- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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).
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- “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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Radio TEDDY experimental show with the HZB - tune in on Saturdays at 2.40 pm!
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Radio TEDDY continue their successful cooperation. In the next round, we will provide ideas for six exciting experiments that the Radio TEDDY moderator Leo will conduct for the children in front of the radio. Participating, having fun and arousing curiosity - that's the top priority. Tune in now: every Saturday at 2.40 p.m. and of course you can also listen to the programme online.
- 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.
- 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.
- 21.01.: Seminar zu klimaneutralem Planen, Bauen und BetreibenBauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) bietet in Städten und Gemeinden enorme Möglichkeiten, aktiv zum Klimaschutz beizutragen. Im Seminar geht es um die baurechtlichen Anforderungen, den Brandschutz und den Einsatz verschiedener PV-Materialien.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- ERC Synergy grant with HZB participationNovel X-ray microscope to produce microstructural images in situ and in vivo
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- “Distinguished Award 2017 for Novel Materials and their Synthesis” for Norbert KochAt the IUPAC NMS-XIII conference in Nanjing, Professor Dr. Norbert Koch has been awarded the "Distinguished Award 2017 for Novel Materials and their Synthesis "of IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and of the Conference Committee. Koch received the award for his research on hybrid electronic materials and their interfaces in electronic and optoelectronic components. He is Professor at the Department of Physics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, member of IRIS Adlershof and head of a joint research group at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
- Approved! The EU INFINITE-CELL projectA large EU-sponsored research project on tandem solar cells in which HZB is participating begins in November 2017. The goal is to combine thin-film semiconductors made of silicon and kesterites into especially cost-effective tandem cells having efficiencies of over 20 per cent. Several large research institutions from Europe, Morocco, the Republic of South Africa, and Belarus will be working on the project, as well as two partners from industry.
- The use coordination on a EU trip: promoting European light sourcesSynchrotrons are outstanding tools for studying materials, cells and even cultural assets. Yet, many researchers in Eastern Europe are unaware that they are entitled to use them. The EU project Calipsoplus supports potential users from these countries.
- Invitation to HySPRINT – Industry Day “New Frontiers in PV Research: Emerging Perovskite Semiconductors”On 13 October, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin will be hosting its first Industry Day on the topic of Perovskite Solar Cells. Following a recap of the current state of research and development and the future potential of perovskite solar cells, participants from industry will be able to give a brief presentation to show their company’s interest in the field. Intensive discussions during the Industry Day will be the starting point for future cooperation.
- User research at BER II: Lupin roots observed in the act of catching water from soil – so far too quick for 3D viewsLupins not only produce colourful blossoms but also nutritious beans rich in proteins. Just how these plants draw water approaching their roots in soil has now for the first time been observed in three dimensions by a University of Potsdam team at the HZB-BER II neutron source in Berlin. To accomplish this, they worked with the HZB imaging group to improve the temporal resolution of neutron tomography more than onehundred-fold so that a detailed 3D image was generated every ten seconds. This ultrafast neutron tomography is generally suitable as well for analyses of dynamic processes in porous materials.
- Record- efficiency solar cells realised by the HyPerCells Graduate SchoolThe University of Potsdam and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin founded the HyPerCells Graduate School just two years ago with focus on metal halide perovskites for solar applications. Now, groups involved in the graduate school have demonstrated perovskite solar cells with record-efficiencies of over 20 percent. This confirms the graduate school is at the forefront of this research in Germany and internationally highly competitive.
- Kickoff for Joint Lab with IFW DresdenThe Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW) and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have created a Joint Lab for “functional quantum materials” and under its umbrella a Young Investigator Group.
- EU project CALIPSOplus has started for free access to European light sourcesThe EU is providing ten million euros in funding for the project CALIPSOplus, submitted by 19 European light sources. The project consortium, of which Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is a member, kicked off on May 2017. CALIPSOplus is aimed at promoting the international exchange of scientists and transnational access to the light sources in Europe. Other priorities are to integrate the relatively less active regions of Europe and to initiate research projects with small and mid-sized companies.
