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.
The scientific focus of the integrated thermoelectric and micromechanical technologies work group lies in the research and development of photonic sensors based on the thermoelectric conversion principle. Research in solid-state physics and materials science, as well as the advancement of highly-effective thermoelectric materials serves as the basis.
The sensors are generally designed for uncooled operation at room temperature. However, applications at higher and lower temperatures are also covered. This results in a particular compactness which is essential for many fields of application. The application range extends from visible light to the infrared (IR) and the upper THz range with a focus on the IR.
Typical sensors exhibit a high linearity across five orders of magnitude. This is particularly relevant for compact spectrometers which possess great potential in life science applications and are used in the environmental, health, and medical fields with particular emphasis on medical technology. In addition, these sensors are predestined for use in space applications which is reflected in the participation in various space projects:
Our aim is to create complete, highly-sensitive measuring devices for high-end applications based on our own sensors. This includes the research and development of sensor components suitable for devices such as, for example, compact spectrometers and the associated system technologies (AVT, signal amplification, etc.).