News / 16.05.2018

Quality Management at Fraunhofer IAF

The head of quality management Dr. Harald Müller offers an insight into the working of a quality management system at a research institute.


News / 02.05.2018

In conversation with Thomas Trendle

In this interview, Thomas Trendle talks about the role of precision mechanics at Fraunhofer IAF and describes the process from the first idea to a finished piece.


News 04/17/2018

New developments in high frequency electronics

Dr. Dirk Schwantuschke will talk about »mm-Wave Operation of AlN/GaN-Devices« at the 22nd Microwave and Radar Conference in Poznan, Poland.


News / 09.04.2018

A diet for IoT

In the Internet of Things (IoT), electronics have to perform as energy-efficiently as possible. Sensors and their power consumption behavior play an important role in this regard.


News / 19.3.2018

Review of GeMiC 2018 in Freiburg

According to the motto »Riding the Green Waves«, scientists and engineers from all over the world presented their research results in the fields of microwave and radar technology at this year's German Microwave Conference.


News 03/14/18

Science for Costumers

The annual report provides information about the institute in figures, the work of the business units and their scientific projects as well as reporting on selected activities.


News / 30.1.2018

German Microwave Conference

Research meets industry – exchange and networking at the GeMiC 2018.


News / 22.1.2018

In conversation with Jutta Kühn

In this interview, Jutta Kühn talks about her work as the head of the microelectronics department and about the challenge to work part-time.

News / 20.10.2017

Of highly sensitive Satellites and the passion for research

In the interview Markus Rösch speaks about how his team has developed highly sensitive amplifiers for the ESA and when the satellites will be launched into space.


News / 05.10.2017

Terranova – Thinking beyond a network standard

With the combination of wireless links and fiber optics, the project Terranova is taking a step towards future data networks beyond the 5G standard.


News / 18.7.2017

Diamond lenses make laser optics significantly lighter

Diamond lenses make it possible to reduce weight of the cutting head by more than 90% in comparison to cutting heads with conventional optics.


Press release / 1.6.2017

MIRPHAB: Sensor boutique for early adopters

Pilot line for tailor-made spectroscopy solutions.


News / 15.5.2017

Doctorate: first complete GaN-based tri-gate technology

Erdin Ture explains in the interview what excites him about his research topic.



Press release / 10.5.2017

Efficient and compact voltage converters for the e-mobility sector

The Fraunhofer IAF has developed the world’s first half-bridge circuit for the important 600 volt class.


News / 10.05.2017

Science for customers – leading the way together with our partners

The new Annual Report presents examples of the Fraunhofer IAF research activities.


News / 17.4.2017

Strengthening core competencies, and establishing the Research Fab Microelectronics Germany

Interview with the two new acting directors about their plans for 2017.


Press release / 3.5.17

Highly-sensitive tracking nose in space

New weather satellites will be able to measure important meteorological data.


Press release / 11.4.2017

The »Research Fab Microelectronics Germany« gets off the ground

Cross-location research factory for microelectronics and nanoelectronics.


Press release / 10.4.2017

Using radar technology to increase wind turbine efficiency

New material scanner tests rotor blades for defects.


News / 4.4.2017

»43rd Freiburg Infrared Colloquium«

More than 130 infrared experts visited Freiburg.



News / 30.03.17

Research project AQUARIUS: Testing water quality in real-time

Sensors based on tunable quantum cascade lasers to continuously monitor water quality.


News / 16.3.2017

Higher Energy efficiency with gallium nitride

EU project GaNonCMOS aims to bring GaN power electronic materials, devices and systems to the next level of maturity.


News / 10.3.2017

Climate, environment and security – the infrared technology offers solutions

43rd Freiburg Infrared Colloquium at Fraunhofer IAF


News / 11.1.2017

Higher ranges with less energy: mobile with gallium nitride

In order to turn emission-free driving over long distances into an achievable goal, new technologies based on modern semiconductor materials are being developed.


News / 2.1.2017

Change in Institute Management 

After almost ten years as Institute Director, Prof. Dr. Oliver Ambacher has left the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF on 31 December 2016.


News / 3.11.2016

All-round radar view through creative technical engineering

Excellent final thesis opens up new fields of application


News / 18.10.16

EuMIC Young Engineer Prize 2016

And the prize goes to … Belén Amado Rey from Fraunhofer IAF!


News / 30.8.2016

Best Paper Award for Fraunhofer IAF scientists

Micro-Transfer-Printing for the combination of highly efficient semiconductor materials


News / 16.8.2016

Research management – Getting ideas into the market

How can we provide a stable bridge between Fraunhofer research and innovative products for industry and society?


News / 5.8.2016

Visiting the »Sustainability Capital«

Dr. Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of the Economy, at the Sustainability Center Freiburg.


News / 16.3.2016

INSIGHT: Meeting increasing demands at millimeter-wave frequencies

European research project optimized performances in 5G communication systems.


News / 7.3.2015

»Building Bridges« between ideas and products

In our new annual report we present how we bridge the »valley of death« of semiconductor research.


News / 28.1.2016

Brilliant hard drive quality – with magnetic field sensors made of diamond

Checking hard drives with diamond tips: Our animation shows how this works


News / 22.12.2015

Flashback on research – our highlights 2015

Fraunhofer IAF is looking back upon a year full of path-breaking developments and innovative research approaches of our scientists. With a spot on our research highlights, we report on how diamond can be grown synthetically, mobile communication can get even more efficient and how laser light can make our daily lives safer.


Pressemiteilung / 9.12.2015

Award winning gallium nitride: Karl Heinz Beckurts Award

Prof. Dr. Oliver Ambacher, head of Fraunhoer IAF, was awarded the Karl Heinz Beckurts-Prize on December 8th in Berlin. With this award, the Karl Heinz Beckurts Foundation acknowledged his contribution to the development of highly efficient power amplifiers based on the semiconductor gallium nitride for modern mobile communication base stations. Every year since 1989, the Karl Heinz Beckurts Foundation honors scientific and technical achievements, bringing significant impulses for the industrial innovation in Germany.


News / 19.11.2015

Technologies for Sustainability – Inspiring conference at the Green City Freiburg

»A whole lot of challenges, but no reason to despair.« That was the conclusion of more than 150 participants who took part in the first major conference of the Sustainability Center Freiburg from October 19 to 20. The Sustainability Summit offered them two days packed with controversial lectures, an exciting exhibition and a lot of space for in-depth discussions.



News / 12.11.2015

Quantum physics brought to application: impacting the research landscape with laser technologies

Quantum cascade lasers open up optimized procedures for infrared spectroscopy. They are, amongst others, able to detect hazardous substances and to remarkably improve medical analysis. Lorenz Butschek, a PhD student at Fraunhofer IAF in Freiburg, sees great potential in the field of laser technology. He describes in our interview, how his work combines highly complex quantum physics with application-oriented research.


News / 13.10.2015

Future technology for emergency situations: Sensor system convinces in practical tests

After an explosion occurred, arriving security forces have to secure the place of action immediately. It is of key importance, to determine whether there are any further explosive devices present. Then, the criminological investigation begins. For this purpose, Fraunhofer IAF has developed a sensor technology which supports and protects security forces during their operation: A laser-based technology allows fast and reliable detection of explosives from a safe distance. In a realistic field test in Sweden, the project team successfully demonstrated the capacity of the new system.


News / 31.8.2015

Graphene super capacitors for the storage of electric energy

Being able to save large amounts of electric energy and making them available for mobile access are important prerequisites for the further development of renewable energies. Within the framework of the »Sustainability Center«, Fraunhofer IAF, together with partners from the University of Freiburg, is working on the development of super capacitors based on graphene. Such devices promise many advantages for application in mobile electrical power supply systems, for instance in electric cars.


News / 27.8.2015

»The Aesthetics of Technology«: Award for science photography

Freiburg based photographer Achim Käflein was awarded with the »german prize for science photography« for one of his photo series – a photo of Fraunhofer IAF’s millimeter-wave camera was part of this series. In his series called »The Aesthetics of Technology«, Käflein depicts machines and devices for analyses and measurement methods in unusual display detail with accentuated lighting. The prize is awarded by the magazine »bild der wissenschaft« and the »Press agency Brendel«.


How the Scottish manage research: internship at Fraunhofer CAP

The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics CAP in Glasgow and Fraunhofer IAF form a close partnership – not only in scientific fields: in the scope of her dual studies of management in industry, IAF-employee Christina Lehmann gained insights into the administration processes at the Scottish partner institute. In our interview, she reports on her experiences between studies, professional work life and Scottish hospitality during her two-month internship at Fraunhofer CAP in Glasgow.


Green energy with diamond-based power electronics

Electricity generated from renewable energy sources often needs to be transported across long distances – for example from off-shore wind power plants to end users in the foothills of the Alps. The power electronic components currently used, however meet their limits when transferring high voltages and cause considerable energy losses. Fraunhofer IAF is therefore researching on new electronic components based on diamond: With its extraordinary physical properties, the material could soon help to establish smart-grid technologies, reducing energy losses and allowing for intelligent and flexible electronic networks.


Motivation for new paths in science: Award for Dr. Vera Gramich

On July 17th, the university society of Ulm conferred its annual PhD awards during the 48th anniversary celebrations of the University of Ulm. Dr. Vera Gramich, scientist at Fraunhofer IAF, was awarded for her excellent scientific works. After specializing in the field of superconductors, the young physicist now dares to enter the new research field of semiconductor technologies at Fraunhofer IAF.


Joyful atmosphere at Fraunhofer IAF’s summer party

Accompanied by best summer weather conditions, Fraunhofer IAF invited its employees and their families to a barbecue party on the institute’s grounds on Friday, July 17th. The cheerful celebration was sparked by a diverse program and lasted until the late evening hours – refreshments and musical entertainment were guaranteed .


Diamond for the production of valuable resources

Producing valuable fuels and chemicals from carbon dioxide and sunlight – what only nature could accomplish so far, is now expected to become possible with the help of diamond materials. That way, fuels for cars or for the generation of energy could be produced for example. To achieve that, Fraunhofer IAF is working together with five other universities and research institutes in the new research project DIACAT.


Mini laser for real-time quality control

Good quality and precision are essential – a dictum that also applies to products from the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. While the quality of chemical products is often still being monitored manually during the production process, a laser-based system could take over this task in future, allowing for a continuous monitoring in real time.


Meeting-Point for the laser community: LASER World of Photonics 2015

At the leading trade fair for laser technologies, the »LASER World of Photonics«, held from June 22nd – 25th, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF presented its latest developments of semiconductor laser chips and modules. New generations of Quantum Cascade Lasers and Disk Lasers, as well as their use in various daily-life applications were presented to a large audience at the Fraunhofer exhibition booth.


Reaching the goal as a team: Fraunhofer IAF at the Freiburg Business Run

Fraunhofer IAF not only pursues its research with a lot of energy and zest – the institute also presents itself as a sporty and fit entity: on June 11th, 32 IAF staff members participated in the Freiburg Business Run. Together with 5500 running enthusiasts from 125 companies from Freiburg and surrounding areas, they covered a distance of 6 km, to commonly enjoy the finishing line in the Black Forest stadium of SC Freiburg.


Cooperation project: sensors for industry 4.0

In future, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) Loerrach will cooperate to develop inexpensive sensor systems for industry 4.0 applications. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft will fund the project with an overall budget of 1.2 million Euros throughout the upcoming years. During his visit at Fraunhofer IAF in Freiburg, Baden-Wuertemberg’s Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr. Nils Schmid, welcomed the cooperation of the two institutions.


Jewelry made from synthetic diamond

Synthetic diamond is almost exclusively being used in industrial applications. So far, »man-made diamonds« could not be produced in quantities high enough to establish them as gemstones. Researchers have now developed the production process of synthetic diamond to such a mature stage, that it is possible to grow 600 diamonds at one time in a plasma reactor. This globally unique reactor type operated at the Fraunhofer IAF facilitates the production of single crystalline diamond with an extremely high level of purity.


»Science in Europe is understood as something vivid. Researchers here never give up.«

Diamonds are multi-talented: they are not only popular as jewelry crystals, but also offer a great potential for future communication devices. Taro Yoshikawa, a PhD student from Yokohama in Japan, took the chance to contribute to the diamond research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in order to become part of the »fast research cycle in Germany«.


Improved detection of radio waves from space

Geodesy is the scientific discipline that deals with the measurement of the Earth. One of the measurement techniques it employs uses radio waves from far-distant objects in space to determine factors such as the movement of tectonic plates. A high frequency amplifier promises to boost the performance of the radio telescopes this method requires.


Improved technology for the detection of hazardous substances

As part of the »CHEQUERS« project, which is being funded by the European Commission, Fraunhofer IAF is doing research along with its partners from Great Britain, Poland, and Germany to develop improved technology for the stand-off detection of explosive or hazardous materials using tunable quantum cascade lasers. The goal of the project is a portable device which task forces can use to identify hazardous materials on location, for example to prevent terrorist attacks or investigate accidents in industrial facilities.


