THE HZDR RESEARCH MAGAZINE hzdr.de 20 211 XXL RESEARCHING IN EXTREME LABS Extreme states underground Ultrastrong lasers, highest magnetic fields and exorbitant pressures facilitate completely novel experiments When materials research meets cancer medicine How electronic nanosensors trace the seat of diseases Same method! Same result? Global comparative test produces surprising finding
02 Why we do research 02 Why we do research Big infrastructures for the tiniest particles I nto the white desert of the Antarctic, into the endless expanse of space, deep into the Earth’s core: in order to focus on research, humanity has ventured to many remote places that seem inhospitable and impenetrable – always with the aim of generating new knowledge und insights. But the effort and expense involved in building and operating such stations and facilities is usually beyond the financial and personnel means of individual countries and institutions. Modern scientific research is thus largely a joint activity involving numerous countries and minds. To construct similar large-scale research facilities in every country would be economically and scientifically unfeasible. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, HZDR offers a unique infrastructure that is open to researchers from all over the world – some of it in remote places like the Dresden "Felsenkeller" (rock cellar). Admittedly, researchers are not required to undertake a dangerous journey to get to the particle accelerator that the Rossendorf research center and TU Dresden have built there. Nonetheless, they should be immune to claustrophobia because above the lab are roughly 45 meters of massive rock – and for a good reason: the rock overburden protects the sensitive experiments in the tunnel from the particles of cosmic radiation that rain down on the Earth every single day. This enables the physicists to investigate nuclear fusion reactions and decode in detail how our sun and other stars – like huge power stations – fuse atomic nuclei in their interiors and generate heavy elements. Experiments of this kind can only be conducted at two other places around the globe. The entire nuclear astrophysics community thus benefits from the accelerator lab in the rock cellar. Because, of course, just as at HZDR’s other large-scale facilities, scientists can apply to do experiments below ground at any time – thus transporting new knowledge into the whole world.
10 Title 10 Title Sharper X-ray vision for radiating elements
Title 11 In the tunnel, the magnets are lined up one behind the other, more than a thousand of them, all counted. Since spring 2020, they have been deflecting fast electrons very precisely, thus generating the strongest X-ray beams at a synchrotron light source anywhere in the world. The magnets are brand new and form the core element of the huge upgrade of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) within the Extremely Brilliant Source Project (EBS). This also benefits the beamline known as ROBL, that HZDR has been operating in Grenoble for more than 20 years. Labelled now ROBL-II, it opens up new possibilities to scientists. Text . Frank Grotelüschen How do actinides and other radioactive elements behave in potential repositories? How do they interact with the host rock and the technical barriers? Do they perhaps couple with microorganisms and thus get into the biosphere? Andreas Scheinost and his team have been addressing these kinds of questions on the Rossendorf beamline ROBL for many years. a core question. If, for example, plutonium is found in a soluble compound, it could be washed out of the repository at some stage and find its way into the groundwater. If the compound is insoluble on the other hand, the chances are considerably greater that it will remain in the repository for the required period of up to one million years. So far, the group has acquired many valuable insights, for instance into the chemical behavior of selenium, technetium and plutonium – important fundamental data for future radioactive waste repositories. The ESRF upgrade – and, in parallel, that of the ROBL station – now allows researchers to experiment much more precisely. "We have fundamentally ramped up our experimental stations at ROBL-II," Scheinost explains. "Now, we can conduct completely new experiments and do the old ones faster and with detection limits one to two orders of magnitude better." ESRF is a synchrotron generating ultrastrong X-ray radiation. The principle is that magnets in a storage ring with a circumference of nearly 850 meters maintain an electron beam on a circuit at nearly the speed of light whereby strong radio waves ensure the particles remain in motion. At all the points at which the magnetic fields deflect the electrons they emit high-intensity X-ray radiation – a valuable tool for many scientific disciplines which can study their very different samples in minute detail. The storage ring started operating in the 1990s. In 1997, what was then known as the Research Center Rossendorf grasped the opportunity to install its own measurement station – the Rossendorf Beamline or ROBL, for short. "Back then, after the German reunification, the most important thing was to analyze the environmental damage caused by Wismut uranium mining in the GDR," ROBL head Scheinost recalls. "But today, we are mostly concerned with radioactive repository and fundamental research." Using the high-intensity X-ray beam even the tiniest traces of radioactive elements like plutonium and americium in samples can be individually traced. Moreover, experts can deduce which chemical compounds these materials have formed – Impressive: ESRF’s circular building in the Science and Technology Park at Grenoble, France. Source: ESRF Globally unique However, experiments involving plutonium & Co. are a particular challenge: "Dealing with radioactive samples requires special safety precautions," Scheinost explains. "There are only two other beamlines that have equivalent safety precautions and not with the same spectrum of methods – which is what makes ROBL globally unique." Scheinost sets off for the start of the beamline that consists of several hutches one behind the other. All in all, the beamline is approximately 100 meters long. He enters the first hutch through a massive metal door and points to the walls. "They contain significant amounts of lead to shield us from the intensive X-ray radiation." When the system is in operation, no-one is allowed in. If someone does open the door anyway, the emergency shutdown kicks in, and the entire storage ring comes to a halt. Then Scheinost points to a small window at the end of the wall. "This is where the X-ray beam exits the accelerator." It passes through several evacuated metal boxes that form and bundle it and select a certain wavelength from its spectrum. Then the tailored beam passes into the first of two experimental hutches with a special protective container, a glove box. "You have to completely avoid contact with the radioactive samples. Inhaling them could be lethal," Andreas Scheinost explains. "That is why they have to be extremely well packaged, and we can only work with them in the glove box." On top of this, the specialists have to wear protective clothing. A radiation monitor checks for potential contamination. Inside the glove box, a little robot positions the samples so that the X-ray beam from the accelerator can strike them. A detector registers the fluorescence radiation provoked by the interaction of the synchrotron beam and the sample, which allows the specialists to draw conclusions about the chemical behavior of the radioactive matter. This method has already enabled HZDR researchers to gain interesting
individual components in the narrow tunnel, many of them had to be positioned to precisely 50 micrometers. "Including the planning and preparation, we can look back on five years of concentrated work," Joly explains. "Of course, we were on tenterhooks whether the machine would work as it was supposed to." Now, the electrons travel reliably through the ring again. Since September 2020, the first experiments using the highly-concentrated X-ray radiation have been possible. 