Press Releases

Fraunhofer ILT

Putting quantum bits into the fiber optic network: Launching the QFC-4-1QID project

15.10.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen / Volker Lannert

Transporting quantum information over long distances with glass fibers and paving the way for the quantum Internet: With this goal in mind, the Dutch research center QuTech and the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT launched the ICON project QFC-4-1QID on September 1, 2019. In this long-term strategic partnership between the research institutions, the scientists will be developing quantum frequency converters that will connect quantum processors to fiber optic networks. The new technology will be used in the world's first quantum Internet demonstrator in 2022.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
Putting quantum bits into the fiber optic network: Launching the QFC-4-1QID project

Fraunhofer ICT

Circular plastics economy: Things are rolling smoothly for plastics

10.10.2019

© Fraunhofer UMSICHT

The global release of plastics into the environment must be stopped. The Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence “Circular Plastics Economy” concerns itself with how plastic must be designed so that it can be recycled, degraded quickly and without residues, or, at best, not be released into the environment. At K 2019, the five Fraunhofer Institutes involved are using the example of plastics to present the research approach that should convert energy flows and material streams in a recycling chain into a circular form of economy.

For more information, please visit the ICT website.
Circular plastics economy: Things are rolling smoothly for plastics

Fraunhofer IGB

Polyamides from terpenes: Amorphous Caramid-R® and semi-crystalline Caramid-S®

9.10.2019

© Fraunhofer IGB

The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB is using a new, recently patented process to develop new polyamides from the terpene 3-carene, a residual material from the cellulose industry. The biobased polyamides Caramid-R® and Caramid-S® produced using this process represent a new class of polyamides with outstanding thermal properties. The production of the monomer for Caramid-S® was already successfully piloted in a 100-liter scale.

For more information, please visit the IGB website.
Polyamides from terpenes: Amorphous Caramid-R® and semi-crystalline Caramid-S®

Fraunhofer IFAM

Turbine aus dem 3D-Drucker

17.9.2019

© Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden

Together with the H+E-Produktentwicklung GmbH in Moritzburg, Saxony, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has developed a true-to-scale gas turbine that impressively demonstrates the current potentials and limitations of powder bed-based additive technologies. The technology demonstrator "Siemens SGT6-8000 H", a scaled model of a gas turbine for power generation on a scale of 1:25, was completely manufactured with additive processes except for the shaft.

For more information, please visit the IFAM website.
Turbine from the 3D printer

Fraunhofer IWS

Heat shields for economical aircrafts

17.9.2019

© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden

To make aircrafts more economical, environmentally friendly and robust, Fraunhofer engineers from Dresden have developed a new ceramic heat shield technology. In this process, a powder of yttrium-stabilized zirconium oxide (YSZ) is added to water to form a suspension. Quickly and cost-effectively this liquid powder mixture can be sprayed onto turbine blades or other aircraft parts. Such and similar thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) facilitate aircraft engines, which consume less fuel and do not contaminate the atmosphere as much.

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Heat shields for economical aircrafts

Fraunhofer IPT

Automated assembly system from Fraunhofer IPT and Aixemtec manufactures solid-state LIDAR systems for autonomous vehicles

12.9.2019

© Ibeo Autimotive Systems GmbH

The majority of driver assistance systems and completely autonomous vehicles currently use solid-state systems, known as LIDAR systems to measure distances and detect obstacles: The abbreviation LIDAR stands for "light detection and ranging" and describes a method used to measure the environment using the reflection of emitted laser beams. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Tech-nology IPT in Aachen, Germany, has developed a system for the automated as-sembly of solid-state LIDAR systems so that such systems can soon be made available to the automotive industry at low cost. The prototype was integrated into a basic machine manufactured by the project partner Aixemtec GmbH and put into operation together with Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH, worldwide technology leader in LIDAR sensors.

For more information, please visit the IPT website.
Automated assembly system from Fraunhofer IPT and Aixemtec manufactures solid-state LIDAR systems for autonomous vehicles

Fraunhofer IFAM

Versatile and inexpensive: Alternative powders developed for the additive manufacturing of steels

11.7.2019

© Fraunhofer IFAM

Up to now, only spherical powders produced by inert gas atomization have been used for additive manufacturing in the powder bed-based processes Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM). As a result, the prices are very high.
At the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden, a new type of iron powder has been successfully processed and tested, which answers one of the cost questions in additive manufacturing and opens up new possibilities.

For more information, please visit the IFAM website.
Versatile and inexpensive: Alternative powders developed for the additive manufacturing of steels

Fraunhofer IMS

Condition Monitoring of Overhead Lines

11.7.2019

© Fraunhofer IMS

In the context of climate protection, the importance of energy efficiency is increasing, as is the share of electricity from renewable energies. Thousands of wind farms, solar modules and biogas plants already generate large quantities of green electricity. The expansion of wind power plants in particular has led to leaps in performance in recent years. In addition to the optimal utilization of the high-voltage overhead lines, the rapid detection of hazardous situations is a central issue. Fraunhofer IMS has developed a sensor system with energy self-sufficient sensor modules for monitoring the operating parameters.

For more information, please visit the IMS website.
Condition Monitoring of Overhead Lines

Fraunhofer IWS

Clean lungs thanks to laser process exhaustion

18.6.2019

© Fraunhofer IWS

In sectors such as the automotive industry, components can be processed at extremely high speed using the laser remote process. However, this can result in harmful emissions which may cause lung damage. Scientists from the Dresden Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS have studied the issue as part of the IGF research project “CleanRemote”. They reduce particles and gases in the air by means of a suction device.

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Clean lungs thanks to laser process exhaustion

Fraunhofer IMS

Machine learning for sensors

4.6.2019

© Fraunhofer IMS

Today microcontrollers can be found in almost any technical device, from washing machines to blood pressure meters and wearables. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS have develo-ped AIfES, an artificial intelligence (AI) concept for microcontrollers and sensors that contains a completely configurable artificial neural network. AIfES is a plat-form-independent machine learning library which can be used to realize self-learning microelectronics requiring no connection to a cloud or to high-perfor-mance computers. The sensor-related AI system recognizes handwriting and gestures, enabling for example gesture control of input when the library is running on a wearable.

For more information, please visit the IMS website.
Machine learning for sensors

Fraunhofer IPMS

Gesture Recognition Using Ultrasound

22.5.2019

© Fraunhofer IPMS / Shutterstock

A research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) have used a new class of ultrasonic transducers to reliably detect distance changes, movement patterns, and gestures in ranges of up to half a meter. The tiny components are inexpensive to produce, allow for high sound pressure, and provide a flexible frequency design for an optimal balance of distance and sensitivity. 

For more information, please visit the IPMS website.
Gesture Recognition Using Ultrasound

Fraunhofer IWS

Additive machines discover superalloys

17.5.2019

© Fraunhofer IWS

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have developed innovative methods enabling more materials to be processed in additive manufacturing than ever before. For example, additive manufacturing systems could facilitate better future aircraft engines with lower fuel consumption. However, engineers must first improve the current industrial 3D printers in such a way that these machines can also process very strong and extremely heat-resistant alloys. Here, the Dresden researchers rely on their profound experience with laser powder buildup welding technologies and employ artificial intelligence (AI). They contribute their profound materials expertise to the Fraunhofer joint project "futureAM". The aim of the partners is to speed up additive manufacturing systems for metal components by a factor ten and also to manage superalloys.

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Additive machines discover superalloys

Fraunhofer ILT

Laser structuring at triple the productivity

8.5.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT / Volker Lannert

Car makers currently use a variety of methods to emboss plastic panels for vehicle interiors. However, manufacturing the tools required for this purpose is an extremely time-consuming process. This situation can be improved using a new laser machine that triples the rate at which these tools are produced while facilitating even more complex structures. The expertise required for the various components and processes was developed as part of the “eVerest“ project in collaboration with partners from research and industry.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.

Laser structuring at triple the productivity

Fraunhofer ILT

RadarGlass: Functional thin-film structures for integrated radar sensors

2.5.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

It is only an inconspicuous piece of paper, but it is an important milestone for autonomous driving: At the end of 2018 the three partners from the joint research project RadarGlass applied for a patent for an innovative radar system. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT from Aachen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP from Dresden and the Institute of High Frequency Technology IHF of RWTH Aachen University have developed a coating process chain that enables radar sensors to be integrated in car headlights. After almost two years in development they have manufactured a working prototype.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.

RadarGlass: Functional thin-film structures for integrated radar sensors

Fraunhofer IISB

Power Electronics: Ceramic Embedding Gives a Boost to Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Devices

12.4.2019

© Fraunhofer IISB
Close-up view of a wide-bandgap device embedded by the Ceramic Embedding technology.

