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- Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen: Aufruf zu mehr Sachlichkeit in KrisensituationenZur aktuellen Berichterstattung der BILD-Zeitung im Zusammenhang mit der Coronavirus-Pandemie erklärt die Allianz der Wissenschaftsorganisationen:
„Die BILD-Zeitung setzt mit dem Beitrag „Die Lockdown-Macher“ vom 4. Dezember 2021 ihre im vergangenen Jahr begonnene einseitige Berichterstattung gegen Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler fort, die ihre fachliche Expertise in den Dienst von Politik und Gesellschaft stellen, um der Coronavirus-Pandemie und ihren gerade in diesen Tagen dramatisch sichtbaren Folgen zu begegnen.
- Liquid crystals for fast switching devicesAn international team has investigated a newly synthesized liquid-crystalline material that promises applications in optoelectronics. Simple rod-shaped molecules with a single center of chirality self-assemble into helical structures at room temperature. Using soft X-ray resonant scattering at BESSY II, the scientists have now been able to determine the pitch of the helical structure with high precision. Their results indicate an extremely short pitch at only about 100 nanometres which would enable applications with particularly fast switching processes.
- Green information technologies: Superconductivity meets SpintronicsSuperconducting coupling between two regions separated by a one micron wide ferromagnetic compound has been proved by an international team. This macroscopic quantum effect, known as Josephson effect, generates an electrical current within the ferromagnetic compound made of superconducting Cooper-pairs. Magnetic imaging of the ferromagnetic region at BESSY II has contributed to demonstrate that the spin of the electrons forming the Cooper pairs are equal. These results pave the way for low-power consumption superconducting spintronic-applications where spin-polarized currents can be protected by quantum coherence.
- Neutron data help to reveal “spooky” entanglement in quantum magnetsUsing data from the British neutron source ISIS from the year 2000, research teams have now demonstrated the viability of a “quantum entanglement witness” capable of proving the presence of entanglement between magnetic particles, or spins, in a quantum material. A team from HZB led by Prof. Bella Lake was also involved in the analysis.
- BIPV – Chance für die Photovoltaik im urbanen Kontext: Jetzt anmeldenDas Webinar „Bauwerkintegrierte Photovoltaik (BIPV) – Chance für die Photovoltaik im urbanen Kontext“ widmet sich der Photovoltaik im Gebäudesektor, der für die Klimaneutralität eine wichtige Rolle spielt.
- World record again at HZB: Almost 30 % efficiency for next-generation tandem solar cellsThree HZB teams led by Prof. Christiane Becker, Prof. Bernd Stannowski and Prof. Steve Albrecht have jointly managed to increase the efficiency of perovskite silicon tandem solar cells fabricated completely at HZB to a new record value of 29.80 %. The value has now been officially certified and is documented in the NREL-charts. This brings the 30 percent mark within reach.
- Walter-Schottky-Award for Felix BüttnerThe Walter Schottky Prize honours outstanding work by young physicists in solid-state research. For 2022, the award goes to HZB physicist Dr Felix Büttner for his groundbreaking achievements in the field of magnetic skyrmions.
- Germany on the road to net zero: a new Web Atlas shows the optionsWhich technical and nature-based options as well as political decisions can support Germany in being CO2-neutral? These questions are answered by the new web atlas of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon. The new tool is aimed at politicians, experts and the public. The HZB has also contributed to the web atlas.
- "Green" chemistry: BESSY II sheds light on mechanochemical synthesisIn mechanochemistry, reagents are finely ground and mixed so that they combine to form the desired product, even without need for solvent. By eliminating solvent, this technology promises to contribute significantly towards ‘green’ and environmentally benign chemical manufacture in the future. However, there are still major gaps in understanding the key processes that occur during mechanical treatment and reaction. A team led by the Federal Institute for Materials Research (BAM) has now developed a method at BESSY II to observe these processes in situ with X-ray scattering.
- Vote for Felicia Laberer as young sportswoman of the year!
At her first Paralympics participation, Felicia Laberer won bronze in Tokyo. For the 20-year-old athlete, this is a dream come true - after hard weeks of training. Support Felicia in her election as Young Sportswoman of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year in Berlin!
- 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.