»Expertise and advanced technology levels make research in Germany so attractive.«

Fraunhofer IAF offers graduates of different subjects the opportunity to pursue a scientific career within the scope of a PhD project. Also many young scientists from abroad participate in the research at Fraunhofer IAF – but which aspects motivate them and who are the persons and their stories behind it? Belén Amado-Rey, a PhD student from Cáceres in Spain, is enthusiastic about the high level of the research landscape in Germany: »In Spain barely anyone works at those high frequencies. With its expertise and advanced technologies, Fraunhofer IAF offers great opportunities.«


Grants for top female researchers

Fraunhofer TALENTA is a program for women in research, focused on the STEM subjects such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science and physics. It offers female talents support at every step in their Fraunhofer career throughout two years, as well as a comprehensive accompanying program with a broad scope for the personal career development and the opportunity to network with other women at Fraunhofer. Fraunhofer IAF currently supports three PhD students through the TALENTA program.


Dialog – shining light on Fraunhofer IAF

In the interview, Dr. Martin Walther, head of the business unit »Photodetectors« and Prof. Joachim Wagner, who runs the business unit »Semiconductor Lasers«, explain how the mixture of fundamental research and application-oriented cooperation with partners from industry creates innovations at Fraunhofer IAF. They provide insight into their personal experiences at the institute as well as into Fraunhofer IAF’s future hot topics.


Graphene – from a wonder material to the application in mobile communication

Its theoretical properties made graphene a »wonder material« overnight: stronger but lighter than steel, flexible, environmentally friendly and the world’s thinnest material. Measuring only a single atom layer, about a one hundred-thousandth the diameter of a human hair, it still retains a remarkable level of conductivity. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, these properties will be put to practice: as a nearly massless electrode for piezoelectric resonators, as used in bandpass filters of smartphones.


New developments and creative employees: Annual Report 2014/2015

»Spot on«: This year, the »International year of the light«, we want to put the spotlight in our Annual Report on the institute’s highlights. New results and developments – but also our employees behind the technologies without whom any kind of progress would be impossible. As introduction to our reports from the past year, Prof. Oliver Ambacher, head of the institute, explains what characterizes Fraunhofer IAF: »Excellence and scientific creativity«.


New paths of the Infrared-technology: »42nd Freiburg Infrared Colloquium«

To join the »Freiburg Infrared Colloquium«, around 100 experts of the infrared-technology came together at the Fraunhofer IAF from March 3rd – 4th, 2015. With an embracing agenda, the workshop offered the participants from research and industry a platform for the discussion of the latest findings for the development of highly efficient infrared-sensors, detectors and lasers for applications in security and space, as well as industrial processes.


»Nobody here thinks within fixed borders – that’s what makes work interesting!« PhD student Thomas Gerrer reports on his work at Fraunhofer IAF

Physics, microsystems engineering or electrical engineering – Fraunhofer IAF offers graduates of different subjects the opportunity to pursue a scientific career within the scope of a PhD project. But what are the young scientists researching on? Which aspects motivate them and who are the persons behind it? Our PhD students present themselves in a staff-interview. For Thomas Gerrer, »it is the great variety of competencies and the thus resulting opportunities for multidisciplinary research that fascinates me about the work at Fraunhofer IAF«.


Less Heat – More Power: Novel pumping concept for semiconductor disk lasers boosts efficiency

We demonstrate a diode laser pumped semiconductor disk laser (SDL) at 2 μm wavelength of increased efficiency. By employing a novel pumping concept at a wavelength of 1470 nm, we optimize the power conversion efficiency of the 2 μm SDL. This is exemplarily shown for an SDL with an output power of over 20 W in continuous wave operation. This sets a new benchmark regarding efficiency and output power for these SDLs.


REACH: safe handling of lll-V compound semiconductors

Power electronics of the future cannot be imagined without lll-V semiconductors: Smartphones, LEDs or lasers benefit from the special physical properties of these materials. Under very rare conditions, however, these materials can also cause toxic effects. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF is therefore elaborating a data basis for the embracing risk assessment of lll-V semiconductors. Thus, potential risks can be avoided along the entire value chain.


Bell Labs research discovers that mobile networks using a mixture of radio sizes can deliver energy savings of up to 50 %

Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), has discovered that today’s ultra-broadband mobile networks can make significant energy savings and performance gains by deploying a mix of macro and small cell radio base stations. The discovery is the result of a research project – IntelliSpektrum – which brought together in collaboration, Bell Labs, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute and Intel Mobile Communications GmbH.

News 2014


Fraunhofer IAF at the Job-Start-Börse in Emmendingen

At this year’s Job-Start-Börse on October 24th in Emmendingen, students from secondary schools in Freiburg and surrounding towns learned about apprenticeships in the region. 80 businesses presented a total of 210 professions - among them Fraunhofer IAF offering information about apprenticeships for industrial mechanics and information technology specialists.


Sensor network tracks down illegal bomb-making

A network of different sensors is to detect illicit production of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Traces on doorknobs, in sewage or in the air will be detected by the sensors and the data will be fused in a command center. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF is developing an imaging laser technology which will allow a precise localization of the dangerous substances. Last week, the researchers demonstrated their sensor technology at a test site in the south of Sweden.


“We haven’t yet reached the limit of what we can do with diamonds.”

Diamonds are very popular among researchers and developers – they are suitable for a range of uses thanks to their special properties. Fraunhofer Microelectronics spoke to Nicola Heidrich, group manager of “Diamond Technology” at Fraunhofer IAF, about her work with diamonds, their possible uses, and the challenges involved.


Efficient gallium nitride voltage converters for energy systems of the future

With the help of the semiconductor gallium nitride, considerable energy savings in electronic systems can be achieved. Due to its physical properties, electronic components based on gallium nitride can be operated more efficiently, with higher capacities and lower cooling efforts, than conventional silicon devices. A new generation of voltage converters promises energy-saving, fast and reliably operating systems – even in high temperatures. With new, cost-efficient production technologies, the improved components could soon enter serial production.


A stepping stone for women into research: »Science Campus« in Freiburg

Winning female students of scientific subjects for a research career – this is the aim of the »Science Campus« in Freiburg. Freiburg’s five Fraunhofer Institutes and the University of Freiburg are offering interesting workshops and seminars around the topic perspectives and career options in science and research: Besides gaining insights into daily work life in research institutions, participants will have the chance to work on concrete research projects, as well as to attend coachings for strengthening personal and professional skills.


Making synthetic diamond crystals in a plasma reactor

Synthetic diamond crystals are of interest to many industrial sectors. Their unique properties make them a suitable material for numerous applications including lenses for high-energy laser optics, X-ray radiation detectors and ophthalmological scalpels. Fraunhofer scientists produce artificial diamonds in all shapes and sizes ranging from discs to three-dimensional shapes and even hollow spheres.


LED lamps: less energy, more light

LEDs are durable and save energy. Now researchers of Fraunhofer IAF have found a way to make LED lamps even more compact while supplying more light than commercially available models. The key to success: transistors made of the semiconductor material gallium nitride.

News 2013


Where research meets science: the »IMTEK Research Day«

On Monday, 9th of December, the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the University of Freiburg held its annual Research Day. At the »IMTEK Research Day«, participants have the chance to exchange information about the department’s research activities and their latest research findings. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF was represented by presentations on the fields of optoelectronics and compound semiconductor microsystems.


調 査 - Research in Japanese

Experiencing something completely different, diving into a foreign culture and learning a a foreign language – while at the same time advancing the own research project: a doctoral candidate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF had the chance to combine these exciting experiences during her research period in Japan. In order to develop a new layer system consisting of nano-crystalline diamond and lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) for active micro-optics, the scientist worked at the National Institute for Material Science in Tsukuba, Japan, for two months.


PhD projects at Fraunhofer IAF set new research impulses

Doctoral candidates at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics contribute to the further development of lll/V-semiconductor technologies. In the research fields of ultraviolet diodes and Power Electronics, among others, young scientists realized new devices based on efficient semiconductors. The dissertations have been published by the Fraunhofer publishing company.


Promising World Record: Wireless Data Transmission at 100 Gbit/s

In their record experiment, researchers transmitted 100 gigabits of data per second at a frequency of 237.5 GHz over a distance of 20 m in the laboratory. In previous field experiments they already achieved wireless transmission of 40 Gbit/s at 240 GHz and bridged a distance of one kilometer. For their latest world record, the scientists applied a photonic method to generate the radio signals at the transmitter.


