Welcome to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin

At the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), we conduct research on complex systems of materials that contributes to dealing with challenges such as the energy transition. The HZB research portfolio includes solar cells, solar fuels, thermoelectrics, and materials for new, energy-efficient information technologies (spintronics) or electrochemical energy storage. Research on these energy materials is closely connected with the operation and advanced development of the BESSY II photon source. And our research approach always concentrates on thin-film technologies. Find out more at this About us.

News and Press Releases

  • <p>The new building block (left, red outline) comprises two modified starting molecules connected to each other by a silver atom (blue). This leads to complex, semiregular tessellations (right, microscope image). Image: Klappenberger and Zhang / TUM</p>

    User experiment at BESSY II: Complex tessellations, extraordinary materials

    Simple organic molecules form complex materials through self-organization

    An international team of researchers lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a reaction path that produces exotic layers with semiregular structures. These kinds of materials are interesting because they frequently possess extraordinary properties. In the process, simple organic molecules are converted to larger units which form the complex, semiregular patterns. With experiments at BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin this could be observed in detail. [...].

  • Application open for Young Investigator Workshop

    The Virtual Institute (VI) “Dynamic Pathways in Multidimensional Landscapes” explores the governing principles of material functions and is internationally highly visible. Young scientists are invited to participate in the Young Investigators Workshop which takes place from 22 to 27 April 2018 in Grainau. Please apply by 20th February 2018.   [...].

  • <p class="MsoNoSpacing">SEM-images of the different perovskite solar cell architectures, left with planar interface, right with mesoporous interface. Images are coloured: metal oxide (light blue), interface (red), perovskite (brown), hole conducting layer (dark blue), topped with contact (gold). &nbsp;Scale bar is 200 nm. Image: A. Gagliardi/TUM</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

    Perovskite solar cells: mesoporous interface mitigates the impact of defects

    The nominal cell operating life of perovskite solar cells is strongly influenced by their inner architecture.This was shown by two scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Munich. They combined experiments with numerical simulations in order to explain this observation. [...].

  • <p>Simplified cross-section of a perovskite solar cell: the perovskite layer does not cover the entire surface, but instead exhibits holes. The scientists could show that a protective layer is being built up which prevents short circuits. Picture: HZB</p>

    Perovskite solar cells: perfection not required!

    Experiments at BESSY II reveal why even inhomogeneous perovskite films are highly functional 

    Metal-organic perovskite layers for solar cells are frequently fabricated using the spin coating technique. If you follow the simplest synthesis pathway and use industry-relevant compact substrates, the perovskite layers laid down by spin coating generally exhibit numerous holes, yet attain astonishingly high levels of efficiency. The reason that these holes do not lead to significant short circuits between the front and back contact and thus high-rate charge carrier recombination has now been discovered by a HZB team headed by Dr.-Ing. Marcus Bär in cooperation with the group headed by Prof. Henry Snaith (Oxford Univ.) at BESSY II.


  • <p>Oxford PV &ndash; The Perovskite Company's industrial site in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany where the company is working rapidly to transfer its advanced perovskite on silicon tandem solar cell technology to an industrial scale process. Credit: Oxford PV</p>

    Oxford PV collaborates with HZB to move perovskite solar cells closer to commercialisation

    Perovskite solar technology leader Oxford PV collaborates with leading German research centre to support the accelerated transfer of its technology into silicon cell manufacturing lines. [...].

  • BER II and BESSY II User Meeting at HZB

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