESSY II they were able to observe in detail, how the nanoparticles in the Nafion matrix are distributed and how they contribute to increase proton conductivity.
- 04.05.2020 - #Corona: HZB resumes operation step by stepAfter a careful assessment of the situation, the management decided that operations at HZB would be resumed step by step from 4 May onwards. Strict security regulations apply. BESSY II will be available again for in-house research from 11 May. For Sars-CoV-2-relevant measurements a fast access to BESSY II has been established.
- Corona research: Consortium of Berlin research and industry seeks active ingredients
The Berlin biotech company Molox GmbH and a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have initiated a consortium of regional research groups and BASF. Together, they want to identify a starting point for the development of a potential active substance against the new coronavirus. Targets of potential inhibitors will be SARS-CoV2 proteins that promote the spread or infectivity of the viruses. Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin are also involved in the research work.
- New interaction between light and matter discovered at BESSY IIA German-Chinese team led by Gisela Schütz from the MPI for Intelligent Systems has discovered a new interaction between light and matter at BESSY II. They succeeded in creating nanometer-fine magnetic vortices in a magnetic layer. These are so-called skyrmions, and candidates for future information technologies.
- Portrait: The athlete in the lab coatSteve Albrecht is researching on perovskite solar cells and holds several efficiency world records with his team. Back in his schooldays, he was going to become either a competitive gymnast or a scientist. He chose science, but the same athletic ambition still drives his research forward.
- Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther as W2 professor
On April 6, 2020 Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther to the joint W2 professorship "Theory of Novel Quantum Materials”. The physicist will conduct research at both Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Freie Universität Berlin. The joint appointment will build a bridge between experimental and theoretical physics.
- Tandem solar cell world record: New branch in the NREL chartA special branch in the famous NREL-chart for solar cell world records refers to a newly developed tandem solar cell by HZB teams. The world-record cell combines the semiconductors perovskite and CIGS to a monolithic "two-terminal" tandem cell. Due to the thin-film technologies used, such tandem cells survive much longer in space and can even be produced on flexible films. The new tandem cell achieves a certified efficiency of 24.16 percent.
- Happy Easter Holidays!After three weeks of home office and minimal operation, Bernd Rech addresses all employees again with a short video message. He thanks them for their creativity and open-mindedness and wishes everyone a Happy Easter!
- Neutron research: Magnetic monopoles detected in Kagome spin ice systemsMagnetic monopoles are actually impossible. At low temperatures, however, certain crystals can contain so-called quasi-particles that behave like magnetic monopoles. Now an international cooperation has proven that such monopoles also occur in a Kagome spin ice system. Decisive factors were, among others, measurements with inelastic neutron scattering at the NEAT instrument of the Berlin neutron source BER II*. The results have been published in the journal Science.
- Condensed Matter Physics: Long-standing prediction of quantum physics experimentally proven90 years ago, the physicist Hans Bethe postulated that unusual patterns, so-called Bethe strings, appear in certain magnetic solids. Now an international team has succeeded in experimentally detecting such Bethe strings for the first time. They used neutron scattering experiments at various neutron facilities including the unique high-field magnet of BER II* at HZB. The experimental data are in excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction of Bethe and prove once again the power of quantum physics.
- Corona research at BESSY II: Two days of measuring operation to find the right keyThe Berlin Synchrotron Source BESSY II of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will resume operation for two days. Scientists intend to use the intense X-ray radiation from BESSY II to search for active substances against the corona virus SARS-CoV2. Almost two hundred samples from an important protein of the virus will be examined in the coming hours. The samples are saturated with different molecules that could be used as components of active substances. The analyses will show whether certain molecules can dock particularly well to the protein molecule and thus hinder the reproduction of the virus. These molecules are best candidates as components of a future drug.
- BESSY II: Ultra-fast switching of helicity of circularly polarized light pulsesAt the BESSY II storage ring, a joint team of accelerator physicists, undulator experts and experimenters has shown how the helicity of circularly polarized synchrotron radiation can be switched faster - up to a million times faster than before. They used an elliptical double-undulator developed at HZB and operated the storage ring in the so-called two-orbit mode. This is a special mode of operation that was only recently developed at BESSY II and provides the basis for fast switching. The ultra-fast change of light helicity is particularly interesting to observe processes in magnetic materials and has long been expected by a large user community.
- HZB donates urgently needed protective equipment for doctors’ surgeryThe situation in Berlin's doctors’ surgery is becoming increasingly acute due to the lack of important protective clothing and disinfectants. Some practices have already had to close for this reason. The HZB has therefore decided to provide quick help and is donating 65 boxes of protective clothing that are normally used for work in the laboratories and clean rooms. The boxes were handed over to the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Berlin on 27.03.2020.
- Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug developmentA coronavirus is keeping the world in suspense. SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious and can cause severe pneumonia with respiratory distress (COVID-19). Scientists are doing research in order to prevent the viruses from multiplying. A team from the University of Lübeck and from Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has now found a promising approach. Using the high-intensity X-ray light from the Berlin synchrotron source BESSY II, they have decoded the three-dimensional architecture of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. This protein is involved in the reproduction of the virus. Analysing its 3D architecture allows the systematic development of drugs which inhibit the reproduction of the virus.
- Fast and furious: New class of 2D materials stores electrical energyTwo dimensional titanium carbides, so-called MXenes, are being discussed as candidates for the rapid storage of electrical energy. Like a battery,MXenes can store large amounts of electrical energy through electrochemical reactions- but unlike batteries,can be charged and discharged in a matter of seconds. In collaboration with Drexel University, a team at HZB showed that the intercalation of urea molecules between the MXene layers can increase the capacity of such "pseudo-capacitors" by more than 50 percent. At BESSY II they have analysed how changes of the MXene surface chemistry after urea intercalation are responsible for this.
- New Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at HZBDr. Felix Büttner will establish a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group (YIG) on topological solitons at the HZB beginning in March 2020. Topological solitons occur in magnetic quantum materials and can contribute to extremely energy-efficient switching processes. Büttner wants to develop a new imaging technique at BESSY II to study these quasi-particles.
- 20 percent more patients were treated with proton therapy in 2019
For more than 20 years, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have jointly offered the irradiation of eye tumors with protons. In 2019, more patients were treated in Berlin-Wannsee than ever before. 276 patients - 20 percent more than in the previous year - underwent proton therapy. The treatment is specialized in choroidal melanomas of the eye. The proton accelerator at HZB is the only treatment facility for this disease in Germany.
- Berlins außeruniversitäre Forschungseinrichtungen schließen sich zusammenBerlin als internationale Wissenschaftsmetropole zu stärken, ist Ziel einer gemeinsamen Initiative der außeruniversitären Forschungseinrichtungen der Hauptstadt. Sie haben sich zur BR 50 (Berlin Research 50) zusammengeschlossen, um künftig gemeinsam Strategien für die Forschung und den Austausch mit Politik und Gesellschaft zu entwickeln. Auch das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin hat sich der Initiative angeschlossen. Die Kooperation mit den Berliner Universitäten wird hierdurch erleichtert und verstärkt.
- New detector accelerates protein crystallography
Last week a new detector was installed at one of the three MX beamlines at HZB. Compared to the old detector the new one is better, faster and more sensitive. It allows to acquire complete data sets of complex proteins within a very short time.
- Doctoral student receives Erhard Höpfner Thesis AwardOn 11 February 2020, Max Grischek received the Erhard Höpfner Thesis Prize, worth 2000 euros, which is awarded by a jury of the Berlin Scientific Society for outstanding theses. Grischek studied at the Technische Universität Berlin and wrote his master thesis in the young investigator research group "Perovskite Tandem Solar Cells" at HZB.
- X-ray microscopy at BESSY II: Nanoparticles can change cellsNanoparticles easily enter into cells. New insights about how they are distributed and what they do there are shown for the first time by high-resolution 3D microscopy images from the lightsources BESSY II and ALBA. For example, certain nanoparticles accumulate preferentially in certain organelles of the cell. This can increase the energy costs in the cell. "The cell looks like it has just run a marathon, apparently, the cell requires energy to absorb such nanoparticles" says lead author James McNally.
- Not everything is ferromagnetic in high magnetic fieldsHigh magnetic fields have a potential to modify the microscopic arrangement of magnetic moments because they overcome interactions existing in zero field. Usually, high fields exceeding a certain critical value force the moments to align in the same direction as the field leading to ferromagnetic arrangement. However, a recent study showed that this is not always the case. The experiments took place at the high-field magnet at HZB's neutron source BER II, which generates a constant magnetic field of up to 26 Tesla. This is about 500,000 times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. Further experiments with pulsed magnetic fields up to 45 Tesla were performed at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).
- Battery research: Using neutrons and X-rays to analyse the ageing of lithium batteriesAn international team has used neutron and X-ray tomography to investigate the dynamic processes that lead to capacity degradation at the electrodes in lithium batteries. Using a new mathematical method, it was possible to virtually unwind electrodes that had been wound into the form of a compact cylinder, and thus actually observe the processes on the surfaces of the electrodes. The study was published in Nature Communications.
- CIGSe thin-film solar cells: EU Sharc25 project increases efficiencyThin-film solar cells made of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGSe) are cost-effective to produce and now achieve efficiencies of significantly more than 20 percent. This level of performance was achieved through post-processing with alkali elements, and the procedures are suitable for industrial-scale production. Insights into the beneficial effect of these alkali treatments from the EU Sharc25 project have now been collected in an article published in Advanced Energy Materials.
- Perovskite solar cells: International consensus on ageing measurement protocolsExperts from 51 research institutions have now agreed on the procedures for measuring the stability of perovskite solar cells and assessing their quality. The consensus statement was published in Nature Energy and is considered a milestone for the further development of this new type of solar cell on its way to industrial application.
- World Record: Efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cell jumps to 29.15 per centIn the race for ever higher efficiency levels, an HZB development team has once again pulled ahead. The groups of Steve Albrecht and Bernd Stannowski have developed a tandem solar cell made of the semiconductors perovskite and silicon, that converts 29.15 per cent of the incident light into electrical energy. This value has been officially certified by the CalLab of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and means that surpassing the 30 per cent efficiency mark is now within reach.
- Unique X-ray experiments for school classes: The X-ray mobile will arrive at the HZBWhat is ultraviolet radiation? What are X-rays used for? And what is radioactivity again? These questions are on the curriculum in physics lessons, but vivid experiments on these topics are rare. From 5 to 13 March 2020, pupils can conduct experiments on these topics in the HZB's school laboratory in Berlin-Adlershof. The public is invited to attend on 12 March.
- Farewell to the research reactor BER II: brochure on 50 years of neutron research in Berlin-Wannsee
Many guests from politics and academia and employees attended the colloquium on January 13, 2020, at Freie Universität Berlin. They joined us to say goodbye to the exciting and highly productive time of neutron research at BER II.
- Plants absorb lead from perovskite solar cells more than expectedLead from metal-organic perovskite compounds can be absorbed particularly easily by plants. The bioavailability is significantly higher than that of lead from inorganic compounds as found in batteries. This is shown in a study by HZB researcher Antonio Abate with partners in China and Italy, published in Nature communications.