- New at Campus Wannsee: CoreLab Quantum MaterialsHelmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has expanded its series of CoreLabs for energy materials research. In addition to the five established CoreLabs, it has now set up a CoreLab for Quantum Materials. A research team from the HZB Institute for Quantum Phenomena in New Materials is responsible for the CoreLab and its modern equipment. The CoreLab is also open to experimenters from other research institutes.
- New lab for electrochemical interfaces at BESSY IIThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is establishing a joint lab together with the Max Planck Society (MPS) to study electrochemical phenomenon at solid/liquid interfaces. The Berlin Joint Lab for Electrochemical Interfaces, or BElChem for short, will employ X-rays from BESSY II to analyse materials for renewable energy production.
- The Young Investigators Workshop 2017 on Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes24 scientists from various countries participated in the Young Investigators Workshop 2017 on Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes in Grainau am Eibsee in the Bavarian Alps. This workshop which was organized by Professor Alexander Föhlisch was dedicated to study the research topics of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute 419. It included both experimental and theoretical projects on molecular and chemical dynamics, phase transitions and switching as well as fundamental light-matter interaction.
- CIGS Thin-film Solar Modules: HZB invites for workshopGlobal demand for photovoltaic systems is rising sharply. CIGS thin-film modules have become a hot topic for the solar industry. International experts will convene in Stuttgart on May 30, 2017, at the annual IW-CIGSTech workshop to discuss past and potential future technical and industrial advances in this solar technology. The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are hosting the eighth installment of this workshop, which caters to scientists, engineers and industry specialists.
- Proton transfer: Researcher find mecanism to protect biomolecules against light induced damageA team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) together with researchers in Sweden and the USA has analysed a mecanism which protects biomolecules such as the DNA against damage by light. They observed how the energy of incoming photons can be absorbed by the molecule without destroying important bonds. The experiments took place at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) free-electron laser in California as well as the BESSY II synchrotron source at the HZB in Berlin, where with resonant inelastic X-ray-diffraction a very sensitive method is available.
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde was a guest of HZBFrom 15 to 16 March, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde, DGM (German association of materials science), held its closed board meeting and Advisory Council meeting at HZB. The experts took the occasion to visit the synchrotron source BESSY II and the neutron source BER II, gaining an insight into important future projects of HZB.
- Christiane Becker receives a professorship at HTW Berlin University of Applied SciencesProf. Dr. Christiane Becker has accepted the call to a W2 professorship for the field of “Experimental physics focusing on material sciences and photonics” at HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences. Since October 2012, she has headed a Young Investigator Group funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF.
- Agreement signed: Three neutron instruments will be transferred to the Polish research reactor MARIA in 2019In February 2017 Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in Poland agreed to transfer and rebuild three of HZB’s neutron scattering instruments at the Polish research reactor MARIA in 2019. With support from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the facility near Warsaw is currently being upgraded with latest generation technology, offering attractive research opportunities for neutron scientists from Germany and Europe.
- HZB and Freie Universität Berlin are establishing the joint research group “Macromolecular Crystallography”For eight years, HZB’s “Macromolecular Crystallography” workgroup has been successfully cooperating with the “Structural Biochemistry” research group headed by Prof. Markus Wahl at the Freie Universität Berlin. They are about to intensify this cooperation. The two institutes are establishing a joint research group dedicated to studying the biochemistry of genetic information processing. This research group benefits in particular from access to the three MX beamlines, where it can study protein crystals using the synchrotron light from BESSY II.
- Neutron instrument BioRef arrived safely in Down UnderAs reported, the neutron instrument BioRef will be set up at the “Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering” of ANSTO. Approximately 257 components were safely packed in 43 wooden crates weighing just under 30 tonnes for the sea voyage from Hamburg to Port Botany, Australia. On 14 February the colleagues from ANSTO told us: the three shipping containers arrived safely after a two-month journey from Germany.
- 3000th ocular tumour patient treated using protons at HZBA team at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now treated its 3000th ocular tumour patient with an individualised proton radiation protocol. This involves irradiating the tumour with fast hydrogen nuclei (protons) that have been accelerated to precisely set energies. These protons penetrate the healthy tissue and only release their energy in the tumour itself.
- Solar based hydrogen generation: EU-project PECSYS aiming for technological breakthroughDevelopment of demonstrators measuring up to ten square meters in area planned
- Young Investigators Workshop of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute "Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes"The Virtual Institute explores the governing principles of material’s function in an internationally highly visible centre of excellence. From now on, young scientists (PhD students, master students, and young postdocs) are invited to participate in the Young Investigators Workshop that will take place from 23rd to 28th April 2017 at the Eibsee-Hotel in the Bavarian Alps. It focuses on the research topics of the Helmholtz Virtual Institute 419 and includes both experimental and theoretical projects on molecular and chemical dynamics, phase transitions and switching as well as fundamental light-matter interaction.
- 7.4 million euros from the EFRE fund: HZB is setting up a new application laboratory for developing superconducting accelerator componentsHelmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is receiving 7.4 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE). The money is being used to set up the application laboratory “SupraLab@HZB” for the advancement of high-current superconducting cavities. These components will be needed for operating the next generation of novel, high-performance light sources. The laboratory will also provide complex superconducting component test beds for use by companies and research institutes in the region.
- The BioRef neutron instrument to be set up again at ANSTO in AustraliaThe BioRef neutron instrument commenced its roughly two-month journey from HZB to Australia on December 19, 2016. It will be set up again at the OPAL neutron source there, part of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in Sydney. It is expected to be available to the international scientific community beginning in 2018 under the name "Spatz".
- Research for Germany’s energy transition: EMIL@BESSY II approved for the Kopernikus “Power-to-X” projectThe storage of excess solar and wind power is one of the greatest challenges in Germany’s energy transition. To address this, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has created the “Power-to-X” (P2X) project under its Kopernikus programme. P2X will advance research into converting electrical energy from the sun and wind into basic chemical compounds, gaseous energy media, and fuels. A total of 17 research institutions, 26 industrial enterprises, as well as three non-governmental organisations are involved, and the BMBF is funding the first development phase of the project at a level of 30 million Euros. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin will participate in the planned research, using the advanced synthesis capabilities and the BESSY II synchrotron-based X-ray characterization tools at the recently inaugurated EMIL@BESSY II laboratory complex.
- Speeding up CIGS solar cell manufactureSpeeding up CIGS solar cell manufacture
- HZB and ANSTO have extended their Memorandum of UnderstandingAdvancing energy materials research together
- Nanotechnology for energy materials: Electrodes like leaf veinsNano-sized metallic wires are attracting increasing attention as conductive elements for manufacturing transparent electrodes, which are employed in solar cells and touch screen panels. In addition to high electric conductivity, excellent optical transmittance is one of the important parameters for an electrode in photovoltaic applications. An international team headed by HZB scientist Prof. Michael Giersig has recently demonstrated for these applications that networks of metallic mesh possessing fractal-like nano-features surpass other metallic networks in utility. These findings have now been published in the most recent edition of the renowned journal Nature Communications.
- Advancing methodology at BESSY II: Automated evaluation speeds up the search for new active substanceThe macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines at the BESSY II X-ray source are specially designed to highly automated structural analyses of protein crystals. With up to now more than 2000 solved structures of protein molecules, these beamlines are by far the most productive ones in Germany and are in vigorous demand by groups from either an academic and industrial research area. Now teams from HZB and Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany have automated the evaluation of data records as well. The newly developed expert system identifies small molecule fragments bound to proteins in the raw X-ray diffraction data. These fragments represent suitable starting points for the development of an active substance. Using a series of 364 samples, the collaborating partners demonstrated that the expert system works reliably and can speed up the search for a suitable active agents.
- VI-Conference "Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes 2016"Near the museum island, in the heart of Berlin, the International Conference "Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes 2016" has taken place last week. More than 100 international experts met at the Magnus-Haus of the German Physical Society from 12 -16 September 2016.
- European project for thin film Kesterite Solar cells has reached its goalsEleven partners from different countries have joined forces in the EU-research project KESTCELLS from September 2012 until 31. August 2016. The mission was to train a new generation of experts and to increase the efficiencies of Kesterite solar cells. Now, at the end of the project, these goals have been perfectly reached.
- Kunstausstellung im Beschleuniger-Rohbau des HZB vom 29. bis 31. JuliMalerei, Installation, Foto, Video, Performance: Studierende und bereits etablierte Kunstschaffende stellen in der unterirdischen Teilchenbeschleunigerhalle bERLinPro aus. Das Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) als Bauherr, DGI Bauwerk als Architekten und der Kurator Enno Wallis laden unter dem Titel SPEED zu einer außergewöhnlichen Kunstausstellung ein. Sie wird am Freitag, den 29. Juli um 19 Uhr eröffnet und bis zum 31. Juli zu sehen sein. Der Eintritt ist frei.
- Sound artist Gerriet K. Sharma designs sound sculptures of BESSY VSRFrom 13 to 19 July 2016, the artist will be recording sounds on location
- New effect on laser induced switching for higher data densitiesAn international collaboration has now demonstrated a completely new approach to increase data density in storage media. They used ultra-short laser pulses to trigger a phase transition in the ferromagnetic material BaFeO3 (BFO). Experiments at the Femtospex facility at BESSY II of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed that by inducing this phase transition, magnetic domains can be easily manipulated. These magnetic domains are otherwise very stable and therefore suited for long-time data storage. The results have been published in Phys. Rev. Letters now.
- Energy storage materials under pressureSurprising discovery at BESSY II: the adsorption capacity of MOFs does not rise automatically with increasing pressure
- Priority programme for topological insulators begins second funding periodApplicants for support funds to conduct research on topological insulators met at HZB Adlershof on February 15th and 16th. This meeting dealt with the second period of funding for the SPP 1666 Priority programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG) that runs from mid-2016 to 2019. Researchers from across Germany contribute their specific expertise and work together in these Priority programmes (SPPs).
- The solar technologies race: thin-film photovoltaics are catching upZSW and HZB present current data – with new opportunities for Europe’s solar industry
- Doped organic semiconductors exploredOrganic semiconductor materials are already being employed today in solar cells and organic LEDs (OLEDs) amongst others. Until now, however, little was known about how the doping molecules are integrated into the chemical structure of organic semiconductors. The Molecular Systems Joint Research Team of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at BESSY II have now analysed this with surprising results. The molecules are not necessarily uniformly dispersed in the host lattice, as it is usual with inorganic semiconductors, but instead form what are known as co-crystallites. The doped organic semiconductor consists of a matrix of undoped crystallites in which such “mixed crystallites” are embedded. It is this very species that takes over the role as the actually doping molecule. The results were published in Nature Communications.
- Common platform for macromolecular crystallography at European synchrotronsResearchers use high-intensity X-ray light from synchrotron radiation sources to decipher the structures of biological molecules and thus the blueprints of life. A cooperation agreement has been effective since 2012 to establish common software standards at several European sources. Its aim: The eight synchrotrons involved want to create user-friendly, standardised conditions at the 30 experimental stations for macromolecular crystallography, which will greatly facilitate the work of research groups. In the new project “MXCuBE3”, the existing software platform is being adapted to include the latest developments in technology.
- ZEISS and the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin establish partnershipNanotechnology in support of leading research on renewable energy
- rbb-Inforadio: Andreas Jankowiak im Gespräch über bERLinProDie Baustelle für bERLinPro fällt auf. Sie ist auch dem Wissenschaftsredakteur des rbb-Inforadio, Thomas Prinzler, nicht entgangen. Und so kam es zu einem kurzweiligen Gespräch, in dem Andreas Jankowiak die Herausforderungen des Projekts erläutert. Hohe Ströme, hohe Emitanzen - viel Physik. Aber auch die Anforderungen an die Gebäudeplanung kamen zur Sprache. Und die Synergie zu BESSY-VSR. Nachzuhören im Inforadio-Gespräch vom 8. November.
- Uppsala Berlin Joint Laboratory “Our willingness to cooperate is our strength”Great political interest for the new Uppsala Berlin Joint Laboratory (UBjL): On the 4th of November, Sweden’s ambassador in Germany, Dr. Lars Danielsson, came personally to the HZB where the UBjL is established for the inauguration of the joint project.
- Catalysis research strengthened: Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin participates in newly approved Einstein Center for CatalysisThe Einstein Foundation will fund the new Einstein Center for Catalysis (EC2) beginning in 2016 in which Technical University Berlin (TU Berlin) and selected non-university institutions in Berlin will be participating. Prof. Emad Aziz, head of the HZB Institute for Methods of Materials Research at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin will be taking part in setting up the institution. His team will be contributing particular expertise in analytics of ultrafast processes in catalytic reactions.
- Gemeinsames Treffen der Strukturbiologen in Berlin: der 6. Joint-MX-Day am 23. September 2015 am HZBDie Hauptstadt hat sich in den letzten Jahren zu einem Hotspot der Strukturbiologie in Deutschland entwickelt. Entscheidend dazu beigetragen hat das hohe Maß an Kooperation zwischen außeruniversitären Forschungseinrichtungen und Universitäten. Aber auch Wissenschaft und Industrie arbeiten in der Strukturbiologie sehr eng zusammen. Am 23. September 2015 findet der 6. Joint-MX-Day statt, bei dem sich Forscher über neue Methoden, Ansätze und Erkenntnisse in der Strukturbiologie austauschen werden.
- Hydrogen from sunlight: new efficiency record for artificial photosynthesisAn international team has now succeeded in considerably increasing the efficiency for direct solar water splitting. They are using a tandem solar cell whose surfaces have been selectively modified. The new record value is 14 % and thus considerably above the previous record of 12.4 % held by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the USA, broken now for the first time in 17 years. Researchers from the Institute for Solar Fuels at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, TU Ilmenau, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) participated in the collaboration. The results have been published in Nature Communications.
- Charge transport in hybrid silicon solar cellsAn HZB team headed by Prof. Silke Christiansen has made a surprising discovery about hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells. Contrary to expectations, a diode composed of the conductive organic PEDOT:PSS and an n-type silicon absorber material behaves more like a pn junction between two semiconductors than like a metal-semiconductor contact (Schottky diode). Their results have now been published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports and could point the way toward improvements in hybrid solar cells.
- Helmholtz to invest 46 million EUR in new shared laboratory infrastructure
Six Helmholtz Centres are founding a shared infrastructure for developing novel energy materials that will also be available to external users.
- Green solutions with diamond materials:Horizon 2020 invests 3.9 million Euro in research project to convert CO2 into fuels using sunlight and diamond materials
- Emergence of a “devil’s staircase” in a spin-valve systemA Japanese-German team observes at BESSY II how spins form unusual magnetic structures in a complex cobalt oxide single crystal. Such a material offers new perspectives for spintronic applications.
- Joint Lab BeJEL receives 1.4 million EUR grantThe Berlin Joint EPR Laboratory (BeJEL) operated by HZB and Freie Universität Berlin has pulled in six of 27 subprojects within a DFG priority program to address“New Frontiers in Sensitivity for EPR Spectroscopy – from Biological Cells to Nano Materials”.