Lasers offer an automated way to test drinking water

To keep drinking water clean, experts are constantly monitoring our supply to check it for contaminants. Now laser technology will give them a helping hand: a new system automatically analyzes water samples at the waterworks itself.


Cluster of Excellence »BrainLinks-BrainTools« at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF

The Cluster of Excellence »BrainLinks-BrainTools« of the University of Freiburg held its first annual workshop on the 19th and 20th of September at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF. Almost one year after the foundation of the interdisciplinary research initiative in the field of neurotechnology the 100 participants discussed their latest research results and future projects. Part of the workshop was a poster session with 40 posters on current research projects in the entrance hall of the institute.


New Laboratory Building: Fraunhofer IAF celebrates groundbreaking ceremony

The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF will be extended by a new energy efficient laboratory building. Fraunhofer president Prof. Dr. Reimund Neugebauer will perform the groundbreaking ceremony today in attendance of representatives of politics, economy and science. In the new building of about 1000 m2, scientists will study compact lasers and miniaturized sensors.


Gallium nitride voltage converters achieve efficiency level of 98 percent

In order to increase the efficiency of voltage converters and minimize heat losses, researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF develop transistors based on the semiconductor gallium nitride. The devices are characterized by low on-resistance and high switching speed. Voltage converters have recently achieved an efficiency level of 98 percent – this saves energy in electromobility and photovoltaics


New World Record in Wireless Data Transmission

Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology have achieved the wireless transmission of 40 Gbit/s at 240 GHz over a distance of one kilometer. Their most recent demonstration sets a new world record and ties in seamlessly with the capacity of optical fiber transmission. In the future, such radio links will be able to close gaps in providing broadband internet by supplementing the network in rural areas and places which are difficult to access.


Diamond revolutionizes optomechanics

Due to its physical properties diamond is a promising material for optomechanical applications. For the first time, researchers have managed to use polycristalline diamond to manufacture an optical circuit. The results impress with very high optical quality, as the relevant article in Nature Communications shows (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2710).


Continuous monitoring of UV exposure

UV lamps are used to cure coatings and adhesives in many industrial manufacturing processes. And special sensors are used to measure the intensity of the UV light applied to these surfaces. But because these sensors age too quickly, they can only be used to record intermittent measurements. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new generation of sensors capable of continuously monitoring UV intensity. These devices will be presented for the fi rst time at the Sensor + Test trade show in Nuremberg, from May 14 to 16 (Hall 12, Booth 537).


Compact mini lasers for real-time quality and process control

Food contaminations with noxious effects have become a well-known occurrence in our society. So far, contaminations can only be detected in complex laboratory tests. A new laser technology in the mid-infrared range will allow conducting these quality controls easily and during running production processes in future. Compact, low-priced and applicable for various spectroscopy applications - these are the criteria for the new laser source which is being developed by several Fraunhofer Institutes in a recently launched joint project.


Intelligent and efficient – data transport to anywhere, at any time

Mobile, flexible, and always available – these are the characteristics of today‘s networked society. Different technologies facilitate a rapid data transfer for the rising number of users of mobile communication. In 2011 alone, mobile data traffic increased by 65 % – and so did the mobile networks’ energy consumption. Fraunhofer IAF and HHI, in cooperation with partners from industry, are investigating how increasing requirements for both more powerful and more energy-efficient mobile systems can be fulfilled.


New semiconductor technology flies into space

When satellite Proba-V flies into space in the coming weeks in order to begin its earth observation, the first European device based on the semiconductor gallium nitride will be on board. Being more robust, more compact and lighter than traditional solutions, the new technology promises to significantly improve communication electronics in space. In the course of an intensive test series, the amplifier developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg has qualified itself for the journey into space.


Millimeter wave sensor helps helicopters to land safely in snow flurry

Millimeter wave sensors penetrate snow, dust and fog, even with a high spatial resolution. With the help of these sensors, helicopters will be able to land safely in bad weather conditions in future. This new technology is able to reliably measure heights and the distance to the ground, as well as the helicopter’s drift velocity.


Compact radar takes an inside view

The human eye cannot see through wood, paper, or plastic. But a compact radar with a modular design now makes it possible to see the invisible: The millimeter wave sensor penetrates non-transparent material. It transmits signals at frequencies between 75 and 110 GHz and can be applied in a broad range of areas, from flight safety and logistics to industrial sensor technology and medical technology. Fraunhofer researchers are presenting a prototype of the radar at this year‘s Hannover Messe, which is set to take place from April 8 to April 12. They will be located at Stand D18 in Hall 2.