- Watching complex molecules at workA new method of infrared spectroscopy developed at BESSY II makes single-measurement observation and analysis of very fast as well as irreversible reaction mechanisms in molecules feasible for the first time. Previously, thousands of such reactions have had to be run and measured for this purpose. The research team has now used the new device to investigate how rhodopsin molecules change after activation by light – a process that is the basis of how we see.
- HZB is now using green electricitySince 1 January 2020, HZB is drawing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energies. This reduces CO2 emissions by around 17,400 tons per year (related to 2018). By switching to green electricity, HZB acknowledges its responsibility to contribute to climate protection.
- Topological materials for information technology offer lossless transmission of signalsNew experiments with magnetically doped topological insulators at BESSY II have revealed possible ways of lossless signal transmission that involve a surprising self-organisation phenomenon. In the future, it might be possible to develop materials that display this phenomenon at room temperature and can be used as processing units in a quantum computer, for example. The study has been published in the renowned journal Nature.
- Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Award and Innovation Award for Research in Synchrotron RadiationThis year, the circle of friends of the HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to two young scientists for their outstanding PhD theses. The European Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Award went to a team of physicists from DESY and the Paul Scherrer Institute. The award ceremony took place at this year's User Meeting of the HZB, which was very well attended with over 500 participants and more than 50 exhibitors.
- Cancer research at BESSY II: Binding Mechanisms of Therapeutic Substances DecipheredIn tumor cells, the DNA is altered in comparison to normal body cells. How such changes can be prevented or inhibited is an exciting field of research with great relevance for the development of cancer treatments. An interdisciplinary team has now analysed the possible binding mechanisms in certain therapeutic substances from the tetrazole hydrazide group using protein crystallography at BESSY II.
- Operation of the BER II research reactor ends on 11 December 2019After 46 years of successful research with neutrons, the operation of the Berlin research reactor BER II ends on 11 December 2019. This date was announced by the HZB Supervisory Board on 25 June 2013. The early announcement has enabled the HZB to focus its profile on research into energy materials and the further development of the electron storage ring BESSY II. The BER II is to be dismantled over the next few years.
- Invitation: Climate change - from knowledge to action
Climate change and its causes are undisputed. But how do we get from knowledge to action? What can science contribute to this? On Thursday, 5.12.2019 at 17:00 Clara Mayer (Fridays for Future), Volker Quaschning (HTW Berlin and Scientists for Future), Bernd Rech (scientific director of the HZB) and Kira Vinke (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) will discuss these questions. The event takes place in the Bunsen lecture hall of WISTA in Adlershof and is open to the public. Admission is free.
- More information from microscopy images by computing powerThe first meeting of the Helmholtz Ptychography 4.0 Incubator Project took place at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) on November 27, 2019. Seven Helmholtz Centres intend to jointly develop advanced image data analysis and processing methods in order to extract more information from electron and X-ray microscopy images. In particular, the approach will be to use “virtual lenses” to correct imaging errors and thus considerably increase the resolution of images.
- HZB-Award for Technology Transfer 2019: A chip with many application options
Klaus Lips (HZB) and Jens Anders (Univ. of Stuttgart) have won the 2019 HZB Technology Transfer Prize for their electron spin resonance chip that will revolutionise spin analysis (“EPR On A Chip - Eine Revolution in der spinbasierten Analytik“).
- Der landesbeste Feinwerkmechaniker 2019 kommt aus dem HZBBereits im dritten Jahr in Folge darf sich das HZB über einen außergewöhnlichen Erfolg bei der Feinwerkmechaniker-Ausbildung freuen. Shayne Fraiss beendete seine Ausbildung als Bester seines Jahrgangs in Berlin. Wir haben ihn und seine Ausbilder gefragt, was das Geheimrezept für diesen Erfolg ist.
- Perovskite solar cells: Possible aspects of high efficiency uncoveredUsing crystallographic analyses at the Diamond Light Source (DLS) synchrotron in the United Kingdom, an HZB team has demonstrated that hybrid halide perovskites crystallise without inversion centre. Interactions between the organic molecules and adjacent iodine atoms can lead to the formation of ferroelectric domains, which, indirectly, can result in higher solar-cell efficiencies. The formation of these ferroelectric domains cannot occur in purely inorganic perovskites.
- Berlin Science Award: Young Talent Award for Steve AlbrechtOn November 7, 2019, Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research, honoured outstanding research achievements for the twelfth time. Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht was honoured this year with the "Nachwuchspreis" (Young Talent Award) for his research on novel tandem solar cells. Albrecht teaches as a junior professor at the Institute for High Frequency and Semiconductor System Technologies at the Technical University of Berlin and heads the research group "Perovskite Tandem Cells" at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. The Young Talent Award is given to scientists who are not older than 35 years and is endowed with 10,000 euros.
- X-ray microscopy at BESSY II reveals how antimalaria-drugs might workMalaria is one of the most threatening infectious diseases in the world. An international team has now been able to investigate malaria pathogens in red blood cells in vivo using the BESSY II X-ray microscope and the ALBA and ESRF synchrotron sources. The scientists reveal the mechanisms used by active substances to attack the pathogen. This could contribute to improve treatment strategies and drug design.
- Reaching climate targets with building integrated PhotovoltaicsBy 2050, the building stock in Germany must be almost climate-neutral in order to achieve the climate targets - an ambitious goal. Especially in cities with multi-storey buildings, roof areas alone do not offer sufficient space to cover a significant portion of the electricity demand with photovoltaics. There is now a wide range of façade elements that generate photovoltaic electricity. So far, however, such building-integrated PV modules have rarely been installed. The Advisory Centre for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BAIP) at HZB wants to change this:
- New instrument at BESSY II commences user operationA new instrument became available to the users of BESSY II on Oct. 28, 2019. The new beamline and apparatus for spin- and angular-resolved photoemission in the Russian-German Laboratory at BESSY II have successfully completed their test phase. They facilitate precise measurements of the electron band structure and spin of different material classes such as topological insulators and magnetic sandwich structures, as well as novel perovskite-based solar-cell materials. A photoelectron microscope has also been developed which is particularly important for nanoscopic structures.
- Jahrestagung FVEE zu aktuellen Herausforderungen der Energiewende„Energy Research for Future – Forschung für die Herausforderungen der Energiewende“ ist das Motto für die Jahrestagung des ForschungsVerbunds Erneuerbare Energien am 22. und 23. Oktober 2019 im Umweltforum Berlin. Auf der Tagung zeigen die Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler u.a. auch aus dem HZB den dringenden Handlungsbedarf auf. Sie analysieren, wo Hemmnisse für eine schnelle Energiewende liegen und wie sie überwunden werden können. Leitplanke für alle Maßnahmen der Politik sollten die Klimaziele von Paris sein.
- HZB awards prize for technology transfer projectOn 15 November, the best innovation project from the HZB will be awarded the Technology Transfer Prize 2019. The award ceremony is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. in the BESSY II auditorium at the HZB location in Berlin-Adlershof. All projects submitted to the competition will be presented in an exhibition starting Monday, October 21, initially in Wannsee, and starting November 4 in Adlershof.
- Dynamic pattern of Skyrmions observedTiny magnetic vortices known as skyrmions form in certain magnetic materials, such as Cu2OSeO3. These skyrmions can be controlled by low-level electrical currents – which could facilitate more energy-efficient data processing. Now a team has succeeded in developing a new technique at the VEKMAG station of BESSY II for precisely measuring these vortices and observing their three different predicted characteristic oscillation modes (Eigen modes).
- Poster award for Götz SchuckAt the 5th International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics (PSCO-19) Dr. Götz Schuck received a prize for his poster contribution. The international conference took place from 30.09.2019 to 02.10.2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- Joint research group for quantum computing and simulationFreie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) are now strengthening their cooperation in the field of quantum computing with a new research group. Quantum materials exhibit very interesting properties, which researchers want to use to make data processing significantly faster and more efficient than is currently possible. They can study these materials excellently at synchrotron radiation sources such as BESSY II. It has proven especially promising to predict the material properties in quantum simulations before running the experiments. Taking this approach allows such experiments to be conducted more targetedly.
- Helmholtz Association promotes HZB cooperation with Slovenia on perovskite silicon tandem solar cellsA HZB team has successfully raised funds from the “Helmholtz European Partnering Program” of the Helmholtz Association to expand cooperation with partners of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The topics of the cooperation are tandem solar cells made of perovskite and silicon and, in particular, their precise characterisation.
- HZB Researcher on the Board of Directors of the Materials Research SocietyIn September 2019, Prof. Dr. Catherine Dubourdieu was elected into the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society (MRS). The MRS is one of the largest scientific associations and has almost 14000 members from various areas of the natural sciences and engineering.
- Faster than ever - neutron tomography detects water uptake by rootsA team of researchers from Potsdam, Berlin and Grenoble was able to visualize the transport of water in soil as well as through roots of lupine plants using ultrafast 3D neutron imaging. The high-speed neutron tomography developed at HZB generates a complete 3D image every 1.5 seconds and is thus seven times faster than before. The method facilitates a better understanding of water and nutrient uptake of crop plants. The measurements were performed at the neutron source of the Laue Langevin Institute (ILL) in Grenoble, France. The method can also be applied to investigate transport processes in various porous material systems.
- Memorandum of Understanding signed between University of Jena and HZBThuringa’s minister of science gives the green light for the cooperation on research into new energy stores: Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) today have laid the foundation for close collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The Centre for Energy and Environmental Chemistry Jena (CEEC Jena) and HZB want to join forces to research novel energy storage materials and systems in the future.
- FOCUS TOPIC: From MIT to Wannsee
For Marcel Risch, it feels like a homecoming: as a student, he had previously run experiments at the Berlin particle accelerator BESSY II. After working for several years at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and then in Göttingen, he is now establishing his own group at HZB – supported by funding from the European Research Council.
- Results of the survey on short-haul flights and information on the climate strike on 20.9.2019173 HZB-employees took part in the internal survey on short-haul flights (as of Wednesday afternoon). 146 of them would be prepared to accept train journeys of up to 12 hours to replace a flight. This result shows a great willingness among the researchers to act in a climate-friendly manner, many of whom are also privately involved and, for example, are taking part in the Climate Strike on 20 September in Berlin (more info below in the text).
- HZB postdoctoral researcher receives Humboldt FellowshipSince September 2019, Yaolin Xu is doing research on the development of advanced lithium batteries with a Humboldt Foundation fellowship. In the future, these batteries could store significantly more energy than conventional lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).
- New sample holder for protein crystallographyAn HZB research team has developed a novel sample holder that considerably facilitates the preparation of protein crystals for structural analysis. A short video by the team shows how proteins in solution can be crystallised directly onto the new sample holders themselves, then analysed using the MX beamlines at BESSY II. A patent has already been granted and a manufacturer found.
- In Memoriam: Charles S. Fadley, Longstanding Collaboration Partner, Power User, Advisor
Charles ‘Chuck’ S. Fadley, a pioneer in photoemission spectroscopy and internationally renowned Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of California, Davis, and Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA, passed away on the 1st of August 2019. He remained an active and avid researcher until a few weeks before his death at age 77.
