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 magnetometry research group is dedicated to the study of quantum and quantum optical phenomena for the construction of magnetic field sensors of the highest sensitivity for the detection of magnetic parameters and other physical parameters that can be transformed to magnetic fields. The focus of the research group is the development of integrated and miniaturized optically pumped magnetometers (OPM) and the optimization of superconducting quantum interference detectors (SQUID) with regard to different applications.
For the production of sensors with a high degree of integration, both innovative thin-film and microsystem techniques are applied in close cooperation with the micro and nanotechnologies workgroup of the quantum detection research department. The integration of a large number of sensors into measuring instruments of the highest sensitivity requires that the group also focus on specifically tailored packaging technologies, as well as system technologies including the development of electronics and software for reading the sensor signals. Innovative data processing and 3D inversion techniques are at the end of the development chain and comprise the basis of novel imaging techniques for biomedical and geophysical applications. With this task spectrum, the research group closely follows the guiding principles of the institute "from ideas to instruments".
The high level of sensor development is reflected in the high application orientation of the research group with regard to the life and environmental sciences. Tailored and highly-integrated measuring systems for a wide range of measurement tasks and conditions are currently being developed. Applications include methods in health technologies such as the detection of biomagnetic signals in magnetocardiography and encephalography and geoscientific procedures such as the exploration of new deposits of raw materials or archaeological exploration. In almost all cases, new scientific instruments are being developed for the most sensitive detection of physical parameters.
Due to its highly application-oriented research activities, the research group is closely linked on a regional and global level to partners in a network of universities and research institutes, state offices, and medium-sized and large industrial partners.