How do matter and materials behave under the influence of strong fields and in smallest dimensions? How can resources and energy be utilized in an efficient, safe, and sustainable way? How can malignant tumors be more precisely visualized, characterized, and more effectively treated? Collaborating closely with universities and research institutes from all around the world, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is endeavoring to find answers to these questions and conduct cutting-edge research in the areas of Matter, Energy, and Health.

A member of the Helmholtz Association, the HZDR develops and operates large-scale equipment of international renown. While researchers at the Ion Beam Center are pursuing new physical approaches to electronics, magnetism, and optics, in an effort to advance storage and computer technologies, very different kinds of particles and beams for application in basic research as well as the most cutting-edge accelerator technologies are being used at the ELBE – Center for High-Power Radiation Sources.

The core of the ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources is the 40 MeV superconducting electron accelerator ELBE (Electron Linear accelerator with high Brilliance and low Emittance).

Experiments at ELBE can use the primary electron beam as well as many secondary particle and radiation beams:

  • infrared and THz photons at the Free-Electron Laser Facility FELBE
  • narrow and broadband coherent THz photons at the superradiant source TELBE, currently being commissioned
  • gamma rays at the Bremsstrahlung Facility ɤELBE
  • neutrons at the Neutron Time-of-Flight Facility nELBE
  • positrons at the Mono-Energetic Positron Source pELBE

FELBE provides picosecond infrared/THz pulses at wavelengths from 5 - 250 µm, that is from 1.2 to 60 THz, at a repetition rate of 13 MHz with up to µJ pulse energies.

Coherent, carrier-envelope phase stable THz radiation from 0.1 – 1.1 THz at a repetition rate of 100 kHz with µJ pulse energies is available from TELBE, both from an undulator and from a diffraction radiator. In the future frequencies up to 3 THz and pulse energies up to 100 µJ are envisioned.

Both facilities are complemented by several table-top femtosecond laser systems and THz sources, synchronized with the accelerator-based sources, to enable various types of pump-probe experiments.

The HZDR operates one of the most intense high-power laser systems in Europe, the 1 PW DRACO Ti:Sa laser system that provides high-intensity infrared laser pulses of 10^21 W/cm² of 30 fs pulse duration at Hz repetition rate, with applications in ion acceleration for cancer therapy.

The Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory (HLD) offers pulsed magnetic fields up to 95 T for  materials research. HLD is a member of the ESFRI landmark European Magnetic Field Laboratory (EMFL). 

Together with DESY, the HZDR is establishing the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) at one of the world’s brightest sources of X-rays. It will be a key addition to the High-Energy Density Science Instrument (HED) at European XFEL in Hamburg. The goal is that, starting in 2018, the HIBEF infrastructures at HED will be used to conduct experiments under extreme conditions of high pressures, temperatures, or electromagnetic fields.

Some 1,100 employees are currently working at five HZDR sites: the main site in Dresden-Rossendorf, a Leipzig based research site, the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology , the Rossendorf Beamline (ROBL) at the European Synchrotron (ESRF) in Grenoble, France and HIBEF at the European XFEL in Schenefeld.