Measurement Technology

Measurement technology is making its way into almost all areas of life. Whether in manufacturing, medicine, environmental technology or safety technology, physical, chemical or biological parameters need to be measured. By doing this, the industry can, on the one hand, optimize manufacturing processes and medicine can, on the other, monitor healing processes. In production engineering, optical measuring systems are an essential part of Industry 4.0 concepts, for which Fraunhofer ILT is developing compact and robust solutions. The spectrum ranges from plasma-based material analysis to interferometric geometry measurement and even surface temperature analysis, which is used, for example, in additive manufacturing.

In cooperation with equipment manufacturers, Fraunhofer ILT is also developing systems for inline process control to optimize process parameters and to ensure manufacturing quality. This allows a 100% control of the components and compliance with very low tolerance limits.

In material analysis, pulsed laser radiation can be used to determine a material’s chemical composition without contacting it. The possible applications of laser-induced breakdown spectrometry range from quality inspection in metal production through material input control in metal processing all the way to rapid material recognition in recycling processes.

EUV laser for high-resolution spectroscopy and lithography

Discharge-based EUV radiation source for wavelengths in the range 2 - 20 nm.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Discharge-based EUV radiation source for wavelengths in the range 2 - 20 nm.

High, medium or pulsed irradiation intensities in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) need to be made available for many applications in electronics and microsystem technology. The spectral range around 13.5 nm is particularly important since structures relevant to chips for the semiconductor industry can be generated or analyzed with this appropriate laser radiation.

Fraunhofer ILT is developing highly efficient EUV beam sources for high-resolution spectroscopy and nanoscale interference lithography at wavelengths in the range of 5 nm to 50 nm. This technology can be used to characterize optics, conduct contamination studies or develop new photoresists. In addition, EUV laser radiation can be used to characterize ultra-thin membranes with thicknesses of about 20 nm, multilayer systems with single-layer thicknesses of less than 1 nm and periodic lattice structures with respect to their geometry down into the subnanometer range. Membrane samples and multilayer systems can also be analyzed with stoichiometry.

Recovering valuable, strategic materials from end-of-life electronics

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Modern electronic devices contain a large number of different materials, only some of which are recovered at the end of their service life by current recycling processes. However, other valuable technology raw materials can be recovered in a circular economy if they are separated into fractions with high concentrations of the target materials.

The consortium of the EU project ADIR has developed an automated demonstration line for the targeted removal of electronic components from end-of-life electronics. A key point here is to provide information on where which components are assembled and which materials they contain.

The materials of unknown components are identified using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS); the components are evaluated – supported by image processing software – to identify which target fractions are present. This system creates a digital twin of all processed PCBs, which can be used in the subsequent process step to selectively remove and sort valuable components by laser de-soldering. The process has already been successfully tested in field trials at a recycling plant. Specialized metallurgical plants have recovered valuable materials, such as tantalum as a secondary raw material, from the enriched sorting fractions.

When information about the structure and material composition of end-of-life devices is lacking, recycling raw materials at high-quality faces a great obstacle. This is where digitally networked optical measurement technology can close the gap and enable society to efficiently recycle and save resources.

Projects with participation of the Fraunhofer ILT

Strategic Fraunhofer Projects

A selection of strategic projects involving the Fraunhofer ILT can be found on our cluster website.

Current Collaborative Projects

Here you will find a selection of current collaborative projects in which Fraunhofer ILT is involved.

Completed Collaborative Projects

Here you will find a selection of completed collaborative projects in which Fraunhofer ILT is involved.

Annual Report

In our current annual report you will find a selection of further project results.

Contact Research & Development

Prof. Arnold Gillner

Head of department “Business Development Research Markets”


Telefone +49 241 8906-148
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Prof. Carlo Holly

Head of department “Data Science and Measurement Technology”


Telefone +49 241 8906-142
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Dr.-Ing. Christian Vedder

Head of department “Surface Technology and Ablation” 


Telefone +49 241 8906-378
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Dr. rer. nat. Achim Lenenbach

Head of department “Laser Medical Technology and Biophotonics”


Telefone +49 241 8906-124
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Dr.-Ing. Alexander Olowinsky

Head of department “Joining and Cutting” 


Telefone +49 241 8906-491
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Dr.-Ing. Thomas Schopphoven

Head of department “Laser Material Deposition”


Telefone +49 241 8906-8107
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Tim Lantzsch M. Sc.

Head of department “Laser Powder Bed Fusion” 


Telefone +49 241 8906-193
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Dipl.-Ing. Hans-Dieter Hoffmann

Head of department “Laser and Optical Systems”


Telefone +49 241 8906-206
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