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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

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5.2 Microsystems

5.2 Microsystems Technology “The infrastructure for the industry is present in Berlin-Brandenburg” Interview with Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lang about microsystems technology In the field of microsystems technology, Berlin-Brandenburg is well positioned in research and science, in many areas even an international leader. What technologies and methodologies from Berlin are of particular importance around the world? What new areas of application are derived from them? The region's strengths lie in the field of photonic components, technologies and systems; in terms of microsystems technology (MST) there are, for example, micro-lasers, camera systems and communication components. Specifically in the field of microsystems technology, further strengths of Berlin-Brandenburg are in sensors, signal transmission, and – of course – system integration. Besides the traditional application fields of industrial, automotive, communications and medicine, new large areas like life science, facility management, production technology, and energy efficiency have opened up. They are based on an unsuspected large number of sensors and processing techniques. In industry and business, number and size of companies is still not commensurate with potential. Where do you see starting points for an optimal settlement policy? What framework conditions must be expanded or created to lay a foundation for new business settlements? In the field of microsystems technology, there are already several - even large - companies that are well known worldwide. After all, Berlin is the third most powerful microsystems technology location in Germany. But I get the impression that these accomplishments are somewhat overshadowed by the versatility of the city. Berlin is perceived as a city of history, science, and especially culture, not as an industrial location. Yet, the necessary infrastructure is largely present and could be extended if necessary. The city must represent itself more pointedly as an industrial technology center with an extraordinary potential of skilled employees and thereby appeal to national and international OEMs. The focus of the EU on the so-called “key enabling technologies” could support this. What political and economic developments, in your view, would be needed to realize value chains in microsystems technology in the capital region? Prof. Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lang studied electrical engineering at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 1993, he started his Fraunhofer career at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin. In 2001, he took over the management of the task force “Microsystems Engineering” at the Berlin Centre for Microsystems Technology (ZEMI), a joint endeavor of the IZM and the research group on “Micro-peripheral Technology” of the TU Berlin. From 2006 to 2010, Professor Lang was deputy director of the institute. In 2011, he was appointed to the chair of “Nano Interconnect Technologies” at the Technical University Berlin and head of the Fraunhofer IZM. Professor Lang is a member of various boards and commissions of science and organizations (e.g., DVS, IEEE, and VDE-GMM). He is author or coauthor of more than 130 publications in the areas of pakkaging and bonding technology, microsystems technology and electronic packaging. © Photo: Jacek Ruta Besides the already mentioned efforts to communicate and inform about industry in Berlin-Brandenburg, it is important to develop new application areas for the location. For example, the food industry in Berlin-Brandenburg is one of the best-selling industries – many potential users here are waiting for suitable equipment. Together we can defend old markets and develop new markets. The needs of a mega-city of the future offer tremendous opportunities for microsystems technology, too. The new challenges must be brought together with the protagonists, who are already working in microsystems technology. In my opinion, politics and the relevant associations could expedite this. The system integration technology continues to be an important sector. What applications are currently in great demand? What effect does the planned energy transition have on the work of regional research institutions and your own institute? The development premises in systems integration technology have changed dramatically in recent years: in the past, semiconductor components were produced which were then used by system developers if suitable. Today system integration is significantly, if 86

5.2 Microsystems Technology not exclusively, determined by the user. Compared to a decade ago, we now increasingly wear “system glasses”. Now it is known from the outset how a device must perform and what it may cost, and development follows these specifications rigorously. Therefore, in addition to further technological development, we have also significantly extended our expertise in system architecture and design, as well as system reliability. We are now a major system-oriented institution. The food industry and agriculture increasingly come into focus as a buyer for microsystems technology. The mobile scanner for fresh meat, FreshScan, is a big step forward for the food industry. In what areas of agriculture and food industry, is there further potential for microsystems technology? FreshScan is primarily a product that retailers and processors can use to check the supply chain and the status of their goods. Another project for the food industry is FishFit: a sensor system for telemetric health diagnostics and environmental monitoring is implanted in the larger fish. By evaluating the behavior of so equipped fish, conclusions can be drawn on the state of a Fish farm. Local businesses and research institutions are also involved in this project. The innovative regional growth center in Berlin, “WideBaSe”, is intended to promote development, manufacture and marketing of optoelectronic and electronic devices based on wide band gap semiconductors. What are the outstanding examples? For which users are the results particularly interesting? Fraunhofer IZM is not itself a partner in this growth area. As far as I know, however, the research and development services flow primarily into quality areas, such as UV optoelectronics, microwave and power electronics. A market orientation is ensured by the participating companies. Applications based on these semiconductors can be seen especially in high power electronics. This means use at high temperatures and higher powers, for example, for high frequency technology in mobile communications. These components are suitable for communication devices which are used in extreme conditions. Micro-optical systems find more and more application areas. At the Fraunhofer IZM, you have developed the smallest camera in the world. For which uses is this particularly interesting? Our contribution in this area is mainly to introduce the miniaturized systems in a variety of applications. Our miniature camera at the wafer level basis, with a size of 1x1x1 mm the smallest in the world, was developed primarily for the medical sector. The goal is to reach, in series production, a unit price of a few euros, in order to have a cost-effective camera system solution for every use. The camera could also be utilized in condition monitoring for automotive, manufacturing or transportation technology. Indeed, data security is major challenge. In this area, though, we cannot only rely on secure software. A one hundred percent immunity from replication must be a given as well. Microsystems technology can offer particularly safe components which prevent unauthorized persons from externally reading the memory content, possibly through 3-D integration, and which are rendered useless if such attempts are made. To a large extent, Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is based on microsystems technology. What are the major current research projects in the region and how can they change the topic of AAL in the future? The early support by the BMBF and the communication policy of the VDI/VDE-IT by, for example, the AAL-Congress, has brought us here in the region several advantages. The trend is clear in Ambient Assisted Living: complete networking of people and their environment. Specifically, we have several projects concerned with networked sensor systems that can report the physical condition or special hazardous situations. We are also working on smart textiles with embedded sensors for everyday use. The challenge here is, as in other application areas, to make microsystems technology an integral part of the products used in the application environment. This year, your institute, Fraunhofer IZM, has been honored as the best German research institute in the field of electrical engineering. What is the “secret”, and what significant projects are you and your colleagues working on right now? We are all very happy here over the outstanding rating in the majority of criteria in the rating by the Science Council. And even though I have made my contribution during 18 years at the IZM, I want to point out that, at the time of the survey, my predecessor, Professor Herbert Reichl, still led the Fraunhofer IZM. Our success is based, and that's really no secret, on a well-trained and highly motivated team. All participants need to keep in mind the interaction between basic research and application requirements. As a systems integrator, we have projects in several fields of work, which currently include research and development on the subjects of, for example, electric vehicles, sensors for identification systems, 3D integration and photonics. Our focus is on miniaturization, multi-functionality and reliability in combination with a consistent focus on applications. The interview was conducted by Markus Wabersky and Arild Eichbaum Espionage and data theft threaten politics, business and individuals to an ever greater extent. In what areas of security technology do you see new potential applications for microsystems technology? And where it is already established? 87

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