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- Vitual tours: Experience the HZB in 360 degrees!
Unfortunately, due to Corona, we are currently unable to receive groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through our centre. Despite Corona, we would like to provide you with insights into HZB. Simply follow our 360-degree tours and experience how we conduct research at the BESSY II accelerator. Further tours are being planned. [...]
- X-ray lightsource at DESY identifies promising candidates for COVID drugsAt DESY's high-brilliance X-ray light source PETRA III, a team from more than 30 research institutions has identified several candidates for active substances against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. They bind to an important protein of the virus and could thus be the basis for a drug against Covid-19. The MX team from HZB examined part of the measurement data with special analysis algorithms in order to identify suitable active substances. The study has now been published in the renowned journal Science.
- Tomography brings insights into the early evolution of bonesModern biology considers bone cells (osteocytes) as essential for bone development and health. However, when bone initially evolved some 400-million years ago, it did not contain bone cells. So why did bone cells evolve? Why was it so advantageous that most subsequent vertebrates have bone cells? A joint team of palaeontologists at Berlin’s natural history museum has now for the first time analysed these structures in 400 million-year-old fossils of marine life at unprecedentedly high resolution and in 3D. To be able to view these structures, tomography experts at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) examined the samples under the focussed ion beam of a scanning electron microscope to calculate 3D images from the data, achieving resolutions in the nanometre range using technology that was initially developed to study battery corrosion.
- New insights into the structure of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskitesIn photovoltaics, organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites have made a rapid career. But many questions about the crystalline structure of this surprisingly complex class of materials remain unanswered. Now, a team at HZB has used four-dimensional modelling to interpret structural data of methylammonium lead bromide (MAPbBr3), identifying incommensurable superstructures and modulations of the predominant structure. The study is published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters and was selected by the editors as an Editor's Choice.
- 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 issue of "lichtblick" onlineThe new issue of lichtblick is about many things that are currently driving us at the Centre: we show that our staff continue to be very creative in their dealings with Corona and are doing everything they can to ensure that research can continue - for example, the development of new prototypes for accelerator components. [...]
- Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscaleSolar cells made of crystalline silicon achieve peak efficiencies, especially in combination with selective contacts made of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). However, their efficiency is limited by losses in these contact layers. Now, for the first time, a team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Utah, USA, has experimentally shown how such contact layers generate loss currents on the nanometre scale and what their physical origin is. Using a conductive atomic force microscope, they scanned the solar cell surfaces in ultra-high vacuum and detected tiny, nanometre-sized channels for the detrimental dark currents, which are due to disorder in the a-Si:H layer.
- HZB re-certified as a compatibility-friendly company againHZB has been certified as a family-friendly employer since 2011. Now the research centre has successfully completed the re-auditing process and developed further measures to promote a life phase conscious working culture. The certificate is considered a seal of quality for the company's compatibility policy and is awarded by the board of trustees of berufundfamilie Service GmbH. [...]
- Instrument at BESSY II shows how light activates MoS2 layers to become catalystsThin films of molybdenum and sulfur belong to a class of materials that can be considered for use as photocatalysts. Inexpensive catalysts such as these are needed to produce hydrogen as a fuel using solar energy. However, they are still not very efficient as catalysts. A new instrument at the Helmholtz-Berlin Zentrum’s BESSY II now shows how a light pulse alters the surface properties of the thin film and activates the material as a catalyst.
- New skills of Graphene: Tunable lattice vibrationsTechnological innovation in the last century was mainly based on the control of electrons or photons. Now, in the emerging research field of phononics, phonons or vibrations of the crystal lattice attract attention. A team at Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin showed a graphene-based phononic crystal whose resonant frequency can be tuned over a broad range and has used a helium-ion microscope to produce such a crystal. This is a real breakthrough in the field of phononics, now published in Nano Letters.
- Dental materials science: HZB is part of a research project funded by DFGHow can dental restorations – such as fillings and crowns – be made to last longer? A new research group centered at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Technische Universität (TU) Berlin plans to address this topic by utilizing approaches from both materials science and dentistry. The interdisciplinary ‘InterDent’ research group is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It will receive an initial funding of €2.1 million Euro over three years. Partners also include the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI-KG).
