Altmetrics just published the list of the top 100 scientific articles of 2017, which attracted the most online attention. None of the articles in the top 100 is dealing with materials research. Nevertheless, already the second most spread article is concerning us as well: It is a study on mental health of PhD students. The paper was spread more than 7000 times by twitter, posted 117 times on facebook and quoted in more than 20 online-articles. And it is giving food for thought: Every third PhD suffering seriously According to the study “Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students”, published in Research Policy,Read More →

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 →

As a doctoral researcher of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, I enjoy a lot of freedom to structure my research as I want to – especially, since we are usually not part of giving lectures or tutorials like the doctoral researchers at universities. By partaking in the summer student program, I learned though that teaching someone else can teach you a lot yourself. Taking the decision Only a few months after having started my doctoral research, we had a first summer student in our workgroup. At that time, I was very impressed by the sheer amount of work that this summer student could provide and thus sawRead More →

All summerstudents will present their projects in a conference at HZB Campus Wannsee on thursday 18 September. The conference will start at 11:00 with four talks. The speakers have been elected by the summerstudents themselves. After lunch, the poster session starts. Every student has prepared a poster presenting her or his project, the context, the motivation and what has been achieved during the two months project in summer 2017. An award is given to the best poster along criteria such as communications skills, layout and design, and – of course – scientific achievement. 11.00-12.00 Oral Presentations 13.30 -15:30 Poster session 16.00 Presentation of the posterRead More →

  Protein crystals are a tricky matter to study. Sometimes you can get them easily, without any effort, but sometimes to obtain one, you need to work hard and even that doesn’t bring success for a long. Once you get the crystal, it opens the gate to a long process to determine the molecular structure. Crystals are often very delicate and can be easily destroyed by mechanical and chemical agents as well as temperature changes. In view of these obstacles, many applications in macromolecular crystallography would benefit from the availability of a macromolecular crystal system, which exhibits outstanding diffraction properties, which is mechanically stable and radiation-hardRead 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 →