- Live broadcast at HZB - now as podcast!After a live broadcast the programme "Die Profis" is now online as a podcast.
- Stifterverband certifies Helmholtz Centre Berlin for strategies in dealing with diversity
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is the first non-university research institution to have undergone the Stifterverband's diversity audit "Vielfalt gestalten". The certification attests to the HZB's opportunity-oriented concepts and measures for diverse groups of people.
- Professorship for Antonio Abate at Bielefeld UniversityDr. Antonio Abate investigates perovskite semiconductors for low-cost and highly efficient solar cells and heads a large research group at the Helmholtz Centre Berlin. Now he has accepted a W2 professorship in the Department of Chemistry at Bielefeld University.
- Spintronics: Exotic ferromagnetic order in two-dimensionsAn international team has detected at HZB's vector magnet facility VEKMAG an unusual ferromagnetic property in a two-dimensional system, known as “easy-plane anisotropy”. This could foster new energy efficient information technologies based on spintronics for data storage, among other things. The team has published its results in the renowned journal Science.
- Life Time Achievement Award for Roland MüllerAccelerator and control systems expert Roland Müller received the ICALEPCS Lifetime Achievement Award. In the more than thirty years of his career at BESSY, the physicist has advanced many projects on control systems at accelerators and has been particularly committed to the international exchange of knowledge.
- Ultrafast magnetism: heating magnets, freezing timeMagnetic solids can be demagnetized quickly with a short laser pulse, and there are already so-called HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) memories on the market that function according to this principle. However, the microscopic mechanisms of ultrafast demagnetization remain unclear. Now, a team at HZB has developed a new method at BESSY II to quantify one of these mechanisms and applied it to the rare-earth element Gadolinium, whose magnetic properties are caused by electrons on both the 4f and the 5d shells. This study is completing a series of experiments done by the team on Nickel, Iron-Nickel Alloys. Understanding these mechanisms is useful for developing ultrafast data storage devices.
- Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg appoints Olga KasianDr. Olga Kasian is investigating why catalysts for hydrogen production by water electrolysis are limited in efficiency. The chemist has now accepted a professorship at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). The W2 professorship is entitled "Materials for Electrochemical Energy Conversion" and is located at the Faculty of Engineering.
- Portrait Annette Pietzsch: Researching fundamental phenomena of our worldAnnette Pietzsch has many jobs: the physicist develops instruments for BESSY II that researchers can use to observe how molecules interact with each other. She mostly prefers to use the instruments to do her own research. This is what brought her from Sweden to HZB ten years ago.
- 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.
- Perovskite solar cells: Defects trap charge carriers - and release them againAn international team at HZB and Charles University Prague has investigated how charge carriers in so called MAPI-perovskite semiconductors interact with different defects. They show that a large proportion of defects quickly releases trapped charge carriers. These results could help to further improve the properties of perovskite solar cells.
- A sharp look into tiny ferroelectric crystalsWhat happens to ferroelectric materials when their dimensions are greatly reduced? A team of researchers at HZB has now been able to show how this question can be answered in a detailed way.
- Beam diagnostics for future laser wakefield acceleratorsFor decades, particle accelerators have been getting bigger and bigger. In the meantime, ring accelerators with circumferences of many kilometres have reached a practical limit. Linear accelerators in the GHz range also require very long construction lengths. For some years now, however, an alternative is explored: "tabletop particle accelerators" based on the laser excitation of charge waves in plasmas (laser wakefield). Such compact particle accelerators would be particularly interesting for future accelerator-driven light sources, but are also being investigated for high-energy physics. A team from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has developed a method to precisely measure the cross-section of electron bunches accelerated in this way. This brings applications of these new accelerator technologies for medicine and research closer.
- New world record in materials research - X-ray microscopy with 1000 tomograms per secondTomoscopy is an imaging method in which three-dimensional images of the inside of materials are calculated in rapid succession. Now a team led by HZB physicist Francisco García Moreno has achieved a new world record at the TOMCAT beamline of the Swiss Light Source at the Paul Scherrer Institute: with 1000 tomograms per second, it is now possible to non-destructively document very fast processes and developments in materials on the micrometre scale, such as the burning of a sparkler or the foaming of a metal alloy for the production of stable lightweight materials.