- World record for tandem perovskite-CIGS solar cellA team headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht from the HZB will present a new world-record tandem solar cell at EU PVSEC, the world's largest international photovoltaic and solar energy conference and exhibition, in Marseille, France on September 11, 2019. This tandem solar cell combines the semiconducting materials perovskite and CIGS and achieves a certified efficiency of 23.26 per cent. One reason for this success lies in the cell’s intermediate layer of organic molecules: they self-organise to cover even rough semiconductor surfaces. Two patents have been filed for these layers.
- HZB strengthens its technology transferThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) wants to bring technologies to market faster together with industrial partners and use its expertise in materials and energy research to investigate questions from industry in joint projects. The newly established "Technology Transfer and Innovation" department will identify cooperation partners and applications that are of industrial interest.
- Nanoparticles in lithium-sulphur batteries detected with neutron experimentAn HZB team has for the first time precisely analysed how nanoparticles of lithium sulphide and sulphur precipitate onto battery electrodes during the course of the charging cycle. The results can help increase the service life of lithium-sulphur batteries.
- Poster award for HZB doctoral student
Javier Villalobos has been awarded for the best poster at the International Workshop on Correlated Dynamics in Energy Conversion (IWCE 19) in Göttingen. The doctoral student works in the young investigator group "Oxygen Evolution Mechanism Engineering". His research contributes to a better understanding of electrocatalytic oxygen evolution.
- HZB doctoral student won Young Scientist Award
The "Journal of Magnetic Resonance" and the ISMAR (International Society of Magnetic Resonance) awarded Silvio Künstner with a Young Scientist Award for his talk "Rapid Scan EPR-on-a-chip". The doctoral student from the HZB institute for Nanospectroscopy presented current progress in the development of a miniaturized electron spin resonance spectrometer.
- Stellungnahme des FVEE: Ausbaudeckel für Photovoltaik behindert erfolgreiche KlimapolitikDer im EEG von 2012 festgelegte Stopp der Einspeisevergütung durch den 52 GW-Deckel läuft dem erforderlichen massiven Ausbau der Photovoltaik und damit auch den deutschen Klimaschutzzielen diametral entgegen. Stattdessen sollte PV-Strom, der nicht lokal verbraucht werden kann, auch nach Erreichen von 52 GW installierter Leistung ins Netz eingespeist und vergütet werden. Der Forschungsverbund Erneuerbare Energien (FVEE) empfiehlt daher, so schnell wie möglich eine Anschlussregelung zu finden, die den für die Klimaschutzziele erforderlichen Solarausbau sichert.
- Save time using maths: analytical tool designs corkscrew-shaped nano-antennaeFor the first time, an HZB team has derived analytically how corkscrew-shaped nano-antennas interact with light. The mathematical tool can be used to calculate the geometry that a nano-antenna must have for specific applications in sensor technology or information technology.
- World record in tomography: Watching how metal foam formsAn international research team at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) has set a new tomography world record using a rotary sample table developed at the HZB. With 208 three-dimensional tomographic X-ray images per second, they were able to document the dynamic processes involved in the foaming of liquid aluminium. The method is presented in the journal Nature Communications.
- Archaeology at BESSY II: “Invisible ink” on antique Nile papyrus revealedResearchers from the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Berlin universities and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin studied a small piece of papyrus that was excavated on the island of Elephantine on the River Nile a little over 100 years ago. The team used serval methods including non-destructive techniques at BESSY II. The researchers’ work, reported in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, blazes a trail for further analyses of the papyrus collection in Berlin.
- FOCUS TOPIC: Catching more light in solar cellsChristiane Becker uses microscopic structures to increase the amount of light captured in solar cells and is currently scaling up the technology for industrial application. “On top of everything else, there’s this spirit at HZB that we are working on the renewable energies of the future, and that is incredibly inspiring,” she relates in portrait.
- FOCUS TOPIC: Using BESSY II to combat plastic wastePlastics are excellent materials: extremely versatile and almost eternally durable. But this is also exactly the problem, because after only about 100 years of producing plastics, plastic particles are now found everywhere – in groundwater, in the oceans, in the air, and in the food chain.
- Traditional HZB Neutron School will be continued at ANSTO in AustraliaThis summer, researchers at the Australian neutron source ACNS organised a joint neutron school at Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation ANSTO. The HZB-ANSTO neutron school will take place every two years.
- Accelerator physics: alternative material investigated for superconducting radio-frequency cavity resonatorsIn modern synchrotron sources and free-electron lasers, superconducting radio-frequency cavity resonators are able to supply electron bunches with extremely high energy. These resonators are currently constructed of pure niobium. Now an international collaboration has investigated the potential advantages a niobium-tin coating might offer in comparison to pure niobium.
- Oldest completely preserved lily discoveredAlready 115 million years ago, tropical flowering plants were apparently very diverse and showed all typical characteristics. This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers led by Clément Coiffard, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. The team reported in the renowned journal Nature Plants on the oldest completely preserved lily, Cratolirion bognerianum, which was discovered at a site in present-day Brazil. With the help of 3D computer tomography at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, details on the back of the fossilised plant could also be analysed. The results raise new questions about the role of the tropics in the development of past and present ecosystems.
- Summer in the laboratory: 24 students from all over the world start their summer projectFor eight weeks the summer students are now working on a research project at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin. Experienced scientists of the HZB will support them. On Thursday, 30 August, they will present their results.
- Charge transfer within transition-metal dyes analysedTransition-metal complexes in dye-based solar cells are responsible for converting light into electrical energy. A model of spatial charge separation within the molecule has been used to describe this conversion. However, an analysis at BESSY II shows that this description of the process is too simple. For the first time, a team there has investigated the fundamental photochemical processes around the metal atom and its ligands. The study has now been published in “Angewandte Chemie, international Edition” and is displayed on the cover.
- Utrafast magnetism: electron-phonon interactions examined at BESSY IIHow fast can a magnet switch its orientation and what are the microscopic mechanisms at play ? These questions are of first importance for the development of data storage and computer chips. Now, an HZB team at BESSY II has for the first time been able to experimentally assess the principal microscopic process of ultra-fast magnetism. The methodology developed for this purpose can also be used to investigate interactions between spins and lattice oscillations in graphene, superconductors or other (quantum) materials.
- Steve Albrecht wins the 2019 Karl Scheel PrizeThis year's Karl Scheel Prize from the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin honours Steve Albrecht of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie for his work in the field of highly efficient tandem solar cell absorbers made of metal-halide perovskites.
- Support for the sheep at Campus WannseeSince mid-May, sheep have been grazing on the Wannsee campus and contributing to landscape conservation. They have now been reinforced: Since 14 June 19, five sheep and five goats have been supporting the existing herd in its "work". Since the goats prefer to eat blackberries and thorny plants, they find ideal conditions on the natural property.
- 1st place for "Glowing Silicon Lake" at the HZB photo competition for the Long Night of ScienceMore than 200 people have chosen their favourite pictures in the photo competition "Moments at the HZB" during the Long Night of Science. The winners have now been chosen, but the decision was extremely close.
- 1300 visitors at the HZB location Wannsee at the Long Night of Science
Despite high summer temperatures, the HZB was able to welcome more than 1300 people to the Long Night of Science at Wannsee. This is about 15 percent more than the last time (2017) when the location took part. Visitor magnets were the guided tours through the energy research laboratories and the experimental halls around the research reactor.
- Members of the Berlin House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus) visit Helmholtz-Zentrum BerlinOn 17 June 2019, representatives of the Committee for Science and Research of the Berlin House of Representatives met with the management and scientists of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). During their two-hour visit, they visited energy research laboratories and discussed the campus's prospects for the site after the final shutdown of the BER II research reactor.
- Silver plaque "Sustainable building" for laboratory building in Wannsee
In Wannsee, a new laboratory building for organic chemistry (LE building) was built in just one and a half years, which has now been awarded the silver plaque "Sustainable Building". It is the first HZB building to be certified according to the strict criteria. On the ground floor there is a physical-chemical laboratory for the institute "Functional Oxides for Energy-Efficient Information Technologies (EM-IFOX)".
- Long Night of Science at HZB's Wannsee site: Solar cells, environmentally friendly hydrogen and a visit to the experimental halls of the research reactorThe sun provides an enormous amount of energy. But can we really use it to cover our energy needs? Can solar energy actually be stored? And how powerful will innovative batteries be? During the Long Night of Science on 15 June 2019 (17:00 - 24:00) at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin in Wannsee, visitors can talk to researchers, discover secret places and interesting details.Bring your identity card with you!
- Photovoltaics are growing faster than expected in the global energy systemDramatic cost reductions and the rapid expansion of production capacities make photovoltaics one of the most attractive technologies for a global energy turnaround. Not only the electricity sector, but also transport, heating, industry and chemical processes will in future be supplied primarily by solar power, because it is already the cheapest form of electricity generation in large parts of the world. This is where opportunities and challenges lie - at the level of the energy system as well as for research and industry. Leading international photovoltaic researchers from the Global Alliance for Solar Energy Research Institutes describe the cornerstones of future developments in an article published in the journal "Science" on 31 May.
- Organic electronics: a new semiconductor in the carbon-nitride familyTeams from Humboldt-Universität and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have explored a new material in the carbon-nitride family. Triazine-based graphitic carbon nitride (TGCN) is a semiconductor that should be highly suitable for applications in optoelectronics. Its structure is two-dimensional and reminiscent of graphene. Unlike graphene, however, the conductivity in the direction perpendicular to its 2D planes is 65 times higher than along the planes themselves.
- Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has new scientific management
As of 1 June 2019, Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech and Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning are the new scientific directors of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. Bernd Rech is responsible for the “Energy and Information” department and Jan Lüning heads the “Matter” department. Thus the HZB Supervisory Board has appointed two internationally recognised experts at the top of HZB.
- Development of a miniaturised EPR spectrometerSeveral research institutions are developing a miniaturized electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) device with industrial partner Bruker to investigate semiconductor materials, solar cells, catalysts and electrodes for fuel cells and batteries. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the "EPR-on-a-Chip" or EPRoC project with 6.7 million euros. On June 3, 2019, the kick-off meeting took place at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
- 90 preschool children experiment in the school lab for the Day of the Little Researchers
Once a year the school lab says: Open doors for daycare children! 90 preschool children from five kindergartens experimented in the HZB school lab in Berlin-Adlershof for the nationwide Day of Little Researchers. Using homemade spectroscopes, they studied the properties of light and looked at poster snippets under the microscope. Actions are also planned at the Wannsee site.
- Adolfo Velez Saiz is a professor of accelerator physics at TU Dortmund
Technische Universität Dortmund and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have jointly appointed Prof. Adolfo Velez Saiz as a professor of accelerator physics. He heads the Cavity Development workgroup at the HZB institute SRF – Science and Technology. With this appointment, HZB is expanding its expertise in the development of new accelerator technologies.
- HZB-Doktorand receives poster awardAt the spring meeting of the Materials Research Society, Jakob Bombsch received an award for his poster on CIGSe absorbers for thin-film photovoltaics. Bombsch is a researcher in the department for Interface Design headed by Prof. Marcus Bär.
- Energy for Antarctica: solar hydrogen as an alternative to crude oil?Volkswagen Foundation funds feasibility study by HZB experts in artificial photosynthesis
The sun shines at the South Pole as well – and in summer almost around the clock. Instead of supplying research stations in the Antarctic with crude oil for producing the electricity and heating they need, solar hydrogen could be produced from sunlight in summer as an alternative. Hydrogen has a high energy density, is easy to store, and can be used as fuel when needed later without polluting the environment. An intriguingly simple idea - but one that raises many questions. Matthias May (HZB) and Kira Rehfeld (Heidelberg University) now want to examine how feasible this kind of solar fuel generation might be in Antarctica. The project is receiving financial support from the Volkswagen Foundation.
- Posterprize for HZB postdoc Prince Saurabh BassiDr. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Copper oxide photocathodes: laser experiment reveals location of efficiency lossSolar 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.
- 3D tomographic imagery reveals how lithium batteries ageLithium 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".
- Inorganic perovskite absorbers for use in thin-film solar cellsA team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has succeeded in producing inorganic perovskite thin films at moderate temperatures using co-evaporation – making post-tempering at high temperatures unnecessary. The process makes it much easier to produce thin-film solar cells from this material. In comparison to metal-organic hybrid perovskites, inorganic perovskites are more thermally stable. The work has been published in Advanced Energy Materials.
- High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: new insights into tin selenideTin selenide might considerably exceed the efficiency of current record holding thermoelectric materials made of bismuth telluride. However, it was thought its efficiency became enormous only at temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius. Now measurements at the BESSY II and PETRA III synchrotron sources show that tin selenide can also be utilised as a thermoelectric material at room temperature – so long as high pressure is applied.
- "Molecular scissors" for plastic wasteA research team from the University of Greifswald and Helmholtz-Zentrum-Berlin (HZB) has solved the molecular structure of the important enzyme MHETase at BESSY II. MHETase was discovered in bacteria and together with a second enzyme - PETase - is able to break down the widely used plastic PET into its basic building blocks. This 3D structure already allowed the researchers to produce a MHETase variant with optimized activity in order to use it, together with PETase, for a sustainable recycling of PET. The results have been published in the research journal Nature Communications.
- PhD student of HZB earns Best Presentation Award of the Young CrystallographersFrederike Lehmann received a prize for her presentation at the annual conference of the German Society of Crystallography in Leipzig on 28 March 2019. She is doing her doctorate in the Department of Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials at the HZB under Prof. Dr. Susan Schorr at the Graduate School HyPerCell.
- Catalyst research for solar fuels: Amorphous molybdenum sulphide works bestEfficient and inexpensive catalysts will be required for production of hydrogen from sunlight. Molybdenum sulphides are considered good candidates. A team at HZB has now explained what processes take place in molybdenum sulphides during catalysis and why amorphous molybdenum sulphide works best. The results have been published in the journal ACS Catalysis.
- HZB contributions to special edition on Ultrafast Dynamics with X-ray MethodsIn the new special issue of the "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London", internationally renowned experts report on new developments in X-ray sources and ultrafast time-resolved experiments. HZB physicists have also been invited to contribute.
- Godehard Wüstefeld receives the Horst Klein Research PrizeThe physicist Dr. Godehard Wüstefeld was awarded the Horst Klein Research Prize at the annual conference of the German Physical Society. The award recognizes his outstanding scientific achievements in accelerator physics in the development of BESSY II and BESSY VSR.
- X-ray analysis of carbon nanostructures helps material designNanostructures made of carbon are extremely versatile: they can absorb ions in batteries and supercapacitors, store gases, and desalinate water. How well they cope with the task at hand depends largely on the structural features of the nanopores. A new study from the HZB has now shown that structural changes that occur due to morphology transition with increasing temperature of the synthesis can also be measured directly – using small-angle X-ray scattering. The results have now been published in the journal Carbon.
- Poster award for Johannes SutterJohannes Sutter, PhD student at HZB, was awarded a poster prize at the "International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells, Photonics and Optoelectronics (NIPHO19)". The conference took place from 25-27 February 2019 in Jerusalem.
- Marcel Risch to form research group at the HZB with an ERC Starting GrantThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will be further strengthened in its research on solar fuels. Dr. Marcel Risch, who recently obtained an ERC Starting Grants, is moving from Georg August Universität, Göttingen to the HZB. Starting in March 2019, the materials physicist will set up his own research group to analyse and improve catalytic materials for water splitting.
- Thin-film PV is key technology to drive global energy transitionThe German research institutes ZSW and HZB see huge potential in CIGS for both climate and business. CIGS thin-film PV is set to become a key pillar of the global transition towards renewable energy sources. With its high performance, low costs, small carbon footprint, and visual appearance, CIGS has some considerable advantages against other technologies, especially when it comes to highly demanding applications like buildings and vehicles. A new whitepaper compiled by ZSW and HZB describes in detail the benefits of CIGS and the huge business opportunities arising from it.
- Water is more homogeneous than expectedIn order to explain the known anomalies in water, some researchers assume that water consists of a mixture of two phases even under ambient conditions. However, new X-ray spectroscopic analyses at BESSY II, ESRF and Swiss Light Source show that this is not the case. At room temperature and normal pressure, the water molecules form a fluctuating network with an average of 1.74 ± 2.1% donor and acceptor hydrogen bridge bonds per molecule each, allowing tetrahedral coordination between close neighbours.
- Spintronics by “straintronics”: Superferromagnetism with electric-field induced strainData storage in today’s magnetic media is very energy consuming. Combination of novel materials and the coupling between their properties could reduce the energy needed to control magnetic memories thus contributing to a smaller carbon footprint of the IT sector. Now an international team led by HZB has observed at the HZB lightsource BESSY II a new phenomenon in iron nanograins: whereas normally the magnetic moments of the iron grains are disordered with respect each other at room temperature, this can be changed by applying an electric field: This field induces locally a strain on the system leading to the formation of a so-called superferromagnetic ordered state.
- HZB to participate in two Clusters of ExcellenceScientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) are researching novel systems of materials that can convert or store energy. The HZB will now also be contributing this expertise to the "MATH+" and "UniSysCat" Excellence Clusters being coordinated by Berlin universities. Over the next three years, the Helmholtz Association will fund HZB's participation under the Helmholtz Excellence Network with a total of 1.8 million euros.
- Towards the Climate Neutral City: Independent consulting office for integrating photovoltaics into buildingsThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is opening a national consulting office for integrating photovoltaics into buildings (BAIP) this spring. The consulting office will support building owners, architects, and municipal planners in activating building envelopes for power generation. The project is being funded by the Helmholtz Association over a period of four years as part of its knowledge transfer programme.
- Ultra-thin and extremely efficient: Thin-film tandem cells made of perovskite and CIGSe semiconductorsAn HZB team has fabricated and characterised a thin-film tandem solar cell made of perovskite and CIGSe. They relied on a simple, robust fabrication process that is also suitable for scaling up to large surface areas. The tandem solar cell is a fully thin film device with an impressive efficiency of 21.6 %. With further improvements it might reach efficiencies above 30 %.
- Batteries with silicon anodes: Neutron experiments show how formation of surface structures reduces amp-hour capacityIn theory, silicon anodes could store ten times more lithium ions than graphite anodes, which have been used in commercial lithium batteries for many years. However, the amp-hour capacity of silicon anodes so far has been declining sharply with each additional charge-discharge cycle. Now an HZB team at BER II of the HZB in Berlin and the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble has utilised neutron experiments to establish what happens at the surface of the silicon anode during charging and what processes reduce this capacity.
- Climate change: How could artificial photosynthesis contribute to limiting global warming?
If CO2 emissions do not fall fast enough, then CO2 will have to be removed from the atmosphere in the future to limit global warming. Not only could planting new forests and biomass contribute to this, but new technologies for artificial photosynthesis as well. An HZB physicist and a researcher at the University of Heidelberg have estimated how much surface area such solutions would require. Although artificial photosynthesis could bind CO2 more efficiently than the natural model, there are still no large modules that are stable over the long term. The team published their calculations in "Earth System Dynamics".
- Two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups will start in 2019
Starting in 2019, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will be establishing two new Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups and thereby strengthening its competencies in catalysis research. The Helmholtz Association will be funding each group with 150,000 euros annually over a period of five years, and HZB will be matching that sum with its own funds.
- Marcus Bär accepts W2 professorship for X-ray spectroscopy in Erlangen-NurembergProf. Marcus Bär has accepted a professorship for X-ray spectroscopy at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Bär heads the Department of Interface Design at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The new W2 professorship was established in cooperation with HZB and Forschungszentrum Jülich in order to strengthen the Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg für Renewable Energy (HI ERN). In the future, Bär will also be working on HI ERN research topics at HZB, thereby contributing to the intensification of cooperation.
- Neutronenforschung hilft bei der Entwicklung von zerstörungsfreien PrüfverfahrenMaterialermüdung zeigt sich häufig zuerst daran, dass im Innern des Materials Bereiche mit stark unterschiedlichen Eigenspannungen aneinandergrenzen. An der Neutronenquelle BER II am HZB hat ein Team der Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM) die Eigenspannungen von Schweißnähten aus ferromagnetischem Stahl analysiert. Die Ergebnisse helfen zerstörungsfreie elektromagnetische Prüfverfahren zu verbessern.
- Outstanding master thesis on the structure and function of a bacterial enzyme honouredOn December 17, 2018, Lena Graß, a PhD student from the Structural Biochemistry Group at Freie Universität Berlin, was awarded the Master Prize of the Gesellschaft für Biochemie und Molekularbiologie e.V. (Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) (GBM). For her master thesis at Freie Universität Berlin and the MX beamlines of BESSY II, she deciphered the structure and function of a so-called RNA helicase.
- Slovenian president awards HZB scientist with "Apple of Inspiration"Marko Jošt, Steve Albrecht and Bernd Rech, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) receive a rare award today, 19 December 2018. In the slovenian Grand Hall of Presidential Palace, the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor, presents them with the "Apple of Inspiration". It honours achievements in culture, science, sport and society. The Berlin scientists are the first foreigners who receive the prize together with colleagues from the University of Ljubljana.
- Steve Albrecht is Junior Professor at the Technical University of BerlinThe Technische Universität Berlin (TU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have appointed Prof. Dr. Steve Albrecht to the joint junior professorship "perovskite solar cells" as of December 15, 2018. Since 2016, Albrecht has headed the junior investigator group "Perovskit Tandem Solar Cells" at the HZB, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
- Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Synchrotron Radiation Innovation AwardOn December 6, 2018, the Association of Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize for an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of research with synchrotron radiation at the HZB or at DESY as well as the European Innovation-Award on Synchrotron Radiation. The award ceremonies took place during the 10th User Meeting at the HZB.
