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Electron microscope image of the columnar nanostructures on the silicon surface of the photodiode(Source: T. Pasanen/Aalto Univ.)

Photodiodes for the ultraviolet (UV) spectral range are used in a large number of applications such as spectroscopy, imaging, flame detection, water treatment and biotechnologies. So far, loss processes have considerably limited their responsivity. A novel photodiode allowed the quantum efficiency to increase from roughly 80 % to more than 130 %.

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The infrasound playback system consists of two sound generators (earphone transducers in an air-tight metallic housing). Sound is guided to a joint insert earphone via a flexible tube.

The growing number of infrasound sources in our environment is increasingly attracting society’s attention. Together with the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, PTB has investigated how humans perceive infrasound with their ears and whether the detection threshold of an infrasonic signal depends on whether it is composed of one or of several tones. This allows conclusions to be drawn as to the perception of complex signals such as those we encounter in our real environment. These investigations revealed that the detection threshold is not determined by a dominant component within the complex tone, but that spectral integration takes place in the auditory system.

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Emission spectra of radionuclides can be measured with metallic magnetic calorimeters (MMCs). An MMC spectrometer was set up at PTB which allows fundamental radionuclide data to be determined with previously unachieved accuracy. These data are of paramount importance as input quantities for certain activity determination methods for the unit becquerel to be disseminated with smaller uncertainties in the form of activity standards. But the data are also important for other areas such as neutrino physics or nuclear medicine.

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Stabilized square vortex lattice (L: lattice constant of periodically arranged pillars; ROI: region of interest in which the vortex statistics in the experiment was compared to theoretical predictions)

In a cooperation project between PTB and TU Berlin, the experimentally observed turbulence formation in the novel class of active fluids was successfully described, and motion in such fluids was controlled.

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Deformation of a ball plate made of tool steel with a mass of approx. 30 kg and an edge length of 620 mm

Ball plates and hole plates are measurement standards typically used to ensure the traceability of coordinate measuring machines. To arrange the plates vertically, one single supporting stand is often used that is placed laterally to the standard. Numerical simulations based on the finite-element method that were performed at PTB have shown that such an arrangement no longer fulfills the ever stricter requirements for the calibration of modern, high-precision coordinate measuring machines.

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Multichannel pipette while filling a multiwell plate (large picture) and scheme showing how fragments of nucleic acid are digitized in a droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) (inset). Here, digitizing means that each viral RNA fragment that has been found is assigned the value 1.

Droplet digital PCR has been used in international comparison measurements to ensure the quality of SARSCoV- 2 tests for the first time. Hereby, this method proved particularly successful to quantify the RNA concentration.

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Messungen der UV-C-Strahlung

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) measured the internal irradiance of a prototype of an indoor UV-C air purification unit to gauge its effectiveness in neutralizing germs and viruses. A simulation of the irradiance distribution in the unit also enabled us to investigate the suitability of the lamp arrangement that was finally selected. After investigating this prototype, it can be estimated that viruses drawn through the unit can be destroyed, and thus, in principle, the viral load in the air in rooms can be significantly reduced.

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Ein Kran lässt Teile einer technischen Anlage zu Boden.

Wasserstoff gewinnt nicht nur als klimaneutraler Energieträger zunehmend an Bedeutung, sondern auch als erneuerbares Prozessgas in der Stahlherstellung. Wird der Wasserstoff mithilfe regenerativ erzeugten Stroms hergestellt, lassen sich bei der Stahlproduktion erhebliche Mengen an CO2-Emissonen vermeiden. Das Wissen um eine geeignete Wasserstoff-Mengenmesstechnik, mit der sich industrielle Produktionsprozesse überprüfen und steuern lassen, ist jedoch noch lückenhaft. Aus diesem Grund haben die Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH und die Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) einen Kooperationsvertrag geschlossen mit dem Ziel, bereits verfügbare Messtechnik auf ihre Eignung und Eigenschaften zu prüfen und Messverfahren weiterzuentwickeln. Dieses Wissen kann über die Stahlproduktion hinaus in alle zukünftigen Einsatzgebiete von Wasserstoff einfließen und helfen, sein Klimaschutzpotential in großem Maßstab zu nutzen. 

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