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Planar Optronic Systems

 

The CRC (Collaborative Research Centre) “Planar Optronic Systems”, funded for four years by the German Research Foundation with a budget of 9.8 million Euros, focusses on the development of wholly new types of printable, flexible, polymer-based micro-optical and integrated optical components and networks. Key technologies will be highly-parallel mass-fabrication approaches, using printing, embossing and lamination techniques.

Joint coordinators of this new CRC are the Universities of Hannover and Freiburg, with participation from groups in Braunschweig and Clausthal. Prof. Hans Zappe, Professor of Micro-optics in the Department of Microsystems Engineering, is co-manager of this extended research effort, whose formal leadership is with the Hannover Centre for Production Technology at the University of Hannover.

Using the latest technologies in micro- and nano-optics, these sensors will measure parameters such as pressure, temperature, strain, chemical concentrations or the presence of biological compounds. Fabricated in large areas using novel polymers and advanced printing techniques, these sensor foils are purely optical, using the properties of light to measure physical, chemical or biological quantities.

These polymer sensor membranes will have a large spectrum of applications: incorporated into textiles, they can be used for medical diagnostics; applied to buildings, they can perform structural health monitoring; attached to a wing or a rotor, they can determine the conditions on an aerodynamic surface.

In the Department of Microsystems Engineering, five Professors and their groups are participating in “Planar Optronic Systems”. The focus in Freiburg will be on the development of novel polymers, new micro-fabrication and printing techniques and advanced micro-optical sensor devices.

The following five laboratories of the Department of Microsystems Engineering are contributing to the project:
 

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