12 Title insights: "We have been able to show that radionuclides like selenium and technetium, which were previously considered to be extremely mobile, change so much under repository conditions that they are not nearly as mobile as we thought." Which is reassuring because up to now, the experts had feared that radioactive selenium could seep out of the repository after about 10,000 years. Given the ROBL findings, that is very unlikely. Added X-ray power thanks to a finer beam After the upgrade, Andreas Scheinost and his team can study their samples in even greater detail. Among other things, yet lower concentrations of the radionuclides can be traced. The reason is that the ESRF storage ring now delivers X-ray radiation that is much better bundled and thus more concentrated than it was before. "Up to now, the beam could be bundled on a spot about 300 by 300 micrometers," Scheinost explains. "Now it’s 30 by 30 micrometers." To achieve this, those responsible at ESRF had to go to some trouble. "Extremely Brilliant Source" is the name of the 150 million euro upgrade program under which the old storage ring has effectively been completely replaced by a new one. The upgrade took more than a year and in order to demonstrate the result, ESRF specialist Benoit Joly turns down a twisty concrete corridor. "We call it a chicane," he explains. "The walls are made of meter-thick concrete so that no unwanted radiation can escape to the outside." A few more steps and he is standing in the accelerator tunnel, pointing to its core components: the electrons, moving at almost the speed of light, circulate in a flat, evacuated vacuum tube completely surrounded by massive magnets painted in different colors. The red ones keep the particles on track, the blue ones act as magnetic lenses and ensure that the packages in which the electrons are bundled are always kept as small as possible. All these magnets are new: before the upgrade some of them were electromagnets, now they have been replaced by permanent magnets made of samarium-cobalt – which reduces their energy consumption by 20 percent. "The new magnets are smaller, but we have more of them," says Joly. "Altogether, we have assembled more than a thousand, roughly twice as many as before." The advantage of the new design is that the magnets are considerably closer to the electron beam and can therefore focus the packages much more precisely. Now these little electron packages can emit much finer and thus more concentrated X-ray beams – an inestimable advantage for many experiments at ESRF’s 44 beamlines. However, the experts did have to face some technical challenges: "It wasn’t easy to manufacture the permanent magnets," Benoit Joly recalls. "They are composed of five modules each and every module had to have a different field strength." This required high-precision production technology – once complete, the magnetic field strength could not be altered. All in all, the experts had to install more than 10,000
Title 13 Plutonium surprise This was something Andreas Scheinost and his ROBL team had also factored into their planning. In order to exploit the new potential to the full, the research group totally rebuilt their second measurement hutch. Now there are three different experimental set-ups, each with its own different scientific focus. Scheinost’s colleague Kristina Kvashnina points to a spectrometer with which the samples can be investigated in greater detail under the influence of the intensive X-ray beam: five special crystals are precisely maneuvered by 40 engines. This is the only way they can collect the fluorescence radiation emitted by the sample and direct it to one of the highly sensitive detectors. But the researchers need different silicon or germanium crystals to cover the whole energy range required. "Altogether, we have some 225 of them. They are bent in a special process and cost up to 10,000 euro each," Kvashnina explains. "Using this spectrometer, we can increase the resolution of our spectra and thereby find chemical forms of radioactive elements that we had missed so far." Everything under control: Andreas Scheinost investigates the structure of surfaces using the 6-circle goniometer. Source: HZDR/D. Morel
14 Title She has achieved remarkable results with this method. "We ascertained that, under certain conditions, where we had expected plutonium to be soluble, it actually forms a solid mineral," the scientist reports. "That was something the community hadn’t expected. Even after decades of research, these elements often behave in very surprising ways." Insights like this create the basis for the models that can predict the long-term behavior of radionuclides in nuclear waste repositories. One of the things Kristina Kvashnina is currently investigating is the behavior of nanoparticles that contain radioactive elements. What makes this exciting is that, depending on size, the chemical behavior can change considerably. "Not so much is known about the mechanisms behind this," she says. "We want to discover new details." Ceramics instead of glass K. Kvashnina, A. Romanchuk, I. Pidchenko, L. Amidani, E. Gerber, A. Trigub, A. Rossberg, S. Weiss, K. Popa, O. Walter, R. Caciuffo, A. Scheinost, S. Butorin, S. Kalmykov: A novel meta° stable pentavalent plutonium solid phase on the pathway from aqueous Pu(VI) to PuO2 nanoparticles. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2019 (DOI: 10.1002/anie.201911637) T. Dumas, D. Fellhauer, D. Schild, X. Gaona, M. Altmaier, A.C. Scheinost: Plutonium retention mechanisms by magnetite under anoxic conditions: Entrapment versus sorption. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry, 2019 (DOI: 10.1021/ acsearthspacechem.9b00147) H. Rojo, A.C. Scheinost, B. Lothenbach, A. Laube, E. Wieland, J. Tits: Retention of selenium by calcium aluminate hydrate (AFm) phases under strongly reducing radioactive waste repository conditions. Dalton Transactions, 2018 (DOI: 10.1039/C7DT04824F) Another item being newly set up at the ROBL measurement station is a so-called diffractometer. "With the help of synchrotron radiation, you can use it to discover details about how a crystal is structured," says HZDR researcher Christoph Hennig. "We can elucidate the precise structure of radioactive compounds. And that is very helpful if you want to estimate how these compounds will behave in a repository in the long run." In the future, using the much finer beam from the ESRF storage ring, experts will be able to study far smaller crystals than ever before – which is important because some materials cannot be made into big crystals when preparing samples. But Hennig and his group also want to put proteins under the precision X-ray magnifier. What happens, for example, when radionuclides penetrate an organism – do they enter the cells and oust the iron in the hemoglobin? "There’s still a lot we don’t know," Hennig emphasizes. "It’s also interesting to discover to what extent bacteria that live deep in the ground can ingest these materials." Finally, the HZDR team also conducts research into new materials for repositories. In Germany, for example, radioactive waste from reprocessing plants has traditionally been stored inside glass. As part of a new project, the ROBL team is investigating whether the radionuclides could also be encased in special ceramics which have a considerably longer life expectancy than glass. "We can even assume that the entire waste will have decayed completely before these ceramics break up," Christoph Hennig explains. "And with our methods we can provide information on how to manufacture these ceramics so that they survive in a repository for as long as possible." The path to ROBL There are two ways of getting beamtime at the Rossendorf Beamline: Most of it – known as HZDR beamtime – is managed by the ROBL team directly. At least eight weeks before the planned experiments you must submit a formal application which is then assessed by a Review Committee on its scientific relevance. The rest of the time is allocated by an ESRF advisory board – also based on the scientific merit of the proposal submitted. In both cases, ROBL researchers recommend to contact them in advance to check whether the desired measurements are technically viable. http://esrf.eu/UsersAndScience/UserGuide/Applying Contact _Institute of Resource Ecology at HZDR / Rossendorf International Beamline ROBL at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) Publications: D.M. Rodriguez, N. Mayordomo, A.C. Scheinost, D. Schild, V. Brendler, K. Müller, T. Stumpf: New insights into 99Tc(VII) removal by pyrite: a spectroscopic approach. Environmental Science & Technology, 2020 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b05341) Dr. Andreas Scheinost firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Kristina Kvashnina email@example.com Dr. Christoph Hennig firstname.lastname@example.org
Title 15 Concentrated: Kristina Kvashnina uses ROBL to analyze the chemical structure of plutonium & Co. Source: HZDR/D. Morel
16 Title Thimble-sized research lab At the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD), physicists drive strong electric pulses through selected material samples in order to enable the development of novel nanomaterials and modern superconductors. During the experiments, the most powerful capacitor bank for pulsed magnets in the world releases energies for a fraction of a second that a diesel locomotive needs to accelerate from zero to 150 kilometers per hour. To withstand the incredible loads, engineers and scientists at HZDR have jointly developed magnets that survive the magnetic-field pulse protecting the samples inside. discovered shows how these sophisticated "research labs" are created. Text . Simon Schmitt Images . Amac Garbe The first step: putting the idea to paper. Before the technicians at HZDR turn on their milling and winding machines, the magnet coils evolve in the traditional way as detailed drawings which … 1
In the workshop of the HLD, Franz Sedlak at the braiding machine spins a reinforcement around the wire out of which the technicians wind the coil. Through the machine – custom-made for the HZDR – he braids a mixture of a glass fiber and the synthetic Zylon fiber around a copper-alloy wire. Title 17 ... development engineer Stefan Findeisen (left) and experimental physicist Sergei Zherlitsyn elaborate on the computer. The experienced team not only designs and manufactures coils for the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory but also, for example, for the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF), which HZDR is constructing at the European XFEL in Schenefeld, near Hamburg. While the braiding machine slowly wraps the copper-alloy wire, Mirko Krause uses a paintbrush to apply epoxy resin to further reinforce the winding. HLD technicians produce about five to six such coils every year. For the magnetic coils – each one is unique and custom-made – they need up to two months. 2 3 4
18 Title Before the magnet coil surrounded by a steel cylinder goes into operation, Oliver Kersten (left) and Sergei Zherlitsyn check that the central tube – the narrow place at which the samples are located during the experiments – has not been damaged during the winding. In order to encase and insulate the coil, Mario Gulich at the milling machine cuts a composite material of glass fiber and hot-pressed epoxy resin into magnet flanges. These pieces ensure the coil is highly resistant to the extreme stress it is exposed to during the experiments. At the High Magnetic Field Laboratory, electrical technician Karsten Schulz installs the Dresden engineers’ masterpiece in the pit of what is known as the magnet cell. Scientists from all over the world … 5 6 7
8 9 Title 19 …such as Tatsuya Yanagisawa (right) from Hokkaido University in Japan enjoy unique opportunities for their experiments. To ensure that researchers receive the best possible support on site, so-called "local contacts", such as HLD postdoc Atsuhiko Miyata, are ready to assist at any time. The centerpiece of all experiments at the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory: The magnetic coil specially developed at HZDR with the sophisticated "research lab" measuring just 20 millimeters at its core – only achievable thanks to the strong collaboration between physicists, engineers, and technicians. Contact _Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory at HZDR Dr. Sergei Zherlitsyn email@example.com _Central Department of Research Technology at HZDR Stefan Findeisen firstname.lastname@example.org
20 Title Extreme states underground Ultrafast X-ray pulses, incredibly strong magnetic fields, high-intensity lasers and exorbitant pressures. The Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) at the European XFEL’s High Energy Density (HED) station in Schenefeld, near Hamburg – one of the most modern X-ray light sources anywhere – offers research groups from all over the world the very best instruments currently available. Their common goal is to acquire new insights into stars, planets, plasma clouds, quantum systems and versatile materials. Text . Jan Oliver Löfken
22 Title Unique combination raises great expectations "Nowhere in the world is there anything to compare with this combination of extreme test conditions and the European XFEL’s intensive X-ray pulses," Toncian believes. The expectations are concomitantly high among the over 80 research groups from some 60 institutes and 16 nations in Europe, America and Asia. The first user experiment with the high-intensity laser took place in May 2021. Toncian and his team are responsible for ensuring that the complex apparatus functions smoothly, which requires precision work down to the last detail. In the control room, the 41-year-old physicist studies his monitor where he can observe the focus and beam position of the intense laser. In parallel, his colleagues a level above him adjust little mirrors, lenses and other optical modules. The utmost dexterity is required because the laser punishes even the tiniest variance with lower-quality laser flashes. Lab of extremes: High temperatures, pressures or the strongest electromagnetic fields transfer tiny material samples into extreme states at the European XFEL’s High Energy Density instrument. The platform for research with diamond anvil cells, for instance, developed by HIBEF co-founder DESY, can exert a pressure of four million bars on a sample. HZDR and other partners have contributed a magnetic station and two high- performance lasers. The red high-pulse laser RE.LA.X with an output of 300 terawatts is ultrashort and has a high clock rate frequency. It extracts the electrons from a material sample to create a hot plasma from which particles can be accelerated very efficiently. The green 100 Joules laser DIPOLE 100X, by contrast, produces cooler plasmas that are triggered by a shockwave in the material. Concurrently, the X-ray beam analyzes the processes in the samples at high temporal and spatial resolution.
24 Title Interaction: The combination of RE.LA.X (red) with the X-ray laser (lilac) allows scientists to observe the interaction between virtual particles in a vacuum for the first time. Explosion: When the force of a laser beam meets a solid foil the electrons (blue) speeding out of it accelerate the positively charged protons (red) from the sample. Diﬀraction A whole bundle of sophisticated measurement techniques RE.LA.X Solid-state sample EUROPEAN XFEL DIPOLE 100X
26 Title Intensive light flashes vaporize tiny samples "From the laser room, we direct the light flashes to the relevant samples, one level below," explains Toncian. These samples are placed in a vacuum chamber made partly of matt, partly of shiny aluminum. In addition, the European XFEL’s X-ray flashes penetrate the almost two meter long and one meter high chamber from the front. At other, circular openings, vacuum pumps are flange-mounted. Whole bundles of cables surround the metal casing to operate the actuators inside or direct data signals from several detectors to the computers. The samples themselves are barely larger than a pinhead. Even after just one attempt they may be vaporized by the intensive laser flash. In order to be able to carry out a raft of measurements in quick succession nonetheless, researchers prepare dozens of samples which are placed in numerous small toughs in a sample holder that vaguely resembles a kitchen grater. "This holder is designed for up to 100 samples," explains Toncian. It is adjusted by stepper motors down to a millionth of a meter. The dozens of tiny samples can thus be quickly and steadily directed from the outside to the spot where the flash from the HZDR laser and the X-ray beam from the European XFEL intersect. Depending on the state of the sample, the X-ray flashes are absorbed, scattered and deflected. Several detectors trace the horde of diffracted X-ray flashes. Following computer evaluation, it is these signal data that form the basis for a detailed image of the processes that occur in the samples under extreme conditions. Light pressure of a billion bars But how does the high-intensity laser generate the desired extremes? "With the pressure of light, the laser can simply accelerate the electrons almost to the speed of light," Toncian explains. In the process, the pressure of light reaches values of some billion bars. In samples of titanium, aluminum or carbon, for example, this generates enormous energy intensity for an extremely short moment. According to Toncian, similar conditions can be found in the thermonuclear core of our sun. It is not just the processes in the interior of stars that could be reconstructed and better understood using experiments like this. Materials researchers, for instance, would be able to discover new properties in extremely highly excited materials. And basic research could benefit, as well, analyzing the spread of extremely fast particles in matter. Even the limits of quantum theories could be experimentally verified. The physicists in the HIBEF consortium thus expect to measure the electromagnetic effects founded on the theory of quantum electrodynamics. "The experiments could even deliver ideas for new applications, such as novel, laser-driven proton sources for materials research or medical technology," Toncian reports. The physicist is confident about the coming months because both the high-intensity laser itself and the necessary synchronization with the XFEL’s X-ray flashes have been successfully demonstrated. On behalf of a collaboration involving more than 50 scientists from 13 institutes, Toncian has already submitted a beamtime application to officially launch user operations. As of then, his team will support visiting researchers from all over the world, introducing them to the complex measurement techniques and also conducting their own complex experiments. But that will in no way exploit HIBEF’s full potential. Toncian’s team will install a second laser, this time for extremely high energies. "It has already been sent by our colleagues from Oxford and will be set up right next to the high-intensity laser," says Toncian. British laser generates shockwaves It is a 100 Joules ytterbium ceramic laser which can abruptly build up extremely high pressure in the material samples and produce compression waves. In the process, the electrons are rapidly extracted from the atoms in the samples – again, Below the ground: European XFEL tunnel with linear accelerator. Source: European XFEL/Heiner Müller-Elsner Cleanroom conditions: Physicist Toma Toncian at the RE.LA.X laser. Source: European XFEL/Jan Hosan
dozens of them arranged on a sample holder – producing a plasma of ionized particles. And, once again, these processes can be investigated in detail at high temporal resolution with the European XFEL’s X-ray flashes. This time, the extreme conditions do not mimic the interior of stars but of exoplanets, for example. In addition to astrophysicists, material researchers are waiting to be able to analyze their samples using this experiment, which will probably be available from 2022. They expect to gain insights into exotic phase transitions or even discover completely novel materials. All those using the high-intensity or high-energy lasers will, however, have to share the valuable beamtimes with other partners in the HIBEF consortium and the international user community. A state-of-the-art diamond anvil cell is already fit for use. It stands in the measurement hut directly next to the vacuum chamber used for the laser experiments. It can be quickly moved on its system of rails into the X-ray beam. Developed under the leadership of the Hamburg research center DESY (German Electron Synchrotron), this experiment also focuses on extreme pressures. However, they are not generated by laser light, but mechanically, by two diamonds. When the diamonds compress the sample, static pressure of up to four million bars is exerted. Moreover, using additional lasers, the sample can be heated up to 10,000 degrees Celsius. Simulating the interior of a super-Earth In this state, the conditions resemble those in the mantle or outer core of our Earth. Geophysicists can thus acquire insights into the state and behavior of liquid rocks and crystals as they are found in the interior of the Earth. New knowledge about geological processes beckons: from the movement of tectonic plates, via earthquakes, through to volcanic activity. Thanks to the extreme static pressures, researchers are confident they will even be able to mimic the interior of super-Earths in their experiments, that is, very large exoplanets, especially as it is thought highly likely that the surface of these planets is very strongly influenced by the dynamics in the planet’s interior. The HIBEF facility is set to be completed by about the end of 2021. Then researchers will not only be able to subject their samples to extreme pressures or intensive laser pulses but also to the extreme cold of minus 269 degrees Celsius and enormous pulsed magnetic fields of up to 60 teslas. This makes the magnetic fields a good 40 times stronger than the strongest permanent neodymium, iron and boron alloy magnet. Produced by electromagnets, however, the extreme magnetic fields last merely a few microseconds. It is only the quick succession of X-ray flashes from the XFEL that generate enough intensity to be able to harvest reliable data in such a short time. Title 27 exact behavior of correlated Cooper electron pairs, which are responsible for zero resistance in superconductors. Materials researchers, above all, can expect to derive new approaches to developing completely novel materials from the measurements. "As part of the High Energy Density station at the European XFEL, HIBEF will generally be open to all researchers worldwide," says Toncian, looking ahead. Today already, many research groups are preparing their experiments with theoretical models and new ideas for samples and measurement conditions, discussing and refining their concepts for extreme tests at numerous workshops. Thus, at HIBEF and HED, uniquely complex measurement technology meets accumulated knowhow from various disciplines. There is, therefore, a good chance that far into the next decade, the measurement station will deliver astounding insights into the stars and new materials. It is very possible that, by then, the cows will have disappeared from the meadows around the lab building and been replaced by thousands of people in a new part of town surrounding the XFEL. Publications: U. Zastrau, K. Appel, C. Baehtz, O. Baehr, L. Batchelor, A. Berghäuser, M. Banjafar, E. Brambrink, V. Cerantola, T.E. Cowan, H. Damker, S. Dietrich, S. Di Dio Cafiso, J. Dreyer, H.-O. Engel, T. Feldmann, S. Findeisen, M. Foese, D. Fulla- Marsa, S. Göde, M. Hassan, J. Hauser, T. Herrmannsdörfer, H. Höppner, J. Kaa, P. Kaever, K. Knöfel, Z. Konôpková, A. Laso García, H.-P. Liermann, J. Mainberger, M. Makita, E.-C. Martens, E.E. McBride, D. Möller, M. Nakatsutsumi, A. Pelka, C. Plueckthun, C. Prescher, T.R. Preston, M. Röper, A. Schmidt, W. Seidel, J.-P. Schwinkendorf, M.O. Schoelmerich, U. Schramm, A. Schropp, C. Strohm, K. Sukharnikov, P. Talkovski, I. Thorpe, M. Toncian, T. Toncian, L. Wollenweber, S. Yamamoto, T. Tschentscher: The High Energy Density scientific instrument at the European XFEL. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 2021 (DOI: 10.1107/ S1600577521007335) T. Wang, T. Toncian, M.S. Wei, A.V. Arefiev: Structured targets for detection of Megatesla-level magnetic fields through Faraday rotation of XFEL beams. Physics of Plasmas, 2019 (DOI: 10.1063/1.5066109) T. Kluge, M. Rödel, J. Metzkes-Ng, A. Pelka, A.L. Garcia, I. Prencipe, M. Rehwald, M. Nakatsutsumi, E.E. McBride, T. Schönherr, M. Garten, N.J. Hartley, M. Zacharias, J. Grenzer, A. Erbe, Y.M. Georgiev, E. Galtier, I. Nam, H.J. Lee, S. Glenzer, M. Bussmann, C. Gutt, K. Zeil, C. Rödel, U. Hübner, U. Schramm, T.E. Cowan: Observation of ultrafast solid-density plasma dynamics using femtosecond X-ray pulses from a free- electron laser. Physical Review X, 2018 (DOI: 10.1103/ PhysRevX.8.031068) It will then be possible to measure and understand previously unexplained magnetic effects in solids with crystalline structures. Special materials periodically change their electrical conductivity, for example, when exposed to low temperatures and strong magnetic fields. And under these extreme conditions it would also be possible to analyze the Contact _Institute of Radiation Physics at HZDR Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) at the European XFEL Dr. Toma Toncian email@example.com
28 Portrait Imaging the invisible enemy Molecule coupled with radionuclide Protein PSMA Prostate cancer cell To precisely track down a tumor and its metastases and even destroy them – this is a goal nuclear medicine may be able to achieve using radioactively labelled molecules known as radiotracers. A specialist in this method, Klaus Kopka relocated from Heidelberg to the Saxon capital in November 2019. Together with Michael Bachmann, the chemist heads HZDR’s Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research. Text . Marcus Anhäuser Prostate Insight: The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is found on the surface of prostate cancer cells and otherwise hardly occurs in the body at all. Researchers have developed a small molecule that binds specifically with the PSMA and is labelled with weakly radioactive substances known as radionuclides. It can even trace the tiniest source of cancer cells and image them with the aid of so-called positron emission tomography (PET). Image collage: CLIPAREA/Custom media, Kateryna Kon, Helmholtz
30 Portrait emission tomography (PET). And this enables them to trace and characterize tumors on the molecular level at an early stage. At the same time, they can also measure whether radiation and chemotherapy are successfully combating the diseased cells. But some radiotracers can do even more. They not only image the tumors, they also destroy them. In the last few years, Klaus Kopka has helped to develop a substance of this kind. And he intends to employ this principle – seek, find, destroy – at the Dresden research center, as well. Münster, his home He was born in Münster in 1968, his mother an elementary school teacher, his father a postal worker, although he had really wanted to pursue a craft. "But this was the post- war period when people were obsessed with job security. That affected me, too," Kopka reports. The parents of that generation would have done anything to ensure that their children could go to university, which was precisely what happened in the case of Kopka and his two brothers. The older one is a plant physiologist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Golm, near Potsdam, the younger a senior engineer with Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen. Kopka remained in the city of his birth for a long time, studied chemistry and took his doctorate there in 1996. In the following year, he became a postdoc in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Münster University Hospital. It was here, in Otmar Schober’s team, that he completed his habilitation. Finally, in 2013, he was tempted away from Münster – to Heidelberg where he assumed the Professorship in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry while heading the division of the same name at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). His predecessor, Michael Eisenhut, and his then postdoc, Matthias Eder, and colleagues had developed the