How do matter and materials behave under the influence of strong fields and in smallest dimensions?

A particular strength of the Helmholtz Association that is especially taken benefit of in the research sector matter: the operation and the use of large-scale and complex research infrastructures. The HZDR scientists use high magnetic fields or intense beams to research fundamental phenomena, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, to better understand and systematically influence materials with great potential for future technologies. For this research three large scale infrastructures are available for HZDR scientists and external users: the Center for High-Power Radiation Sources – ELBE(1), the High Magnetic Field Laboratory Dresden(2) and the Ion Beam Center(3). This will create the prerequisites for innovative products and solutions to be used in industry and will help maintain our standard of living also in the future.

At the HZDR the sector Matter is divided into two research programs:

From Matter to Materials and Life

From Matter to Materials and LifeIn virtually every research field, scientists rely on large-scale facilities for investigating the fundamental properties of materials. Hence, it is a big challenge for the Dresden scientists within the "From Matter to Materials and Life" program to continuously developing and improving these large scientific instruments for creating an excellent research environment. They are also investigating the structure and function of numerous innovative materials in order to better understand, optimize, and use them for specific applications.

Current Research Topics


  • Providing the scientific community with Europe's highest magnetic fields

  • Operating and developing Ion Beam Center as an international center for scientific and industrial users

  • Developing and improving novel materials and energy efficient data storage

New Technologies to Investigate the Smallest Particles

Matter and TechnologiesThe technologies of tomorrow which influence and facilitate all aspects of our lives need to be developed, investigated, and tested already today. This calls for first-class scientific infrastructures, facilities, and equipment. The HZDR scientists are working on it in the research program “Matter and Technologies.” They are operating, in part, unique particle accelerators and developing high precision detectors – the “eyes” of science. With the high-power lasers PENELOPE and DRACO they also investigate the interactions of light and matter. These technologies are used in fundamental and applied research – well beyond Helmholtz and national borders.

Current Research Topics


  • Operating and upgrading innovative and cost-effective high performance accelerators

  • Develop novel detectors and detector systems

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News about Materials Research at HZDR

Von Materie zu Materialien und Leben(11)Observation of a Quantum Spin Liquid(12)

Matter and Technologies(13)A New League of Compact Terahertz Lightsources(14)

Von Materie zu Materialien und Leben(15)Tracking Down the Beam(16)

Von Materie zu Materialien und Leben(17)Nano-Dunes with the Ion Beam(18)

Von Materie zu Materialien und Leben(19)With 300 Kilometers per Second to New Electronics(20)

Further highlights regarding the HZDR materials research you may find in our archive(21).

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Prof. Dr. Jürgen Faßbender
Phone: +49 351 260 - 3096
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3285

Prof. Dr. Thomas Cowan
Director Institute of Radiation Physics
Head High Energy Density
Phone: +49 351 260 - 2270
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3700

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