Sensor Technology: Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diodes Measure Pollution

The detection of air or water pollution requires highly sensitive and fast sensors. Since many pollutants exhibit strong absorption lines in the ultra-violet (UV) spectral range spectroscopic optical sensing constitutes an ideal technique for the monitoring of air and water quality. Ultraviolet light emitting diodes (LED) are significantly smaller and more robust than the currently used mercury and deuterium lamps.


41st Freiburg Infrared Colloquium

On two consecutive days, scientists, engineers and users discussed the future of infrared technologies during the »41st Freiburg Infrared Colloquium« held at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF. From February 26th – 27th 2013, the international workshop on materials, physical characteristics, technologies and applications of infrared lasers and detectors offered a forum for exchange of scientific ideas and for the initiation of cooperation.


Infrared Community at Fraunhofer IAF

From February 26th–27th 2013, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solid State Physics IAF will host the international workshop on materials, physics, technology and applications of infrared detectors and infrared lasers. The 41st Freiburg infrared Colloquium offers a platform for scientists, engineers and users of infrared sensors to discuss recent progress in the field of infrared technology.

News 2012


Special Christmas lecture of Prof. Oliver Ambacher

The head of the institute, Prof. Oliver Ambacher, provided interesting facts about snowflakes to students and staff members in his special Christmas lecture, which he held on December 13th at the Department of Microsystems Engineering of the University of Freiburg and at Fraunhofer IAF on December 20th. More than 300 students and staff members were not only introduced to scientific aspects of the phenomenon of snow, but were also entertained with musical, poetic and video contributions.


New dissertations have been completed at Fraunhofer IAF

Ridge waveguide lasers, high-capacity laser diodes or novel applications of highly efficient diamond structures – the dissertations of young scientists at Fraunhofer IAF report on a wide range of highly future-relevant research results. Three doctoral candidates have recently published the outcomes of their research projects at Fraunhofer IAF.


Outstanding Young Scientists at Fraunhofer IAF

An award-winning fall – young researchers of Fraunhofer IAF have been awarded four Best Paper Awards in the past months. The research results of Fraunhofer IAF’s young researchers convinced the jury at the European Microwave Conference, the International Workshop on Nitride Semiconductors and the International Infrared Optoelectronics: Materials and Devices Conference.

Looking for the right trainee position

Over 1,100 students joined the Job-Start-Börse in Emmendingen on Thursday, October 25th and Friday, October 26th to look for career opportunities and potential employers. The Fraunhofer IAF presented the trainee positions industrial mechanic, IT specialist and office administrator.


Quantum Cascade Lasers Detect Hazardous Substances

In the future, Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) will allow easy and reliable detection of hazardous substances. Within the scope of the EU project MIRIFISENS, researchers from nine different countries are developing compact and efficient laser modules for sensors to be used in security applications. One of the applications will be to avoid contamination of the air in the cabin of aircrafts.


Scientific exchange at the IMTEK Research Day

This year’s research day organized by the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the University of Freiburg took place on Tuesday, October 16th. The scientists presented their research under the motto “science lives on discussion and interdisciplinary networking”.

Terahertz waves: small structures for high frequencies

Ultrafast data transmission, detection of concealed weapons, or diagnosis of diseases – the range of potential applications for terahertz waves is enormous. Around the world, science and industry are working on developing electronic circuits for this previously largely unused spectral range. Fraunhofer IAF has set a European record by attaining a frequency of 0.66 THz.

Fraunhofer IAF has a new partner institute in UK

Fraunhofer UK Research Limited, the latest foreign subsidiary of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, was founded only a few short weeks ago. On September 1, work will get underway in the first research centre. The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics in Glasgow is cooperating with the Fraunhofer IAF in Freiburg.


Gallium Nitride Semiconductor saves Energy within Electric Cars and Solar Plants

The application of the semiconductor Gallium Nitride within car electronics and solar plants can save energy significantly. The electronic devices are more efficient, smaller and need less cooling than the prevalent silicon devices. Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF have developed a Gallium Nitride based transistor which cuts the power dissipation in voltage converters in half.

The Fraunhofer IAF at the Future Security Conference

At this year’s Future Security 2012 the Fraunhofer IAF presented latest research results regarding security technology. This year, the conference of the Fraunhofer Group for Defense and Security took place in Bonn from September 4th–6th.