Optics and optics components are central to a number of engineering products. The trend to integrate as many diverse functions as possible in one perfectly coordinated system continues unabated. At the same time however, systems of this nature are required to be ever more compact and the individual components more efficient. The complexity of this optimization process becomes apparent when not only the technical function of individual parts but also the efficiency of their manufacture comes under scrutiny.

In the Optics business unit, we focus all of our expertise on the production and evaluation of complex optical components and systems. We have each stage of the production process covered throughout the entire supply chain – starting with the design of optical systems and culminating in final qualification.

Our offer

  • Tools and mold inserts alongside coating systems for replicating optics,
  • Process and material development for direct optics
  • Software for ultra-precision manufacture of complex geometries,
  • Automated assembly of optical systems and
  • Metrological characterization of the components produced using customized sensor and measuring

Focus on your sector

Using the interplay of different technological fields, we work on individual solutions for the specific requests of our customers. Our goal is to achieve continuous improvement of complex manufacturing processes or in some cases, enable them to be implemented on an industrial scale for the first time. By striking a balance between the demands of innovation, quality and cost, we make long-term and effective contribution to the success of our clients from different branches:

Mobility & Traffic

Mobility and traffic density present enormous challenges for the components in our chosen means of transportation such as headlights, sensors or displays. New optic designs and functionalities have the potential to provide a wide range of unique selling points for products in such saturated markets. The Fraunhofer IPT develops solutions for additional lenses for headlight modules made of glass or plastic – some of which have complex freeform surfaces and superimposed microstructures. Further examples of our applications include rain sensors, night-vision cameras and head-up displays.

Design & Ambient Lighting

As an important element in design, light increases wellbeing, captivates with its functionality and can make a major contribution to the essence of product branding. We work together with our customers to implement ideas for lighting in individual light concepts. Our LightGuide technology can be used to influence the distribution of light in vehicles and in rooms in virtually any conceivable way. We accompany our clients every step of the way towards meeting their individual design requirements, starting from the calculation of microstructures, through the manufacture of a die or roller master to the provision of production processes on a turnkey basis.

Sensor Systems & Opto-electronics

We develop and construct fiber-based components and system solutions ranging from individualized beam shaping concepts through complex, multi-axial equipment for automated coupling systems to the assembly of photo-detectors for the most demanding tasks in sensor technology. The production processes required for this, are developed and qualified by us initially within the framework of feasibility studies and ultimately, in the implementation of efficient overall systems.

Laser Systems & Applications

In the field of laser technology, in which the levels of power density are increasing steadily, beam guidance systems frequently cause bottlenecks. The Fraunhofer IPT is therefore developing optics and lens systems made of new materials with improved geometries and corresponding manufacturing processes. The high refraction indices and temperature resistance make diamond optics eminently suitable for the manufacture of more compact and more efficient laser systems. We also develop the equipment required for optics alignment: Components can be angled with high levels of precision and joined automatically using either passive or active alignment strategies.

Safety & Security

Optical components also contribute to engineering progress in socially sensitive areas. The Fraunhofer IPT has acquired expertise in efficient manufacturing processes for infrared transmissive glass types, known as chalkogenides. These types of glass are typically used in security cameras and assistance systems in vehicles but they are also used in thermal imaging applications in process, building and environmental engineer-ing. Glass molding techniques enable challenging materials of this nature to be manufactured efficiently and in large quantities without any need for finishing work.

Medical Technology & Optical Aids

Many people have first-hand experience of the benefits of high-performance optics: Tomographic imaging in operations relies on the optical fibers in endoscopes and micro-optics are used to adjust both the field and the angle of vision. The Fraunhofer IPT also develops production techniques and tools for optical aids ranging from multi-focal ophthalmic lenses through contact lenses to intra-ocular lenses. Individual optics of outstanding quality can thus be produced swiftly and directly or via a secondary mold made of glass or plastic.