diagnostic agent PSMA-11. This molecule binds with the prostate-specific membrane antigen PSMA that is extremely highly regulated in prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer in men worldwide. By subjecting the tumor and its metastases to radioactive radiation with the gallium-68 labelled PSMA-11 radiotracer, which is taken up in excess by the tumor and its metastases, they can be specifically revealed in three- dimensional tomographic images using the PET method. Kopka’s team managed to chemically refine the radioligand and thereby replace the gallium-68 used for the imaging by the therapeutic radionuclide lutetium-177. This was how Martina Benešová in her doctoral thesis developed the PSMA- ligand [177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617, which had been individually used with patients for the first time just a few years previously by doctors working with the director of the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital, Uwe Habenkorn. By employing this class of tracers for endoradiotherapy, it is not only possible to reliably diagnose prostate cancer, but also to target treatment delivery. "The development of this tracer is a successful example of a so-called theranostic radioligand as well as for the principle of ‘seek, find, destroy’. It’s a substance that can be used concurrently for diagnostics and therapy," Kopka explains. "What’s more, it’s a positive example of translational medicine because the whole process from the pre-clinical and clinical phase, from development to use on patients, only took about seven years." An aspect which is very important to Kopka. Don’t just image it, destroy it So, in just a short time, he has established a new department at HZDR titled "Translational TME-Ligands". In the framework of a habilitation, small tracers are now to be developed to image the tumor microenvironment (TME). In doing so, Klaus Kopka is augmenting the research of the other director of the institute, Michael Bachmann, who works on therapeutic UniCar T cell systems. This method involves coupling molecules that target the microenvironment of the tumor and specifically fight the tumor cells. "When we can image that as well, it will also be a theranostic concept," says Kopka, looking ahead. And his thinking goes beyond the classic system: "It doesn’t have to be the radiotracer concept on its own: you could also combine it with surgical tumor treatment." To do so, in addition to the radioligand, a dye would be coupled with the molecule that binds to the receptor to make the metastases more visible during surgery which would be conducted in combination with a robotic surgical system. "The relevant PSMA ligand that is also labelled with gallium-68, for example, has been developed by my former doctoral student Ann-Christin Baranski in Heidelberg," Klaus Kopka reports. "Clinical transfer has just started." For the purposes of his research, Kopka is sure Dresden is the right place for him. Having cooperated for years with his predecessor, Jörg Steinbach, as a colleague and collaborative partner, he is already well acquainted with the center and many of the staff members. "The conditions here are ideal. The institute is extremely well positioned in the core competencies, whether we are talking about radionuclide production, developing complexing agents, small animal imaging or biological assay expertise, and even GMP- compliant production of radiopharmaceuticals for their use in nuclear medicine." Avoiding blinkers with detachment But all the detailed work on molecules and receptors should not mask the fact that, in the last resort, it is all about treating sick people whose lives are threatened by cancer, Kopka points out. On the one hand, it is his family who prevent him from becoming blinkered and, on the other, the 15 years he spent working in nuclear medicine with Otmar Schober at Münster University Hospital. "That’s where I learned hospital- type routines in nuclear medicine. Away from the lab bench, the focus was clearly on the patient. I got to the lab early in the morning and prepared the syringes with technetium radiopharmaceuticals so that the examinations could begin at 8 o’clock."
Portrait 31 Progress: (A) PSMA-11 – coupled here with gallium-68 – images prostate carcinoma metastases with the help of positron emission tomography (PET). (B) The prostate cancer tracer fluorocholine that was previously used does not reveal the metastases. Source: DKFZ And then there are also the conversations with nuclear medicine physicians and oncologists in Dresden which ensure he doesn’t lose sight of the patients. Given its partnerships with Dresden University Hospital, the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK) and the National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology – OncoRay, HZDR provides very good opportunities. What this actually means for Klaus Kopka is that the experts from the medical hospital help him to pursue research that is relevant to clinical practice. "This is something I pass on to my staff and colleagues to motivate them every day: before you get bogged down in your research, ask the physicians about clinical relevance and unmet clinical needs. Perhaps there is even a genuine need for a particular substance for one type of cancer that you can search for specifically." After the success of PSMA-617 and other radioligands like PSMA-1007, an optimized PET tracer for diagnosing prostate carcinoma, he now wants to discover the areas where there are further clinical needs in Dresden. By extension, he is now thinking, for example, about breast cancer, the most common carcinoma in women, pancreatic cancer, the deadliest of all types of cancer, or colon cancer, where therapeutic options are limited. Because, in the end, according to Kopka, the whole point is that as an employee of a Helmholtz center, which is publicly funded, it is a social duty to strive for better patient care. Publications: J. Matthias, J. Engelhardt, M. Schäfer, U. Bauder-Wüst, P.T. Meyer, U. Haberkorn, M. Eder, K. Kopka, S.W. Hell, A.C. Eder: Cytoplasmic localization of prostate-specific membrane antigen inhibitors may confer advantages for targeted cancer therapies. Cancer Research, 2021 (DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472. CAN-20-1624) A.C. Eder, M.A. Omrane, S. Stadlbauer, M. Roscher, W.Y. Khoder, C. Gratzke, K. Kopka, M. Eder, P.T. Meyer, C.A. Jilg, J. Ruf: The PSMA-11-derived hybrid molecule PSMA-914 specifically identifies prostate cancer by preoperative PET/ CT and intraoperative fluorescence imaging. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 2021 (DOI: 10.1007/s00259-020-05184-0) J. Cardinale, M. Roscher, M. Schäfer, M. Geerlings, M. Benešová, U. Bauder-Wüst, Y. Remde, M. Eder, Z. Novakova, L. Motlová, C. Bařinka, F.L. Giesel, K. Kopka: Development of PSMA-1007- related series of 18F-labeled glu-ureido-type PSMA inhibitors. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2020 (DOI: 10.1021/acs. jmedchem.9b01479) C. Kratochwil, W.P. Fendler, M. Eiber, R. Baum, M.F. Bozkurt, J. Czernin, R.C. Delgado Bolton, S. Ezziddin, F. Forrer, R.J. Hicks, T. A. Hope, L. Kabasakal, M. Konijnenberg, K. Kopka, M. Lassmann, F.M. Mottaghy, W. Oyen, K. Rahbar, H. Schöder, I. Virgolini, H.J. Wester, L. Bodei, S. Fanti, U. Haberkorn, K. Herrmann: EANM procedure guidelines for radionuclide therapy with 177Lu-labelled PSMA-ligands (177Lu-PSMA-RLT). European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 2019 (DOI: 10.1007/s00259-019-04485-3) A.C. Baranski, M. Schäfer, U. Bauder-Wüst, M. Roscher, J. Schmidt, E. Stenau, T. Simpfendörfer, D. Teber, L. Maier- Hein, B. Hadaschik, U. Haberkorn, M. Eder, K. Kopka: PSMA- 11 derived dual-labeled PSMA-inhibitors for preoperative PET imaging and precise fluorescence-guided surgery of prostate cancer. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2018 (DOI: 10.2967/ jnumed.117.201293) F.L. Giesel, B. Hadaschik, J. Cardinale, J. Radtke, M. Vinsensia, W. Lehnert, C. Kesch, Y. Tolstov, S. Singer, N. Grabe, S. Duensing, M. Schäfer, O.C. Neels, W. Mier, U. Haberkorn, K. Kopka, C. Kratochwil: F-18 labelled PSMA-1007: biodistribution, radiation dosimetry and histopathological validation of tumor lesions in prostate cancer patients. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 2017 (DOI: 10.1007/s00259-016-3573-4) Contact _Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research at HZDR Prof. Klaus Kopka firstname.lastname@example.org
