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For more than two decades, PDI has been operating its beamline PHARAO at the Berlin Synchrotron BESSY II — a third generation 1.7GeV synchrotron radiation source unique to Germany. BESSY II was established by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie and is used by over 3000 measuring guests per year. 60% of users come from German research institutes and universities and 40% are international.

The PDI team is responsible for the operation of the PHARAO beamline, which is used to observe in-situ growth during molecular beam epitaxy by means of diffraction experiments. The beamline is equipped with a heavy-duty goniometer, on which a custom-designed MBE system is mounted. 

PHARAO facilities at PDI
BESSY II - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) (German language)

Image: HZB / Dirk Laubner


GraFOx is a Berlin-based research network focused on the creation and exploration of oxide systems for new generations of electronic devices. The network combines experiment and theory in crystal growth, epitaxy, and fundamental physical investigations, and is committed to educating young scientists in one of the most promising areas of solid-state physics. The GraFOx network is comprised of 8 research institutions and universities, collaborating on more than 33 coordinated projects, involving 40 PIs and 25 PhD students. 

GraFOx website


ZALKAL is an application lab for time-resolved cathodoluminescence spectroscopy co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Berlin Senate. In the framework of this project, PDI is installing a scanning electron microscope dedicated to cathodoluminescence spectroscopy with a pulsed beam and time-resolved detection. A particular focus in the detection is put on the ultraviolet spectral range down to about 180 nm to facilitate work on ultra widegap semiconductors. The infrastructure of the application lab is open for collaborations both in the academic field and with companies, with a focus on regional partners.

ZALKAL project website