- Accelerator physics: Experiment reveals new options for synchrotron light sourcesAn international team has shown through a sensational experiment how diverse the possibilities for employing synchrotron light sources are. Accelerator experts from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), the German federal metrology institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), and Tsinghua University in Beijing have used a laser to manipulate electron bunches at PTB's Metrology Light Source so that they emitted intense light pulses having a laser-like character. Using this method, specialised synchrotron radiation sources would potentially be able to fill a gap in the arsenal of available light sources and offer a prototype for industrial applications. The work was published on 24 February 2021 in the leading scientific publication Nature.
- The 4000th eye tumour patient treated with protons at HZB
On 19 February 2021, the 4000th eye tumour patient received irradiation with protons, performed by a joint team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The number of patients treated in 2020 remained at the previous year's level despite the more difficult corona conditions. The treatment in Berlin-Wannsee is only available for uveal melanomas of the eye. The proton accelerator at HZB is the only therapy site for this disease in Germany.
- The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cellsA long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from abundant materials. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now come a step closer to achieving this. They have improved a process for vertically depositing a solution made from an inexpensive perovskite solute onto a moving substrate below. Not only have they discovered the crucial role played by one of the solvents used, but they have also taken a closer look at the aging and storage properties of the solution.
- World's first video recording of a space-time crystalA German-Polish research team has succeeded in creating a micrometer-sized space-time crystal consisting of magnons at room temperature. With the help of the scanning transmission X-ray microscope MAXYMUS at Bessy II at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin, they were able to film the recurring periodic magnetization structure in a crystal. The research project was a collaboration between scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart, Germany, the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznań in Poland.
- The HZB Graduate Center is here nowThe HZB “DR coordination” is now the HZB Graduate Center. Since the beginning of 2018, the DR coordination has been continuously expanding the offers and standards at the HZB for doctoral researchers and their advisors. The ideas and suggestions that were collected in discussions with numerous stakeholders and in various HZB committees on this topic are leading the path and are incorporated in the set up of a uniform HZB-wide umbrella structure for doctoral researchers and their advisors - the HZB Graduate Center.
- An efficient tool to link X-ray experiments and ab initio theoryThe electronic structure of complex molecules and their chemical reactivity can be assessed by the method of resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) at BESSY II. However, the evaluation of RIXS data has so far required very long computing times. A team at BESSY II has now developed a new simulation method that greatly accelerates this evaluation. The results can even be calculated during the experiment. Guest users could use the procedure like a black box.
- Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of α-SnWO4 promise high efficienciesPhotoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. α-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. Combined with theoretical methods, the measurement data reveal the presence of an oxide layer that impairs the efficiency of the photoanode.
- 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.
- 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.
- Call for Application “Helmholtz young investigator groups”
We are looking for young excellent scientists looking for leadership! To participate in the pre-selection, please apply with a two-page outline of your project by February 28, 2020.
- 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.
- Corona Update 07.01.2021 / restriced operationAfter careful assessment of the situation, the HZB management has decided that HZB continue to operate in a very restricted mode. From 11.01.2021 on, the laboratories and BESSY II are opened exclusively for in-house research. Eye tumor therapy continue to take place. [...]
- Accelerator Physics: HF-Couplers for bERLinPro prove resilientIn synchrotron light sources, an electron accelerator brings electron bunches to almost the speed of light so that they can emit the special "synchrotron light". The electron bunches get their enormous energy and their special shape from a standing electromagnetic alternating field in so-called cavities. With high electron currents, as required in the bERLinPro project, the power needed for the stable excitation of this high-frequency alternating field is enormous. The coupling of this high power is achieved with special antennas, so-called couplers, and is considered a great scientific and technical challenge. Now, a first measurement campaign with optimised couplers at bERLinPro shows that the goal can be achieved.
- Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award Synchrotron RadiationThis year, the Friends of HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to Dr. Martin Bluschke (MPI for Solid State Research and TU Berlin) for his outstanding doctoral thesis. The European Innovation Award for Synchrotron Radiation went to a team of four physicists for their work on the FERMI free electron laser at the Elettra synchrotron source in Trieste. The award ceremony took place at this year's HZB user meeting, which had to be held digitally this year. [...]
- Two neutron instruments from HZB move to MunichAt the end of 2019, the neutron source used for materials research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was shut down as planned. Now the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) in Munich is taking over two scientific instruments from the HZB. The Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF) is funding the relocation and adaptation with 5.62 million euros.