32 Portrait When materials research meets cancer medicine … Use nanotechnology to trace disease or monitor the efficacy of therapies – this is a vision Larysa Baraban and her research group want to realize. With their interdisciplinary approach they bring together two of HZDR’s major research areas. Text . Kai Dürfeld The catheter gently slides through the vein. It is about to reach the heart where it will take a closer look at the coronary arteries. But even on its journey, the agile device has already taken an image of its environment, continuously measured oxygen saturation or identified a raft of different biomarkers in the blood and wirelessly transmitted the results to the team of doctors in the operating theater. If Larysa Baraban has her way, in future, a scene like this could become standard medical practice – because together with her HZDR research group "Nano microsystems for life sciences", the physicist is developing nanometer-sized sensors for medical diagnosis. The fact that her group brings together the Institute of Ion Beam Physics with the Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research for the purpose is only surprising at first sight. "The electronic bio-nanosensors we material scientists develop interact with the biomolecules and cells. That produces characteristic signals," Larysa Baraban explains. "Our sensors can specifically convert the charges combined with the biomolecules into current or voltage and then relay them for evaluation," she continues. "Which takes us to the very heart of cancer research. Because these signals can indicate cancerous cells, for example, or show whether a drug is having the desired effect." Health and materials: Larysa Baraban’s research brings together two of HZDR’s three major research areas. The idea of forming such interdisciplinary research groups had been around for some time, she explains. "Nano microsystems for life sciences" was now one of the "prototypes" that was set to breathe life into cross-sectoral research in the coming years. At the start of 2020, the physicist relocated to HZDR from TU Dresden and immediately began to build her research group. In the meantime, it boasts two postdocs, five doctoral candidates and two Master’s students. Apart from physicists, nano and biomedical technicians, she has also recruited an expert for wireless communications. "If we put nanosensors in the body, we have to get the readings out again," she says. "And, of course, we don’t want to be laying cables in the patient." The team also cooperates very closely with clinicians. "We come up with an idea which we then discuss with the physicians. This nearly always generates a veritable explosion of new ideas. We then use them to refine our approach." Physics for a long, healthy life Baraban's interest in natural science and especially in physics dates back to her school days. "At senior high school we had a new physics teacher," she remembers. "She explained the teaching matter so clearly that I caught the bug and definitely wanted to learn more." So, it was just a logical step to study radiophysics at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She subsequently took her doctorate in physics at the University of Konstanz, was a postdoc focusing on microfluidics in Paris and finally moved to Dresden, to work at TU. Her speciality there was to combine nanoelectronics with biology. She was, for example, a member of an international research group that developed the first neurotransistors – an electronic circuit that imitates the function of the human brain. But what drives a young physicist to devote her talent to cancer research? She admits it was not personal experience of the disease that made her choose this field of research. Her motivation was different: "Thanks to modern medicine, we live longer than ever and that’s good," Larysa Baraban observes. "But, on the other hand, a long life also means that the probability of being diagnosed with cancer increases." And that was a really strong incentive, the young physicist admits. "When I think of my own child and later my child’s children, I want to do everything I can today to understand cancer better and find ways of healing it." She is particularly fascinated by the interdisciplinary cooperation with physicians. The thought that the sensors she has helped to develop actually save lives spurs her on every single day. Medical lab on a chip For its investigations, the research group dives into the world of the tiniest things. The miniscule wires, for example, that form their nanocapacitor measure less than 100 nanometers. That is not even one percent of the breadth of a hair. In this world, a material’s properties are not the main consideration – it is the most diverse effects on their surfaces that determine the functions. And as the ratio of surface to volume is greater in nanowires than in traditional structures, the nanometer- sized shrimps are ideal for medical measurements.
Portrait 33 Portrait 33 In the service of cancer research: physicist Larysa Baraban. Source: HZDR/A. Wirsig In comparison with their conventional counterparts, nanowire sensors can be vastly reduced in size – despite significantly higher sensitivity. Several of these sensors, each with a different analytical purpose, can be integrated in a "lab-on-a- chip". A whole analytical lab is mounted on a glass or plastic carrier the size of a credit card. With this, for instance, a flow cytometer can be created that counts the immune cells in the blood and concurrently assigns them to different categories in real time. In this way, cancer therapists can test whether the treatment is working as it should. Cancer medicine is, however, only one of the fields of application the physicist and her team have in mind. They are also investigating the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it triggers: COVID-19. "Together with Michael Bachmann’s group at the Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, we developed a sensor which can conduct multiparametric diagnostic tests in the shortest possible time," explains Larysa Baraban. "On the one hand, we want to detect the active pathogen in a sample and thus verify current infection. On the other, however, we also want to look out for antibodies and thus determine whether an infection has been overcome." For this research, the Free State of Saxony awarded the institute two million euros in funding. Systems like this usually work ex vivo, that is, outside of the body. This is fine for examining tissue and blood samples. But the researchers working with Baraban are also investigating sensors that take measurements in the living organism – that is, in vivo – including those that could turn future heart catheters into real-time labs. Publications: J. Schütt, D.I. Sandoval Bojorquez, E. Avitabile, E.S. Oliveros Mata, G. Milyukov, J. Colditz, L.G. Delogu, M. Rauner, A. Feldmann, S. Koristka, J.M. Middeke, K. Sockel, J. Fassbender, M. Bachmann, M. Bornhäuser, G. Cuniberti, L. Baraban: Nanocytometer for smart analysis of peripheral blood and acute myeloid leukemia: a pilot study. Nano Letters, 2020 (DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c02300) E. Baek, N.R. Das, C.V. Cannistraci, T. Rim, G.S. Cañón Bermúdez, K. Nych, H. Cho, K. Kim, C.-K. Baek, D. Makarov, R. Tetzlaff, L. Chua, L. Baraban, G. Cuniberti: Intrinsic plasticity of silicon nanowire neurotransistors for dynamic memory and learning functions. Nature Electronics, 2020 (DOI: 10.1038/ s41928-020-0412-1) L. Baraban, B. Ibarlucea, E. Baek, G. Cuniberti: Hybrid silicon nanowire devices and their functional diversity. Advanced Science, 2019 (DOI: 10.1002/advs.201900522) Contact _Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research at HZDR Dr. Larysa Baraban email@example.com
34 Research Same method! Same result? In order to elicit the world’s secrets, researchers in all disciplines employ the most diverse techniques. But, how can they be really certain that their tools work as well as they suppose? Scientists at HZDR’s Institute of Resource Ecology wanted to know for sure and launched an international comparative test of spectroscopic methods – which uncovered a decidedly surprising finding. Text . Marcus Anhäuser That was something they had not been expecting: it turned out to be the very last step, the publication of their comprehensive results of this huge and important project that was the hardest. Harald Foerstendorf, Katharina Müller, Robin Steudtner and Satoru Tsushima did not make any new scientific discoveries, nor did they confirm an existing theory. The four Dresden spectroscopy and quantum chemistry experts focused on their own branch of research: the spectroscopy of radioactive heavy metals. "The whole point was to hold up a mirror to ourselves and examine how we and our colleagues work, how our knowledge is generated via a simple system and how far we and our methods actually correlate," explains Harald Foerstendorf whose research focuses on vibrational spectroscopy. The Dresden group did not act alone. They cooperated with 41 co-authors from 20 labs in six countries on three continents. Scientists refer to this method of validation as a round robin test, a name derived from the French term "rond ruban" or "round ribbon". Originally, it described a special way of enabling several people to sign a document. So that the form did not reveal who played a leading role in the group, the signatures were arranged in a circle like in a wide, round ribbon. In games, round robin denotes a tournament in which every contestant meets every other contestant in turn. In science, as in industry, it is an established procedure for examining and comparing techniques, tools and methods of work in different groups – for example, in environmental analysis when different environmental labs receive the same sample for analysis to discover whether they all get the same results.
