Eye catcher

Projects for the Future: Research for the World of Tomorrow

As a member of the Helmholtz Association, the HZDR operates large-scale research facilities which are also available to guests from Germany and abroad wishing to conduct experiments. Part of the large-scale scientific equipment permits new insights into the behavior of matter under extreme conditions; that is, under extremely high temperatures, pressures, and electromagnetic fields as well as intense radiation. This core subject combines the HZDR’s in-house materials science research with the focal points cancer research and energy research; thus, permitting comprehensive research results in an interdisciplinary approach which help solve scientifically and socially relevant problems.

Under construction

DRESDYN Laboratory at the HZDR


The objective of the DRESDYN project is the creation of a European platform for dynamo experiments and thermohydraulic studies with fluid sodium – the world’s first precession dynamo. With this facility it will be possible to simulate more realistically, for example, the evolution of cosmic magnetic fields than it has been possible so far. In addition, the experiments will allow detailed insights into metal melts to develop new liquid metal batteries for energy storage or to explore the use of liquid metals in high-temperature processes such as solar power plants.

Link to the article "Geodynamo, star formation ..." in the HZDR magazine 02/2016

Contact: Dr. Gunter Gerbeth

Accelerator tunnel at the European XFEL

HIBEF – Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields

Coordinated by the HZDR, a new experimental facility was built at European XFEL in Hamburg: the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF). It is a key addition to the High-Energy Density Science Instrument (HED) there. By coupling laser light with X-rays and high magnetic fields our laboratory will allow for research under extreme conditions, thus providing a deeper insight into the structure of materials and in very fast natural processes. The results could be used to improve models of planet formation or build the foundation for innovation in materials and accelerator research. HIBEF is part of the "Helmholtz International Beamlines" (HIB), which are funded with a total of almost 30 million euros.

Link to the article "X-ray unleashed" in the HZDR magazine 02/2016

Contact: PD Dr. Toma Toncian

CASUS - ein neues Zentrum für die interdisziplinäre Systemforschung (Foto: HZDR)

CASUS – Center for Advanced Systems Understanding

The CASUS research institute in Saxony is to become the center for digital interdisciplinary systems research in Germany. It aims to create digital, dynamic "worldviews" of complex systems that combine large amounts of data about these systems with novel methods of modelling such systems in order to create a digital image of complex reality based on systems and their interactions and thus be able to make predictions. CASUS is set up as an institute of the HZDR together with the partners Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden University of Technology and the University of Wrocław. Funding is initially secured until 2038.

Contact: Dr. Michael Bussmann

PENELOPE laser at the ELBE center

ELBE Center for High Power Radiation Sources

With the expansion of the Radiation Source ELBE, a center for high power radiation sources was built between 2009 and 2014. The new constructions are home to a narrow and a broadband terahertz source and to experiments for coupling the high performance laser with the ELBE electron beam. Still under construction is the new petawatt laser system PENELOPE.

Contact: Prof. Thomas Cowan, Prof. Ulrich Schramm, Prof. Peter Michel

On the Helmholtz-Roadmap 2021

DALI - Dresden Advanced Light Infrastructure

Futuristic material: Graphene ©Copyright: Juniks/HZDR

DALI will combine a high-field radiation source for terahertz radiation with a free-electron laser for wavelengths in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV). This combination, which is unique in the world, could create the conditions for extremely diverse, cutting-edge research. The intense terahertz radiation source will enable researchers to specifically influence functionally relevant electronic states in solids, especially in nanostructures and high-temperature superconductors. The intense VUV radiation source, in turn, promises to improve a microscopic understanding of chemical reactions. In addition to the photon sources, the scientists will also have a tool in the form of an additional source of intense positron radiation that allows them to dynamically investigate defects in crystalline solids and porous materials on the nanometer scale.

Further information

Contact: Prof. Manfred Helm