- 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.
- CatLab - A beacon for future hydrogen research
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and two Max Planck institutes are building a catalysis research platform named CatLab to achieve leaps of innovation in hydrogen research
Hydrogen as a sustainable fuel source will play a key role in our energy system for the future. Hydrogen-based chemical energy media are needed as long-term storage repositories in the energy system and are crucial for climate-neutral design of industrial processes. The German federal government's National Hydrogen Strategy clearly identifies the great need for research in this area, which will be the foundation for breakthroughs and leaps in innovation. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and two Max Planck institutes – the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (MPI CEC) – are pooling their expertise for this purpose and together with Humboldt Universität zu Berlin they are jointly establishing the CatLab research platform in Berlin. CatLab is intended as a bridge between pure research and industry, and is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with more than 50 million euros. In total, the five-year development project will cost about 100 million euros.
- Perovskite Solar Cells: paving the way for rational ink design for industrial-scale manufacturingFor the production of high-quality metal-halide perovskite thin-films for large area photovoltaic modules often optimized inks are used which contain a mixture of solvents. An HZB team at BESSY II has now analysed the crystallisation processes within such mixtures. A model has also been developed to assess the kinetics of the crystallisation processes for different solvent mixtures. The results are of high importance for the further development of perovskite inks for industrial-scale deposition processes of these semiconductors.
- User research at BESSY II: Graphite electrodes for rechargeable batteries investigatedRechargeable graphite dual ion batteries are inexpensive and powerful. A team of the Technical University of Berlin has investigated at the EDDI Beamline of BESSY II how the morphology of the graphite electrodes changes reversibly during cycling (operando). The 3D X-ray tomography images combined with simultaneous diffraction now allow a precise evaluation of the processes, especially of changes in the volume of the electrodes. This can help to further optimise graphite electrodes.
- Green hydrogen: buoyancy-driven convection in the electrolyteHydrogen produced by using solar energy could contribute to a climate neutral energy system of the future. But there are hurdles on the way from laboratory scale to large-scale implementation. A team at HZB has now presented a method to visualise convection in the electrolyte and to reliably simulate it in advance with a multiphysics model. The results can support the design and scaling up of this technology and have been published in the renowned journal Energy and Environmental Science.
- Solar cells: Mapping the landscape of Caesium based inorganic halide perovskitesScientists at HZB have printed and explored different compositions of caesium based halide perovskites (CsPb(BrxI1−x)3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 1)). In a temperature range between room temperature and 300 Celsius, they observe structural phase transitions influencing the electronic properties. The study provides a quick and easy method to assess new compositions of perovskite materials in order to identify candidates for applications in thin film solar cells and optoelectronic devices.
- Future Information Technologies: Germanium telluride's hidden properties at the nanoscale revealedGermanium Telluride is an interesting candidate material for spintronic devices. In a comprehensive study at BESSY II, a Helmholtz-RSF Joint Research Group has now revealed how the spin texture switches by ferroelectric polarization within individual nanodomains.
- Order in the disorder: density fluctuations in amorphous silicon discoveredFor the first time, a team at HZB has identified the atomic substructure of amorphous silicon with a resolution of 0.8 nanometres using X-ray and neutron scattering at BESSY II and BER II. Such a-Si:H thin films have been used for decades in solar cells, TFT displays, and detectors. The results show that three different phases form within the amorphous matrix, which dramatically influences the quality and lifetime of the semiconductor layer. The study was selected for the cover of the actual issue of Physical Review Letters.
- Modelling shows which quantum systems are suitable for quantum simulationsA joint research group led by Prof. Jens Eisert of Freie Universität Berlin and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has shown a way to simulate the quantum physical properties of complex solid state systems. This is done with the help of complex solid state systems that can be studied experimentally. The study was published in the renowned journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). [...]
- Solar hydrogen: Let’s consider the stability of photoelectrodes
As part of an international collaboration, a team at the HZB has examined the corrosion processes of high-quality BiVO4 photoelectrodes using different state-of-the-art characterisation methods. The result is the first operando stability study of high-purity BiVO4 photoanodes during the photoelectrochemical oxygen evolution reaction (OER). This work shows how the stability of photoelectrodes and catalysts can be compared and enhanced in the future. [...]