- Milestone for bERLinPro: photocathodes with high quantum efficiencyA team at the HZB has improved the manufacturing process of photocathodes and can now provide photocathodes with high quantum efficiency for bERLinPro.
- Key competencies for BESSY III: UndulatorsHZB undulators are not only used in the BESSY II synchrotron lightsource. They also enjoy great popularity at other large-scale research facilities. HZB has already supplied undulators to renowned centres such as the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, DESY in Hamburg, and MAX IV in Sweden. Undulators are key components in the operation of synchrotron lightsources.
- Delegation from Jordan visited the HZBThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will intensify its cooperation with Jordanian large-scale research facilities. This was agreed between Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning and representatives of a high-ranking Jordanian research delegation, which visited the HZB at the end of November 2018.
- HZB builds undulator for SESAME in JordanThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is building an APPLE II undulator for the SESAME synchrotron light source in Jordan. The undulator will be used at the Helmholtz SESAME beamline (HESEB) that will be set up there by five Helmholtz Centres. The Helmholtz Association is investing 3.5 million euros in this project coordinated by DESY.
- Molecules that self-assemble into monolayers for efficient perovskite solar cellsA team at the HZB has discovered a new method for producing efficient contact layers in perovskite solar cells. It is based on molecules that organise themselves into a monolayer. The study was published in Advanced Energy Materials and appeared on the front cover of the journal.
- "Make our Planet great again": New Research Group at the HZB institute of Silicon PhotovoltaicsThe physicist Dr. Yutsung Tsai is setting up his own research group on at the Institute of Silicon Photovoltaics at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. His goal is to develop two-dimensional transparent solar cells. Tsai receives research funding from the Franco-German programme "Make Our Planet Great Again – German Research Initiative“ (MOPGA-GRI), which is funded by the German Ministry or Education and Research.
- Alexander Petsch awarded the Young Investigators Prize of the German Thermoelectric SocietyAlexander Petsch from the HZB Department Methods and Characterization of Transport Phenomena in Energy Materials was awarded the Young Scientist Prize 2018 of the German Thermoelectrics Society e.V. (DTG) for his outstanding Bachelor thesis.
- Transition metal complexes: mixed works betterA team at BESSY II has investigated how various iron-complex compounds process energy from incident light. They were able to show why certain compounds have the potential to convert light into electrical energy. The results are important for the development of organic solar cells. The study has now been published in the journal PCCP, and its illustration selected for the cover.
- Veranstaltungstipp: Theaterstück Kernfragen über Lise Meitner am 13.11.2018Am 13. November 2018 wird an der Freien Universität ein Theaterstück zu Lise Meitner uraufgeführt, das durch das PORTRAITTHEATER aus Wien realisiert wird. Das Stück "KERNFRAGEN" basiert auf dokumentarischem Material, unter anderem dem umfangreichen Briefwechsel zwischen Lise Meitner und Max von Laue, der bislang wenig öffentlich bekannt ist. Der Eintritt ist frei, um Anmeldung wird gebeten.
- New records in perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells through improved light managementUsing microstructured layers, an HZB team has been able to increase the efficiency of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells, achieving 25.5 %, which is the highest published value to date. At the same time, computational simulations were utilized to investigate light conversion in various device designs with different nanostructured surfaces. This enabled optimization of light management and detailed energy yield analyses. The study has now been published in Energy & Environmental Science.
- Graphene on the way to superconductivityScientists at HZB have found evidence that double layers of graphene have a property that may let them conduct current completely without resistance. They probed the bandstructure at BESSY II with extremely high resolution ARPES and could identify a flat area at a surprising location.
- ERC Synergy grant with HZB participationNovel X-ray microscope to produce microstructural images in situ and in vivo
- Poster award to HZB doctoral studentFrederike Lehmann from the HZB Department Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials received a poster award at an international conference, the ICTMC-21 in Boulder, Colorado, USA. She presented her results on the synthesis and characterization of hybrid perovskite materials, which are considered interesting candidates for novel solar cells.
- Nanodiamonds as photocatalystsDiamond nanomaterials are considered hot candidates for low-cost photocatalysts. They can be activated by light and can then accelerate certain reactions between water and CO2 and produce carbon-neutral "solar fuels". The EU project DIACAT has now doped such diamond materials with boron and shown at BESSY II how this could significantly improve the photocatalytic properties.
- Andrea Denker is Professor of "Accelerator Physics for Medicine"The Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have appointed Prof. Dr. Andrea Denker to the joint professorship "Accelerator Physics for Medicine" as of October 1, 2018. Since 2006, Andrea Denker is head of the department "Proton Therapy" at the HZB, which operates the accelerator for eye tumor therapy. The therapy, offered in cooperation with the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the HZB, is unique in Germany.
- Blue phosphorus - mapped and measured for the first timeUntil recently, the existence of "blue" phosphorus was pure theory: Now an HZB team was able to examine samples of blue phosphorus at BESSY II for the first time and confirm via mapping of their electronic band structure that this is actually this exotic phosphorus modification. Blue phosphorus is an interesting candidate for new optoelectronic devices. The results have been published in Nano Letters.
- Poster award for HZB PhD studentEike Köhnen received an award for his poster on perovskite silicon tandem cells at the 4th International Conference on Perovskite Solar Cells and Optoelectronics (PSCO) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a PhD student in the Junior Research Group on Perovskite Tandem Cells led by Dr. Steve Albrecht.
- Am 15. Oktober startet die Ringvorlesung der Freien Universität Berlin– Zum Gedenken an Lise MeitnerLise Meitner ist eine der bedeutendsten Wissenschaftlerinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Die Freie Universität Berlin würdigt im Rahmen einer Ringvorlesung die Leistungen Lise Meitners und arbeitet deren Bedeutung für die Wissenschaft und Kultur auf. Die Veranstaltung findet immer montags von 18.15 bis 19.45 Uhr statt, Beginn ist am 15. Oktober.
- Collaboration between HZB and the University of FreiburgThrough a Joint Research Group entitled “Simulation of Energy Materials“ Prof. Joachim Dzubiella of the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg will be able to continue his collaboration with the HZB. The theoretical physicist headed the “Theory and Simulation“ group at the HZB until recently and worked closely together with colleagues conducting experimental research. The new research group will concentrate on electrochemical energy storage and solar fuels.
- HZB researchers boost the efficiency of silicon solar cellsThe efficiency of a solar cell is one of its most important parameters. It indicates what percentage of the solar energy radiated into the cell is converted into electrical energy. The theoretical limit for silicon solar cells is 29.3 percent due to physical material properties. In the journal Materials Horizons, researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and international colleagues describe how this limit can be abolished. The trick: they incorporate layers of organic molecules into the solar cell. These layers utilise a quantum mechanical process known as singlet exciton fission to split certain energetic light (green and blue photons) in such a way that the electrical current of the solar cell can double in that energy range.
- Neutrons scan magnetic fields inside samplesWith a newly developed neutron tomography technique, an HZB team has been able to map for the first time magnetic field lines inside materials at the BER II research reactor. Tensorial neutron tomography promises new insights into superconductors, battery electrodes, and other energy-related materials.
- Berlin’s best apprentice for precision mechanic comes from the HZBMilena Meschenmoser completed her apprenticeship as a precision mechanic as the best in Berlin. From 2014 to 2018, she completed the practical part of her training at the HZB workshop in Wannsee.
- Machine learning helps improving photonic applicationsPhotonic nanostructures can be used for many applications, not just in solar cells, but also in optical sensors for cancer markers or other biomolecules, for example. A team at HZB using computer simulations and machine learning has now shown how the design of such nanostructures can be selectively optimised. The results are published in Communications Physics.
- Scientific delegation from China visited the HZBOn 28 September 2018, a 25-member delegation from China gathered information about materials research at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. Representatives from various research institutes, universities and industrial companies visited the Lise-Meitner Campus in Wannsee and had discussions with the HZB researchers.
- Newsletter and HighlightreportExactly twenty years ago, BESSY II went into operation. In the current September newsletter, which we are sending out this week, we present the anniversary website, report on the new highlight report 2017 and on successes in technology transfer. Have you already registered for the newsletter? Here is the registration link.
- Atoosa Meseck is a professor of accelerator physics at the University of MainzOn 1 September 2018, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz appointed Atoosa Meseck to the joint professorship “Accelerator physics – collective effects and nonlinear beam dynamics”. Prof. Dr. Atoosa Meseck is researching at HZB into novel concepts for undulators, as are indispensable for producing high brightness synchrotron radiation. Among other things, she is developing undulator concepts for the successor facility BESSY III, for which the concept is currently being developed at HZB.
- Spectacular transport: Undulator moved to the electron storage ring BESSY IIA worldwide unique undulator developed at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was installed in the storage ring BESSY II on September 20, 2018. It supplies the "Energy Materials In-Situ Lab EMIL" with the hard X-ray light from BESSY II. The transport of the six-ton device was spectacular: several cranes were used to transport the undulator just a few hundred meters from the production building to the storage ring.
- Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surfaceThin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
- Hanwha Q-Cells Quantsol Awards 2018Six young researchers received a Hanwha Q-Cells Quantsol Award for their self-developed Photovoltaics. This award is presented by the organizers of the international summer school Quantsol together with the industry.
- Neue HZB-Zeitung „lichtblick“ erschienenDas Potenzial der Solarenergie ist längst nicht ausgereizt. Es gibt viele Stellschrauben, um den Wirkungsgrad weiter zu erhöhen. So beschichtet Christiane Becker Gläser mit winzigen Strukturen, um den Lichteinfang in Solarzellen zu erhöhen – eine Technologie, die auch für die Industrie höchst interessant ist. In der Titelgeschichte der neuen "lichtblick" stellen wir die Physikerin vor, die sich beinahe für eine Laufbahn als Musikerin entschieden hätte. Bis sie auf das Thema der Erneuerbaren Energien stieß.
- The HZB welcomes new apprentices and studentsOn September 3, 2018, 14 new colleagues who are undertaking an apprenticeship, a dual course of study or a voluntary scientific year at the HZB officially started their careers.
- Invitation to the final presentations of HZB Summer Students on 30th AugustThe summer students worked on their own research projects for eight weeks. August 30th is their last day at HZB. We cordially invite you to the final presenation event at Campus Wannsee. Three selected students will give a lecture on their research projects. Afterwards, the students will be glad to report on the results and progress of their work in a poster session. Just drop by without registering - we look forward to seeing you!
- Shaking hands and experimenting with the Federal Research MinisterFederal Research Minister Anja Karliczek visited the tent of the school laboratories in the Helmholtz Association at the German government's Open Day this weekend. Employees of the Alfred Wegener Institute, DESY and HZB experimented with the visitors at the invitation of the BMBF. "We have two great days behind us with many interesting encounters, curious children and lots of action," says Dr. Ulrike Witte from the HZB school laboratory.
- 2.8 Mio Euro Funding for preparing perovskite solar cells for high volume manufacturingHZB participates in a new consortium for Perovskite solar technology that is led by Oxford PV Germany GmbH. The consortium is funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Energy with 2.8 Million Euros and aims to further demonstrate the manufacturability of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells.
