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 micro and nanotechnology work group has its focus on innovative micro and nanotechnological methods and processes in order to implement highly-integrated, multilayered structural and functional elements for the sensor concepts studied in the research department and to investigate methods for the production of plasmonic nanomaterials for biophotonic applications, as well as micro and nanooptical components. Technologically speaking, these activities are based on an intricate combination of thin-film technology for metallic and dielectric materials, microsystem technology, and nanolithography.
The group possesses great technological expertise in the coating and structuring of complex structures at the micro and nanoscale level. The research activities range from the development of ultrathin single-photon detectors to cantilever-design multi-pixel arrays (bolometer arrays) of radiation sensors for the IR and THz spectral range, as well as miniaturized optical magnetometers and ultrasensitive superconducting quantum detectors for magnetic field measurement. On the basis of nanolithographic top-down methods, research is performed on solid-state quantum bits, extremely miniaturized waveguide components (photonic crystals, planar waveguides), metallic nanostructures and metamaterials for ultrasensitive molecular spectroscopy (SERS, SEIRA), and even custom developments for partners in research and industry.