- Nanopatterns of proteins detected by cryo-electron microscopyA team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) used cryo electron microscopy to detect regular, two-dimensional structures in the form of Pascal triangles in a shock frozen protein material. The samples have been synthesized by a Chinese research group. The method of cryo electron microscopy has the potential for new insights into energy materials as well. [...]
- HZB is one of the best trainers in BerlinThe Berlin-South Employment Agency has awarded the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for an innovative procedure to select applicants for apprenticeships and dual studies not only on the basis of their grades, but also to include communicative and social skills. A total of eight Berlin companies were awarded the Certificate for Young Talent Promotion 2019/2020. [...]
- Perovskite materials: Neutrons show twinning in halide perovskitesSolar cells based on hybrid halide perovskites achieve high efficiencies. These mixed organic-inorganic semiconductors are usually produced as thin films of microcrystals. An investigation with the Laue camera at the neutron source BER II could now clarify that twinning occurs during crystallisation even at room temperature. This insight is helpful for optimising production processes of halide perovskites.
- University of Kassel and HZB establish Joint Lab for the use of artificial intelligence
The University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin are setting up a joint laboratory for the use of artificial intelligence, where they will be developing new experimental methods and improving the analysis of data from experiments performed at BESSY II. [...]
- Carl-Ramsauer-Award for excellent dissertationDr. Raphael Jay has received this year's Carl-Ramsauer-Prize of the German Physical Society of Berlin (DPGzB). The prize honours outstanding dissertations in physics and related fields and will be awarded during a festive colloquium on 18 November 2020 in the Magnus-Haus.
- HZB & IKZ bundle their competencies In crystalline energy and quantum materialsOn September 11, 2020, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung (IKZ) signed a cooperation agreement to advance joint research on energy and quantum materials. As part of the cooperation, new types of X-ray optics for synchrotron radiation sources are also being developed. [...]
- Solar-cell façade at HZB undergoes real-life testingSolar-modules shimmer bright blue on the cladding of a new building at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). They are special CIGS thin-film modules custom-developed and produced in Germany for integration into the building’s envelope. The solar cladding not only meets part of the power requirement, but is also a realistic laboratory in and of itself: an HZB team is monitoring the long-term behaviour of the modules under varying environmental conditions and evaluating the data.
- Climate Strike on Friday: HZB-Direktor welcomes engagement for climate protection"I find it remarkable and encouraging that more and more citizens are joining the protests of the younger generation and calling for a turnaround for climate protection," says Prof. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). In an open video message on the occasion of the worldwide climate day planned for Friday, he welcomes the fact that HZB staff members want to participate in the actions. At the same time he calls on people not to be afraid of technical changes. "The technologies for a climate-friendly energy supply are available. We must now use them quickly, but we must also improve them and create new options".
- HZB and TU Berlin: New joint research group at BESSY IIBirgit Kanngießer is setting up a joint research group to combine X-ray methods in laboratories and at large-scale facilities. In particular, the physicist wants to investigate how X-ray experiments on smaller laboratory instruments can be optimally complemented with more complex experiments that are only possible at synchrotron sources such as BESSY II. [...]
- HZB is member of the IGAFA initiative in Adlershof
Since September 2020, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin is again a member of IGAFA - the Initiative of Non-University Research Institutions in Adlershof. Prof. Dr. Jan Lüning, scientific director of the HZB, was elected to the association's board. [...]
- Radio Teddy berichtet über Experimente aus dem HZBRadio TEDDY macht ein beliebtes Programm für Familien und Kinder nach dem Motto: „Macht Spaß! Macht schlau!“ Nun waren Reporterteams von Radio TEDDY am HZB zu Gast. In den kommenden zwölf Wochen berichten sie nun jeden Samstag um 14:40 über spannende Experimente aus dem HZB: von selbstgebauten Solarzellen über Materialien mit Gedächtnis bis zum Elektromagnetismus. Auf einer Webseite zum "Experiment der Woche" sind auch Videoreportagen über die HZB-Besuche zu sehen. [...]
- HZB newspaper lichtblick published
In the new lichtblick we look with Bernd Rech, spokesman of the scientific management, at the upcoming funding period of the Helmholtz Association, the POF IV. What does it mean for our center? And what exciting topics will be accompanying us in the near future? You will find the answers in the interview on page 2. [...]
- Silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells: New facilities pave the way for industrial-scale production
Perovskites are regarded as promising materials for solar cells, able to be manufactured at low cost while at the same time being extremely efficient. They are particularly suitable for tandem solar cells that combine a cell made of silicon and one of perovskite. As a result, sunlight is more completely used when generating electrical energy. So far, the advantages of such cells have only been available for use at small laboratory scale. With two new, highly innovative production facilities, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are now creating the basis for future production on an industrial scale. [...]
- Upconversion of photons at low light intensities – the key to new applications in energy and bioengineeringThe region of the spectrum that can be utilised for producing electrical energy can be considerably extended by converting low-energy (longer wavelength) photons into high-energy (shorter wavelength) photons. But so far, this has only been possible at high intensities of light. Now for the first time, scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) have been able to produce a usable effect from relatively weak light by combining certain nanoparticles with what is known as a meta-surface. This paves the way for future applications in photovoltaics, for the detection of biological substances, and for electrical-field sensors. [...]
- New Materials for Energy Storage: ERC Starting Grant for Tristan PetitDr. Tristan Petit has received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council for 1.5 million euros over the next five years. The materials researcher will use the grant to investigate a new class of materials known as MXenes for storing electrical energy. MXenes can store and deliver large amounts of electrical energy extremely quickly. They might play an important role in energy storage alongside batteries and supercapacitors. The ERC Starting Grant is one of the most important European research grants.
- Molecular architecture: New class of materials for tomorrow's energy storageResearchers at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) have created a new family of semiconductors, the properties of which were investigated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The researchers christened the first member “TUB75”. The material belongs to the class called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs for short, and could open up new opportunities for energy storage. The work was published in Advanced Materials. [...]
- The shutdown at BESSY II: busy activity in the ring
The storage ring BESSY II is down for nine weeks this year while urgent maintenance is being performed and new components are being installed. That sounds like a lot of down time, but there is a long list of work to be done. There is much going on behind the scenes to ensure that BESSY II will be available as reliably as ever for our guest researchers. [...]
- Research team provides concrete approach to improve the performance of CIGS solar cells
A team of researchers used electron microscopes and computer simulations to investigate where losses occur in thin-film solar cells. The researchers from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) provide specific information on how the already high efficiency of CIGS solar cells can be improved. The results were published in the journal Nature Communication. [...]
- Mathematical tool helps calculate properties of quantum materials more quicklyMany quantum materials have been nearly impossible to simulate mathematically because the computing time required is too long. Now a joint research group at Freie Universität Berlin and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has demonstrated a way to considerably reduce the computing time. This could accelerate the development of materials for energy-efficient IT technologies of the future.
- Best electrolyser/photovoltaics combinations demonstrated in test fieldsOne of the most promising ways to increase the availability of solar energy is to convert excess production into hydrogen. The PECSYS project has investigated the best possible material and technology combinations to facilitate such an operation.
- Humboldt-University Berlin appoints Jan LüningProf. Dr. Jan Lüning, Scientific Director at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), was appointed to an S-W3 professorship at Humboldt University in Berlin in July. The professorship is entitled "Electronic Properties of Materials/X-ray Analysis" and is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at Humboldt University Berlin. [...]
- Hope for better batteries – researchers follow the charging and discharging of silicon electrodes live
Using silicon as a material for electrodes in lithium-ion batteries promises a significant increase in battery amp-hour capacity.The shortcoming of this material is that it is easily damaged by the stress caused by charging and discharging.Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) have now succeeded for the first time in observing this process directly on crystalline silicon electrodes in detail.Operando experiments using the BESSY II synchrotronprovided new insights into how fractures occur in silicon – and also how the material can nevertheless be utilised advantageously. [...]
- Seminar für Architekt*innen Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur – Gestaltung und AusführungIm September veranstaltet die Beratungsstelle für bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) „BAIP“ zusammen mit der Architektenkammer Niedersachsen ein Seminar für Architekt*innen zum Thema Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik: Architektur-Gestaltung und Ausführung [...]
- New substance library to accelerate the search for active compoundsIn order to accelerate the systematic development of drugs, the MX team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Drug Design Group at the University of Marburg have established a new substance library. It consists of 1103 organic molecules that could be used as building blocks for new drugs. The MX team has now validated this library in collaboration with the FragMAX group at MAX IV. The substance library of the HZB is available for research worldwide and also plays a role in the search for substances active against SARS-CoV-2.
