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Cluster Report Photonics in the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg

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


56 Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Optical Analytics The main area of business for Bi-Ber GmbH & Co. Engineering KG is the development and manufacture of image processing systems for quality control during production. The focus is on the development, construction, and commissioning of turnkey optical measuring and testing systems, especially for the printing, automotive parts, medical technology, and electronics industries. Standard solutions are also supplied for quality assurance in the confectionery industry, e.g. image processing systems to ensure candy moulds are empty, 3D inspections of broken moulds, and final product inspections. In Berlin, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is a pioneer in this field. For some years now, a special type of laser, the quantum cascade laser, has increasingly come into use. This makes laser spectroscopy methods in the THz range applicable for the first time. The Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI) in Berlin is one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of these lasers and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Optical Sensor Systems in Berlin is a global leader in the application of these lasers for spectroscopy. One example is the unique quantum cascade laser system developed by DLR and PDI for high-resolution spectroscopy with the SOFIA astronomy aircraft, which has been providing unique data about our universe since 2014. THz radiation can permeate materials such as paper, plastics, or textiles, while metals or water are largely resistant. As a result, THz radiation can be used to illuminate objects, but without the harmful properties of X-rays. This results in interesting applications in inline sensor technology, analytics, non-destructive material testing, and imaging. A new field of research is communication by means of THz radiation. Camera on axis in front of a printing web © Bi-Ber GmbH & Co. Engineering KG THz Waves Create Completely New Insights In the electromagnetic spectrum, the terahertz (THz) regime lies in the hard-to-reach range between the wavelengths of infrared radiation and radio wavelengths (frequencies approx. 0.1 THz to 10 THz, wavelengths approx. 30 µm to 3 mm). This results in different approaches to beam generation. The fully electronic systems based on the multiplication of millimetre wave radiation sources typically reach frequencies of up to 1.4 THz, and even 2.5 THz in exceptional cases. The Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut fuer Hoechstfrequenztechnik (FBH) in Berlin and IHP – Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics in Frankfurt (Oder) are developing the components for such radiation sources. In optoelectronic systems, THz radiation is generated by mixing the frequency of two infrared lasers. Depending on the technical realisation, frequencies can be as high as 2.5 THz or, if a pulsed laser is used, even 10 THz. The technology is seeing its first applications in industrial settings. In gas analysis, THz measurements allow highly sensitive and highly specific analyses of gas mixtures, a task which previously required low-temperature turbo bolometers. Non-contact layer thickness measurement on plastic components, foams, and multilayer coatings has only been made possible with THz technologies. THz near-field microscopy allows high-resolution material analyses for the semiconductor industry. The Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), both in Berlin, are active in the field of non-destructive testing with THz radiation, providing a oneof-a-kind calibration service for THz detectors. In addition, the capital region is very well positioned to conduct theoretical research with THz radiation. These include Berlin’s universities, the Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy, and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. In a national and international comparison, the Berlin Brandenburg region has a unique bundling of competencies in theoretical and applied THz research and development. Many approaches for developing THz sources, components, and systems Transferring THz technology into new fields of practical and commercial use requires the development of the necessary

Cluster Report Optics and Photonics – Optical Analytics 57 components and systems as well as powerful measurement methods. The research institutions in Berlin and Brandenburg are active in many areas. The FBH is currently expanding its THz activities systematically, with a focus on fully electronic components in frequency ranges up to 0.5 THz. This based on a transferred substrate process with indium phosphide hetero-bipolar transistors for the manufacture of integrated circuits. This is complemented by a measuring station for on-wafer measurement of up to 0.5 THz and the associated design activities. THz-quantum cascade laser from GaAs/(Al,Ga)As © PDI Aerospace Center in Berlin. At PDI, they are designing and manufacturing the laser structures using molecular beam epitaxy. The QCL structures are then processed in laser strips and the operating parameters determined by Fourier transform spectroscopy. THz spectrometers for mobile use The German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Optical Sensor Systems in Berlin is developing THz spectrometers based on QCLs and electronic THz emitters and receivers. These spectrometers can be used in a variety of ways: for high-resolution molecular spectroscopy and the highly sensitive detection of trace gases. An outstanding example is the THz QCL laser system developed by DLR for SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. It is based on a QCL made by PDI. This unique technology allows a new way to peer into the universe and offers new applications beyond astronomy. For applications in THz imaging, for imaging spectroscopy, and for applications in security and material testing, the DLR imaging process is based on a single-pixel camera and compressed sensing methods. In addition, DLR is researching superconducting THz detectors, with a focus on highly sensitive nanostructured bolometers. The technology is also used to detect ultrashort (ps) THz pulses. The IHP – Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics focuses on the research and development of technologies, circuits, and systems for millimetre waves and THz applications. Among other things, it is developing complex SiGe BiCMOS technologies purpose, which operate with special silicon-germanium hetero-junction bipolar transistors (HBTs) and frequencies from 0.5 to 0.7 THz. Together with the electrophotonic technologies developed by IHP, these can be used to realise high-frequency circuits for wireless as well as electrical and electro-optical broadband communication. The Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI), a Leibniz Institute in Forschungsverbund Berlin e. V., is developing quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) for the THz range (2 to 5.7 THz) based on the material systems GaAs/(Al,Ga) As and GaAs/AlAs. These QCLs are narrow-band radiation sources and are used for such things as spectroscopic applications and imaging methods developed at the German THz laser system for the stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy © DLR

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