The use of power electronics in challenging fields of application – such as electric vehicles or aerospace – implies high requirements concerning switching speed and reliability. In this context, conventional packaging technologies are often pushed to their limits. Scientists at Fraunhofer IISB have developed a novel packaging concept and technologies by embedding power semiconductor devices into ceramic circuit carriers. Their design offers high temperature stability, operation at high voltages, and hermetic sealing to provide maximum lifetime in harsh environments. This helps to fully exploit the great advantages of wide-bandgap semiconductors (WBG). Power modules based on this new approach are presented by Fraunhofer IISB at this year’s PCIM Europe exhibition in May 2019 in Nuremberg.

For more information, please visit the IISB website.
Power Electronics: Ceramic Embedding Gives a Boost to Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Devices

Fraunhofer ILT

E-Mobility: Battery cells optimally welded with robots and lasers for electric racing cars

12.4.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

No e-mobility without laser technology: this is one of the claims of LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019. In keeping with the theme of this year’s fair, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be using Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding (LaserTAB) to demonstrate how even the most diverse battery cells and power electronics can be combined quickly, reliably and efficiently using robot-assisted laser micro welding. At the Fraunhofer joint booth 431, hall A2, visitors can admire the electric racing car "eace05" of the Ecurie Aix - Formula Student Team, RWTH Aachen. An excellent example for the use of laser technology in electromobility, containing laser-welded batteries as well as laser-cut CFK-components.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.

E-Mobility: Battery cells optimally welded with robots and lasers for electric racing cars

Fraunhofer ILT

Laser Goes Green: Efficiently Recycling Valuable Materials from Electronic Devices

4.4.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

Since 2015, nine project partners from four countries have been researching how to disassemble electronics and reclaim valuable materials in the EU project "ADIR – Next Generation Urban Mining – Automated Disassembly, Separation and Recovery of Valuable Materials from Electronic Equipment". On May 17, 2019, the project partners will present important results in theory and practice at the ADIR Demo Day in Goslar. The ADIR project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
Laser Goes Green: Efficiently Recycling Valuable Materials from Electronic Devices

Fraunhofer IWS

Key component for batteries of the future

3.4.2019

© Fraunhofer IWS

Fraunhofer IWS scientists headed by Dr. Holger Althues have developed an innovative process for the cost-efficient production of thin lithium anodes made of molten lithium. In the BMBF-funded “MaLiBa” project, the Dresden Institute is working with the companies hpulcas and SGS as well as with scientists led by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Janek of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen to solve further crucial issues relating to this concept. The most important innovation consists in realizing an anode compound. This contains a few micrometers thick nickel foil with lithium film stabilized by means of protective layers.

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Key component for batteries of the future

Fraunhofer ILT

Laser technology supports the path to printed electronic diversity

27.3.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

In recent years, the demands placed on component-integrated electronics have risen so sharply in many industries that they can often no longer be met with conventional electronic components. As an alternative, printed electronics is on the advance. At the Hanover Fair from April 1 to 5, 2019, experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany, will be demonstrating the role lasers play in this process. Highlights include the directly printed strain gauge sensor, the locally gold-plated contacts and the electrically conductive glass fiber fabric.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
Laser technology supports the path to printed electronic diversity

Fraunhofer ILT

12,000 holes per second with 1 µm diameter

13.3.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT
ILT-Shooting am 13.12.18 Foto: © Volker Lannert Originalfilename: 850_6495_272-2

A new generation of ultrafast process technology is on the market. Higher average laser power and greater pulse energy promise higher throughput and efficiency. When processing microfilters, for example, this makes it possible to drill hole sizes down to below one micrometer much more quickly. When scaling the processes, there are some non-trivial interaction mechanisms to contend with, which were one of the topics of the “5th UKP-Workshop: Ultrafast Laser Technology„ in Aachen.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
12,000 holes per second with 1 µm diameter

Fraunhofer IFAM

Analog and digital – Automated manufacture and machining of fiber reinforced plastics

8.3.2019

© Fraunhofer IFAM

The experts for Automation and Production Technology of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM will present a recently developed end-effector for automated high-precision placement of adhesive films at JEC WORLD 2019 in Paris from 12-14 March. Digitalization solutions for faster commissioning of robot-assisted production plants, measures to avoid fiber overhang when drilling and milling carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs), and the combined use of in-mold coatings with residue-free FlexPLAS® release film will also be presented.