- Robust high-performance data storage through magnetic anisotropyThe latest generation of magnetic hard drives is made of magnetic thin films, which are invar materials. They allow extremely robust and high data storage density by local heating of ultrasmall nano-domains with a laser, so called heat assisted magnetic recording or HAMR. The volume in such invar materials hardly expands despite heating. A technologically relevant material for such HAMR data memories are thin films of iron-platinum nanograins. An international team led by the joint research group of Prof. Dr. Matias Bargheer at HZB and the University of Potsdam has now observed experimentally for the first time how a special spin-lattice interaction in these iron-platinum thin films cancels out the thermal expansion of the crystal lattice. The study has been published in Science Advances.
- 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.
- Enjoy your holidays: Video greetings from Bernd Rech, vol. 4The summer holidays have been startet, time to catch our breath and recharge our batteries. In a video message Bernd Rech reports from the Scientific Retreat. He thanks all colleagues for the creativity with which they found new ways of working together during the pandemic. He is looking forward to the second half of the year, but for now he wishes everyone nice holidays and thanks all those who are holding down the fort at HZB. [...]
- Benchmarking for quantum technologiesDoes a device do what it's supposed to? This question is not only asked in everyday life. Researchers working with quantum technologies also want to know what novel instruments can do. A team led by Prof. Jens Eisert, a physicist at the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems of Freie Universität Berlin and at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, together with researchers from the Sorbonne University in Paris, have published an overview of tools that can currently be used to compare and certify quantum devices. The review article is published in Nature Reviews Physics.
- Optimize opto-electronic devices with new compact measuring system
In order to develop efficient opto-electronic devices such as solar cells or LEDs, it is crucial to improve the quality of the semiconductors. To achieve this, it is necessary to determine the luminescence yield of the semiconductor material. For this characterization, a research team at HZB has developed a new measuring device that precisely determines the luminescence and is also very compact. In order to evaluate the potential for commercial applications, the team now receives a Field Study Fellowship from the Helmholtz Association. [...]
- Printed perovskite LEDs – an innovative technique towards a new standard process of electronics manufacturing
A team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has succeeded for the first time in producing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from a hybrid perovskite semiconductor material using inkjet printing.This opens the door to broad application of these materials in manufacturing many different kinds of electronic components.The scientists achieved the breakthrough with the help of a trick: "inoculating" (or seeding) the surface with specific crystals. [...]
- New lichtblick onlineThere is usually a lot of bustle in the school lab at HZB. Children and young people pour in, experiment and ask Ulrike Witte's team questions. For example this one: "Is there actually ultra-green violet?" In the cover story our author Kilian Kirchgessner describes how lively the work with the children is - and how wonderful it is when at the end of the day all the young visitors are amazed, even the coolest.
- User research at BESSY II: Formation of a 2D meta-stable oxide in reactive environments
The chemical behaviour of solid material surfaces is an important physical characteristic for applications of catalysis, chemical sensors, fuel cells and electrodes. A research team from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion has now described an important phenomenon that can occur when metal alloys are exposed to reactive environments at the synchrotron source BESSY II.
- Start your accelerator tour - the Long Night of Science in a different wayDue to corona restrictions, unfortunately there will be no Long Night of Science this year. This is not only a pity for all those interested in science, but also for us! We look forward to it every year when many people come to us, asking us questions or being amazed by the huge facilities and laboratories in which we do our research. To make sure that the long night doesn't fall flat, we take you on a virtual journey through our accelerator BESSY II.
- BESSY II: Experiment shows for the first time in detail how electrolytes become metallicAn international team has developed a sophisticated experimental technique at BESSY II to observe the formation of a metallic conduction band in electrolytes. To accomplish this, the team first prepared cryogenic solutions of liquid ammonia containing different concentrations of alkali metals. The colour of the solutions changes with concentration from blue to golden as the individual atoms of metal in solution transition to a metallic compound. The team then examined these liquid jets using soft X-rays at BESSY II and subsequently has been able to analyse this process in detail from the data they acquired combined with theoretical predictions. The work has been published in Science and appears even on the cover. [...]
- Catalysts: Efficient hydrogen production via structure
Regeneratively produced hydrogen is considered the ecological raw material of the future. In order to produce it efficiently by electrolysis of water, researchers today also investigate perovskite oxides. The Journal of Physics: Energy invited Dr. Marcel Risch from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) to outline the current state of research. [...]
