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Outstanding Results on Research in Synchrotron Radiation rewarded

16.11.2009 - (idw) Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH

At the "First Joint BER II and BESSY II Users' Meeting" on November 12th / 13th the "Freundeskreis Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin e. V." bestowed the "Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Prize" and the "Innovation-Award on Synchrotron Radiation" for 2009. Dr. Stephen Peter Berkebile from the Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz received this year's "Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Prize" for the outstanding results of his doctoral thesis. In his thesis the 33-year old scientist investigated the growth of organic films with different spectroscopic methods at BESSY II to obtain detailed results on the electronic band structure of the individual layers. Thus, his thesis described new findings concerning charge transport in molecular thin films. These findings are important for the further development in organic electronics, such as transistors or LEDs consisting of organic materials as well as for organic solar cell technology.

The "Ernst-Eckhard-Koch-Prize" is bestowed for an outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of research with synchrotron radiation performed at either BESSY II or HASYLAB, Hamburg, completed during the current or past year. The prize includes a monetary award amounting to 2,500 Euro.

The 2009 "Innovation-Award on Synchrotron Radiation" was awarded to a team of scientists from the optical systems department of the HZB. Heiner Lammert, Tino Noll, Frank Siewert and Thomas Zeschke developed an Ultra-Precision Measuring-Machine for optical surfaces. With their Nanometer Optical Component Measuring Machine (NOM) they had established a completely new measuring principle: autocollimator-based-nano-deflectometry for optical metrology. With the new device experts can measure mirrors on the sub-nanometer scale - a very important requirement for manufacturing ultra-precise optical surfaces.
Optical components such as reflection mirrors and gratings are needed to produce and focus monochromatic synchrotron radiation. At a synchrotron radiation facility like BESSY II more than 200 of such crucial optical elements are in use. The quality of synchrotron radiation depends critically on the accuracy of the optical components.

The measurement power of NOM corresponds to detecting a pinhead on an absolutely plane surface of the size of Portugal. Compared to previously obtainable data this accuracy is a quantum jump; staying within the Portugal picture: before the "NOM era" the measurement limit on the same surface area corresponded to a mole hill.
Due to the unprecedented accuracy NOM has become a kind of reference standard. Metrology instruments developed at other synchrotron radiation facilities are aligned with respect to the NOM. A licensed replica is in operation at the Diamond Light Source in the UK.
Moreover, many scientific cooperation partners like DESY or commercial optics manufacturers like Carl ZEISS AG are using the ultra-precision measuring-machine.

The "Innovation-Award on Synchrotron Radiation" is announced Europe-wide for an outstanding technical achievement or experimental method that promises to extend the frontiers of research with synchrotron radiation. It includes a monetary prize of 3,000 Euro sponsored by SPECS GmbH and BESTEC GmbH.

The "Freundeskreis Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin e. V." (Association of Friends of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin) continues the non-profit activities of the former 'Society of Friends and Sponsors of BESSY' after the merger at the beginning of the year. Further information about organisation and activities of the association you can find here:

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) developes and operates large scale facilities with state-of-the-art and partially unique experimental instrumentation for research with photons (synchrotron radiation) and neutrons. The facilities are used annually by more than 2500 guests from universities and other research organisations around the world. HZB carries out materials research in fields that require and put special demands on large research facilities. Research themes range from materials research for energy technologies to magnetic materials and functional materials. In the focal point of solar energy research stands the development of thin film solar cells but chemical fuels from sunlight are also a crucial research theme. HZB has around 1100 employees with around 800 on the Campus Lise-Meitner in Wannsee, and 300 on the Campus Wilhelm-Conrad-Röntgen in Adlershof.

The HZB is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German research centres, the largest scientific organisation in Germany.
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