Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

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Coordinates: 51°03′49″N 13°56′59″E / 51.06361°N 13.94972°E / 51.06361; 13.94972

Entrance of the HZDR
location of Dresden-Rossendorf in Germany
established: 1992
Scientific director: Roland Sauerbrey
Administrative director: Peter Joehnk
staff: 1.000 (2013)
budget: ca. 118 Mio. Euro (2012)
location: Dresden, Germany
official website: www.hzdr.de

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is a German research laboratory in Dresden and member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres. Research is conducted in three of the Helmholtz Association's research areas: matter, health, and energy. While the research center was formerly known as Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (since 1992), the research site dates back as far as 1956, when the Zentralinstitut für Kernforschung (national institute for nuclear research) in East Germany was founded.

Research programs[edit]

Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Radiation source ELBE (Electron Linac for beams with high Brilliance and low Emittance)
Dresden laser acceleration source DRACO
Ion beam hitting a materials surface

HZDR conducts research in the sectors matter, health, and energy in Dresden and at three other locations in Germany and France. In Grenoble, France, it operates a beamline for materials and radiochemistry research at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility ESRF. Three of HZDR's five large-scale facilities are also available to international scientists.

Matter HZDR scientists are investigating the structure and function of new materials in order to better understand, optimize, and use them for specific applications. This includes research on novel superconducting and semiconducting materials using extremely high magnetic fields or ion beams. What's more, they are developing detectors applied in medicine and technology, and they are advancing modern technologies for particle acceleration.

Health HZDR aims at making progress in early diagnosis and therapy of cancer, which sees 450.000 incidences in Germany each year. It collaborates closely with partners from university medicine (National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology - OncoRay - in Dresden, Germany). Cancer research at the HZDR focuses on three major fields: new radioactive pharmaceuticals for cancer diagnosis and therapy, innovative medical imaging methods used in oncology as well as particle acceleration using new laser technologies for radiation oncology.

Energy HZDR researchers are looking for economically and ecologically feasible solutions for the energy supply in the future. At the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, a joint initiative of HZDR and TU Bergakademie Freiberg, they are targeting at new technologies for the exploration, mining, and use of strategically important metals and minerals, e.g. biotechnological methods for metal recycling. Scientists are also dealing with energy intensive processes in industry, like steel casting or in the chemical industry. They are doing research into nuclear repositories and reactors. And they are contributing to new storage technologies, developing a liquid metal battery.

Research facilities[edit]

  • ELBE is a Center for High-Power Radiation Sources and HZDR's largest research facility. It encompasses a superconducting Electron Linear accelerator for beams with high Brilliance and low Emittance (ELBE) and two FEL for the mid and far infrared. In addition, the electron beam delivers multiple other secondary beams (quasi-monochromatic X-rays, polarized Bremsstrahlung, pulsed neutron beams, pulsed mono-energetic positrons).[1]
  • The 150 TW laser system Dresden Laser Acceleration Source (DRACO)[2] is part of HZDR's ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources.
  • The Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory has set out to achieve an ambitious goal in providing 100 Tesla for materials research. It serves as a research facility for both in-house and user projects. The laboratory was erected in the vicinity of ELBE, which offers unique magneto-optical experiments. Under the program EuroMagNETII/EMFL the EU funds the laboratory as an international user center.[3]
  • HZDR operates an Ion Beam Center[4] for the application of ion beams in materials research. Plasma and ion sources generate ions of all species at energies between 10 eV and 50 MeV. The center is funded as user facility by the EU.
  • ROBL, the Rossendorf Beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble/ France, comprises two facilities for materials research and for radiochemical experiments.[5]
  • The PET Center[6] is operated together with Technische Universität Dresden and University Hospital Dresden. Researchers are developing imaging methods for cancer diagnosis as well as new approaches to cancer treatment.
  • The thermohydraulic test facility TOPFLOW is used for investigations into stationary and transient phenomena in two-phase flows as well as for the development and validation of the models derived from Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Codes.[7]
  • The DREsden Sodium facility for DYNamo and thermohydraulic studies (DRESDYN) is intended as a platform both for large scale experiments related to geo- and astrophysics as well as for experiments related to thermohydraulic and safety aspects of liquid metal batteries and liquid metal fast reactors. The most ambitious projects in the framework of DRESDYN are a homogeneous hydromagnetic dynamo driven solely by precession and a large Taylor-Couette type experiment for the combined investigation of the magnetorotational instability and the Tayler instability.[8]


  • Institute of Ion-Beam Physics and Materials Research
  • Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory
  • Institute of Fluid Dynamics
  • Institute of Radiation Physics
  • Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research
  • Institute of Radiooncology
  • Institute of Resource Ecology
  • Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology - close collaboration with Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg
  • Department of Research Technology

Staff and research sites[edit]

The HZDR has a staff of about 1,000 persons, working on four different research sites, the headquarters being in Dresden.

Technology transfer[edit]

The HZDR Innovation GmbH[9] corporation offers industrial services using HZDR's knowhow and infrastructures in ion implantation. This technology is applied for doping the surfaces of materials with foreign atoms or to produce defects in semiconductors. It is also used to create materials with targeted features like oxidation resistance, which is important for aviation or automotive lightweight construction, or like biocompatibility for medical implants.

Students and young scientists[edit]

There are roughly 160 doctoral students. The HZDR has installed several junior research groups to promote excellent young scientists, the topics of which are (last update: 2013): ion beam processed functional materials for spintronics and photovoltaics, computational radiation physics, spinelectronics, reactor physics, magnetization dynamics and magnetostatic, tumor specific PET tracers, in-vivo dosimetry for new types of radiation (together with the Dresden-based National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology - OncoRay). What is more, the HZDR operates an International Helmholtz Research School for Nanoelectronic Networks (NANONET)[10] as well as a Summer Student Program.[11]


Founded in 1956, the former research center in Rossendorf was part of the German Academy of Sciences. The German-born British physicist Klaus Fuchs, who took part in the Manhattan Project and acted as a spy for the Soviet Union, was deputy director until 1974.

After the German reunification the "Forschungszentrum Rossendorf" (FZR) was founded. In 2006 the name changed to "Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf", to emphasize the connection to the research infrastructure in the city of Dresden. In 2011 the center became a member of Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.[12]


  1. ^ "Radiation Source ELBE". HZDR. 
  2. ^ "DRACO". HZDR. 
  3. ^ "Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory". HZDR. 
  4. ^ "Ion Beam Center". HZDR. 
  5. ^ "Rossendorf Beamline at ESRF". HZDR. 
  6. ^ "PET Center". HZDR. 
  7. ^ "TOPFLOW - Transient Two Phase Flow Test Facility". HZDR. 
  8. ^ Stefani, F.; Eckert, S.; Gerbeth, G.; Giesecke, A.; Gundrum, Th.; Steglich, C.; Weier, T.; Wustmann, B. (2012). "DRESDYN - A new facility for MHD experiments with liquid sodium". Magnetohydrodynamics (), pp. F. Stefani, S. Eckert, G. Gerbeth, A. Giesecke, Th. Gundrum, C. Steglich, T. Weier, B. Wustmann. 48 (2012): 103–113. arXiv:1201.5737Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012arXiv1201.5737S. 
  9. ^ "HZDR Innovation GmbH". HZDR Innovation GmbH. 
  10. ^ "NANONET". HZDR. 
  11. ^ "Summer Student Program". HZDR. 
  12. ^ "Pressemitteilung vom 22. Juni 2009: Per Unterschrift besiegelt – das FZD wechselt zur Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren (german)". HZDR. 2009-05-22. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2009-05-22.