- BR50: How Berlin could be developed into a world-leading science metropolisOn 26 September, not only the Bundestag but also the Berlin House of Representatives will be newly elected. In a position paper, the non-university institutions in the capital that are united in Berlin Research 50 now emphasise what is important for research after the election. In it, they outline 10 demands that the future Senate should implement in order to further strengthen Berlin as a science metropolis.
- Technology Transfer Award ceremony on 5.10.: Visit the poster exhibitions
On 5 October, the best innovation project from HZB will be awarded the Technology Transfer Prize 2021. The award ceremony will be broadcast online from the BESSY II lecture hall from 2 pm. You can already find out about all the submitted projects in our exhibition, which can be found from 21.09 in Wannsee in front of the colloquium room and in Adlershof in front of the BESSY cafeteria.
- Royal Society of Chemistry praises HZB team’s paper on hybrid perovskite structures
For the 10th anniversary collection of its journal, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) selected a paper published by a team from HZB. The paper from HZB is described as one of the most important contributions in the field of solar energy in recent years. The journal praised 23 selected papers that had been often cited or downloaded, and which offered a valuable advantage for further research.
- Surface analysis at BESSY II: sharper insights into thin-film systems
Interfaces in semiconductor components or solar cells play a crucial role for functionality. Nevertheless, until now it has often been difficult to investigate adjacent thin films separately using spectroscopic methods. An HZB team at BESSY II has combined two different spectroscopic methods and used a model system to demonstrate how well they can be distinguished.
- A warm welcome at HZB for our bronze medal winner Felicia LabererWhat a race! At just 20 years old, Felicia Laberer outdistanced the competition in the single kayak at the Paralympics final in Tokyo and won bronze for Germany.
- HZB uses electricity-producing facade wall as real laboratory
In the presence of the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Energy and Operations of the State of Berlin, Christian Rickerts, the HZB officially commissioned the solar façade of a new research building on 6 September 2021. What makes it so special is that the elegant façade not only generates up to 50 kilowatts of electricity (peak power). It also provides important insights into the behaviour of the solar modules under different weather conditions.
- Paralympics: Colleague Felicia Laberer wins bronze medalFelicia Laberer wins a bronze medal in canoeing at the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. We are happy with her and congratulate very much. At HZB, the 20-year-old is currently an apprentice as an office management assistant. In June, the canoeist had already earned the European Championship.
- Disorder brings out quantum physical talentsQuantum effects are most noticeable at extremely low temperatures, which limits their usefulness for technical applications. Thin films of MnSb2Te4, however, show new talents due to a small excess of manganese. Apparently, the resulting disorder provides spectacular properties: The material proves to be a topological insulator and is ferromagnetic up to comparatively high temperatures of 50 Kelvin, measurements at BESSY II show. This makes this class of material suitable for quantum bits, but also for spintronics in general or applications in high-precision metrology.
- On the trail of lithium dendrites: How destructive formations develop in batteriesTiny formations inside lithium batteries can severely limit the operating life of an energy storage device. A research team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now investigated the process behind these formations in greater detail. Their results provide anchor points for the future development of longer-lasting and safer lithium batteries.
- HZB Highlight Report 2019/2020 is online
What was going on at HZB in 2019 and 2020? Quite a lot! Just take a look at our highlight report, in which we briefly present the most important scientific highlights, for example our world records for tandem solar cells, which teams from HZB were able to achieve.
- Precision measurements lead to breakthroughs: HZB is planning the construction of a new accelerator-based light source
For the 200th birthday of Hermann von Helmholtz, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) is celebrating by hosting a festive event in Berlin-Adlershof. The polymath Helmholtz still inspires researchers to this day, now notably in the planning of an accelerator-based light source of the latest generation, which HZB is presenting at the event. It will generate light of special quality for research. Governing Mayor Michael Müller has stressed the importance of a new light source for the research location Berlin.
- New issue of "lichtblick" is online
New technological solutions are needed to curb climate change. Experts agree that green hydrogen is an important building block. By joining forces with internationally renowned research partners and industry, novel catalysts are now to be developed and launched. They are crucial so that green hydrogen can be produced cheaply and efficiently. You can read more about the ambitious goals of the project on the centre page.
