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- The HZB Graduate Center is here nowThe HZB “DR coordination” is now the HZB Graduate Center. Since the beginning of 2018, the DR coordination has been continuously expanding the offers and standards at the HZB for doctoral researchers and their advisors. The ideas and suggestions that were collected in discussions with numerous stakeholders and in various HZB committees on this topic are leading the path and are incorporated in the set up of a uniform HZB-wide umbrella structure for doctoral researchers and their advisors - the HZB Graduate Center.
- Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of α-SnWO4 promise high efficienciesPhotoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. α-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. Combined with theoretical methods, the measurement data reveal the presence of an oxide layer that impairs the efficiency of the photoanode.
- HZB and Humboldt University agree to set up a catalysis laboratoryHelmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) have signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of establishing a joint research laboratory for catalysis in the IRIS research building of HU in Adlershof. The IRIS research building offers optimal conditions for the research and development of complex material systems.
- 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.
- Architectural Design drafts for new CatLab Center awardedAn innovative laboratory and office building for catalysis research will be built in Berlin-Adlershof: CatLab is to become an international beacon for catalysis research and drive forward the development of novel catalyst materials, which are urgently required for the production of green hydrogen for the energy transition. In an architectural competition four winning designs have now been selected. All designs include climate friendly solutions.
- Perovskite Solar Cells: paving the way for rational ink design for industrial-scale manufacturingFor the production of high-quality metal-halide perovskite thin-films for large area photovoltaic modules often optimized inks are used which contain a mixture of solvents. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed the crystallisation processes within such mixtures. A model has also been developed to assess the kinetics of the crystallisation processes for different solvent mixtures. The results are of high importance for the further development of perovskite inks for industrial-scale deposition processes of these semiconductors.
- Green hydrogen: buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyteHydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualise convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model. The results can support the design and scaling up of this technology and have been published in the renowned journal Energy and Environmental Science.
- Solar cells: Mapping the landscape of Caesium based inorganic halide perovskitesScientists at HZB have printed and explored different compositions of caesium based halide perovskites (CsPb(BrxI1−x)3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1)). In a temperature range between room temperature and 300 Celsius, they observe structural phase transitions influencing the electronic properties. The study provides a quick and easy method to assess new compositions of perovskite materials in order to identify candidates for applications in thin film solar cells and optoelectronic devices.
- Solar-cell façade at HZB undergoes real-life testingSolar-modules shimmer bright blue on the cladding of a new building at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). They are special CIGS thin-film modules custom-developed and produced in Germany for integration into the building’s envelope. The solar cladding not only meets part of the power requirement, but is also a realistic laboratory in and of itself: an HZB team is monitoring the long-term behaviour of the modules under varying environmental conditions and evaluating the data.
- Climate Strike on Friday: HZB-Direktor welcomes engagement for climate protection"I find it remarkable and encouraging that more and more citizens are joining the protests of the younger generation and calling for a turnaround for climate protection," says Prof. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). In an open video message on the occasion of the worldwide climate day planned for Friday, he welcomes the fact that HZB staff members want to participate in the actions. At the same time he calls on people not to be afraid of technical changes. "The technologies for a climate-friendly energy supply are available. We must now use them quickly, but we must also improve them and create new options".
- HZB 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. [...]
- New Materials for Energy Storage: ERC Starting Grant for Tristan PetitDr. Tristan Petit has received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council for 1.5 million euros over the next five years. The materials researcher will use the grant to investigate a new class of materials known as MXenes for storing electrical energy. MXenes can store and deliver large amounts of electrical energy extremely quickly. They might play an important role in energy storage alongside batteries and supercapacitors. The ERC Starting Grant is one of the most important European research grants.
- Best electrolyser/photovoltaics combinations demonstrated in test fieldsOne of the most promising ways to increase the availability of solar energy is to convert excess production into hydrogen. The PECSYS project has investigated the best possible material and technology combinations to facilitate such an operation.
- 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 [...]
- Facts, Research, Expertise: Helmholtz Climate Initiative starts new website
The Helmholtz Climate Initiative has intensively reworked its website. Starting immediately, the Initiative now offers articles, background knowledge, fact sheets, and much more on the current state of climate research at www.helmholtz-klima.de. In a new expert inquiry, the Initiative connects with Helmholtz climate scientists. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) contributes research on the conversion of CO2 into fuels and basic materials to reach the goal of "Net Zero 2050". [...]
- 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.
- They are back: Sheep and goats graze the Wannsee campus again
The meadows are lush green, the ice saints (almost) over: Now is the perfect time for the sheep and goats to return from their winter quarters! Until late autumn, they will now graze the near-natural HZB campus in Wannsee and serve the natural preservation of the landscape - completely without a lawn mower. [...]
- New charging points for electric cars installed in AdlershofOn 14 May 2020, two charging points for electric cars were installed near the BESSY II main building. But not only the hybrid company car fleet is to be charged here. Soon, employees will also have the opportunity to charge their private cars at one of the charging points.
- On the road to non-toxic and stable perovskite solar cellsThe promising halide perovskite materials for solar energy conversion show high efficiencies, but this comes at a cost: The best perovskite materials incorporate toxic lead which poses a hazard to the environment. To replace lead by less toxic elements is not easy since lead-free perovskites show lower stability and poor efficiencies. Now, an international collaboration has engineered a new hybrid perovskite material with promising efficiency and stability. [...]
- Tandem solar cell world record: New branch in the NREL chartA special branch in the famous NREL-chart for solar cell world records refers to a newly developed tandem solar cell by HZB teams. The world-record cell combines the semiconductors perovskite and CIGS to a monolithic "two-terminal" tandem cell. Due to the thin-film technologies used, such tandem cells survive much longer in space and can even be produced on flexible films. The new tandem cell achieves a certified efficiency of 24.16 percent. [...]
- HZB donates urgently needed protective equipment for doctors’ surgeryThe situation in Berlin's doctors’ surgery is becoming increasingly acute due to the lack of important protective clothing and disinfectants. Some practices have already had to close for this reason. The HZB has therefore decided to provide quick help and is donating 65 boxes of protective clothing that are normally used for work in the laboratories and clean rooms. The boxes were handed over to the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Berlin on 27.03.2020. [...]
- 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. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Unique X-ray experiments for school classes: The X-ray mobile will arrive at the HZBWhat is ultraviolet radiation? What are X-rays used for? And what is radioactivity again? These questions are on the curriculum in physics lessons, but vivid experiments on these topics are rare. From 5 to 13 March 2020, pupils can conduct experiments on these topics in the HZB's school laboratory in Berlin-Adlershof. The public is invited to attend on 12 March. [...]
- 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. [...]
- HZB is now using green electricitySince 1 January 2020, HZB is drawing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energies. This reduces CO2 emissions by around 17,400 tons per year (related to 2018). By switching to green electricity, HZB acknowledges its responsibility to contribute to climate protection. [...]