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About us

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) researches solutions for a climate-neutral society. Researchers are developing and optimising efficient and cost-effective materials for solar cells, batteries and catalysts. These energy materials are essential components for achieving a CO2 neutral and secure energy supply.

Solar cell absorbers of the next generation. Credit: HZB

The most important tool is the X-ray source BESSY II, which delivers intensely bright light in the soft X-ray spectral region. Researchers are using this to study the structure and function of energy and quantum materials. We are also researching new concepts for accelerator-based X-ray sources and developing new instruments for ever greater measuring precision.

BESSY II attracts an annual average of 2700 visits from guest researchers from 28 countries. They use the light from BESSY II to study, among other things, proteins, storage materials and cultural assets. As the only soft X-ray source in Germany, BESSY II is indispensable for the domestic and international research community.

Research focuses

  • Photovoltaics
  • Thin-film technologies
  • Catalysts / green hydrogen / CO2 conversion
  • Solar fuels
  • Battery materials
  • Quantum materials
  • Accelerator physics & technologies

We contribute to the Helmholtz Research Fields of

  • Energy
  • Matter
  • Information

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