Microsystem and Nanotechnology

The work group Microsystem and Nanotechnology focuses on the development of innovative micro- and nanotechnological methods and processes for the realization of highly integrated multilayer structural and functional elements for different sensor concepts, for the research of methods for the production of plasmonic nanomaterials for biophotonic applications as well as micro- and nanooptical components. The group is responsible for the preparation and supply of microfluidic chip components based on glass (borofloat) and/or silicon or quartz glass. If the dimensions of materials and structures reach a few thousand atoms, the materials exhibit completely new physical properties. These, in turn, can be used to realize novel sensors with unmatched sensitivities. The conversion of the physical specifications into nanoscopic sensor concepts is one of the key priorities of the group, which cooperates closely with IPHT internal and external research groups. Technologically, these activities are based on a closely linked combination of thin-film technology for metallic and dielectric materials, microsystems technology and nanolithography. The group's expertise lies primarily in the structuring of complex micro- and nanoscale structures at wafer level, from prototypes to small series.

Research Topics

  • Top-down nanostructuring at wafer level 
  • Atomic layer deposition of oxides, nitrides and ultrathin layer stacks
  • Metallic Nanostructures and Optical Metamaterials for Ultra-Sensitive Molecular Spectroscopy 
  • Metasurfaces on end faces of optical fibers
  • MEMS bolometer technologies for passive THz sensors
  • Multilayer technologies for superconducting detectors
  • Ultra-thin single photon detectors based on ALD - NbN
  • Realization of microfabricated macroscopic quantum objects (QuBit)
  • Optical gratings, diffractive elements, photonic crystals, planar waveguides
  • Technology and Process Development for Microfluidic Devices
  • DEP Electrodes for Microfluidic Raman Lab-on-a-Chip Systems   

The group is constantly researching new innovative micro- and nanotechnological methods and processes for the realization of highly integrated multilayer structural and functional elements for various sensor concepts. The work is mostly carried out specifically and in close coordination with other groups and departments in the Leibniz IPHT.

Areas of application


The focus of the fields of application lies above all in the field of optical sensor technology. A challenge here lies in the production of nanoscopic structures, which can be homogeneously produced with a high integration density on very large surfaces.

  • Surface-reinforced molecular spectroscopy: Chip-based plasmon substrates for SERS and SEIRA
  • Raman spectroscopy: energy-resolving single photon detection in the visible spectral range
  • Security and Astronomy: THz Detection and Imaging 
  • Magnetic Field Detection: Superconducting Quantum Detectors and Flux Quantum Electronics
  • Basic research: Solid state quantum bits
  • Microfluidic components: drop generator, mixer, cuvettes, sorter, flow sensors
  • Spectroscopic system developments: Diffractive Optical Elements (DOE) and Imaging Diffraction Gratings 
  • Microscopy: Nanoscale Calibration Objects
  • Customer-specific developments for research and industry partners

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