- They are back: Sheep and goats graze the Wannsee campus again
The meadows are lush green, the ice saints (almost) over: Now is the perfect time for the sheep and goats to return from their winter quarters! Until late autumn, they will now graze the near-natural HZB campus in Wannsee and serve the natural preservation of the landscape - completely without a lawn mower. [...]
- New charging points for electric cars installed in AdlershofOn 14 May 2020, two charging points for electric cars were installed near the BESSY II main building. But not only the hybrid company car fleet is to be charged here. Soon, employees will also have the opportunity to charge their private cars at one of the charging points.
- On the road to non-toxic and stable perovskite solar cellsThe promising halide perovskite materials for solar energy conversion show high efficiencies, but this comes at a cost: The best perovskite materials incorporate toxic lead which poses a hazard to the environment. To replace lead by less toxic elements is not easy since lead-free perovskites show lower stability and poor efficiencies. Now, an international collaboration has engineered a new hybrid perovskite material with promising efficiency and stability. [...]
- Future information technologies: 3D Quantum Spin Liquid revealedQuantum Spin Liquids are candidates for potential use in future information technologies. So far, Quantum Spin Liquids have usually only been found in one or two dimensional magnetic systems only. Now an international team led by HZB scientists has investigated crystals of PbCuTe2O6 with neutron experiments at ISIS, NIST and ILL. They found spin liquid behaviour in 3D, due to a so called hyper hyperkagome lattice. The experimental data fit extremely well to theoretical simulations also done at HZB. [...]
- User research at BESSY II: Insights into the visual perception of plantsPlants use light not only for photosynthesis. Although the plant cell does not have eyes, it can still perceive light and thus its environment. Phytochromes, certain turquoise proteins, play the central role in this process. How exactly they function is still unclear. Now a team led by plant physiologist Jon Hughes (Justus Liebig University Gießen) has been able to decipher the three-dimensional architecture of various plant phytochrome molecules at BESSY II. Their results demonstrate how light alters the structure of the phytochrome so that the cell transmits a signal to control the development of the plant accordingly. [...]
- User research at BESSY II: How new materials increase the efficiency of direct ethanol fuel cellsA group from Brazil and an HZB team have investigated a novel composite membrane for ethanol fuel cells. It consists of the polymer Nafion, in which nanoparticles of a titanium compound are embedded by the rarely explored melt extrusion process. At BESSY II they were able to observe in detail, how the nanoparticles in the Nafion matrix are distributed and how they contribute to increase proton conductivity. [...]
- 04.05.2020 - #Corona: HZB resumes operation step by stepAfter a careful assessment of the situation, the management decided that operations at HZB would be resumed step by step from 4 May onwards. Strict security regulations apply. BESSY II will be available again for in-house research from 11 May. For Sars-CoV-2-relevant measurements a fast access to BESSY II has been established. [...]
- Video greetings from Bernd Rech, vol. 3
After six weeks of minimal operation, life is slowly returning to both HZB locations. The laboratories open, although under strict security precautions. In a video message Bernd Rech tells us that he is very much looking forward to the open laboratories and new results. However, he also emphasises that it is still advisable to work from home in order to avoid infections. He expressly thanks all employees for their creativity and team spirit over the past weeks. [...]
- Corona research: Consortium of Berlin research and industry seeks active ingredients
The Berlin biotech company Molox GmbH and a team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) have initiated a consortium of regional research groups and BASF. Together, they want to identify a starting point for the development of a potential active substance against the new coronavirus. Targets of potential inhibitors will be SARS-CoV2 proteins that promote the spread or infectivity of the viruses. Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin are also involved in the research work. [...]
- Portrait: The athlete in the lab coatSteve Albrecht is researching on perovskite solar cells and holds several efficiency world records with his team. Back in his schooldays, he was going to become either a competitive gymnast or a scientist. He chose science, but the same athletic ambition still drives his research forward. [...]
- 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. [...]
- Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther as W2 professor
On April 6, 2020 Freie Universität Berlin appointed Johannes Reuther to the joint W2 professorship "Theory of Novel Quantum Materials”. The physicist will conduct research at both Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Freie Universität Berlin. The joint appointment will build a bridge between experimental and theoretical physics. [...]