Development of fiber optic sensor technology

In industrial manufacturing, especially in automotive, microsystems and medical technology, there is an increasing trend towards filigree and complex structures. One example is injection holes for injection nozzles from 150 μm and smaller, with shape tolerances in the sub-micrometer range. Sensitive microcomponents are also used in microsystems technology, which have to be mounted in precise positions. In order to guarantee the quality of such components, measurement technology must also follow the trend towards miniaturization.

One approach to perform measurements in confined spaces is the use of fiber-optic distance sensors. The sensors offer great flexibility and are easy to integrate into production environments thanks to the small size of the probes. Since the measurement signals are transmitted purely optically in optical fibers, fiber-optic sensors are insensitive to electromagnetic interference, have negligible attenuation in long transmission distances and can be used for multipoint measurements. In addition, they are flexible, long-term stable and resistant to a variety of chemicals.

© Fraunhofer IPT
Fiber optic probe for NIR spectroscopy.

The Fraunhofer IPT develops fiber optic sensors for challenging measurement tasks such as the measurement of very small boreholes. Individual sensors up to a diameter of 80 µm can be manufactured using fiber-integrated beam steering and shaping. In cooperation with our spin-off company Fionec GmbH, we offer a comprehensive overall concept consisting of probes, evaluation unit and measuring device.

In addition to sensors for use in production measurement technology, the Fraunhofer IPT develops and manufactures temperature and spectroscopy probes that can be used, for example, endoscopically in minimally invasive diagnostics. In addition to the design, the Fraunhofer IPT also manufactures and assembles the sensors and integrates them into machines and measuring instruments.

Our service

  • Development of fiber optic sensors for industrial metrology and biomedical diagnostics
  • Optical design and simulation of fiber- and micro optical systems
  • Grinding and splicing of fiber end surfaces for integrated beam deflection and beam shaping
  • Development of fiber optic measuring devices and multipoint measuring systems as well as machine integration
  • Development of assembly solutions for fiber optics


Automotive engineering

Fiber optic sensors allow the measurement of the shape of micro drill holes, for example for injection nozzles, where the installation space for sensors is limited.


In microsystems technology, the installation space is often limited, making measurement with tactile sensors impossible. Fiber optic sensors, on the other hand, offer miniaturization potential and at the same time avoid damage to the component, e.g. for measuring the involutes of micro gears.

Medical technology

Endoscopic and minimally invasive measuring systems for optical, biomedical diagnostics for the measurement of spectroscopic and tissue morphological quantities.