At HZB we often have interesting guests from abroad – and with challenging topics. I met two of them, Vitaly Datsyuk and Svitlana Trotsenko, on a sunny autumn day. The first time Vitaly and Svitlana came to HZB in Wannsee, they were stopped at the gate. Both scientists work in the Physics Department of Freie Universität Berlin on a Ukrainian passport. But because the requisite application as required by the Foreign Trade and Payments Act hadn’t gone through, the two had to leave empty handed. And yet, this minor hiccup did not stop them from returning. In fact now, once a month, they are regularRead More →

Fuel Cell Fuel cell is an energy conversion device that converts the chemical energy stored in fuels (Hydrogen) and oxidants into electricity through electrochemical reaction. We work on specific type of fuel cell which is Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), which is consists of an anode and a cathode, and a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) in between. At the anode, hydrogen flows into the flow channel through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) to the catalyst layer (CL). In the anode CL, hydrogen splits into protons (hydrogen ions) and electron, these electron travels through an external circuit to the cathode, thus generate electricity. At theRead More →

Protein crystals are so sensitive, that diffraction experiment conducted in room temperature could easily damage them. Therefore, an important preparation step for diffraction experiment is cooling protein crystals to around 100K. Water is significant part of protein crystals (even to 80%) and it’s a really love-hate relationship. On the one hand, high solvent content provides native environment for protein. Nevertheless, at the same time, during the cooling, water can cause crystals cracking (due to ice formation) or difficulties during diffraction data collection (because of visible ice rings on diffraction pattern). To avoid that, prior to the cooling, the crystals have to be treated using so-called cryo-protectants.Read More →

Engineers and scientists all around the world are working together to increase efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) devices. Decreasing manufacturing cost of these devices, together with the cost of produced energy, are making more and more people eager to reduce their carbon footprint. Multiple exciton generating (MEG) solar cells, can produce more energy from single high energy photon by creating multiple electron-hole pairs, these PV’s are more efficient, and have less energy loses due to thermalisation. Unfortunately we still don’t have thorough understanding about MEG processes. MEG solar cell In this project I’ve extend the capabilities of MEG detection system, this was achieved by eliminating manyRead More →