- Perovskite solar cells: Interfacial loss mechanisms revealed
Metal-organic perovskite materials promise low-cost and high-performance solar cells. Now a group at HZB managed to de-couple the different effects of self-assembled monolayers of organic molecules (SAMs) that reduce losses at the interfaces. Their results help to optimise such functional interlayers.
- Neutron instrument VSANS will move to Penn State University, USA
At the end of 2019, the Berlin neutron source BER II was shut down as scheduled. To ensure that the high-quality instruments can continue to be used for research, they are moving to suitable neutron sources in Germany and abroad. Now, another move has been agreed upon: The Very Small Angle Scattering Instrument (VSANS) will find a new home at the Breazeale Research Reactor at Penn State University, USA, in spring 2022.
- Review: X-ray scattering methods with synchrotron radiationSynchrotron light sources provide brilliant light with a focus on the X-ray region and have enormously expanded the possibilities for characterising materials. In the Reviews of Modern Physics, an international team now gives an overview of elastic and inelastic X-ray scattering processes, explains the theoretical background and sheds light on what insights these methods provide in physics, chemistry as well as bio- and energy related themes.
- Registration open: HZB Machine Learning Summer School & Hackathon 2021
Registration for the HZB Machine Learning Summer School is now open! Building on the great response last year, the HZB Machine Learning Summer School will be offered again in 2021. You will be able to learn from experts how to leverage machine learning to solve problems in the natural sciences and how to apply your knowledge in exciting real-world hackathon projects, all free of charge. Applications can be submitted until August 22, 2021.
- HZB coordinates European collaboration to develop active agents against CoronaX-ray structure analysis at BESSY II enables the systematic testing of many thousands of molecules that could inhibit the reproduction and virulence of SARS-CoV2 viruses. Now, a team at HZB with partners from Austria and the Czech Republic has set up the NECESSITY project to investigate more than 8000 compounds in a high-throughput procedure and develop active agents against COVID-19.
- Green hydrogen: Why do certain catalysts improve in operation?Crystalline cobalt arsenide is a catalyst that generates oxygen during electrolytic water splitting in the production of hydrogen. The material is considered to be a model system for an important group of catalysts whose performance increases under certain conditions in the course of electrolysis. Now a HZB-team headed by Marcel Risch has observed at BESSY II how two simultaneous mechanisms are responsible for this. The catalytic activity of the individual catalysis centres decreases in the course of electrolysis, but at the same time the morphology of the catalyst layer also changes. Under favourable conditions, considerably more catalysis centres come into contact with the electrolyte as a result, so that the overall performance of the catalyst increases.
- Mehr als nur "Fassade": Nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch SolarfassadenEin Beitrag über die nachhaltige Energieversorgung durch Solarfassaden
- When vibrations increase on cooling: Anti-freezing observedAn international team has observed an amazing phenomenon in a nickel oxide material during cooling: Instead of freezing, certain fluctuations actually increase as the temperature drops. Nickel oxide is a model system that is structurally similar to high-temperature superconductors. The experiment shows once again that the behaviour of this class of materials still holds surprises.
- Helmholtz anniversary exhibition opens in Potsdam
Helmholtz, who was born in Potsdam, is considered one of the most influential natural scientists of his time. 31 August is the 200th anniversary of his birth. To mark the anniversary, the proWissen Potsdam association and the University of Potsdam, in cooperation with the Helmholtz Association, are paying tribute to Helmholtz, the polymath and genius from the Havel, with a two-part exhibition on the red construction fence next to the Education Forum and in the Science Floor in Potsdam.
- Water as a metal - detected at BESSY IIUnder normal conditions, pure water is an almost perfect insulator. Water only develops metallic properties under extreme pressure, such as exists deep inside of large planets. Now, an international collaboration has used a completely different approach to produce metallic water and documented the phase transition at BESSY II. The study is published now in Nature.
- Battery research - SkaLiS project funded with 2.2 million eurosPowerful, compact, and affordable batteries are needed for the energy transition. Groups at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) led by Prof. Yan Lu, Dr. Ingo Manke, and Dr. Sebastian Risse are conducting this research. They are investigating and developing novel types of electrode materials based on sulphur and silicon. Risse is now also coordinating a large project involving teams from HZB as well as from the University of Potsdam near Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden.