For more information, please visit the IFAM website.
Analog and digital – Automated manufacture and machining of fiber reinforced plastics

Fraunhofer IPT

Light and strong: Hybrid lightweight components made of steel and fiber-reinforced plastics

8.3.2019

© Fraunhofer IPT

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in demand for lighter components for applications in mobility and transport in response to the need to save weight, and therefore energy and resources. Hybrid components made of steel, locally functionalized with fiber-reinforced plastics combine high mechanical performance with low weight. Demand for manufacturing processes conducive to cost-effective mass-production is burgeoning. In the EU research project “ComMUnion”, the two Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology IPT and for Laser Technology ILT, in collaboration with 14 partners from industry, research and academia, are developing industrial processes and solutions for hybrid lightweight design by combining metal and polymer-matrix composites for automotive and aerospace applications.

For more information, please visit the ILT website.
Light and strong: Hybrid lightweight components made of steel and fiber-reinforced plastics

Fraunhofer IWS

Economical engines due to less friction

4.3.2019

© Fraunhofer IWS

Together with the automotive industry, researchers at the Fraunhofer IWS have been working to develop processes for friction-reducing surfaces of engine components over the past few years. Now, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced even further by enhancing surface technology. The Dresden Institute is researching in this direction with various partners in the joint project "Prometheus".

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Economical engines due to less friction

Fraunhofer ILT

Laser Processes for Multi-Functional Composites

18.2.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

Since composites combine the advantages of dissimilar materials, they can be used to exploit great potential in lightweight construction. At JEC World 2019 in Paris in March, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will present a broad range of laser-based technologies for the efficient production and processing of composite materials. Visitors to the joint booth of the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Construction AZL, Hall 5A/D17, will gain insight into joining and cutting processes as well as surface structuring.

For more information, please visit the ILT website
Laser Processes for Multi-Functional Composites

Fraunhofer ICT

Directly-cooled electric motor made from polymer materials

1.2.2019

© Fraunhofer ICT

Making electric cars lighter also involves reducing the weight of the motor. One way to do that is by constructing it from fiber-reinforced polymer materials. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT are working together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT to develop a new cooling concept that will enable polymers to be used as motor housing materials. And that’s not the only advantage of the new cooling concept: it also significantly increases the power density and efficiency of the motor compared to the state of the art.

For more information, please visit the ICT website.
Directly-cooled electric motor made from polymer materials

Fraunhofer ILT

Producing polymer structures faster – two processes in one machine

6.2.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

Either fast or precise – both cannot be achieved in the production of the finest polymer structures with the laser. Or maybe they can? Combining stereolithography and multiphoton polymerization should make it possible: Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are developing a machine for high-precision, cost-effective 3D construction technologies using both methods. On November 1, 2018, Fraunhofer ILT and its project partners launched the project “High Productivity and Detail in Additive Manufacturing through the Combination of UV Polymerization and Multi-Photon Polymerization – HoPro-3D”, which is funded by the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

For more information, please visit the ILT website

Producing polymer structures faster – two processes in one machine

Fraunhofer ILT

Making ultrafast lasers faster

31.1.2019

© Fraunhofer ILT

Lasers with ultrashort pulses in the picosecond and femtosecond range are often referred to as ultrafast lasers. They are known for their ultra-precise ablation and cutting results. Unfortunately, processing with such lasers takes time. To address this issue, a new research project, funded by the European Commission, aims to make material processing with ultrafast lasers up to a hundred times faster.

For more information, please visit the ILT website

Making ultrafast lasers faster

Fraunhofer IWS

Joining gun bonds metal and plastic within seconds

24.1.2019

© Fraunhofer IWS

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden have developed a joining gun that creates a connection between metal and thermoplastic materials within seconds. This gun is of a modular design and can easily be integrated into the production process, for example by mounting on a robot arm in place of a spot welding gun. At the preview leading up to the Hanover Trade Fair on January 24, 2019 on the trade fair grounds in Hall 19, scientist Annett Klotzbach will be demonstrating the advantages of the joining gun.

For more information, please visit the IWS website.
Joining gun bonds metal and plastic within seconds

Fraunhofer IWS, Fraunhofer IWM

Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

11.1.2019

© Fraunhofer IWM

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

For more information, please visit the IWS website

Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity