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Logo Leibniz IPHT

Photonics for Life

Technological Solutions for Health, Environment, Medicine and Safety

At the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena, scientists use light to find solutions to questions and urgent problems in the fields of health, environment, medicine and safety. Under the motto "Photonics for Life", they research light-based technologies that make our lives safer, healthier and cleaner. Especially in the field of optical health technologies, Leibniz IPHT, in cooperation with partners from research and industry, is specifically promoting translation: the transfer of research results into applicable solutions - from Ideas to Instruments.

Leader in Optical Health Technologies

In order to move from basic research to application, technologies in the fields of fiber optics, photonic detection and biophotonics interlock at Leibniz IPHT. Scientists combine highly sensitive and specific photonic detection methods with expertise in system technology, fiber technology, micro- and nanotechnology as well as quantum technology and artificial intelligence. Important processes in the innovation chain can be implemented at the institute itself, because Leibniz IPHT has an outstanding technology base. An ultra-modern infrastructure with a clean room and two fiber drawing towers allows, among other things, the production of microstructured glass fibers.

The Main Focus of Research at Leibniz-IPHT

  • Biophotonics: molecular spectroscopy and high-resolution and hyperspectral imaging as well as fiber-, chip- and nanoparticle-based analytics for clinical diagnostics, food and environmental safety, phytopathology and veterinary medicine, pharmacy and process control
  • Fibre optics: Research of fibre systems, active fibres and fibre laser light sources for multi-contrast imaging and fibre-optic bio- and chemosensors for life and environmental sciences and diagnostics.
  • Photonic detection: Sensor and detector systems of the highest sensitivity and precision for time-resolved as well as spatially and spectrally resolved detection of electromagnetic radiation (e.g. to measure the surface temperature on planets) up to single photon detection

Leibniz IPHT provides impetus in numerous regional, national and international networks and cooperates closely with the University of Jena and the University Hospital Jena. In the Leibniz Health Technologies Research Network and the InfectoGnostics Research Campus, the Institute promotes the implementation of innovative diagnostic procedures and is an internationally renowned player in the field of photonics in the life sciences.

Twenty-five Years of Experience

The institute was founded in 1992 and has been performing top, world-renowned research ever since. On January 1, 2014, Leibniz-IPHT became a member of the Leibniz Association, jointly supported by the Free State of Thuringia and the federal government. Leibniz IPHT earns more than half of its annual budget through the successful acquisition of third-party funds, including the European Union, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the federal government, and the Free State of Thuringia.


Due to its close connection to research and teaching, as well as its integration into effective networks, the institute has strong partners from science and industry at the regional, national, and international level.
Leibniz IPHT employs 370 people.

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