- Lead-free perovskite solar cells - How fluoride additives improve qualityTin halide perovskites are currently considered the best alternative to their lead-containing counterparts, which are, however, still significantly less efficient and stable. Now, a team led by Prof. Antonio Abate from HZB has analysed the chemical processes in the perovskite precursor solution and the fluoride compounds in detail. Using a clever combination of measurement methods at BESSY II and with NMR at the Humboldt-University Berlin, they were able to show that fluoride prevents the oxidation of tin and leads to a more homogeneous film formation with fewer defects, increasing the quality of the semiconductor layer.
- 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.
- Virtual visits at HZB and 360° PanoramaDue to Corona, it is currently not possible to welcome groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through the facility. Nevertheless, we open our doors virtually for you and provide insights into research facilities and labs at HZB. Make yourself comfortable and start your own virtual tour through BESSY II. Move through 360-degree images, have a look and linger at selected stations.
- Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronicsA team led by HZB physicist Dr. Jaime Sánchez-Barriga has gained new insights into the ultrafast response of topological states of matter to femtosecond laser excitation. Using time- and spin-resolved methods at BESSY II, the physicists explored how, after optical excitation, the complex interplay in the behavior of excited electrons in the bulk and on the surface results in unusual spin dynamics. The work is an important step on the way to spintronic devices based on topological materials for ultrafast information processing.
- Hi ERN - New headquarters of the Helmholtz Institute in Erlangen inauguratedThe Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg, Hi ERN, in which the HZB is involved, has moved into its new building.
Almost exactly four years lie between the groundbreaking ceremony and the festive inauguration: the new research building of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies (Hi ERN) is another address for cutting-edge research.
- DAPHNE - Data for Photon and Neutron ExperimentsData in the petabyte range are produced annually at large-scale facilities. This research data must be stored for at least ten years. Now 19 scientific institutions in Germany, among them HZB, aim to develop common standards for software, data exchange and data repositories to make research data permanently available. The DAPHNE4NFDI project will be funded over the next five years as part of the National Research Data Infrastructure and is coordinated by DESY.
- Solar hydrogen for Antarctica - study shows advantages of thermally coupled approachA team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Ulm University, and Heidelberg University has now investigated how hydrogen can be produced at the South Pole using sunlight, and which method is the most promising. Their conclusion: in extremely cold regions, it can be considerably more efficient to attach the PV modules directly to the electrolyser, i.e. to thermally couple them. This is because the waste heat from the PV modules increases the efficiency of electrolysis in this environment. The results of this study, which has now been published in Energy & Environmental Science, are also relevant for other cold regions on Earth, such as Alaska, Canada, and high mountain regions, for example. In these places, solar hydrogen could replace fossil fuels such as oil and petrol.
- Synchrotrons accelerate corona researchInformation by the German Committee Research with Synchrotron Radiation (KFS).
Synchrotron light sources were originally built to study particles. Today, they are even used in the fight against COVID-19. The projects are as diverse as the fields of the synchrotron users, who come from universities, research institutions and companies like BioNTech.
- Tailwind for top research in Germany
Three research centres in the Helmholtz Association have developed a joint future plan for the research conducted at the scientific light sources they operate in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden. The upgrades proposed in the strategy for their world-class accelerator-based facilities will strengthen Germany as a research location and promote innovations in many different fields. The strategy paper was presented on 28 June at the Helmholtz Symposium “Research Infrastructures of the Future” as a component of the Helmholtz Roadmap.
- VIPERLAB: EU project aims to boost perovskite solar industry in EuropeThe HZB is coordinating a major European collaborative project to open up new opportunities for the European solar industry. The VIPERLAB project involves 15 renowned research institutions from Europe, as well as Switzerland and Great Britain. It will be funded within the framework of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme for the next three and a half years with a total of 5.5 million euros, from which the HZB will receive just under 840,000 euros.
