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Research Projects

Current EU Projects


ACTPHAST - Access Center for Photonics Innovation Solutions and Technology Support

ACTPHAST is a unique "one-stop-shop" European access centre for photonics innovation solutions and technology support (Access CenTre for PHotonics innovAtion Solutions and Technology support). ACTPHAST supports and accelerates the innovation capacity of European SMEs by providing them with direct access to the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities of Europe's leading photonics research centres, enabling companies to exploit the tremendous commercial potential of applied photonics.
Coordinator: Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium

Project movie


BiophotonicsPlus: "Photonic appliances for life sciences and health”

BiophotonicsPlus is a transnational call for research and development project proposals on ‘photonic appliances for life sciences and health’, primarily aiming at the stimulation and support of innovative R&D projects which will translate existing biophotonic technologies and methods into appliances and put them into clinical, medical or industrial practice.

Projects funded via BiophotonicsPlus with IPHT being either coordinator or partner:

High-resolution Microscopy for Living Cell Diagnostics: In the project Fast Life Cell Structured Illumination Microscopy (FastFibreSIM), a transnational consortium (Germany, UK) aims to improve the imaging speed of the SIM microscopy significantly to allow live cell imaging. This new microscope will enable life cell imaging of fast processes under physiological conditions. The project is running under the FP7 ERANET BiophotonicsPlus on "Photonic appliances for life sciences and health".
Optical needle sensors for therapy monitoring of inflammatory skin diseases to prevent recidives (PhotoSkin)
The PhotoSkin sensor will provide an entirely new access to clinically relevant information based on the three-dimensional lipid structure within psoriatic skin. Coordinated by IPHT, the project combines a range of transnational complementary competences and experiences in innovative high-tech companies (Z-light Ltd/Latvia, Elfi-Tech Ltd/Israel and TOPTICA Photonics AG/Germany), and a research-intensive hospital (Charité, Germany).
Real-time multispectral flourescence spectroscopy using energy resolved single-photon detector arrays (Real-MFM)
The radical approach proposed here is to use a photon detector which discriminates single photons in terms of both time and energy. This technique demands performance in detection which closely approaches fundamental physical limits. 


CanDo: Chip-sized Analysis Laboratory Used in the Early Detection of Cancer

The Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) researches a miniature laboratory used in the early detection of pancreatic cancer together with nine European partners as part of the EU project CanDo, among them three companies (Bayer, Imec and Gilupi) as well as seven research organisations and universities.
Coordinator: University of Valencia, Spain

 Cost Action Raman4Clinics

Raman4Clinics pools European expertise to step forward in the field of novel, label-free and rapid technologies based on a wide variety of Raman spectroscopies for the clinical diagnostics of body fluids, bacteria, cells and tissues. International interdisciplinary networking opportunities are offered between scientists within biophotonics, chemometricians and physicians/clinicians. Currently, the network has more than 150 members out of 26 countries.
Coordinator: IPHT, Germany


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network: FIbre NErve Systems for Sensing (FINESSE)

The objective behind FINESSE (FIbre NErvous Sensing SystEms) is to mimic the nervous system of living bodies by turning man-made and natural structures into objects that are sensitive to external stimuli owing to advanced distributed fibre-optic sensor technology, with the objective to either give early warning in case of possible danger or occurrence of damage, or to optimise the operation of the structure to allow for a sustainable use of natural resources and assets. 26 European universities, research centers and industrial partners have teamed up to set up this Innovative Training Network, with the common objective of educating and training 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the development of a set of disruptive new optical ‘artificial nervous systems’ and to boost the industrial uptake of these sensors by technology transfer from academic research to the European optical fibre sensor industry.
Coordinator: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL


The EU-project HemoSpec develops an innovative photonic device for early, fast and reliable medical diagnosis of sepsis using only a minimal amount of a patient’s blood. The project involves two hospitals, the University Hospital in Athens and Germany’s Centre for Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), as well as four companies: France’s Horiba Scientific; biomedical software company, Bmd (Portugal); ViroGates, an international Biotech company (Denmark); and biomedical instrument manufacturer, Data Med (Italy). HemoSpec combines three complementary biophotonic technologies into one device: automated microfluidic sample handling with integrated holographic blood count; simultaneous multiplex fluorescence biomarker sensing; and detailed Raman spectroscopic leukocyte characterisation.
Coordinator: IPHT Jena, Germany

Project movie

 LaserLab Europe

LaserLab Europe - The Integrated Initiative of European Laser Research Infrastructures

Under Horizon2020, Laserlab-Europe has entered a new phase of its successful cooperation: the Consortium now brings together 33 leading organisations in laser-based inter-disciplinary research from 16 countries. Together with associate partners, Laserlab covers the majority of European member states. 22 facilities offer access to their labs for research teams from Europe and beyond.



Chemotherapy is the standard care for the treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients, however most of non-small cell lung cancer tumours are not sensitive to this treatment. As an alternative to chemoterapy, target therapy with gefitinib (epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor) has been used in clinical practice in patients with tumours harbouring mutations in EGFR gene, improving their treatment effectiveness. The LungCARD project has developed a lab-on-a-chip device for the detection of EGFR mutations on circulating tumor cells from Non-Small Cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients via gold-nanoparticle (AuNPs) based detection.

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MIB - Multi-modal, endoscopic biophotonic Imaging of bladder cancer for point-of-care diagnosis

Early Detection of Bladder Cancer: From 2016 - 2020, IPHT researches a novel endoscope for the quick diagnosis of bladder cancer as part of the 6-million-EU project MIB. Medical doctors will be able to detect whether and how deep cancer tissue has penetrated the inner wall of the bladder during a routine check-up without having to take a sample. The goal is to improve the treatment of patients and relieve the strain on the health care system.
Coordinator: Technical University of Denmark


The rising life expectancy of EU citizens is creating a dramatic increase in age-related degenerative diseases and associated healthcare costs. The MOON Project (Multi-modal Optical Diagnostics for Ocular and Neurodegenerative Disease) meets this societal challenge by applying photonics to diagnose age-related diseases of the eye and central nervous system. Consistent with the Photonics KET 2016 Work Program, MOON will design and build a multiband, multimodal and functional imaging platform combining label-free molecularly sensitive Raman spectroscopy with high speed and high-resolution Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), for in-depth diagnostics of ocular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Coordinator: Technical University of Vienna

 Cost Action PerspectH2O

COST Action PerspectH2O

PERSPECT-H2O is a 4-years COST Action integrating leading European groups and national research centers of more than 22 countries, focusing on a central theme of contemporary research in homogeneous photocatalysis and integration of supramolecular photocatalysts towards the construction of functional materials.
Coordinator: IPHT, Germany


Photonics4Life - Network of Excellence for Biophotonics

As a Network of Excellence, Photonics4Life is composed of partners standing on the forefront of Biophotonics research and covering together the broadness of fields. The partners work towards a durable integration, provide a critical mass that will act as a nucleus for integrated fundamental and applied Biophotonics research across Europe and reach out to the international scene.
Coordinator: IPHT , Germany


Dr. Stephen Warren-Smith from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), Adelaide/Australia is researching for two years at the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT). The Marie Skłodowska-Curie action program is supporting his research stay. The research of Dr. Warren-Smith focuses on the development of tiny fiber sensors for biomedical applications. These sensors will be adjusted to the requirements of the measurement of specific biological processes by improving the fiber design as well as the manufacturing operations. That way, innovative optical tools will be provided for life science as well as medical diagnostics.
Coordinator: IPHT, Germany

 RA Detect

RA Detect: One Platform- Multiple biomarker detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis

In this EU-Indian project we develop an on-site detection diagnostic system that identifies multiple markers of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex, chronic autoimmune disorder causing chronic disability worldwide and prevalent in the ageing population.

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SMARTER-SI: Smarter Access to Manufacturing for Systems Integration

SMARTER-SI is an Innovation Action that receives funding from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement No. 644596, and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). In order to provide access to manufacturing capabilities for SMEs, several European Research and Technology organisations (RTOs) joined efforts, among them IPHT.

The core of the initiative is the networks of competence centres, usually research technology organisations (RTOs) or technology transfer-oriented university institutes who cluster a wide spectrum of technical and application knowledge to support innovation. Inspired by the Strategic Research Agenda of EPoSS, SMARTER-SI aims to develop an RTO Community Foundry Model (CFM) that will accelerate a wider deployment of SSI with greater access to design, manufacturing capabilities for prototyping, early validation and first production for SMEs to exploit in niche markets.

Project video


TRACE - Tracking and Assessing the Risk from Antibiotic Resistant Genes using Chip Technology in Surface Water Ecosystems

Given the serious public health threat posed by antimicrobial resistance, it is important to investigate the potential role of surface water in amplifying the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance and to assess the potential associated risk to human health. Research into the occurrence, fate, effect, and risk associated with the presence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in such environments and the impact on human health is urgently needed for informed policy decisions.
TRACE will develop detection technologies that allow for a simpler on-site detection of antibiotic resistance, thereby enabling a much higher throughput and faster result-to-user turnaround. TRACE is a water research project funded by the first joint call of the Water Joint Programming Initiative (JPI).

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WaterChip  - DNA Biochip for on-site water pathogen detection including viablility and antibiotic resistance testing

Globally, nearly 6,000 children die each day due to water-related illnesses. The WaterChip  consortium combines academic and industry partners with expertise in molecular biology (ILS Ahmedabad, India), bioanalytical services (Food GmbH, Germany), pathogen detection technology development (IPHT, Germany) and on-site detection technology (ABC Genomics, India), in order to realize a great innovative solution: Rapid (in less than 1-hr) detection platforms covering waterborne pathogens, their indicators, and associated sources of antibiotic resistance bacteria on a single chip.

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WISC - Window Integrated Solar Collector

New INDIGO Partnership Programme on Energy Research- New INDIGO Initiative for the Development and Integration of India and European research. Today’s trend of increasing window areas especially in public and office buildings results in the problem of excess heat collection inside (greenhouse effect), which leads to higher energy consumption in air conditioning and thus for higher costs. In the EU-Indian project WISC we propose a novel principle of separating the heat (IR part) from the visible light and use it for energy generation, without scarifying parts of the window areas or otherwise reduce the visible illumination. This groundbreaking idea will be realized by a functionalized window including plasmonic nanoparticles, a waveguide arrangement, and thermoelectric conversion.

Finished Projects


As part of the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska Curie research fellowship program, Dr. Michael Vetter is researching a new method of manufacturing crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells on glass at IPHT for the next two years.

Coordinator: IPHT Jena, Germany

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E-SQUID (Development of SQUID-based multiplexers for lage Infrared-to-X-ray imaging detector arrays in astronomical research from space)

Recently, research in astrophysics has yielded amazing new insight in the origin, evolution and structure of the Universe, and fundamental processes governing this highly dynamical system.

Koordinator: HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO, Finland


FIBLYS - Building an Analyzing Focused Ion Beam for Nanotechnology
The project FIBLYS aims at developing an innovative nanostructuring, nanomanipulation and nanoanalysis instrument: a hybrid scanning probe (SPM) and dual beam focussed ion beam (FIB) instrument (including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) capabilities).

Coordinator: IPHT Germany


HIGH EF - Large grained, low stress multi-crystalline silicon thin film solar cells on glass
HIGH-EF will provide the silicon thin film photovoltaic (PV) industry with a unique process allowing for high solar cell efficiencies (potential for >10%) by large, low defective grains and low stress levels in the material at competitive production costs.

Coordinator: IPHT Germany


Nano3T - Biofunctionalized metal and magnetic nanoparticles for targeted tumour therapy
The cause of diseases is often unknown, but their origin can frequently be found at the biomolecular and cellular level situated on nm-scale. Early diagnostics combined with early intervention on that nanoscale is one of the holy grail of modern medicine.

Coordinator: Interuniversity Micro-electronics Centrum (IMEC), Leuven, Belgium


NanoPV - Nanomaterials and nanotechnology for advanced photovoltaics
The NanoPV project aims at making a breakthrough step-change in photovoltaics by the removal of a set of bottlenecks which have been identified to block the application of nanostructures for high-efficiency, low-cost solar cells.

Coordinator: STIFTELSEN SINTEF, Trontheim, Norway


RODSOL - All-inorganic nano-rod based thin-film solarcells
Thin film solar cells, based on non-toxic, abundant and air-stable silicon (Si) will probably, based on forecasts, dominate the photovoltaic market in the future and thus replace bulk Si from its leading position.

Coordinator: IPHT, Germany


S-Pulse - Shrink-Path of Ultra-Low Power Superconducting Electronics
The proposed Support Action S-PULSE aims to prepare Superconducting Electronics (SE) for the technology generation beyond the CMOS scaling limits ("beyond CMOS").

Coordinator: IPHT, Germany


SINAPS - Semiconducting Nanowire Platform for Autonomous Sensors
The aim of the SiNAPS project is to develop standalone “dust”-sized chemical sensing platforms that harvest energy from ambient electromagnetic radiation (light) and will enable miniaturisation below the current mm3 barrier.



SOLID - Solid State Systems for Quantum Information Processing
The SOLID concept is to develop small solid-state hybrid systems capable of performing elementary processing and communication of quantum information. This involves design, fabrication and investigation of combinations of qubits, oscillators, cavities, and transmission lines, creating hybrid devices interfacing different types of qubits for quantum data storage, qubit interconversion, and communication.


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