38 Research Spectrometer: A researcher at HZDR’s Institute of Resource Ecology analyzing data. Source: HZDR/O. Killig
Research 39 Unexpected insight A less positive surprise awaited Steudtner, Foerstendorf, Tsushima and Müller, however, when they went about publishing their findings. It took much longer than expected. Admittedly, to coordinate a 60- to 80-page document with more than 40 co-authors was a challenge in its own right. However, the unexpected part came afterwards: "How difficult it is to place a publication like this in a common, scientific journal," says Harald Foerstendorf. In the end, they had submitted the mammoth article to four journals before it was finally accepted. Foerstendorf suspects there were two reasons why it was so difficult. The one was the sheer volume of information, which apparently overstretched some of the reviewers. The scientists noticed that some had not read the manuscript right the way through and had not understood what it was all about. Furthermore, according to Foerstendorf, "Today people are fixated on new insights and when they are not so obvious, many think they are not interesting enough to be published." They had the same experience with every journal. "Some of the reviewers were totally enthusiastic, but there was always one who thought there was nothing new," says Robin Steudtner. This was the initial reaction of the open-access journal ACS Omega, as well, which did eventually publish the piece in May 2019. In this case, the editor overruled the one critical reviewer because he thought the findings were so relevant. Amazing that something as important as the comparison of essential scientific tools could be so difficult to disseminate. Nevertheless, good on them that they did it. Now, they and their colleagues around the world can return to their daily business in peace, knowing that they can trust their methods. Publication: K. Müller, H. Foerstendorf, R. Steudtner, S. Tsushima, M.U. Kumke, G. Lefèvre, J. Rothe, H. Mason, Z. Szabó, P. Yang, C.K.R. Adam, R. André, K. Brennenstuhl, I. Chiorescu, H.M. Cho, G. Creff, F. Coppin, K. Dardenne, C. Den Auwer, B. Drobot, S. Eidner, N.J. Hess, P. Kaden, A. Kremleva, J. Kretzschmar, S. Krüger, J.A. Platts, P.J. Panak, R. Polly, B.A. Powell, T. Rabung, R. Redon, P.E. Reiller, N. Rösch, A. Rossberg, A.C. Scheinost, B. Schimmelpfennig, G. Schreckenbach, A. Skerencak-Frech, V. Sladkov, P.L. Solari, Z. Wang, N.M. Washton, X. Zhang: Interdisciplinary Round-Robin test on molecular spectroscopy of the U(VI) acetate system, in ACS Omega, 2019 (DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.9b00164) Contact _Institute of Resource Ecology at HZDR Dr. Katharina Müller firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Harald Foerstendorf email@example.com Dr. Robin Steudtner firstname.lastname@example.org Prof. Satoru Tsushima email@example.com
40 HZDR News Innovation: virus-free room air What happens when two leading international experts in fluid dynamics address the issue of increased COVID-19 infection rates in indoor spaces? A novel disinfection device that binds aerosols in a disinfectant liquid and thus purifies the air. On March 16, 2021, Uwe Hampel and Gregory Lecrivain were awarded the first prize in HZDR’s Innovation Contest 2020. In comparison with conventional air purifiers, their device is not only particularly quiet but also deactivates the dangerous pathogens in the filter. Uwe Hampel (right) and Gregory Lecrivain. Source: O. Killig To turn a scientific idea into a marketable product – that is the aim of HZDR’s Innovation Contest. Second place went to the junior research group headed by Franziska Lederer, BioKollekt, who wants to use innovative methods to detect plastics. In third place came another recycling idea from the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Research Technology (HIF) at HZDR. Tony Helbig and Norman Kelly produced a convincing concept for a recycling plant for extracting iron. The three winning teams had previously tested their ideas during a workshop devoted to utilization potential, market situation and fields of application. Successful teams have the opportunity of receiving up to 200,000 Euro from HZDR’s Innovation Fund to continue developing their ideas. www.hzdr.de/innovationswettbewerb Tip The new film about HZDR’s technology transfer vividly illustrates innovations deriving from its research. www.hzdr.de/technologietransfer Cross-border cooperation In mid-March, HZDR‘s Scientific Director, Sebastian M. Schmidt, and the Rector of the University of Wrocław, Przemysław Wiszewski, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. This declaration of intent is designed to intensify future cooperation. Together, the two institutions want to reinforce the central European research area as well as the connections between Saxony and Poland. They will achieve this by jointly recruiting researchers, organizing workshops and exchange programs as well as sharing scientific information. As the example of CASUS shows, the two partners have already established a stable foundation for cooperation. In the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding that is currently being set up under HZDR leadership in Görlitz, the University of Wrocław contributes, above all, its wealth of experience in autonomous driving and machine learning. With more than 23,000 students, it is one of the largest universities in Poland. In the Department of Computer Science, the Computational Intelligence Research Group develops algorithms and systems for interpreting and predicting the behavior of various actors on the road – one of the biggest challenges facing autonomous driving. Moreover, in the project "Aleph One", the university operates a research platform for testing autonomous vehicles under real-life conditions and collecting the relevant data.