- HZB and ANSTO signed MoUIn May HZB and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) have signed a high-level scientific cooperation agreement. The objective is to establish a framework and terms of cooperation in the field of neutron scattering science, and define the mechanisms for collaboration on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
- Wheel with triple sound velocity for pulse selection at BESSY IIIn order to pick out only one pulse per turn out of the 400 possible x-ray flashes at BESSY II, a joint team of physicists and engineers from Forschungszentrum Jülich, MPI of Microstructure Physics and HZB have developed an extremely fast rotating “MHz-pulse selector”, which is now at the core of the Uppsala Berlin joint Lab to extract the hybrid bunch within the 200 nanosecond ion clearing gap of BESSY II. The device consists of a wheel made of a special Aluminum alloy which has tiny slits of 70 micrometer width at its outer rim. They move frictionless in a vacuum at triple sound velocity perpendicular to the beam. Users can now decide to operate their experiment in a single bunch mode even during normal multibunch operation of BESSY II.
- EU funding strengthens solar cell research at HZBMarcus Bär and his team are participating in two international projects being funded under the EU Horizon 2020 research programme. Both research projects are concerned with development and optimisation of high-efficiency thin-film solar cells based on chalcopyrites (“Sharc 25") and kesterites (“SWInG”). These two projects will together bring in about 900,000 EUR of additional research funding for solar cell research.
- Universität Bielefeld und HZB kooperieren zu Nanoschichten und komplexen MaterialienIm Februar 2015 haben Uni-Rektor Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Uni-Kanzler Dr. Stephan Becker und die Geschäftsführer des HZB, Professorin Dr.-Ing. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla und Thomas Frederking eine Vereinbarung über die Zusammenarbeit unterschrieben. Darin heißt es: „Die Kooperation soll zur Steigerung der wissenschaftlichen Exzellenz der Partner und zur Entwicklung regionaler Kompetenznetzwerke in Forschung, Lehre und Ausbildung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses beitragen.“
- Learning by eye: silicon micro-funnels increase the efficiency of solar cellsA biological structure in mammalian eyes has inspired a team headed by Silke Christiansen to design an inorganic counterpart for use in solar cells. With the help of conventional semiconductor processes, they etched micron-sized vertical funnels shoulder-to-shoulder in a silicon substrate. Using mathematical models and experiments, they tested how these kind of funnel arrays collect incident light and conduct it to the active layer of a silicon solar cell. Their result: this arrangement of funnels increases photo absorption by about 65% in a thin-film solar cell fitted with such an array and is reflected in considerably increased solar cell efficiency, among other improved parameters.
- Stretch and relax! – Losing one electron switches magnetism on in dichromiumAn international team of scientists from Berlin, Freiburg and Fukuoka has provided the first direct experimental insight into the secret quantum life of dichromium. Whereas in its normal state the 12 valence electrons form a strong multiple bond between the two chromium atoms, removing only one electron changes the situation dramatically: 10 electrons localize and align their spins, thus resulting in ferromagnetic behavior of the dichromium-kation. The bonding is done by one electron only, resulting in a much weaker bond. The scientists used the unique Nanocluster Trap experimental station at the BESSY II synchrotron radiation source at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and published their results in the Journal Angewandte Chemie.
- BerOSE - Joint Lab für Modellierung von Nanooptischen StrukturenHZB gründet mit FU Berlin und Zuse Institut Berlin das „Berlin Joint Lab for Optical Simulations for Energy Research (BerOSE)“
- Details of a crucial reaction: Physicists uncover oxidation process of carbon monoxide on a ruthenium surfaceAn international team has observed the elusive intermediates that form when carbon monoxide is oxidized on a hot ruthenium metal surface. They used ultrafast X-ray and optical laser pulses at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, California. The reaction between carbon monoxide and adsorbed oxygen atoms was initiated by heating the ruthenium surface with optical laser pulses. Directly afterwards, changes in the electronic structure of oxygen atoms were probed via X-ray absorption spectroscopy as they formed bonds with the carbon atoms.The observed transition states are consistent with density functional theory and quantum oscillator models.
