Optical Test Methods and Nanosensors


© Fraunhofer IKTS
Querying electronics for optical spectral sensors, e.g. for the field of biotechnology and food technology as well as waste water treatment.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
3D dosimeter for detecting electron radiation on curved 3D free-form surfaces.
© Fraunhofer IKTS
CeraCode® component labeling for metal processing at high temperatures.

Optical methods can be used for rapid, non-contact measurement of material, surface and volume properties of components and products. This makes these methods suitable for integration into production processes. The "Optical Test Methods and Nanosensors" group develops measurement and monitoring solutions that are adapted to customer-specific requirements, from sensor materials, electronics and software to integration in the process.

On the one hand, the monitoring solutions are based on ceramic luminescent pigments, which are used, for example, for the thermally and chemically stable marking of workpieces, for the non-contact measurement of temperature or temperature history, or as dosimeter materials for ionizing radiation. On the other hand, nanoscale metal structures are used for signal detection in biochemical sensors for monitoring liquids (material composition, pollutant detection). For the interrogation of the optical properties of these sensor materials, Fraunhofer IKTS develops optoelectronic components and complete solutions suitable for industrial use. These customized measurement or monitoring solutions allow smooth integration into existing production processes.


Services offered


  • Customized component labeling for extreme process conditions (e.g., high-temperature processes in metalworking)
  • Development of in-line optical testing and monitoring solutions for monitoring of liquids for composition and contaminants (e.g. biotechnology and food technology, wastewater treatment)
  • Development of optical methods for evaluation of energetic history (ionizing radiation and temperature exposure) of components and surfaces (e.g. dosimetry)
  • Development of robust, industrial-grade optoelectronic components for querying all types of optical spectral sensors
  • Integration into production lines and processes


Technical infrastructure


  • Continuous operation test stand for DOD and CIJ printers and associated inks
  • Industrial ink jet printing system and conveyor belt for print tests
  • Industrial barcode, DataMatrix code, and QR code reader systems
  • High-resolution optical microscopy and spectroscopy
  • Development environment for microfluids and biofunctionalization
  • System for electron irradiation EB-Lab 200 incl. dosimetry system
  • Thermoluminescence device incl. Beta-Industrial ink jet printing system and conveyor belt for print tests
  • Shimadzu UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometer with multipurpose sample compartment and variable angle unit

Current research

Process digitization in the metal industry


Optical process monitoring


Component labeling and traceability


Machine learning and process digitization


Multidimensional dosimetry for ionizing radioation


Nanoplasmonic biosensors and chemosensors


Publicly funded projects