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Seven at one pulse
Press Release of 19.05.2020
Higher frequencies mean faster data transfer and more powerful processors – the formula that has been driving the IT industry for years. Technically, however, it is anything but easy to keep increasing clock rates and radio frequencies. New materials could solve the problem. Experiments at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have now produced a promising result: An international team of researchers was able to get a novel material to increase the frequency of a terahertz radiation flash by a factor of seven: a first step for potential IT applications, as the group reports in the journal Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-16133-8).
How range residency and long-range perception change encounter rates
Press Release of 14.05.2020
From vast herds of wildebeest thundering across the Serengeti to a malaria-laden mosquito silently stalking a human host, the movement of animals has effects that reverberate throughout the biosphere. The way that animals move governs many ecological interactions including predation, disease transmission, and human-wildlife conflict. Encounter rates, which quantify how often moving individuals come in contact with each other, serve as the “glue” that links movement behavior to ecological processes. While GPS devices have revolutionized the study of animal movement, research on encounter rates has not kept pace. A multidisciplinary research team consisting of ecologists and physicists has found that the gap between the data and how encounter is modeled could have serious consequences for certain ecological predictions (DOI: 10.1016/jtbi.2020.110267).
A closer look at superconductors
Press Release of 07.05.2020
From sustainable energy to quantum computers: high-temperature superconductors have the potential to revolutionize today’s technologies. Despite intensive research, however, we still lack the necessary basic understanding to develop these complex materials for widespread application. "Higgs spectroscopy" could bring about a watershed as it reveals the dynamics of paired electrons in superconductors. An international research consortium centered around the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (MPI-FKF) is now presenting the new measuring method in the journal Nature Communications (10.1038/s41467-020-15613-1). Remarkably, the dynamics also reveal typical precursors of superconductivity even above the critical temperature at which the materials investigated attain superconductivity.
Exotischer Besucher aus dem All
Press Release of 29.04.2020
Wer in Norddeutschland am Nachmittag des 12. September 2019 die Augen gegen den Himmel richtete, konnte Zeuge eines ungewöhnlichen Schauspiels werden: Kurz blinkte ein heller Lichtstreif auf, begleitet von einem Knall – ein Meteorit aus dem Weltall. Am Tag danach vermeldete ein Bürger aus Flensburg einen seltsamen Fund: In seinem Garten lag ein tischtennisballgroßer Stein von ungewöhnlichem Aussehen. Seitdem versetzt der „Flensburg-Meteorit“ die Fachwelt in Aufregung: Er zeigt bemerkenswerte Eigenschaften, etwa eine auffällig geringe Dichte. Mittlerweile beteiligen sich etwa 20 Arbeitsgruppen an der Analyse – darunter Teams vom Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), dem dazugehörigen Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie (HIF) sowie vom VKTA – Strahlenschutz, Analytik & Entsorgung Rossendorf e.V.
Press Release of 28.04.2020
Schaumbasierte Verfahren haben sich heute in vielen Bereichen der Industrie durchgesetzt. Sie helfen bei der Aufbereitung von Kupfer und Seltenen Erden, der Lebensmittelproduktion, dem Recycling von Plastikabfall und Papier oder der Abwasserbehandlung. Als Leiter einer neuen Emmy Noether-Gruppe am Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) und an der TU Dresden will Dr. Sascha Heitkam Messtechniken speziell für fließende Schäume entwickeln. Die neuen Techniken sollen Einblicke in die Strömungsdynamik von Schäumen geben und auch dabei helfen, industrielle Prozesse zu optimieren. Von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft erhält er dafür ab Mai 2020 für die nächsten sechs Jahre eine Förderung in Höhe von rund 1,3 Millionen Euro.
CASUS gegen COVID-19
Press Release of 27.04.2020
Das jüngst in Görlitz gegründete deutsch-polnische Zentrum für datenintensive Systemforschung CASUS (Center for Advanced Systems Understanding) stellt dem Computing-Projekt Folding@home freie Rechenkapazitäten zur Verfügung, mit deren Hilfe komplexe Proteinstrukturen simuliert und somit entschlüsselt werden können. Für die Entwicklung einer erfolgreichen Antikörpertherapie, die eine Infektion der Atemwege durch das Corona-Virus verhindern könnte, ist das von entscheidender Bedeutung.
Press Release of 09.04.2020
Digital cameras as well as many other electronic devices need light-sensitive sensors. In order to cater for the increasing demand for optoelectronic components of this kind, industry is searching for new semiconductor materials. They are not only supposed to cover a broad range of wavelengths but should also be inexpensive. A hybrid material, developed in Dresden, fulfils both these requirements. Himani Arora, a physics PhD student at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), demonstrated that this metal-organic framework can be used as a broadband photodetector. As it does not contain any cost-intensive raw materials, it can be produced inexpensively in bulk.
Synthesis against the clock
Press Release of 06.04.2020
Radiolabeled molecules, so-called radiotracers, help nuclear physicians to detect and precisely target tumors, which are often developing due to pathological changes in metabolic processes. Using positron emission tomography, a team of scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) has now developed the first radiotracer labelled with the fluorine isotope 18F, which can visualize special transport proteins often found in the cell membranes of cancer cells. The researchers opted for an unusual radiochemical synthesis approach, as they describe in the journal Scientific Reports (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-55354-w).
Once Helmholtz, Always Helmholtz
Press Release of 01.04.2020
Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt takes the reigns as scientific director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) beginning April 1, 2020. He comes from the Forschungszentrum Jülich, where he was a member of the Executive Board and has been responsible since November 2007 for the research areas "Matter" and "Key Technologies / Information" in Scientific Division I. After fourteen years of service to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Prof. Roland Sauerbrey is retiring as scientific director.
Peppered with gold
Press Release of 16.03.2020
Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of automotive paint and screen envelopes. But generating these waves is still a challenge. A team at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), TU Dresden and the University of Konstanz has now made significant progress. The researchers have developed a germanium component that generates short terahertz pulses with an advantageous property: the pulses have an extreme broadband spectrum and thus deliver many different terahertz frequencies at the same time. As it has been possible to manufacture the component employing methods already used in the semiconductor industry, the development promises a broad range of applications in research and technology, as the team reports in the journal Light: Science & Applications (DOI: 10.1038/s41377-020-0265-4).
Sustainable exploration from the air
Press Release of 11.03.2020
The firms SkyTEM and CGG Multi-Physics are currently testing new methods for environmentally friendly raw material exploration in the southern reference area of the EU project INFACT (Innovative, Non-Invasive and Fully Acceptable Exploration Technologies) in the Spanish region of Andalusia. Using a helicopter and an electromagnetic probe, they fly over the area, covering approximately four hundred square kilometers. Utilizing the data collected, the INFACT researchers can subsequently check whether the sensors they used function as expected by comparing the results with the existing geological information. The INFACT project is coordinated by the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF), an institute at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).
Innovative ways to battle Parkinson’s disease
Press Release of 26.02.2020
An interdisciplinary team from the Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research headed by Prof. Peter Brust has won HZDR’s (Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf) third Innovation Contest. The researchers succeeded in developing a new substance that could improve image-based differential diagnostics of Parkinson’s disease. The four-member team, which includes Dr. Thu Hang Lai, Dr. Rodrigo Teodoro and Dr. Magali Toussaint, received the first prize among a total of 21 submissions. They invented a stable molecule that can dock onto receptors on nerve cells and contains a radionuclide, which can be detected by positron emission tomography (PET). The team is now ready for the next decisive step on the way to market approval of the so-called radiotracer: clinical studies to test whether the new substance also proves its value in everyday medical practice.
Directing nanoparticles straight to tumors
Press Release of 24.02.2020
Modern anticancer therapies aim to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy tissue. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and FU Berlin has made important progress in this area: the scientists have produced tiny nanoparticles that are designed to specifically target cancer cells. They can navigate directly to the tumor cells and visualize those using advanced imaging techniques. Both in petri dishes and animal models, the scientists were able to effectively guide the nanoparticles to the cancer cells. The next step is to combine the new technique with therapeutic approaches.
Hermetically sealed semi-conductors
Press Release of 28.01.2020
Tomorrow’s electronics are getting ever smaller. Researchers are thus searching for tiny components that function reliably in increasingly narrow configurations. Promising elements include the chemical compounds indium selenide (InSe) and gallium selenide (GaSe). In the form of ultra-thin layers, they form two-dimensional (2D) semi-conductors. But, so far, they have hardly been used because they degrade when they get in contact with air during manufacturing. Now, a new technique allows the sensitive material to be integrated in electronic components without losing its desired properties. The method, which has been described in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b13442), was developed by Himani Arora, a doctoral candidate of physics at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).