- Printing solar cells and organic LEDsHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin form a joint lab and research group “Generative production processes for hybrid components”.
- Future information technologies: nanoscale heat transport under the microscopeA team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Potsdam has investigated heat transport in a model system comprising nanometre-thin metallic and magnetic layers. Similar systems are candidates for future high-efficiency data storage devices that can be locally heated and rewritten by laser pulses (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording). Measurements taken with extremely short X-ray pulses have now shown that the heat is distributed a hundred times slower than expected in the model system. The results are published in Nature Communications.
- Register now: Newsletter from HZBOn Thursday evening we will send out the next newsletter with information from the HZB. The focus topic in August is BESSY II and the expansion to BESSY VSR. According to the new data protection guidelines, we may only send the newsletter to persons who have registered. And what about you? Did you just subscribe? Here is the registration link.
- Summer in the lab - and in the HZB science blogThey come from Egypt, China, Mexico or Russia and study science or technology in Bachelor's or Master's degrees. For eight weeks our summer students participate in research in an HZB team. But are they doing exactly? They are currently blogging about their projects in the HZB-Scienceblog.
- World record: Fastest 3D tomographic images at BESSY IIAn HZB team has developed an ingenious precision rotary table at the EDDI beamline at BESSY II and combined it with particularly fast optics. This enabled them to document the formation of pores in grains of metal during foaming processes at 25 tomographic images per second - a world record.
- Insight into loss processes in perovskite solar cells enables efficiency improvementsIn perovskite solar cells, charge carriers are mainly lost through recombination occurring at interface defect sites. In contrast, recombination at defect sites within the perovskite layer does not limit the performance of the solar cells at present. Teams from the University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) were able to reach this interesting conclusion through extremely accurate quantitative measurements on 1 cm2 perovskite cells using photoluminescence. Their results contribute to improving perovskite solar cells and have now been published in Nature Energy.
- Insight into catalysis through novel study of X-ray absorption spectroscopyAn international team has made a breakthrough at BESSY II. For the first time, they succeeded in investigating electronic states of a transition metal in detail and drawing reliable conclusions on their catalytic effect from the data. These results are helpful for the development of future applications of catalytic transition-metal systems. The work has now been published in Chemical Science, the Open Access journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Shutdown BESSY II: work has startedAs of 30 July 2018, BESSY II will be down for several weeks. In the summer shutdown, important components in the storage ring tunnel will be replaced and overhauled. The first conversion work for the BESSY VSR project also begins. Upgrading BESSY II into a variable-pulse-length storage ring (BESSY-VSR) will provide unique experimental conditions for researchers worldwide. The shutdown lasts until 30 September 2018, and user operation will recommence on 30 October 2018.
- ERC Starting Grant awarded to Antonio AbateHZB scientist Dr. Antonio Abate has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant for his research project on perovskite solar cells. The ERC Starting Grant supports outstanding researchers in an early phase of their scientific careers with up to 1.5 million euros over five years and is considered one of the most important European awards.
- Wissenstransfer: Neues Standardwerk zu Energietechnologien in DeutschlandVertreter des Wuppertal Instituts haben dem Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) einen mehrbändigen Bericht zu Energietechnologien übergeben. Dabei haben Experten aus dem HZB-Institut PVcomB am Themenfeld Photovoltaik mitgewirkt. Im Herbst verabschiedet die Bundesregierung das neue 7. Energieforschungsprogramm (EFP). Der Bericht liefert eine wissenschaftliche Basis für die Entwicklung des Programms.
- HZB Newsletter in english nowYou can now register to receive the monthly HZB Newsletter automatically by email. It always contains two or three science features from research activities, information on personnel matters, and video and reading tips such as links to profiles and news reports from the HZB newspaper Lichtblick, the Campus Blog, and the Science Blog.
- Future information technology: Microscopic insight into processes when magnets suddenly heat upMagnetic solids can demagnetize upon heating. Despite decades of research, it has so far been unclear how this process works in detail. Now, for the first time, an international group has observed in a step-by-step manner how sudden heating affects the magnetic order of a ferrimagnetic insulator. The result: The magnetic order changes on two time scales. The first process is surprisingly fast and takes only one picosecond, while the second process takes 100,000 times longer. This insight could help to increase the switching speed in magnetic storage media by at least a factor of 1000. The work is published in Science Advances.
- Poster award für HZB scientist at ICT2018At the International Conference on Thermoelectrics in July in Caen, France, Dr. Katherine Ann Mazzio from the HZB Institute of Nanospectroscopy received a prize for her poster. The conference is the world's largest symposium on thermoelectric materials.
- Bundesvereinigung Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik wählt Susan Schorr zur GeneralsekretärinAuf der letzten Mitgliederversammlung der Bundesvereinigung Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik (BVMatWerk) wurde Prof. Dr. Susan Schorr einstimmig zur Generalsekretärin gewählt. Sie tritt das Amt ab 2019 an, die Amtszeit dauert zwei Jahre.
- GRECO kick-off in Madrid: advancing photovoltaics through “open science”The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is one of ten international partners in the GRECO pilot project funded under the European Union framework programme Horizon 2020. They intend to jointly test OpenScience approaches for exchanging knowledge and research data in order to accelerate the development of innovative PV products worldwide. GRECO will receive three million euros in funding through 2021.
- HZB expert contributes to Leibniz platform GraFOxThe platform "GraFOx" of the Leibniz Association bundles the activities and competences of Berlin research institutes and universities in the field of oxide research for electronic applications. Now Prof. Dr. Catherine Dubourdieu has been involved as an Associate Partner. The internationally renowned expert heads the Institute "Functional Oxides for Energy-Efficient Information Technology" at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
- Summer in the laboratory: 21 summer students start their research project at the HZBYoung people from all over the world have applied to the Helmholtz Centre to take part in the annual summer programme: eight weeks of research in an HZB team, well supervised, taking their first steps in their own scientific work. Now 21 students from eleven countries have arrived and are looking forward to their research project. They will present their results on 30 August.
- Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Nils MårtenssonThe Helmholtz Association has presented the Swedish physicist Nils Mårtensson with a Helmholtz International Fellow Award. The synchrotron expert of the University of Uppsala, who heads the nobel comitee for physics, cooperates closely with the HZB-Institute Methods and Instrumentation for Synchrotron Radiation Research.
- Kostenloser Download: HZB-Forschung in Spektrum KompaktNoch bis zum 9. Juli steht das Spektrum Kompakt "Energiewende", herausgegeben vom Spektrum-Verlag, zum kostenlosen Download zur Verfügung. Darin enthalten ist eine 13-seitige Sonderveröffentlichung des HZB, aufgeteilt in drei Beiträge. Nach Ablauf des kostenlosen Zugangs wird der Download des Hefts auf den Spektrum-Seiten 4,99 € kosten.
- New world record for direct solar water-splitting efficiencyHydrogen will play a central role as a storage medium in sustainable energy systems. An international team of researchers has now succeeded in raising the efficiency of producing hydrogen from direct solar water-splitting to a record 19 per cent. They did so by combining a tandem solar cell of III-V semiconductors with a catalyst of rhodium nanoparticles and a crystalline titanium dioxide coating. Teams from the California Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, Technische Universität Ilmenau, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE participated in the development work. One part of the experiments took place at the Institute for Solar Fuels in the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
- Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin receives "audit berufundfamilie" certificateOn 27 June 2018 in Berlin, the HZB was awarded the "audit berufundfamilie" certificate for its strategically designed family and life-phase conscious personnel policy. The certificate was presented to Anja Seehrich, the person responsible for work-life-balance at HZB, by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Dr. Franziska Giffey.
- E-MRS: Prizes for two PhD students at HZBAt the spring meeting of the European Materials Research Society from 18-22 June 2018 in Strasbourg, Hannes Hempel received the prize for the best talk and Sara Niedenzu was awarded for her poster. Both are PhD students at the MatSEC graduate school at HZB. The E-MRS spring conference is the largest materials research conference in Europe with 2,500 participants.
- HZB Newsletter with monthly highlights and info on eventsYou can now register to receive the monthly HZB Newsletter automatically by email. It always contains two or three science features from research activities, information on personnel matters, and video and reading tips such as links to profiles and news reports from the HZB newspaper Lichtblick, the Campus Blog, and the Science Blog.
- Dr. Raül Garcia Diez received poster award at the international synchrotron conference SRI 2018HZB researcher introduces unique operando characterization by soft X-ray spectroscopy
- Silicon heterojunction solar cell with a certified 23.1 % energy conversion efficiencyAfter further optimization of the baseline process for industrial silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells, the accredited metrology lab ISFH CalTeC now certified an efficiency of 23.1 % for a 4 cm² solar cell. This performance is among the best in the world and demonstrates the leading role of HZB in this technology in Germany and Europe.
- Day of the Little Researchers: 150 daycare children experiment at the HZBWhy is the light white? And the sky blue? Children ask many questions and want to try things out. For this purpose, 150 pre-school children had many opportunities at the "Day of the Little Researchers" in the HZB school lab. They used self-made spectroscopes to examine the colours of light.
- Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiencyA 1 cm2 perovskite silicon tandem solar cell achieves an independently certified efficiency of 25.2 %. This was presented this week at an international conference in Hawaii, USA. The cell was developed jointly by HZB, Oxford University and Oxford PV - The Perovskite CompanyTM.
- Helmholtz Association supports ATHENA with 29.99 mio. euro grantATHENA (“Accelerator Technology HElmholtz iNfrAstructure”) is a new research and development platform focusing on accelerator technologies and drawing on the resources of all six Helmholtz accelerator institutions (DESY, Jülich Research Centre, Helmholtz Centre Berlin, Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf HZDR, KIT and GSI with the Helmholtz Institute of Jena). The Helmholtz Association has now decided to pay almost 30 million euros towards ATHENA as a strategic development project.
- Alliance Building Integrated Photovoltaics: Björn Rau joins Management BoardThe General Meeting of Alliance for Builiding Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) has unanimously elected physicist and photovoltaic expert Dr. Björn Rau, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, to the BIPV Management Board.
- HZB experts present cooperation opportunities at Intersolar Europe in MunichThe international exhibition “Intersolar” brings photovoltaic research and the solar industry together. It is a perfect opportunity for researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin to present thin-film photovoltaic technologies and projects, including for example perovskite solar cells and tandem solar cells.
- Record number of visitors to the Long Night of Sciences at HZB in Adlershof4,700 visitors came to see the electron accelerator BESSY II and the energy laboratories and experimental stations dedicated to researching solar energy. That makes nearly 20 percent more interested visitors to HZB’s Adlershof campus than last time.
- The pioneer of organic semiconductor electronics will be a guest speaker at Helmholtz-Zentrum BerlinOn 14 June, Prof. Sir Richard Friend will be giving a talk in the auditorium of BESSY II on the physics that made the breakthroughs in organic electronics possible. He will speak about the "Management of the Coulomb interaction in organic LEDs and solar cells".
