The Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) was founded by merging the former Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin (HMI) and the Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung (BESSY), two of Berlin's largest research centres. As member of the Helmholtz-Association, HZB is financed by federal gouvernment (90%) and city state Berlin (10%).
The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) operates two scientific large scale facilities for investigating the structure and function of matter: the research reactor BER II for experiments with neutrons and the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II, producing ultrabright photon beams ranging from Terahertz to hard X-rays. Due to this, HZB is one of the few centres world-wide to offer the whole range of instruments for neutron and synchrotron radiation within one laboratory structure. A common user gateway provides a unified proposal procedure with one scientific selection panel.
In the department of solar energy our scientists are working on the next generation of solar cells, including new kinds of materials and innovative cell structures. Long-term goals are to develop efficient and competitive thin film solar cells and multispectral cells. Thin-film technologies are developed to a stage where industrial applications can follow as the next step. As cofounder of the Photovoltaic Competence Centre (PVcomB) HZB supports the technology transfer to the industry.