A woman’s place is in the lab Just six weeks later, she was nominated by the Swiss National Science Foundation for the international database AcademiaNet which aims to help women in science become more visible and increase the percentage of women in scientific leadership Kristina Kvashnina. Source: ESRF/Molyneux This was the title of the magazine "Forbes Russia" on February 11, 2021 – the international day of women and girls in sciences – when it chose the top ten Russian female researchers. They included Kristina Kvashnina, a physicist at the Helmholtz-Zentrum and a professor at Moscow State University. She works at HZDR’s beamline ROBL at the European Synchrotron (ESRF), decoding the basic chemical structure of elements in the lanthanide and actinide groups, which include uranium and plutonium as well as some of the rare earths. positions. Since the nomination is undertaken exclusively by some 40 European science organizations, only the best candidates in their field are to be found there. In recent years, Kristina Kvashnina not only managed to acquire an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council but was also awarded a "Megagrant" by the Russian Ministry of Research. www.forbes.ru www.academia-net.org HZDR News 41 Reconciliation of work and family life In March, following an audit, the Board of Trustees of berufundfamilie GmbH, an initiative run by the non-profit Hertie Foundation, reconfirmed HZDR’s status as a family-friendly employer, a certification it has held since 2008. "The new award emphasizes that our family-conscious HR policy really is sustainable," said a delighted Diana Stiller, HZDR’s Administrative Director. The audit is seen as a strategic management tool offering solutions to improving the reconciliation of work and family life. The certificate is valid for a further three years. From the Spree back to the Elbe Science manager Diana Stiller became Administrative Director of HZDR in December 2020. She had previously been in charge of the main Administrative Department as well as the Finance and Accounting Departments at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Together with the Scientific Director, Sebastian M. Schmidt, she is now responsible for the future of the HZDR. With some 1,400 members of staff and an annual budget of approximately 157 million Euro, it is one of the largest non-university research institutions in Eastern Germany. The new board member will now be responsible for all commercial and technical matters: finance and accounting, legal matters, human resources, controlling, building and technical property management as well as all infrastructures and real estate. Born in Meißen, Diana Stiller acquired her extensive knowledge of these areas in her previous positions. "Four years ago, I left HZDR as a financial expert," she reports. "Now, I’m returning as a generalist for all commercial issues." Diana Stiller. Source: A. Wirsig
Research machines Driving matter to extreme states in order to penetrate their innermost secrets – this is one of HZDR’s research specialties. At the three large-scale research facilities, light and particle currents as well as magnetic ﬁelds, millions of times stronger than that of the Earth, are available for often unique experiments. And they are not only there for our own research teams. The center develops, builds and operates these facilities as a service provider for scientists around the globe. New insights into the world of atoms are of inestimable value because research into the behavior of matter and materials under extreme conditions touches not only on our fundamental understanding of the world, but also has practical implications for future technologies. 42 Imprint 42 Imprint IMPRINT PUBLISHED BY Prof. Dr. Sebastian M. Schmidt and Dr. Diana Stiller, Board of Directors of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) DATE OF PUBLICATION August 2021 ISSN: 2194-5705 // Issue 01.2020/21 EDITING Simon Schmitt (editor-in-chief), Dr. Christine Bohnet Communications and Media Relations at HZDR Editorial Advisory Board: Energy – Dr. Harald Foerstendorf, Dr. Frank Stefani Health – Dr. Fabian Lohaus, Dr. Holger Stephan Matter – Dr. Stefan Facsko, Dr. Andreas Wagner AUTHORS Markus Anhäuser | Freelance science journalist, Dresden Kai Dürfeld | Freelance science journalist, Leipzig Frank Grotelüschen | Freelance science journalist, Hamburg Jan Oliver Löfken | Freelance science journalist, Hamburg PICTURE CREDITS HZDR staff, unless stated otherwise LAYOUT WERKSTATT X . Michael Voigt www.werkstatt-x.de PRINTING Druckerei Mißbach www.missbach.de AUFL AGE 1,500 // Printed on Circlesilk (cover) and Circleoffset (content), FSC certified and awarded with the EU Ecolabel CONTACT/ORDER (free of charge) Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Communications and Media Relations Simon Schmitt Bautzner Landstraße 400, 01328 Dresden Phone +49 (0)351 260 3400 Email firstname.lastname@example.org The HZDR research magazine "discovered" appears once a year, also in German titled "entdeckt". All print editions can be found as ePaper on the HZDR website. www.hzdr.de HZDR on YouTube and Twitter: www.youtube.com/user/FZDresden www.twitter.com/hzdr_dresden The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf distributes its research magazine "discovered" as part of its service. If you no longer wish to receive a copy please send us an email with the reference "unsubscribe" to email@example.com or write a short message to Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Communications and Media Relations, Simon Schmitt, Bautzner Landstrasse 400, 01328 Dresden, Germany. If you would like to continue receiving "discovered", you don’t need to do anything at all.
The World of Tomorrow 43 The World of Tomorrow 43 Fast charged particles for industry Ion beams are an important tool for researching and developing new materials. At its Ion Beam Center (IBC), HZDR has one of the world’s most high-performance research facilities of its kind. With the help of the HZDR Innovation GmbH, an HZDR subsidiary, ﬁrms and enterprises can get support in using modern ion beam technologies for innovative products – from materials with tailored surfaces through to novel or greatly enhanced components. The micro-electronics and the automotive sectors, in particular, take advantage of this opportunity. But that’s not all! HZDR builds and operates other large-scale facilities for its three research programs matter, energy and health. the Felsenkeller Dresden … AT THE DRESDEN SITE: ■ Underground accelerator laboratory in ■ High-performance computing center ■ Thermohydraulic test facility TOPFLOW ■ DRESDYN – European platform for sodium experiments ■ Center for Radiopharmaceutical Tumor Research (ZRT) ■ Accelerator facility at Universitäts Protonen Therapie Dresden (UPTD), which is jointly operated with the Faculty of Medicine … AT SCHENEFELD: ■ Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) at the European XFEL … IN GRENOBLE, FRANCE: ■ Rossendorf Beamline (ROBL) at the ESRF XXL microscope In the ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources, scientists have a huge choice of experiments at their disposal. They can X-ray building blocks of matter and materials as well as biomolecules with electromagnetic radiation or bombard them with diﬀerent types of particles. Each of these methods delivers further information about the samples. In the case of future materials, for example, the crystal structure, pore density or the electrical and magnetic behavior can be unraveled. With this acquired knowledge, researchers can equip materials with innovative functions, facilitating, for instance, ultrafast mobile phone connections and wireless networks. Moreover, the DRACO lasers at ELBE mean HZDR can boast two superlative high-performance systems. The lasers’ high beam power accelerates particles in fractions of a second. In comparison with established accelerators, the forces generated are many thousands of times greater. One important goal of activities here is to develop compact equipment for treating tumors with protons. Highest magnetic fields in the European alliance A perfect example of sustainable cooperation at EU level is the alliance of the three leading high magnetic ﬁeld laboratories, the European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL), which includes the Dresden High-Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD). The super-strong magnetic ﬁelds generated here can speciﬁcally impact material properties, uncovering new details about superconductors, magnetic materials and semiconductors – all basic knowledge that is not only fundamental to the development of future materials but also for tomorrow’s advanced technologies. The magnet experts’ know-how is thus also in demand worldwide for developing eﬃcient, environmentally-friendly cooling techniques.