- Neutron tomography: Insights into the interior of teeth, root balls, batteries, and fuel cellsA team of researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and European Spallation Source (ESS) has now published a comprehensive overview of neutron-based imaging processes in the renowned journal Materials Today (impact factor 21.6). The authors report on the latest developments in neutron tomography, illustrating the possible applications using examples of this non-destructive method. Neutron tomography has facilitated breakthroughs in so diverse areas such as art history, battery research, dentistry, energy materials, industrial research, magnetism, palaeobiology and plant physiology.
- Hereinspaziert: Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin öffnet zur Langen Nacht der Wissenschaften BESSY II und EnergieforschungslaboreSolarzellen, die hocheffizient, sehr preiswert und lange haltbar sind. Wasserstoff, der mit Sonnenenergie gewonnen wird und Autos antreibt. Computer, die mit geringstem Energieverbrauch riesige Datenmengen verarbeiten: Die Forscherinnen und Forscher des Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin arbeiten daran, dass diese Zukunftsvisionen Realität werden. Zur Langen Nacht der Wissenschaften öffnen sie ihre Labore in Adlershof, stellen ihre Arbeit vor und laden zum Experimentieren ein.
- Thorsten Kamps is Professor of Accelerator Physics at Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinOn 24 May 2018, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HUB) and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) jointly appointed Thorsten Kamps to the Professorship of “Accelerator physics – Generation and Characterisation of High Brightness Electron Beams”. Kamps heads a workgroup at the Institute for Accelerator Physics of HZB. He and his team develop a key component for new accelerator facilities, namely high brightness electron sources.
- Start of a several-year approval processHZB submits its letter of intent to have the last fuel elements from the research reactor BER II stored in Ahaus.
- Neue HZB-Zeitung „lichtblick“ erschienenIn den letzten Wochen ist viel passiert am HZB: das Beschleunigerteam hat einen neuen Betriebsmodus erfolgreich getestet, eine Begleitgruppe zum Rückbau des Forschungsreaktors hat ihre Arbeit aufgenommen – und es gibt jetzt eine Energiemanagerin am HZB. Das sind nur einige Themen, über die wir berichten.
- "Tandemtechnologie" - Wie die Produktion von Solarzellen nach Europa zurückkehren könnteDer Direktor des PVcomB am HZB im pv-magazine Interview
"Das Potenzial der Photovoltaik ist nicht mal annähernd ausgereizt", sagt Rutger Schlatmann im Interview. So liege der Wirkungsgrade bei kommerziellen Modulen aktuell bei zirka 20 Prozent. Mit Tandem-Solarmodulen wären bis zu 40 Prozent möglich - und sie ließen sich wahrscheinlich auch wirtschaftlich produzieren. Schlatmann zeigt die Vorteile der Dünnschicht- und der Wafer-Technologie auf und wagt eine Prognose: Welche Technologie wird das Rennen machen? Und unter welchen Bedingungen könnte die Photovoltaik-Produktion nach Deutschland zurückkehren? Lesen Sie mehr im Interview des pv magazine.
- Helmholtz Virtual Institute MiCo: Article selected as journal highlight for 2017The Helmholtz Virtual Institute MiCo offers a platform through which the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin conducts joint research with universities and other partners on the topic of microstructures for thin-film solar cells. The journal Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering recently selected an article produced through MiCo as the highlight of those published by the journal during 2017.
- Internationaler Workshop zu CIGS-Dünnschicht-Solarmodulen am 18. Juni 2018 in StuttgartDünnschicht-Solarmodule mit einem Halbleiter aus Kupfer, Indium, Gallium und Selen (CIGS) machen derzeit große Fortschritte bei der kommerziellen Fertigung. Welche Verbesserungen die Industrie in den letzten Jahren erzielt hat, wo die CIGS-Dünnschichttechnologie heute steht und was künftig noch erreichbar ist, diskutieren internationale Experten am 18. Juni 2018 auf dem neunten Workshop IW-CIGSTech in Stuttgart. Veranstaltet wird der jährlich stattfindende Austausch vom Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) und dem Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB). Der Workshop richtet sich an Fachleute aus Wissenschaft, Technik und Industrie.
- Appointment to University of FloridaDr. Charles Hages has received an appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida. Hages has been a postdoctoral researcher at HZB in the Department of Structure and Dynamics of Energy Materials for two years. At University of Florida, Hages will advance his work in developing energy materials and looks forward to continued collaborations with his HZB colleagues.
- "Es war voll super!" - Girls Day & Zukunftstag am HZBDie Mädchen und Jungen zum Zukunftstag am HZB waren einstimmig begeistert - "Es war voll super!". Genau das Feedback gaben die Schülerinnen und Schüler gestern an die Betreuerinnen und Betreuer weiter. Insgesamt haben über 90 Mädchen und Jungen an den dreizehn verschiedenen Workshops in Adlershof und Wannsee teilgenommen. Neu dabei: Das Team der Augentumortherapie hat sich erstmalig im Rahmen des "Zukunftstag 2018" mit einem ganztägigen Workshop für Mädchen & Jungen beteiligt.
- Registration for Summer School Quantsol is now open!It is already the eleventh time that the International Summer School on Photovoltaics and New Concepts of Quantum Solar Energy Conversion (Quantsol) will be held from 2. to 9. September 2018 in Hirschegg, Kleinwalsertal, Austria. The school is organized by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Ilmenau. Applications can be submitted through the school’s homepage until May 18th , 2018.
- HI-SCORE international research school: Kick Off Meeting in BerlinThe international research school on solar energy promotes exchange between Germany and Israel and excellent conditions for PhD students.
- Results of evaluation by international panel of experts: support for HZB’s future, calls for rapid planning of BESSY IIIThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has received an evaluation of “excellent” in a review of science programmes undertaken at all Helmholtz Research Centres. This provides the foundation for future financing of HZB.
- Writing and deleting magnets with lasersScientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA have found a way to write and delete magnets in an alloy using a laser beam – a surprising effect. The reversibility of the process opens up new possibilities in the fields of material processing, optical technology, and data storage.
- A high ranked Chinese delegation led by Mr. Yin, Vice Mayor of Beijing, visited HZB in AdlershofOn 11 April 2018, the Vice Mayor of Beijing, the Minister Counsellor and the Secretary-General of the Chinese Embassy in Germany paid a visit to Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The delegation came to learn more about the research topics, infrastructures and user service at HZB. The plan is to establish Beijing as one of three major national innovation centres with large-scale facilities for the international user community.
- HZB-Schülerlabor: Jetzt Termine für das 1. Schulhalbjahr 2018/2019 buchenDie Schülerlabore des HZB in Wannsee und Adlershof sind sehr beliebt. Bis zu 3000 Schülerinnen und Schüler experimentieren pro Jahr zu Themen wie Magnetismus und Supraleitung, Solarenergieforschung und Licht und Farben in der forschungsnahen Umgebung des HZB. Für das neue Schulhalbjahr (August 2018 - Januar 2019) bietet das Schülerlabor 76 Projekttage für Grund- und Oberschulen an. Die Projekttage sind kostenfrei. Restplätze für Oberschulklassen können noch gebucht werden.
- Kesterite solar cells: germanium promises better opto-electronic properties than tinSpecific changes in the composition of kesterite-type semiconductors make it possible to improve their suitability as absorber layers in solar cells. As a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed, this is particularly true for kesterites in which tin was replaced by germanium. The scientists examined the samples using neutron diffraction at BER II and other methods. The work was selected for the cover of the journal CrystEngComm.
- New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and citiesAt the Interdisciplinary conference on „INNOVATION IN SOLAR BUILDING SKINS & ENERGY EFFICIENCY TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE CITIES”, 19th to 20th march in Berlin, experts from the building sector, politics, finance and photovoltaics have discussed the implementation of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). In a very lively and active workshop, drivers and barriers were identified.
- LEAPS join forces with the European Commission to strengthen Europe’s leading role in science“A world where European science is a catalyst for solving global challenges, a key driver for competitiveness and a compelling force for closer integration and peace through scientific collaboration.” This is the vision of LEAPS, League of European Accelerator-based Photon Sources, on which the LEAPS Strategy 2030 is based. Director Jean-David Malo, DG Research and Innovation, received the strategy today at the Bulgarian Presidency Flagship Conference on Research Infrastructures.
- HZB has once again been recertified as a family-friendly employerSince 2011, HZB has held the “Career and Family” certificate of the non-profit Hertie Foundation. Every three years, HZB’s schemes for balancing work and family/life have to be put under review. In March 2018, independent reviewers confirmed that HZB is still a certified family-friendly employer.
- HZB scientist got the dissertation prize at the spring conference of the Deutsche Physikalische GesellschaftDr. Nele Thielemann-Kühn was awarded the dissertation prize of the magnetism research group at the spring conference of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German physical society/DPG) in Berlin. The prize is awarded for outstanding research in the field of magnetism.
- Twin Orbit operation successfully tested at BESSY IIThe first “Twin Orbit User Test week” at BESSY II in February 2018 was a big success and can be considered as an important step towards real user operation. Physicists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have been able to store two separate electron beams in one storage ring. The twin orbit operation mode can serve users with different needs of the time structure of the photon pulses simultaneously and offers elegant options regarding the future project BESSY VSR.
- Register now: Smart City - Interdisciplinary conference on solar energy and architecture"INNOVATION IN SOLAR BUILDING SKINS & ENERGY EFFICIENCY TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE CITIES" will take place in Berlin March 19th-20th.
Experts from the construction industry, photovoltaic research field, and the financial sector will discuss innovative solutions for solar facades in combination with energy efficiency in buildings and cities in Berlin, March 19th-20th, 2018. Photovoltaics integrated into buildings represent an important component for energy-efficient cities of the future.
Online registration is open until wednesday 14th March. Students are admitted for a reduced fee.
- Message to residents: false alarm at the research reactor BER II on 7 March 2018We wold like to inform you that a false alarm was triggered at 9:19 p.m. on Wednesday the 7th of March 2018 at the Berliner Experimental Reactor BER II. At the time the alarm went off, BER II was still operating normally and continuously. After clarifying the trigger of the false alarm, a verbal all-clear was given over the campus PA system.
- Solar–to-hydrogen conversion: nanostructuring increases efficiency of metal-free photocatalysts by factor elevenPolymeric carbon nitrides exhibit a catalytic effect in sunlight that can be used for the production of hydrogen from solar energy. However, the efficiency of these metal-free catalysts is extremely low. A team at the Tianjin University in China, in collaboration with a group at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, has increased the catalytic efficiency of these polymeric carbon nitrides by a factor eleven through a simple process resulting in a larger surface area. The paper was published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.
- Guest researcher at HZB: Bessel Prize Winner Benjamin RotenbergProf. Benjamin Rotenberg has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for 2018 and will be spending time regularly as a guest researcher at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Rotenberg is a researcher of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and heads a research group in Sorbonne Université in Paris. He works in an interdisciplinary area spanning physics and chemistry for modelling transport processes in materials, at interfaces, and in electrolytes.
- Luminescent nano-architectures of gallium arsenideA team at the HZB has succeeded in growing nanocrystals of gallium arsenide on tiny columns of silicon and germanium. This enables extremely efficient optoelectronic components for important frequency ranges to be realised on silicon chips.
