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- World's first video recording of a space-time crystalA German-Polish research team has succeeded in creating a micrometer-sized space-time crystal consisting of magnons at room temperature. With the help of the scanning transmission X-ray microscope MAXYMUS at Bessy II at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, they were able to film the recurring periodic magnetization structure in a crystal. The research project was a collaboration between scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart, Germany, the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań in Poland.
- User research at BESSY II: Graphite electrodes for rechargeable batteries investigatedRechargeable graphite dual ion batteries are inexpensive and powerful. A team of the Technical University of Berlin has investigated at the EDDI Beamline of BESSY II how the morphology of the graphite electrodes changes reversibly during cycling (operando). The 3D X-ray tomography images combined with simultaneous diffraction now allow a precise evaluation of the processes, especially of changes in the volume of the electrodes. This can help to further optimise graphite electrodes.
- 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.
- User research at BESSY II: Insights into the visual perception of plantsPlants use light not only for photosynthesis. Although the plant cell does not have eyes, it can still perceive light and thus its environment. Phytochromes, certain turquoise proteins, play the central role in this process. How exactly they function is still unclear. Now a team led by plant physiologist Jon Hughes (Justus Liebig University Gießen) has been able to decipher the three-dimensional architecture of various plant phytochrome molecules at BESSY II. Their results demonstrate how light alters the structure of the phytochrome so that the cell transmits a signal to control the development of the plant accordingly. [...]
- 04.05.2020 - #Corona: HZB resumes operation step by stepAfter a careful assessment of the situation, the management decided that operations at HZB would be resumed step by step from 4 May onwards. Strict security regulations apply. BESSY II will be available again for in-house research from 11 May. For Sars-CoV-2-relevant measurements a fast access to BESSY II has been established. [...]
- User research at BESSY II: How new materials increase the efficiency of direct ethanol fuel cellsA group from Brazil and an HZB team have investigated a novel composite membrane for ethanol fuel cells. It consists of the polymer Nafion, in which nanoparticles of a titanium compound are embedded by the rarely explored melt extrusion process. At BESSY II they were able to observe in detail, how the nanoparticles in the Nafion matrix are distributed and how they contribute to increase proton conductivity. [...]
- New interaction between light and matter discovered at BESSY IIA German-Chinese team led by Gisela Schütz from the MPI for Intelligent Systems has discovered a new interaction between light and matter at BESSY II. They succeeded in creating nanometer-fine magnetic vortices in a magnetic layer. These are so-called skyrmions, and candidates for future information technologies. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Corona research at BESSY II: Two days of measuring operation to find the right keyThe Berlin Synchrotron Source BESSY II of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will resume operation for two days. Scientists intend to use the intense X-ray radiation from BESSY II to search for active substances against the corona virus SARS-CoV2. Almost two hundred samples from an important protein of the virus will be examined in the coming hours. The samples are saturated with different molecules that could be used as components of active substances. The analyses will show whether certain molecules can dock particularly well to the protein molecule and thus hinder the reproduction of the virus. These molecules are best candidates as components of a future drug. [...]
- Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug developmentA coronavirus is keeping the world in suspense. SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious and can cause severe pneumonia with respiratory distress (COVID-19). Scientists are doing research in order to prevent the viruses from multiplying. A team from the University of Lübeck and from Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) has now found a promising approach. Using the high-intensity X-ray light from the Berlin synchrotron source BESSY II, they have decoded the three-dimensional architecture of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. This protein is involved in the reproduction of the virus. Analysing its 3D architecture allows the systematic development of drugs which inhibit the reproduction of the virus. [...]
- Watching complex molecules at workA new method of infrared spectroscopy developed at BESSY II makes single-measurement observation and analysis of very fast as well as irreversible reaction mechanisms in molecules feasible for the first time. Previously, thousands of such reactions have had to be run and measured for this purpose. The research team has now used the new device to investigate how rhodopsin molecules change after activation by light – a process that is the basis of how we see. [...]
- Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Award and Innovation Award for Research in Synchrotron RadiationThis year, the circle of friends of the HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to two young scientists for their outstanding PhD theses. The European Synchrotron Radiation Innovation Award went to a team of physicists from DESY and the Paul Scherrer Institute. The award ceremony took place at this year's User Meeting of the HZB, which was very well attended with over 500 participants and more than 50 exhibitors. [...]
- Cancer research at BESSY II: Binding Mechanisms of Therapeutic Substances DecipheredIn tumor cells, the DNA is altered in comparison to normal body cells. How such changes can be prevented or inhibited is an exciting field of research with great relevance for the development of cancer treatments. An interdisciplinary team has now analysed the possible binding mechanisms in certain therapeutic substances from the tetrazole hydrazide group using protein crystallography at BESSY II. [...]
- X-ray microscopy at BESSY II reveals how antimalaria-drugs might workMalaria is one of the most threatening infectious diseases in the world. An international team has now been able to investigate malaria pathogens in red blood cells in vivo using the BESSY II X-ray microscope and the ALBA and ESRF synchrotron sources. The scientists reveal the mechanisms used by active substances to attack the pathogen. This could contribute to improve treatment strategies and drug design. [...]
- 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.
- Laser-driven Spin Dynamics in Ferrimagnets: How does the Angular Momentum flow?When exposed to intense laser pulses, the magnetization of a material can be manipulated very fast. Fundamentally, magnetization is connected to the angular momentum of the electrons in the material. A team of researchers led by scientists from the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) has now been able to follow the flow of angular momentum during ultrafast optical demagnetization in a ferrimagnetic iron-gadolinium alloy at the femtoslicing facility of BESSY II. Their results are helpful to understand the fundamental processes and their speed limits. The study is published in Physical Review Letters. [...]
- "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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Neutron tomography: Insights into the interior of teeth, root balls, batteries, and fuel cellsA team of researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and European Spallation Source (ESS) has now published a comprehensive overview of neutron-based imaging processes in the renowned journal Materials Today (impact factor 21.6). The authors report on the latest developments in neutron tomography, illustrating the possible applications using examples of this non-destructive method. Neutron tomography has facilitated breakthroughs in so diverse areas such as art history, battery research, dentistry, energy materials, industrial research, magnetism, palaeobiology and plant physiology. [...]
- User research at BER II: New insights into high-temperature superconductorsAfter 30 years of research, there are still many unsolved puzzles about high-temperature superconductors - among them is the magnetic “stripe order” found in some cuprate superconductors. A Danish research team has taken a closer look at these stripes, using high-resolution neutron scattering at the spectrometers FLEXX (HZB) and ThALES (ILL, Grenoble). Their results, now published in Physical Review Letters, challenge the common understanding of stripe order, and may contribute to unveil the true nature of high-temperature superconductivity. [...]
- User experiment at BESSY II: Complex tessellations, extraordinary materialsSimple organic molecules form complex materials through self-organization [...]
- Light facilitates “impossible“ n-doping of organic semiconductorsApplications as light-emitting diodes and solar cells [...]
- 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Three-dimensional graphene: experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneableAn international research team has for the first time investigated the optical properties of three-dimensional nanoporous graphene at the IRIS infrared beamline of the BESSY II electron storage ring. The experiments show that the plasmonic excitations (oscillations of the charge density) in this new material can be precisely controlled by the pore size and by introducing atomic impurities. This could facilitate the manufacture of highly sensitive chemical sensors. [...]
- NEAT starts user operationThe newly built time of flight spectrometre NEAT has welcomed its first users: Jie Ma from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and his colleague Zhilun Lu examined magnetic excitations in crystalline samples and enjoyed fast data rate and high flexibility of instrumental configurations. NEAT team is now looking forward to further new studies and user experiments! [...]
- User research at BESSY II: How water moves glassIn the realm of plants, capillary forces are a widely observed impetus for actuation. They are the physical basis for the expansion of porous materials during uptake of fluid. Such materials include the cones of conifers with their readily observable movement during drying or wetting. Scientists at the Chair of Biogenic Polymers of the Technical University Munich, located at the Science Center Straubing, have succeeded in retaining this plant-derived movement when the respective plant has been replaced by an artificial petrification process. Elaborate analyses at the synchrotron source BESSY II in Berlin showed that the internal structure of the pine cone was retained. Thereby, they laid the foundations for a new generation of sensoric materials. [...]
- User Community Science: Soft decoupling of organic molecules on metalAn international team has discovered an elegant way to decouple organic nanosheets grown on metal surfaces. After iodine intercalation, measurements at the synchrotron source BESSY II of Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) showed that a network of organic molecules behaved almost as it was free-standing. The strong influence of the metal on the network was reduced. This opens up new ways to transfer organic nanostructures from metal surfaces onto more suitable substrates for molecular electronics. The results have been published in “Angewandte Chemie”. [...]
- 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. [...]
- User research at BESSY II: nanostructures in human teeth
Dentin is one of the most durable biological materials in the human body. Researchers from Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin were able to show that the reason for this can be traced to its nanostructures and specifically to the interactions between the organic and inorganic components. Measurements performed at BESSYII, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin's synchrotron radiation source, showed that it is the mechanical coupling between the collagen protein fibers and mineral nanoparticles which renders dentin capable of withstanding extreme forces. Results from this research have been recently published in the journal Chemistry of Materials. [...]
- Invitation to the HZB Science Slam: TODAY at 18.30 o’clock in AdlershofWe invite you to the HZB Science Slam that takes place today at 18.30 o’clock at the Melli Beese Kabinett (Adlershof Forum). Three scientists present their topics in an understandable, entertaining and concise way and, moreover, in only 10 minutes. The audience is the judge and jury, voting using numbered cards. This participation provokes discussion as they begin to talk about science and the presentation. The Science Slam is part of the HZB User Meeting.
- Anomalous magnetic structure and spin dynamics in magnetoelectric LiFePO4A team at HZB has recently unraveled intricate details of the magnetic structure and dynamics of the magnetoelectric compound LiFePO4.Such materials currently find use in sensors but there are promising perspectives for magnetoelectrics to be applied in data storage and spintronic devices as well. [...]
- 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Strong teeth: Nanostructures under stress make teeth crack resistantHuman teeth have to serve for a lifetime, despite being subjected to huge forces. But the high failure resistance of dentin in teeth is not fully understood. An interdisciplinary team led by scientists of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has now analyzed the complex structure of dentin. At the synchrotron sources BESSY II at HZB, Berlin, Germany, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF, Grenoble, France, they could reveal that the mineral particles are precompressed. The internal stress works against crack propagation and increases resistance of the biostructure. [...]
- Antique Osiris figurines from the Egyptian Museum of Florence examined with neutronsAn research team from the “Nello Carrara” Institute of Applied Physics, Italy, examined three antique bronze figurines non-invasively with neutrons at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. The statuettes from the Egyptian Museum of Florence embody Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. Until now, little had been known about what alloy they consist of or how they were produced. Using several analytical methods, the researchers have now shown that the production method and the materials used were astonishingly similar for all three figurines, even though they were crafted in different regions of ancient Egypt.
- Neutrons and X-rays show how to prepare durable tooth cementThere are many ways to mix cements for tooth fillings, but it can be difficult to tell which way works best. Now, a team of scientists from Copenhagen, Denmark, has come up with an answer: They used neutron imaging and x-ray-microtomography at HZB to analyze fillings with glass ionomere cements, prepared by different methods. Their results, now published in Scientific Reports, demonstrate how much the order of mixing steps matters to obtain a nearly homogenous filling without large liquid-filled pores which reduce stability. [...]
- Messages From SpaceGeologists from the University of Cambridge uncover hidden magnetic messages from the early solar system in meteorites measured at BESSY II. The team of scientists led by Dr. Richard Harrison has captured information stored inside tiny magnetic regions in meteorite samples using the PEEM-Beamline at BESSY II. [...]
- Sixth Joint BER II and BESSY II User MeetingThe annual Joint HZB User Meetings will provide an overview of the many exciting and inspiring research results obtained at our facilities in the past year. The Sixth Joint BER II and BESSY II User Meeting will take place at Berlin-Adlershof from December 3rd to December 5th, 2014. The neutrons session will take place at Berlin-Wannsee on Wednesday, 3rd December, followed by Dinner at Café Jahn. [...]
- Deutsche Tagung für Forschung mit Synchrotronstrahlung, Neutronen und Ionenstrahlen an Großgeräten in BonnDas HZB ist mit eigenem Stand, Vortrag und Postern präsent auf der Deutschen Tagung für Forschung mit Synchrotronstrahlung, Neutronen und Ionenstrahlen an Großgeräten (SNI). Die dreitägige Veranstaltung findet vom 21. bis 23.09. im ehemaligen Plenarsaal der Bundesregierung im heutigen World Conference Centers in Bonn statt. [...]
- 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. [...]