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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

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  • Imaging
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  • Berlin
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5.1.3 Optical

5.1.3 Optical Measuring and Sensor Technology Seeing things in a different light Henning Schröder, Gerrit Rössler, Kai Kolwitz The behavior of light in contact with matter is one of the most universal topics in physics. There are always interactions. The effects are dependent on the wavelength of the incident light, on the nature of the substance, on its molecular composition, on the thickness and nature of its surface, and many other quantities. In technology, optical sensors play an important role as a signaling device. The values or states they register are processed, mostly electronically amplified, in the corresponding control which triggers appropriate further action. The sensor industry in Berlin-Brandenburg is characterized by a high degree of diversification in products and customer structure. The reasons are mainly the diversity of application areas and sensing principles as well as the overlapping trends towards greater miniaturization and integration with usually high pressure to reduce cost. The use of sensors is becoming more and more diverse. The needs for security, ease of use and convenience drive sensor from complex technical systems in engineering, construction, food industry, agriculture and military technology into all sectors all the way to end user devices. Examples include automotive, telecommunications, consumer electronics and medical technology. Berlin-Brandenburg is very well positioned in many areas of optical metrology. The focal points of visual process metrology (Chapter, UV and X-ray technology (Chapter, terahertz technology (Chapter and laser technology (Section 5.1.1) as well as applications in Biomedicine (Chapter 5.1.4) are presented separately. Understanding distant planetary systems One of the key players of optical measurement and sensor technology in the capital region is innoFSPEC in Potsdam. The interdisciplinary joint project of the Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) and the University of Potsdam deals with fiberoptical spectroscopy and sensing. Here one has the next generation of large astronomical telescopes and observations of distant and faint celestial objects in mind. To gather information, they rely on multi-channel spectroscopic methods which will allow gathering as much data as possible in a single operation. Other goals are the miniaturization of components as well as the development of assistive technology, for example Bragg gratings integrated into fibers, with which interfering spectral lines can be automatically hidden. Such concepts developed for astrophysics can be used in other areas such as medicine, building conservation or material testing. The special fibers required are also part of the work. Innovative spectroscopic techniques researched by innoFSPEC include pho- Fiber optical lab © O. Reich (innoFSPEC) ton-density-wave spectroscopy, wavelength modulation spectroscopy and cavity ring-down spectroscopy. For measurements of celestial objects, optical methods are often the first choice. Therefore, other research institutions in the region are also working in this field. The Institute for Planetary Research of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) researches, for example, spectrometers for the far infrared region. With the help of a laser altimeter aboard a lunar probe, the DLR was already able to create a map of the moon with unprecedented accuracy. Light reveals a lot about materials Newly discovered effects in the interaction between light and matter are often the basis of new spectroscopic methods. Therefore, several working groups at the Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics of the TU Berlin are researching measuring methods; for example those which can measure the smallest dimensions and shortest times. One topic is laser-molecule spectroscopy; others are image sensors and miniature cameras as well as detectors for seawater analysis via Raman spectroscopy. At the Humboldt University, there also is a working group that deals with optical metrology. Here they develop components for the planned space mission LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), for example, with which they want to detect gravitational waves from binary star systems and black holes. The Helmholtz Center Berlin operates the research reactor BER II for experiments with neutrons and the electron storage ring BES- SY II which delivers highly brilliant radiation from THz to X-rays. 52

5.1.3 Optical Measuring and Sensor Technology Both serve as the basis for a variety of different spectroscopic measurements which should lead to the next generations of solar cells, for example. The Fritz-Haber-Institute of the Max Planck Gesellschaft and the Max-Born-Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy also conduct fundamental research. The Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces develops spectroscopic measurement methods whose the potential extends from biotechnology to measurements of concrete. The Leibniz-Institute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS) does interface spectroscopy and is cooperating closely with partners from academia and industry. For example, they developed "Elias", an echelle spectroscope that can distinguish the wavelength spaced by only 100 femtometres. The system can be used to test the quality of laser light; the technology is sold commercially by LTB Lasertechnik Berlin. ISAS also does its own spectroscopic investigations, including, for instance, examination of human DNA. And there is a research and testing facility in Berlin, of course, which deals with optical measuring methods: the Physikalisch- Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). It is the main German institution in terms of measurement, standardization and calibration. Among others, the working groups Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology are located in Berlin. Basic research is done there, but they also work very closely to the practice. Responding to radiation – the search for sensor materials Materials and components are of great importance when you want to measure with the aid of light. In the field of sensor research, Berlin-Brandenburg is an international leader in many areas – and novel materials with optical properties are the basis for the development of novel sensors. The development of materials for optical technologies is one of the key activities of the Institute of Thin Film Technology and Micro-Sensors e.V. (IDM) located in Teltow. The non-profit research institution is concerned with chemical synthesis of optical and sensory functional materials, the development of structuring, processing, and replication technologies, as well as the development of complete optical and sensory function elements. The Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI) also develops polymer-based photonic components. They invented an integrated optical sensor platform for markerless multi-parameter analysis for bioanalytics. In the further development of working principles for functional optical sensors, institutions such as the Fraunhofer-Institute for Reliability and Micro Integration (IZM) or Optotransmitter Umweltschutz Technologie e.V. (OUT) come into play. The IZM is a specialist in packaging and bonding technology for photonic microsystems, systems integration at wafer and board level, fiber-optical coupling techniques and pixel detectors. OUT’s portfolio includes fluorescence-based optical biosensors which can measure smallest concentrations of microorganisms in fluids. They also developed a 3-dimensional distance sensor that combines the features of a digital camera with the time-of-flight principle of a laser pulse. OUT also implemented procedures for 3D acquisition, for example for face detection and counting of persons or objects in motion. Measuring, controlling, adjusting – optical sensors from Berlin- Brandenburg Optical sensors play an increasingly important role as signal drivers in industrial applications as well as in countless areas where automated controls are in demand. The electronics for signal processing is integrated in smart sensors. Every application, however, requires its specialized technical solution: the market is characterized by a variety of niches dominated by small lots. Therefore, mainly small and me-dium-sized enterprises work in Berlin-Brandenburg, which have a high degree of specialization and often cooperate closely with research institutes in the region. Prototype of a fluorescence-based bio sensor © OUT e.V. Yet, the Berlin-based company First Sensor, with its approximately 750 employees worldwide, is a world-leading provider of specialized sensor solutions. Components from First Sensor detect pressure, radioactive radiation and light; the company markets its technology as individual components as well as complete systems. In addition to regular photodiodes they also offer wavelength-sensitive systems and systems with high spatial resolution. The company can handle single items as well as batches of several million units per year. Therefore, First Sensor became one of the fastest growing medium-sized companies in Germany in 2011; in late 2011 they acquired the Sensortechnics Group, a part of which is Elbau in Berlin, a specialized developer and manufacturer of optoelectronic sensor technology. Quadrant photo diode © First Sensor AG 53

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