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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

  • Text
  • Imaging
  • Photonics
  • Berlin
  • Optical
  • Laser
  • Technologies
  • Optics
  • Microsystems
  • Components
  • Brandenburg


46 Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Research & Industry | Optical Analytics 2.4 Optical Analytics – Analytical Tools for a Wide Range of Applications in Photonics We humans perceive a lot of the world with our eyes and it’s not very different for technology: optical methods play a dominant role in recording a wide variety of data. With the increasing digitalisation of many production processes as part of Industry 4.0, sensor technology is taking on an even more important role than before. Optical sensors are usually contactless, fast, and provide electrical signals that are easy to process. The variety of optical sensors and measuring methods is correspondingly large. While our eye only perceives a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum, there are optical sensors for a wide range of wavelengths: from X-rays to ultraviolet and visible ranges to infrared and even terahertz radiation. The fields of application in measurement and analysis technology are as varied as the possible wavelengths. They range from microscopes in the laboratory to security technology at the airport and large-scale scientific equipment such as BESSY II in Berlin-Adlershof. X-rays, for example, can penetrate most materials and are used in medicine as well as in material analysis and non-destructive testing of components. At the same time, their high spatial resolution makes it possible to look at the nanoworld. The applications of visible light are extremely diverse. The results are usually accessible to the naked eye. But thanks to highly developed sensors, measuring instruments can also perform tasks such as monitoring production processes and free people from such exhausting work. Optical sensors help with counting, simple and complex length measurements, and colour measurements, to name just a few examples. The application of infrared radiation often uses the effect that this radiation is not visible to our eyes and is not harmful within wide limits. When autonomous vehicles eventually take over our roads, they will detect their surroundings with IR sensors. Infrared radiation can also provide important information about our environment, such as the heat loss from buildings. An infrared camera can be used, for example, to investigate the insulating effect of a facade. A new field for optical analysis is the development of sources and sensors for terahertz radiation. Some people may have already seen such devices at airport security, where they are supposed to replace the conventional X-ray devices. Excitation with ultraviolet radiation leads to self-fluorescence in most biological materials. From the spectroscopic analysis of this self-fluorescence, conclusions can be drawn about the composition of the biological material. “The importance and possibilities of optical analytics will continue to grow. Only the improvement and further development of analytical methods ensure the technological advancement as you can only produce what you can measure and characterize at the required precision level. Hence, the exploitation of research results and developments is very important. Not only start-ups should play a role here, but also the cooperation with existing companies that are already established on the market with many years of experience.” Dr. Michael Kolbe | Spokesperson Focus Area Optical Analytics, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Optical Analytics 47 EMIL, the Energy Materials In-Situ Laboratory, has direct access to the radiation from BESSY II. © HZB/Ingo Knies UV and X-Ray Technologies UV and X-ray technologies extend the application of optical analytics to even the tiniest spatial and temporal dimensions. They make nanostructures visible, as well as ultra-fast processes. In this way, they enable significant progress to be made in such important areas as medical technology and nanotechnologies. X-ray analysis has a long tradition in the Berlin Brandenburg region. Some of the first X-ray tubes with which Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen began to experiment after 1895 were manufactured in Berlin by Reinhold Burger. Today, Berlin and Brandenburg have unique potential in this field and an outstanding position internationally. The region covers the entire value chain, from basic research to product development in innovative companies. X-ray analysis for medical technology and material analysis In the development of X-ray analytics, many methods are now being transferred from research to industry. In concrete terms, this can be seen in the transfer of processes and systems from the synchrotron to normal laboratory environments. The focus is on imaging techniques such as tomography, X-ray microscopy, but also on holography and coherent diffraction. This evolution is being driven by medical technology and questions related to material science. The region is home to unique expertise in both fields. One example is the technology that was used to examine the deep layers of the Dead Sea scrolls found at Qumran without destroying them. A 3D micro X-ray fluorescence analysis developed by scientists at TU Berlin was used for this project. The needs for future technologies are shaping the work being done by researchers and developers in the region. These include X-ray tubes; X-ray optics and X-ray capillary optics, especially HOPG (highly oriented pyrolytic graphite) optics, as well as Bragg Fresnel lenses and more powerful X-ray semiconductor detectors, laserbased X-ray sources for the soft and medium X-ray range, especially for pulses in the femtosecond to nanosecond ranges, as well as methods of chemical speciation independent of synchrotrons and large-scale equipment. Research institutions and companies in Berlin Brandenburg will not run out of work any time soon. Each research step in material analysis also brings about different technologies. Especially when it comes to dissolving small and very small structures. Because UV and X-ray light is the light of micro- and nanotechnologies and thus one of their most important tools. Research opportunities unlike anywhere else The Berlin Brandenburg region offers an excellent research infrastructure with close ties to industry. The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) is one such institution. The HZB operates in unique laboratories and large-scale facilities for research on energy materials in Berlin-Wannsee and Berlin-Adlershof. These include solar cells of the next generation and beyond, future IT materials (spintronics), and also catalytically active material systems that use sunlight to split water and produce solar fuels (artificial photosynthesis). The Berlin electron storage ring BESSY II in Berlin-Adlershof provides brilliant synchrotron light pulses on almost 50 beam tubes for research, especially in the soft X-ray range. External guests from research and industry can also apply for measurement time at BESSY II. HZB teams of experts are constantly developing the instrumentation and working on new X-ray optical components (HZB Department for Nanometre Optics and Technology). The Energy Materials In-Situ Laboratory EMIL is directly connected to BESSY II. It is home to SISSY, the energy material research laboratory of the HZB and CAT, the catalysis laboratory for sustainable energy supply of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, and the PINK beamline for X-ray emission studies, which is operated by the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion.

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