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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

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  • Imaging
  • Photonics
  • Berlin
  • Optical
  • Laser
  • Technologies
  • Optics
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  • Brandenburg

5.1.3 Optical

5.1.3 Optical Measuring and Sensor Technology “Optical measurement techniques are important for the automation of entire production lines” Interview with Prof. Dr. Norbert Langhoff about optical measuring and sensor technology Optical measurement techniques are becoming increasingly important as measurement tool. What are the main benefits of optical measurement techniques? Are there typical weak points? Through the discovery of the laser principle and its various applications in industrial plants and consumer goods, optical measurement techniques experienced an enormous expansion of applications. This equally concerns novel measurement methods, measurement productivity, measurement accuracy, and measurement value resolution. The increasing use of optical measurement techniques and devices in areas close to the process is quite significant as a prerequisite for the automation of entire production lines in industry. They are especially characterized as a contactless and nondestructive technique. Typical weaknesses often are the limited lifetime of the light sources, the price of lasers, and the influence of atmospheric disturbances such as moisture or dust. In what areas are optical measurement techniques being used widely already? Are there any commercial users in the capital region and for which tasks are they using the technologies? The entire areas of mechanical engineering, the semiconductor industry, and the automotive industry as well as all NC control systems rely on optical measurement techniques. In Berlin-Brandenburg, there are a number of major companies such as Siemens (generators), BMW (motorcycles), Mercedes-Benz (combustion engines), or Rolls-Royce (jet engines for aircraft), which use optical methods in various ways, both in production and in quality control. How are research and science positioned in Berlin and Brandenburg as far as optical measurement techniques are concerned? In which areas are institutes leading, and where is a need for improvement? With the non-profit association OpTecBB, a regional Berlin-Brandenburg network has developed during more than 10 years that brings together members from a variety of ways in research, development and manufacturing. In basic research in the field of ultrafast methods (femtoseconds), the Max Born Institute in Berlin- Adlershof is a world leader. A good example of this pre-eminence is the first laser-plasma-assisted femtosecond X-ray source that was developed and made ready for the market in collaboration with the Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH (IfG). A particularly high concentration of research potential such as HZB, PTB, BAM, MBI, TU and companies can be found in our region in the field of X-ray physics and technology. The capital region often lacks the businesses which could place the major developments in science and research on the market. Is the potential for forming companies in the field of optical measurement techniques used to the fullest and are there opportunities for improvement? In what ways can even smaller companies hold their ground nationally and internationally? The knowledge transfer between research institutions and companies could be strengthened considerably in recent years. Good examples can be found in Berlin-Adlershof and Berlin-Buch. The TSB Technology Foundation Berlin actively supported this process. Nevertheless, the possibilities are far from being exhausted. It would be desirable to encourage more young scientists with good business ideas to spin-offs. An even broader publication of examples of successful spin-offs could work very well. Regular seminars with successful founders at universities and high schools would be a good basis. In addition to product or process ideas and starting capital, national and international networks play an important role for spin-offs. It is advantageous to start with networking prior to the spin-off. Publications with compelling applications that demonstrate customer benefits, participation in conferences, exhibitions, and early contacts with the relevant industry are helpful. Industrial food production, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors and photovoltaics are the main application areas for the optical measurement process. What other areas will be added in the future? In the mentioned industries (food processing, pharmaceutical), optical metrology is firmly established especially for the automation of manufacturing processes and quality tests. An increasingly important role is played by the application in environmental analytics (water, soil, air), in resource technologies, as well as in recovery of valuable materials from waste. UV and X-ray technologies are already long established on the market. What is new in this field and what are the important achievements and discoveries contributed by the research institutions of Berlin- Brandenburg? X-ray technologies have a strong position in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, compared to the nation and Europe. This statement is supported by the research “beacons”, such as the Helmholtz- Zentrum Berlin with BESSY II, the PTB, the BAM, the MBI and the TU Berlin, as well as the leader in the field of X-ray detectors, Bruker Nano GmbH, the leader for X-ray radiation sources, rtw Dr. Warrikhoff Neuhagen GmbH, as well as the Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH (IfG) in the field of X-ray optics. Through the development of relevant guidelines and standards, these companies have achieved internationally acclaimed influence. Joint projects have laid the foundations for the integration of X-ray analytical measuring heads in industrial manufacturing processes. 56

5.1.3 Optical Measuring and Sensor Technology With your company, IfG, you have developed an X-ray color camera. What are the advantages of this camera for the medical world and how far has development proceeded? The X-ray color camera is currently the last element in a long chain of development of novel semiconductor detectors for X-rays over the last 15 years. Starting point was and is the development of special detector systems in the semiconductor laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, intended for space physics experiments in the field of X-ray astronomy. From 1970-1991, Prof. Dr. Norbert Langhoff (born 1935) was Director of the Center for Scientific Equipment (ZWG) of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR. Already in 1990, he founded – together with two other partners - ISTCIndustrial, Science and Technology Consult GmbH. From 1993 to 2010, Norbert Langhoff was CEO of the IfG, Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH. The core competencies of this institution include X-ray analytical methods for chemical and structural analytics, especially of X-ray optical systems. He is co-founder and current chairman of the IAP - Institute for Applied Photonics e.V. Norbert Langhoff is one of the founding members of the competence network OpTec Berlin-Brandenburg (OpTecBB e.V.); for several years he served on the board. The foundation of the VDI-Adlershof district section is due to his initiative, he is honorary chairman. In 2011, he was awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit. Decisive were the minimization of radiation losses with the help of optics as well as all components (sources, detectors). What are the characteristics of the technology roadmap of the UV and X-ray technology in Berlin-Brandenburg? With the support of IfG GmbH, the company Röntec GmbH (now Bruker Nano GmbH) in Berlin Adlershof, on a contractual basis and in cooperation with the Semiconductor Laboratory, brought a new generation of silicon drift chamber detectors (SDD) to the market that led to a world-wide replacement of the previously used Si (Li) detectors. Each year several thousand such SDD detectors are sold. For the special X-ray color camera special pn-CCDs are used with about 70,000 pixels, where each individual pixel functions as an energy-dispersive detector with high energy resolution (150 eV). The pn-CCD detector is complemented with a glass capillary lens to form a full X-ray camera. The poly-capillary lens acts like a 2-dimensional collimator, so that the individual image points are each mapped to individual pixels. The spatial resolution achieved to date with magnifying optics is

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