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Success with Sequel: The Russian-German Laboratory Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

Expansion Is Planned

№ 213/2011 from Jun 29, 2011

A success story celebrates an anniversary: The Russian-German Laboratory at BESSY II storage ring facility at the Helmholtz Centre in Berlin Adlershof is ten years old. The facility where scientists conduct research to understand the fundamental structure of matter is a unique form of cooperation between German and Russian scientists. It is sponsored jointly by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Dresden University of Technology, St. Petersburg State University, the Ioffe Institute in St. Petersburg, the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, and the Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography in Moscow. As part of the German-Russian Year of Science, the 10-year anniversary will be celebrated with a workshop on June 27 and 28 in Berlin. An extension of the contract will be signed with the objective of expanding the research capacity.

In the center of the Russian-German laboratory there is a beamline for so-called soft X-rays which can be used to explore the atomic structure of matter. “These experiments with synchrotron radiation play a very important role in basic research,” as stated by Eckart Rühl, a professor of physical chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin and chairperson of the steering committee of the Russian-German laboratory. The beamline can be used to investigate the properties of complex materials such as graphene, a promising material for microelectronic applications.

The Russian-German laboratory is attractive for scientists from both countries. So far more than 250 publications in prestigious scientific journals have been produced at the research laboratory, and 48 graduate degrees, 14 doctoral theses, and two post-doctoral theses are based largely on results that were developed here. Research in the Russian-German laboratory is supported by the International Centre of Excellence for Natural Sciences, founded by St. Petersburg State University and Freie Universität Berlin in 2010. The German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center (G-RISC), which has its headquarters in St. Petersburg and is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Federal Foreign Office, hires a scientist who oversees the users of the Berlin laboratory in taking the measurements.

For a long time now the demand of researchers who are investigating samples using the beam pipe in the laboratory in Berlin has exceeded the capacity of the laboratory experiment stations. With funding from the German Federal Ministry of Research, the experimental resources are now going to be expanded. The plan is to build a so-called undulator beam tube, with which the Russian-German laboratory will be expanded over the next two years to a leading place for measuring the angle and spin-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. The aim is to study magnetic materials with dimensions in the nanometer range.

Further Information

  • Prof. Dr. Eckart Rühl, Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Physical and Theoretical Chemistry), Freie Universität Berlin, Tel: +49-30-838-52396, Email:
  • Dr. Walter Braun, Head of User Coordination, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Albert-Einstein-Str.  15, 12489 Berlin, Tel: +49-30-8062-12927, Email: