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.