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HZB.Edu

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (Helmholtz Center for Materials and Energy, HZB) is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. The institute studies the structure and dynamics of materials and investigates solar cell technology. Several large scale facilities are available, the most important of which are the 10 MW BER II nuclear research reactor at the Lise Meitner campus in Wannsee and the third-generation BESSY II synchrotron in Adlershof.

Disorder brings out quantum physical talents

“Quantum 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 …

When vibrations increase on cooling: Anti-freezing observed

“An 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 …

Lead-free perovskite solar cells - How fluoride additives improve quality

“Tin 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 …

Water as a metal - detected at BESSY II

“Under 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 …

Future information technologies: Topological materials for ultrafast spintronics

“A 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 …

Solar cells: Losses made visible on the nanoscale

“Silicon solar cells are now so cheap and efficient that they can generate electricity at prices of less than 2 cent/kWh. The most efficient silicon solar cells today are made with less than 10 nanometres thin selective amorphous silicon …

Instrument at BESSY II shows how light activates MoS2 layers to become catalysts

“Thin 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 …

The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cells

“A 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 …

An efficient tool to link X-ray experiments and ab initio theory

“The 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 …

Perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells on the threshold of 30% efficiency

“An 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 …