Photonics is a strongly growing sector of the economy and a major research area in Europe. In Thuringia and in particular in Jena, the scientific and industrial location is shaped by universities, research institutes and companies in the field of optics and photonics. While the number of young, well-trained female graduates is high, women who hold a leading position in academia and high-tech industry are still underrepresented.
In the fiber optics research focus fundamental studies are performed on the propagation characteristics and the efficient and flexible control of fiber-guided light as well as on fiber modules and fiber systems for a wide application range. This research focus combines the scientific competence of the modeling, characterization, and application of fiber-optic components and systems with the material science and technological competence of the manufacture of special optical fibers in a wide parameter range. On an international level, the Institute is particularly strong by maintaining a closed chain of production – from material preparation to the development of fiber preforms as well as to the manufacture, functionalizing, and integration of fibers, and to fiber system application.
Recent developments in this respect include smaller and smaller structures into the nanometer range, in particular more complex structuring in the core and cladding area of optical fibers, as well as to the use of unconventional materials and material combinations.
Important applications include active fibers and fiber laser sources for multi-contrast imaging as well as biological and chemical sensor technology for fiber-optical solutions in the life and environmental sciences and medical diagnostics. Material processing with novel, efficient light sources, the implementation and study of fiber grating structures, and the fiber-optical measurement and sensor technology with high resolution and sensitivity also play a large role.