- The path to artificial photosynthesisHZB researchers describe efficient manganese catalyst capable of converting light to chemical energy
- “VEKMAG” at BESSY II creates 3D magnetic fields in samplesTogether with HZB, teams from the Universität Regensburg, from the Freie Universität Berlin and from the Ruhr Universität Bochum have jointly set up a unique measurement station at BESSY II: a vector electromagnet consisting of three mutually perpendicular Helmholtz coils which enables setting the local magnetic field at the sample position to any orientation desired. The first measurements of magnetic materials, spin systems, and nanostructured magnetic samples are scheduled for early 2015.
- Maximum efficiency, minimum materials and complexitySilicon-based thin-film solar cell with a supplementary organic layer can utilise infrared light as well
- Georg-Forster-Forschungspreis an Oguz OkayDie Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung hat gestern acht mit jeweils 60.000 Euro dotierten Georg Forster-Forschungspreise vergeben. Unter den Preisträgern ist Prof. Dr. Oguz Okay (59), Istanbul Technical University, der nun für einen Gastaufenthalt an das HZB-Institut für Weiche Materie und Funktionale Materialien nach Berlin kommt.
- Organic layer adds light particlesSolar cells can only use photons with energies above a specific threshold to generate electricity. A German-Australian research collaboration has now combined solar cells with an organic material which can “add up” low-energy photons to yield higher-energy light, which can then be harvested by the solar cell. In an invited review paper published in the prestigious journal Energy & Environmental Science the scientists give an overview on the fascinating phenomenon of photonic upconversion and report new results: The organic layers show less photo-degradation than suspected and may also be used for other optoelectronics applications.
- Jahrestagung des ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare EnergienUnter dem Motto „Forschung für die Energiewende – Phasenübergänge aktiv gestalten“ fand am 7. und 8. November die Jahrestagung des ForschungsVerbund Erneuerbare Energien (FVEE) im Umweltforum Berlin statt. Vertreter aus Wissenschaft und Politik referierten über den proaktiven Umgang mit den technologischen, ökonomischen sowie politisch-gesellschaftlichen Herausforderungen der Energiewende.
- Deutsch-Türkische Universität am HZB zu GastVizerektor und Dekan der Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät besuchte mehrere Institute des HZB
- German Society for Materials Science awards publication with HZB scientist as co-author
At its annual conference on September 22, 2014, the German Society for Materials Science (DGM), presented the Werner Köster Award for best publication. The work, whose authors include HZB scientist Dr. Michael Tovar and which has been published in the International Journal of Materials Research, examines the catalytic effect of vanadium pentoxide in propene synthesis from propane using spectroscopic, microscopic, and radiographic methods.
- Self-assembly of gold nanoparticles into small clustersResearchers at HZB in co-operation with Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU, Berlin) have made an astonishing observation: they were investigating the formation of gold nanoparticles in a solvent and observed that the nanoparticles had not distributed themselves uniformly, but instead were self-assembled into small clusters.
- Collecting light with artificial moth eyesScientists at EMPA in Zürich and University of Basel have developed a photoelectrochemical cell, recreating a moth’s eye to drastically increase its light collecting efficiency. The cell is made of cheap raw materials – iron and tungsten oxide. Analyses at BESSY II have revealed which chemical processes are useful to facilitate the absorption of light.
- “Muscled skin”: Simple formulas describe complex behaviorsHZB researchers help chemists understand polymeric "biomimetic" materials' mechanical properties
- Electrostatics do the trickA simple model describes what happens between organic semiconductors and metals
- In Schwerelosigkeit Metalle geschäumtErfolgreich haben drei Forscher des Berliner Hahn-Meitner-Instituts (HMI) in Schwerelosigkeit untersucht, wie die Erdanziehung die Eigenschaften eines Metallschaums beeinflusst. Sie haben ihre Experimente in einem umgebauten Airbus 300 durchgeführt. Das Flugzeug fliegt auf einer Art Buckelbahn. Dabei steigt es immer wieder zunächst steil auf, um danach im freien Fall entlang einer Wurfparabel zu fliegen. Während eines solchen Fluges herrscht immer wieder kurzzeitig fast doppelte Erdanziehung, die von einer 20 Sekunden dauernden Phase der Schwerelosigkeit abgelöst wird.