- BESSY II: universal mechanism of regulation in plant cells discoveredIn pioneering work, a German-Japanese research team at BESSY II has been able to determine the 3D structure of a metalloprotein that plays an important role as a catalyst in all plant cells. This involves the DYW deaminase domain of what is referred to as the RNA editosome. The DYW domain alters messenger RNA nucleotides in chloroplasts and mitochondria and contains a zinc ion whose activity is controlled by a very unusual mechanism. The team has now been able to describe this mechanism in detail for the first time. Their study, published in Nature Catalysis, is considered a breakthrough in the field of plant molecular biology and has far-reaching implications for bioengineering.
- CatLab - Starting signal for a new generation of catalystsThe Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Planck Society (MPG) are launching CatLab, their new joint catalysis research centre in Berlin. The inauguration ceremony took place on June 21st in the presence of Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, the Innovation Officer for Green Hydrogen at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Member of the federal Bundestag. High-ranking representatives from science, government, and industry took part.
- Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights into early stages of structure formationUsing small-angle scattering at the PTB X-ray beamline of BESSY II, an HZB team was able to experimentally investigate the colloidal chemistry of perovskite precursor solutions used for solar cell production. The results contribute to the targeted and systematic optimization of the manufacturing process and quality of these exciting semiconductor materials.
- How quantum dots can "talk" to each other
A group at HZB has worked out theoretically how the communication between two quantum dots can be influenced with light. The team led by Annika Bande also shows ways to control the transfer of information or energy from one quantum dot to another. To this end, the researchers calculated the electronic structure of two nanocrystals, which act as quantum dots. With the results, the movement of electrons in quantum dots can be simulated in real time.
- Renske van der Veen heads new department "Atomic Dynamics in Light-Energy Conversion"From June 2021, Dr. Renske van der Veen is setting up a new research group at HZB. The chemist is an expert in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and electron microscopy and studies catalytic processes that enable the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy.
- BESSY II: New insights into switchable MOF structures at the MX beamlinesMetal-organic framework compounds (MOFs) are widely used in gas storage, material separation, sensor technology or catalysis. A team led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Kaskel, TU Dresden, has now investigated a special class of these MOFs at the MX beamlines of BESSY II. These are "switchable" MOFs that can react to external stimuli. Their analysis shows how the behaviour of the material is related to transitions between ordered and disordered phases. The results have now been published in Nature Chemistry.
- Perovskite solar cells: Hydrogen bonds measuredThe evaluation of X-ray measurements on methylammonium perovskite semiconductors now shows what role hydrogen bonds play in these materials. In addition, the HZB team showed that radiation damage by soft X-rays to this sensitive class of materials occurs even faster than often expected. Both results provide important information for perovskites materials research for solar cells.
- “The gain in insights for structural biology has continued for five decades”
Prof. Dr. Udo Heinemann works at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, where he has been researching in structural biology for 40 years. From 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the Advisory Board for the Protein Data Bank in Europe. In an interview, he speaks of the value added by the Protein Data Bank for research today, and why it is important that there are specialised beamlines for structural biology analysis in Berlin.
- Hörtipp: Genies – das Vermächtnis von Virchow und Helmholtz
Wir möchten Ihnen eine interessante Folge des rbb-Podcast „Talking Science“ empfehlen: Die beiden Universalgenies Rudolf Virchow und Hermann von Helmholtz haben die Wissenschaft am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts geprägt. Ohne sie hätten wir heute weder eine Kanalisation noch den Magnetresonanztomografen. Was können wir von den beiden für unsere heutige Zeit lernen?
- Berlin Energy Days: Integrated photovoltaics - active areas for the energy transitionThe energy transition needs photovoltaics, and photovoltaics need space. There are large areas that have hardly been used so far: For example, solar cells can be integrated into the shell of buildings and vehicles, or installed in traffic routes, over farmland and flooded opencast mines. On Wednesday, 28 April 2021, experts from the HZB consulting office for builiding integrated PV (BAIP) and other research institutions will present these options. The event will take place as part of the Berlin Energy Days, and participation is free of charge after registration.
- MYSTIIC at BESSY II: New X-ray microscope put into operationA new X-ray microscope has started operation at the Energy Materials in situ Lab (EMIL). It is a scanning transmission X-ray microscope designed to examine both sample surfaces and bulk sample. With the soft X-ray light from BESSY II, it is even possible to localise individual elements and chemical compounds; the spatial resolution is below 20 nanometres.
