Kienberger's team has developed a measurement method that allows to determine the time between the recording of an X-ray photon and the emission of an electron. A. Heddergott/ TUM

It provides the basis for solar energy and global communications: the photoelectric effect. Albert Einstein described it over a century ago. For the first time, scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), and the TU Wien have now measured the absolute duration of the light absorption and of the resulting photoelectron which is released from a solid body.

The nanostructure for capturing light is imprinted on silicon oxide (blue) and then "levelled" with titanium oxide (green). HZB

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

Schematic of a hydrogen filling station as an application scenario for pressure sensors with insulation layers. © metamorworks / Shutterstock

Scientists at the Fraunhofer FEP have investigated new approaches for depositing low-defect insulating layers, part of the joint project “NaFuSS“ (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research/BMBF promotional reference number 13N13171). The aim is to increase the reliability and durability of pressure sensors for hydrogen technology, an area that is becoming increasingly important.

Time-resolved measurement of the motion of a magnetic vortex core in the presence of an oscillating magnetic field. Ill./©: Daniel Schönke


In the future, today's electronic storage technology may be superseded by devices based on tiny magnetic structures. These individual magnetic regions correspond to bits and need to be as small as possible and capable of rapid switching. In order to better understand the underlying physics and to optimize the components, various techniques can be used to visualize the magnetization behavior.