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Research Department Quantum Detection

Scientific profile

The research department quantum detection deals with the development of detectors and measuring systems for detection at the quantum limit. The core task is the research and application of uncooled and cooled sensors for the detection of electromagnetic radiation in the long-wave THz range and infrared range, combined with the development of technological processes for the reproducible production of such sensors. Detector development and manufacturing are based on highly-developed micro and nanotechnologies. The detectors are used to build novel measuring systems which allow spatially and temporally resolved monitoring.

The work in this field is in line with IPHT’s basic understanding of carrying out research from the idea to the instrument. The pursuit of instruments with maximum sensitivity and the exploration of novel sensor classes are primarily motivated by photonic applications in the areas of the life and environmental sciences, health, and security.

Research topics

  •  THz imaging systems and spectrometers
  • Quantum-limited photonic detectors
  • Uncooled thermal IR and THz sensor systems
  • Micro and nanotechnology for photonic instrumentation

As a result of the work done by the quantum detection research department, a wide range of applications is being developed. The expertise of the department ranges from the production of highly-integrated circuits and sensors of different materials to the development and manufacturing of complex measuring systems.

Addressed fields of application

  • Superconducting radiation detectors based on bolometers for radio astronomy and security technology
  • Thermoelectric sensor systems for application in environment, health, medicine, and space travel
  • Planar micro and nanooptics for biophotonic spectroscopy



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