- Dr. Raul Garcia Diez wins the Dissertationspreis Adlershof 2017With his talk on the properties of nanoparticles and how they can be measured more accurately at BESSY II, Dr. Raul Garcia Diez convinced the jury and was awarded the Dissertationspreis Adlershof 2017. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, IGAFA e. V. and the WISTA MANAGEMENT GmbH are the sponsors of this prize endowed with 3000 Euros. Garcia Diez completed his PhD in 2017 at PTB and TU Berlin and is now active as a post-doctoral researcher at HZB.
- Neue HZB-Zeitung lichtblick erschienenPerowskit-Solarzellen haben einen rasanten Aufstieg hingelegt – und vermutlich einen noch steileren vor sich. Die Materialien sind so interessant, dass jetzt schon Industriepartner auf den Zug aufspringen, um diese Entwicklung nicht zu verpassen. Lesen Sie in der neuen Ausgabe, was die Solarzellen so besonders macht und warum Oxford PV, ein führender Anbieter auf diesem Gebiet, jetzt mit dem HZB kooperiert (S. 3 und S. 6-7).
- Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paperThermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest of components: a normal pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive paint are sufficient to convert a temperature difference into electricity via the thermoelectric effect. This has now been demonstrated by a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
- Joint graduate school for data science sponsors its first projectsThe Helmholtz Association, the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) and the universities of Berlin are creating a new PhD programme in Berlin for the field of data science. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is involved in several of the projects. The first training positions are already advertised.
- User research at BER II: New insights into high-temperature superconductorsAfter 30 years of research, there are still many unsolved puzzles about high-temperature superconductors - among them is the magnetic “stripe order” found in some cuprate superconductors. A Danish research team has taken a closer look at these stripes, using high-resolution neutron scattering at the spectrometers FLEXX (HZB) and ThALES (ILL, Grenoble). Their results, now published in Physical Review Letters, challenge the common understanding of stripe order, and may contribute to unveil the true nature of high-temperature superconductivity.
- 40-year controversy in solid-state physics resolvedAn international team at BESSY II headed by Prof. Oliver Rader has shown that the puzzling properties of samarium hexaboride do not stem from the material being a topological insulator, as it had been proposed to be. Theoretical and initial experimental work had previously indicated that this material, which becomes a Kondo insulator at very low temperatures, also possessed the properties of a topological insulator. The team has now published a compelling alternative explanation in Nature Communications, however.
- HZB launches Helmholtz International Research School in collaboration with IsraelOn 1st February 2018, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has established the Helmholtz International Research School HI-SCORE, which will be oriented towards solar energy research. To accomplish this, HZB is collaborating with the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, the Israeli Institute of Technology (Technion) in Haifa, and three Israeli universities as well as universities in Berlin and Potsdam.
- User experiment at BESSY II: Complex tessellations, extraordinary materialsSimple organic molecules form complex materials through self-organization
- Application open for Young Investigator WorkshopThe Virtual Institute (VI) “Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes” explores the governing principles of material functions and is internationally highly visible. Young scientists are invited to participate in the Young Investigators Workshop which takes place from 22 to 27 April 2018 in Grainau. Please apply by 20th February 2018.
- Perovskite solar cells: mesoporous interface mitigates the impact of defectsThe nominal cell operating life of perovskite solar cells is strongly influenced by their inner architecture.This was shown by two scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Munich. They combined experiments with numerical simulations in order to explain this observation.
- Perovskite solar cells: perfection not required!Experiments at BESSY II reveal why even inhomogeneous perovskite films are highly functional
- Oxford PV collaborates with HZB to move perovskite solar cells closer to commercialisationPerovskite solar technology leader Oxford PV collaborates with leading German research centre to support the accelerated transfer of its technology into silicon cell manufacturing lines.
- Milestone reached: electron source for bERLinPro produces its first beamOn the HZB Adlershof campus, researchers are building a prototype of an energy-recovery linear accelerator (bERLinPro). Intensive research has been going on for years to develop the worldwide unique key components required for this accelerator. Now, the scientists and engineers have reached a very important milestone: from the interactions between cathode, laser pulse and electric field inside the cavity, the first electrons have been produced and accelerated.
- Frohe Weihnachten und alles Gute für 2018!Wir wünschen Ihnen ein frohes Fest und ruhige, besinnliche Feiertage. Wir bedanken uns bei allen Kooperations- und Geschäftspartnern für die Zusammenarbeit. Den Leserinnen und Lesern unserer Webseite danken wir für ihre Treue. Wir wünschen Ihnen ein schönes Restjahr und freuen uns auf ein ereignisreiches neues Jahr 2018!
- Accolade and social commitment at the same time: Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech has become a new member of acatechThe German “National Academy of Science and Engineering – acatech” has admitted Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech, an expert in renewable energies, into its circle of members. Bernd Rech has headed the Institute of Silicon Photovoltaics at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) since 2006 and has been the acting Scientific Director of HZB since May 2017. For many years, and in many capacities, he has been a champion for knowledge transfer. “This appointment is an accolade for his scientific accomplishment, and at the same time involves an honorary mandate,” acatech writes in its press release. The federal- and state-funded academy advises social and political actors on technological matters.
- BER II and BESSY II User Meeting at HZBMore than 600 scientists registered this year for the 9th annual BER II and BESSY II User Meeting from Wednesday to Friday, 13-15 December 2017. The Friends of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin recognised outstanding work in the field of synchrotron radiation with an Innovation Award, and the best doctoral dissertation with the Ernst-Eckard-Koch prize.
- Progress in solar technologies – from research to applicationEU group project presents its results: high efficiencies with less material
- 15 years of Russian–German cooperation at BESSY IIAt 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.
- Solar energy: Defects in Kesterite semiconductors studied using neutronsA research team at the HZB has precisely characterised for the first time the various types of defects in kesterite semiconductors. They achieved this with the help of neutron scattering at the BER II research reactor and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA. The findings point to a means of guided optimisation for kesterite solar cells.
- HZB researcher Catherine Dubourdieu appointed full professor at Freie Universität BerlinCatherine Dubourdieu has become a full professor at the Freie Universität Berlin commencing December 2017. The Freie Universität Berlin is one of eleven German elite universities in the German Universities Excellence Initiative. Her position will be that of W3-S, which enables her to continue her research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) in joint role. The physicist is an expert in the field of functional metal oxides that are interesting candidates for future information technologies.
- Neutron spectroscopy: new detector module MultiFLEXX increases count rate tenfoldThe triple axis spectrometer FLEXX at BER II provides a new detector module for user service. It measures many angles and multiple energy transfers simultaneously and thus increases the amount of data measured per hour by about a factor of ten. This enables neutron users to make optimal use of their beam time.
- PVcomB and AVANCIS launch joint MyCIGS research project in order to improve outdoor performance of thin film CIGS solar modulesThe Competence Centre Thin-Film- and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB) is contributing its expertise to improving copper-indium-gallium-sulphide (CIGS) thin-film production in the MyCIGS collaborative research project. CIGS-module manufacturer AVANCIS in Munich is coordinating this project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Oldenburg University) and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) are also partners in the project.
- HZB User Service is a leader for quality managementUser Coordination receives the ISO 9001 certificate from TÜV Süd
- Eine Chance für die Forschung – mitten zwischen Berlin und PotsdamPotsdams Oberbürgermeister Jann Jakobs informiert sich am Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin über die Pläne zum Rückbau des Forschungsreaktors BER II.
- Light facilitates “impossible“ n-doping of organic semiconductorsApplications as light-emitting diodes and solar cells
- Miniaturised spectrometer wins first prize at international conferenceA Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) team together with experts at Ulm University and the University of Stuttgart have designed an electron spin resonance spectrometer that fits a box 10 cm on a side. The team presented the device to a technology jury at the international IEEE Sensors 2017 conference in Glasgow, Scotland and received the first prize of the best live demonstration award . ESR spectroscopy is extremely useful for research in energy-related materials such as catalysts, solar cells, and battery electrodes
- Helmholtz Day in the HZB School LabDo you know who Hermann von Helmholtz was? At this question, most of the primary school kids shook their head. Yet, the namesake of the Helmholtz Association was one of the most important natural scientists of the 19th century, and one of the last universal scholars. To keep his memory alive, Helmholtz Day has been held regularly, this sixth time in the Helmholtz Association’s School Lab. HZB invited 5th grade pupils from Nauen (Brandenburg) to Wannsee to conduct their own experiments in the School Lab.
- HZB makes new contacts with Argentinian Neutron Beams LaboratoryHelmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Argentinian Neutron Beams Laboratory, LAHN (Laboratorio Argentino de Haces de Neutrones). Through this cooperation, HZB will be advising Argentinian researchers on the construction of two neutron instruments. Also planned is an exchange programme for researchers from both countries.
- LEAPS – Europe’s light sources join together to coordinate cutting-edge researchA new strategic group comprising the organisations operating European accelerator-based light sources has been founded in Brussels. The goal of the LEAPS consortium (League of European Accelerator-Based Photon Sources) is to elevate European collaboration on these “super microscopes” to a new level for the purpose of helping solve global challenges through concerted scientific excellence, as well as boost European competitiveness and integration. Representatives from 16 institutions issued a common declaration in the presence of the European Union’s Director General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits.
- Einladung: Informationsveranstaltung zum Rückbau des Berliner Experimentierreaktors BER II am 21. NovemberEnde 2019 schaltet das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) den Berliner Experimentierreaktor BER II endgültig ab. Über die gesetzlich vorgeschriebene Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung hinaus möchte das HZB deshalb mit allen interessierten Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in einen Dialog über Stilllegung und Rückbau des BER II treten. Dafür lädt das Forschungszentrum zu einer Informationsveranstaltung ein am Dienstag, den 21. November 2017, von 18 Uhr bis ca. 21 Uhr in der Aula der Johannes-Tews-Grundschule in der Wasgenstraße 50 in 14129 Berlin.
- HZB is involved in the Helmholtz exchange programme with ChinaThe Helmholtz Association and the Office of China Postdoctoral Council, OCPC, are establishing a common exchange programme for Chinese postdocs. The young scientists will be researching at eight Helmholtz centres for two years before returning to China. HZB is also involved in the exchange programme, which runs from 2017 to 2021.
- Future IT: Antiferromagnetic dysprosium reveals magnetic switching with less energyHZB scientists have identified a mechanism with which it may be possible to develop a form of magnetic storage that is faster and more energy-efficient. They compared how different forms of magnetic ordering in the rare-earth metal named dysprosium react to a short laser pulse. They discovered that the magnetic orientation can be altered much faster and with considerably less energy if the magnetic moments of the individual atoms do not all point in the same direction (ferromagnetism), but instead point are rotated against each other (anti-ferromagnetism). The study was published in Physical Review letters on 6. November 2017 and on the cover of the print edition.
- New magazine “lichtblick” is out: Select articles can be read in English on the websiteSome artikels from our magazine lichtblick are available in English: You can find these articles here: http://hz-b.de/lichtblick-en