- Direct observation of the ad- and desorption of guest atoms into a mesoporous hostBattery electrodes, storage devices for gases, and some catalyst materials have tiny functional pores that can accommodate atoms, ions, and molecules. How these guest atoms are absorbed into or released from the pores is crucial to understanding the porous materials' functionality. However, usually these processes can only be observed indirectly. A team from the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has employed two experimental approaches using the ASAXS instrument at the PTB X-ray beamline of the HZB BESSY II synchrotron to directly observe the adsorption process of atoms in a mesoporous model system. The work lays the foundations for new insights into these kinds of energy materials.
- Green hydrogen: "Rust" as a photoanode and its limitsMetal oxides such as rust are intriguing photoelectrode materials for the production of green hydrogen with sunlight. They are cheap and abundant, but in spite of decades of research, progress has been limited. A team at HZB, together with partners from Ben Gurion University and the Technion, Israel, has now analysed the optoelectronic properties of rust (haematite) and other metal oxides in unprecedented detail. Their results show that the maximum achievable efficiency of haematite electrodes is significantly lower than previously assumed. The study demonstrates ways to assess new photoelectrode materials more realistically.
- Virtual tours: Experience the HZB in 360 degrees!
Unfortunately, due to Corona, we are currently unable to receive groups of visitors at HZB and guide them through our centre. Despite Corona, we would like to provide you with insights into HZB. Simply follow our 360-degree tours and experience how we conduct research at the BESSY II accelerator. Further tours are being planned.
- X-ray lightsource at DESY identifies promising candidates for COVID drugsAt DESY's high-brilliance X-ray light source PETRA III, a team from more than 30 research institutions has identified several candidates for active substances against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. They bind to an important protein of the virus and could thus be the basis for a drug against Covid-19. The MX team from HZB examined part of the measurement data with special analysis algorithms in order to identify suitable active substances. The study has now been published in the renowned journal Science.
- Tomography brings insights into the early evolution of bonesModern biology considers bone cells (osteocytes) as essential for bone development and health. However, when bone initially evolved some 400-million years ago, it did not contain bone cells. So why did bone cells evolve? Why was it so advantageous that most subsequent vertebrates have bone cells? A joint team of palaeontologists at Berlin’s natural history museum has now for the first time analysed these structures in 400 million-year-old fossils of marine life at unprecedentedly high resolution and in 3D. To be able to view these structures, tomography experts at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) examined the samples under the focussed ion beam of a scanning electron microscope to calculate 3D images from the data, achieving resolutions in the nanometre range using technology that was initially developed to study battery corrosion.
- New insights into the structure of organic-inorganic hybrid perovskitesIn photovoltaics, organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites have made a rapid career. But many questions about the crystalline structure of this surprisingly complex class of materials remain unanswered. Now, a team at HZB has used four-dimensional modelling to interpret structural data of methylammonium lead bromide (MAPbBr3), identifying incommensurable superstructures and modulations of the predominant structure. The study is published in the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters and was selected by the editors as an Editor's Choice.
- 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.
- December issue of lichtblickOn the cover, we introduce Catherine Dubourdieu, who is not only an excellent researcher but also likes the craftsmanship in her work.
- Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize and Innovation Award Synchrotron RadiationThis year, the Friends of HZB awarded the Ernst Eckhard Koch Prize to Dr. Martin Bluschke (MPI for Solid State Research and TU Berlin) for his outstanding doctoral thesis. The European Innovation Award for Synchrotron Radiation went to a team of four physicists for their work on the FERMI free electron laser at the Elettra synchrotron source in Trieste. The award ceremony took place at this year's HZB user meeting, which had to be held digitally this year.
- Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiencyAn HZB team has published a report in the journal Science on the development of its current world record of 29.15% efficiency for a tandem solar cell made of perovskite and silicon. The tandem cell provided stable performance for 300 hours – even without encapsulation. To accomplish this, the group headed by Prof. Steve Albrecht investigated physical processes at the interfaces to improve the transport of the charge carriers.
- Two neutron instruments from HZB move to MunichAt the end of 2019, the neutron source used for materials research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was shut down as planned. Now the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) in Munich is taking over two scientific instruments from the HZB. The Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMBF) is funding the relocation and adaptation with 5.62 million euros.