- Qumran-Rollen vom Toten Meer an BESSY II untersucht
Antike Schriftstücke vor dem Verfall zu bewahren oder sie zu restaurieren ist eine Kunst für sich. Um sie auszuüben, ist es von enormer Bedeutung herauszufinden, wie beispielsweise Pergament durch bestimmte Tinten über die Jahrhunderte zerstört wird; und wie dies zu vermeiden wäre. Für solche Untersuchungen ist Röntgenstrahlung ein hervorragendes Werkzeug. Um diese Forschungsarbeiten zu unterstützen, hat BESSY nun einen Röntgenmessplatz so ausgestattet, dass auch sehr empfindliche Objekte, wie antike Pergamentrollen oder Gemälde auf Leinwand oder Holz untersucht werden können, ohne dabei Schaden zu nehmen.
- Grünes Licht für die Fusion von HMI und BESSY
Hahn-Meitner-Insitut und BESSY begrüßen die Entscheidung von BMBF und Berliner Senat
- Der weltweit stärkste Magnet für Neutronenexperimente wird in Berlin errichtetDer Kooperationsvertrag zwischen dem Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin (HMI) und dem National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) Tallahassee (Florida State University) zum Bau eines neuen Hochfeldmagneten ist unterzeichnet worden. Er wird der weltweit stärkste Magnet für Neutronenstreuexperimente. Von den Experimenten an dem Magneten erwarten Forscher neue Erkenntnisse zu Fragen aus der Physik, Chemie, Biologie und den Materialwissenschaften, unter anderem Beiträge zum Verständnis der Hochtemperatursupraleitung.
- Kompetenzzentrum Dünnschicht- und Nanotechnologie für Photovoltaik wird in Berlin aufgebaut
Das Hahn-Meitner-Institut (HMI), die Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) sowie acht führende Industrie-Unternehmen unterzeichnen ein Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) zur Gründung des Kompetenzzentrum Dünnschicht- und Nanotechnologie für Photovoltaik.
- EU-Projekt ATHLET will Dünnschichtsolarzellen an den Markt bringen
Die Kostensenkung von Solarzellen ist die zentrale Herausforderung der modernen Photovoltaik. In Berlin startet am 20. Februar das europaweit größte Forschungsprojekt, das sich dieser Herausforderung stellt. Universitäten, Forschungseinrichtungen und Unternehmen aus 11 Ländern arbeiten zusammen, um den Übergang der zweiten Generation von Solarzellen, so genannten Dünnschichtzellen, aus den Laboren in den Markt zu beschleunigen.
- HMI und BESSY feiern Fertigstellung von zwei Neubauten in Berlin-Adlershof
Das Hahn-Meitner-Institut (HMI) und die Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY) feiern am 4. Oktober um 14 Uhr mit einer Festveranstaltung die Einweihung von zwei Anbauten am Hauptgebäude neben dem Elektronenspeicherring von BESSY. Die Neubauten werden auf 2575 Quadratmetern Nutzfläche einen Hörsaal sowie Bibliotheks-, Labor- und Büroräume für beide Forschungseinrichtungen aufnehmen.
- Zwei berühmte Gemälde mit Neutronen untersucht: "St. Sebasian" von George de La Tour und "Girl with a Platter of Fruits" von Tiziano Vecellio
In Kooperation mit der Gemäldegalerie Berlin und der Stiftung Preußischer Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg sind am Forschungsreaktor BER II zwei Gemälde untersucht worden. Seit vielen Jahren wird ein spezielles Neutroneninstrument zur zerstörungsfreien Analyse von Gemälden mittels Neutronenautoradiographie genutzt.