Research Highlights from Dresden

Research Highlights of the Institutes


3D process technology for innovative system in package (3D-SiP) solutions

The integration density of active components is a key factor in the development of new products.


A smart drive repairs itself – adaptronic

Ball screw drives are the drive systems most commonly used in machine tools.


Acoustic condition monitoring in production

Infrasonics, airborne sound and ultrasound for condition monitoring

Today, a large variety of sensor information is already utilized for condition monitoring in production.


Adaptable processes

The components of adaptable processes adapt to changing properties of natural and synthetic materials and to changing process conditions, so guaranteeing higher process stability. Due to automated processing they can be used for a wide range of goods and can be integrated into adaptable value creation chains


Aluminum fiber structures for highly efficient heat pumps

As part of the project “Development of a Gas Adsorption Heat Pump with a Crystallized Zeolite Heat Exchanger and a New Evaporator- Condenser Apparatus (A DOSO)”, funded by BMWi, the Fraunhofer IFAM in Dresden is working with Stiebel Eltron GmbH & Co. KG, SorTech AG and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg to develop a highly efficient adsorption heat pump for the provision of hot water and heat in residential buildings.


Artificial mini organisms instead of animal testing

Microphysiological systems, in which organs and organ systems are “created”, are a promising alternative to animal testing. Therewith, complex mechanisms of the human body can be realistically analyzed. Among other things, these microsystems contain channels, reservoirs, actuating elements, sensor technology and 3D scaffolds “made by laser”. The Fraunhofer IWS offers partners from the fields of biology and medicine complete solutions for microsystem
technology – from design to prototype, including the automation system.


atmoFlex – technology for thin film coating of plastic films

Because of low specific weight, cost-effective production and simple processing, plastic films are used in many industry sectors.


Automated and reliable analog design

Intelligent IP design flow

Today, ICs are only designed efficiently by means of software. But this automation is hardly possible for analog components on chips. The consequence is disproportional big effort as well as high development costs and risks.


Autonomous living in floating homes

Floating homes are becoming increasingly popular in Germany – not only as holiday homes, but also as permanent residences. In the coming years, this way of life of living on water can help boost the attractiveness and economy of less appealing regions, such as the former coal-mining region Lausitz in Saxony.


AutoTram® Extra Grand

As an intermediate public transport vehicle, it combines features of conventional buses (e.g. high flexibility, low infrastructure costs and moderate life cycle costs) with the advantages of trams like high transport capacity, driving comfort and the possibility of partial emission-free operation.


Clean recycling water

Ceramic nanofiltration membranes for the processing of oil sands

il extraction from oil sands requires a large amount of water for different processes. Hot water used to reduce the viscosity of the oil makes up the largest share. After oil/water separation, the water is sent to the tailings ponds and can be reused as “recycle water“ without any further treatment.


Center Nanoelectronic Technologies CNT

At the Center Nanoelectronic Technologies (CNT), Fraunhofer IPMS carries out applied research on 300 mm wafers for IC manufacturers, suppliers, equipment manufacturers and R&D partners.


Components marking for extreme conditions

Ceramic phosphors in metal processing

For a reliable, clear and tamper-proof marking of semi-finished and end products there are a variety of labeling solutions on the market. These range from a simple serial number to integrated RFID chips (Radio Frequency IDentification).


Design freedom by additive manufacturing

Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

High mechanical and chemical as well as a high temperature resistance and extreme hardness are required for tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in the construction and forming industry.


Diamond-like coatings save fuel

Coating engine components with hard carbon reduces friction to almost zero – a development that could save billions of liters of fuel worldwide every year. Now researchers have developed a new laser method to apply the coating on the production line.


Efficient use of energy using thermoelectric materials

Increased energy efficiency, resource conservation, and the reduction of CO2 emissions are some of the most important social and economic challenges of our time. When energy is produced, up to 50 % of the primary energy is lost as waste heat, however. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) can contribute to more efficient and low-emission energy usage by recovering energy from this waste heat.


Electricity from ceramics

Environmentally friendly and cost-effective stationary energy storage systems

Stationary energy storage systems are key element of a modern and sustainable energy supply. Globally growing energy supply and the steady increase of peak loads call for reliable solutions.


Electricity from ceramics II

New battery concepts for electric vehicles

Driving enjoyment and electric drive – two terms that are no longer contradictory. Today, hardly any automobile manufacturer goes without an “e-car“ in its range of models.


Electron Beam Melting - versatile and productive


Environmental Sensing

The “Environmental Sensing” (ENV) business unit focuses on the development of sensory de­vices, components and subsystems to be used in application-specific devices for the detection and evaluation of environmental conditions.


Fast-charging electric bus EDDA

Steadily rising gas prices, an increasing desire for detachment from the turmoil on international raw materials markets and the obligation to save both the local environment and the global climate: these are the main reasons for communities, public transport providers and transport associations to develop new concepts for the operation of electric buses.


Flexible additive manufacturing of functional components

The high potential of additive manufacturing is opposed to the large variety of unsolved issues. These issues can only be solved in a close collaboration between science and industry.
Fraunhofer IWS initiated the project "Additive Manufacturing" (Agent3D) to advance the required collaboration.


High-efficiency electrode materials for gas-generating reactions

For political, security, and energy strategy reasons it is vital to guarantee the availability of raw materials. Hydrogen is one of the irreplaceable base chemicals of the chemical industry and, being an energy source, is one of the central pillars of the shift to renewable energy. The CO2-neutral production of hydrogen can only be achieved industrially via the electrochemical splitting of water in an electrolyzer that is powered by renewable energy sources.


Image processing system with privacy protection

Intelligente image sensor system-on-chip

Researchers at Fraunhofer IIS/EAS have developed an image processing system that detects positions and movement patterns, and automatically attributes these to people or objects.



Inactivate vaccines more effectively using electron beams

Since as early as the 1950s, toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde have been used to inactivate pathogens for so-called killed vaccines (e.g. to fight influenza, polio or hepatitis A viruses)


Increasing the service life of turbine blades with laser

Researchers of the Fraunhofer IWS have developed a laser-assisted procedure for localized surface layer hardening. Through laser heat treatment of the surface layer with two semisimultaneously working lasers and a subsequent hardening, they succeeded in producing a consistent wear and fatigue-resistant surface layer. The result is a hardness zone, in geometrical terms optimally adapted to the localized wear and stress of turbine blades.


Industrial cleaning technologies

In order to optimize cleaning processes we develop optical monitoring systems and innovative cleaning technologies for all areas of industrial cleaning. Our know-how and extensive testing facilities enable us to experimentally simulate industrial cleaning processes and test and improve the hygienic design of machinery. Our technology developments in the area of adaptive cleaning mean that empirical systems can be replaced by model-based design, parameterization, and control. These are based on inline analysis systems and diagnostic systems, complemented by cognitive control concepts.


Intelligent transport systems / synchronized mobility / connected driving

In the animal kingdom, the swarm behavior of birds, fish or gregarious animals shows how a multitude of individuals can move effectively and fluently in a very confined space. The intelligent transport systems of the future will take this kind of behavior as a reference point. The Fraunhofer IVI drives these developments in several research projects.


Interposer with micro-fluidic-cooling

The maximum processor performance is limited by the heat removal efficiency. Therefore, a highly effective cooling technology as well as an innovative power management are the keys to increase the computing power.


Joining in aircraft manufacturing – more efficiency by lightweight construction

With respect to the complexity of requirements regarding reliability of extremely stressed lightweight construction and to the application of latest material developments, the aerospace industry still represents one of the most essential economical and scientific driving forces. Fraunhofer IWS contributes to developing the necessary technologies.


Joining of thick sheets – joining technologies

In boxing clinch means a tight clinch of the opponent from which he can hardly break lose. A very tight connection is also the meaning of clinching in terms of joining technology.


Laser beams stamp microstructures

Two- and three-dimensional micro and nanostructures facilitate completely new surface features. Two prominent examples of nano- and microstructures with functional properties are the water-repellent lotus effect and the friction-reducing sharkskin.


Living on water

Self-sufficient waste water treatment by ceramics

A life away from car noise and exhaust fumes – more and more people are attracted to the water. Energy-efficient swimming houses not only fulfill this vitality, but also stimulate the economy of structurally weak regions.


Manufacturing beyond the limits of today’s processes – additive manufacturing

The laypersons calls it 3D printing, the expert talks about additive manufacturing. Strictly speaking, nothing is printed, but built up layer by layer using various materials.


MEMS Scanners

To date, more than 50 different resonant scanners have been designed and manufactured. They are made to deflect light either one-dimensionally or two-dimensionally or for high-speed optical path length modulation.


Mesoscopic Actuators and Systems

Hardly any fast-growing technical industry can exist without components for microsystems technology in terms of sensors and actuators. In order to meet the growing demands on the performance of micromechanical components and expand the technical base for new applications, further miniaturization is essential


Metallic materials for implants – highly porous and degradable

An ongoing medical problem is how best to treat major bone damage. Such damage does not heal spontaneously and requires implants. The best bone replacement is, and always has been, the patient’s own bone. However, only limited amounts of this are available and its removal also involves risks. The use of a synthetic bone replacement is also accompanied by various risks. The ideal solution is a degradable material, namely implants which disappear after successful bone healing.


Milestones in battery research

Research in the areas of electromobility as well as stationary energy systems is a central subject at IWS in Dresden. Important contributions can be provided to battery fabrication processes based on the numerous IWS manufacturing process technology development areas.


Microchips in the third dimension

Innovative »More than Moore« technologies

Traditional chip layouts increasingly reach their limits. For many applications, components have to be laid out even more compactly and with even higher performance than is customary today. For this reason the future belongs to three-dimensionally designed microchips.


Mobility support in emergency and disaster situations – MobiKat

In the field of emergency response, complex strategic and operative-tactical decisions have to be made constantly. This applies for large-scale disasters as well as for large events and the daily operation. To support these processes effectively, the Fraunhofer IVI has developed the MobiKat technology in collaboration with experts and responders from fire departments, emergency services and police.


More quiet on the rail via simulation – technical acoustics

Environmental noise has a decisive influence on health and quality of life.


Navigation and mobile ticketing in public transport

Being able to find one’s way within the transport network of big cities, to individually choose the means of transport and to be guided to one’s destination reliably and independent from  vehicle changes and interruptions – that is the concept of the public transport navigation system developed by the Fraunhofer IVI


New concept for environmentally friendly production of aluminium


Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) – flexible light source for universal application

Organic semiconductors enable large area components, for example organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on flexible substrates.


PowerPaste – Hydrogen without storage pressure

The most important advantages of hydrogen as a secondary energy carrier have long been known. However, hydrogen has not yet been widely established on the market, for example for fuel-cell applications in the mid-performance range, because until now the available hydrogen storage solutions could not be established in the market due to costs, problems with their technical implementation, or lack of hydrogen infrastructure. PowerPaste, a new development from Fraunhofer IFAM in Dresden, has the potential to fundamentally change this situation.


Precisely adapting artificial hip joints – medical engineering

In Germany more than 200,000 people need a hip prosthesis every year


Process analysis and simulation

Structured procedures for process analysis allow the identification of interactions and parameters in forming, filling, and sealing processes and also industrial cleaning processes. Systematic data evaluation enables the determination of causal and stochastic relationships between process states, quality parameters, effectiveness parameters, and efficiency parameters.


Process development for advanced direct oxide-oxide and Cu-Cu bonding (DBI)

The hybrid bonding technology is jointly developed by XPERI (Invensas) and IZM-ASSID on 300 mm wafer size.


Processing flexible materials

We develop technologies for packing foods, cosmetics, medical products, and pharmaceuticals and for wrapping technical goods with flexible laminates. We focus on thermal joining using hot contact, laser, and ultrasonic methods and thermoforming using self-developed heating and forming tools. Other key areas of work are the processing of web materials and the design of easy opening packaging systems.


Producing wholesome seed product on site

Providing the expanding population with healthy foodstuffs is an enormous challenge whose solution begins very early in the production chain.


Recycling of rare earth magnets and production waste

The imposition of export duties by China in 2010 and 2011 for certain raw materials made lowering the need for rare earth imports a key economic goal of the German government. The three main ways of achieving this goal are exploiting own primary deposits, reducing the use of or substituting certain rare earth elements, and recovering rare earths via recycling.


Remote laser metal cutting

Remote laser cutting allows for sublimation cutting without further cutting gas assistance. Thanks to continuously developing the procedure multiple materials can be processed. The technology was introduced in manufacturing halls and application labs, in order to costeffectively
cut non-stampable geometries.


Robust electronics for the vehicles of tomorrow

Safe design of persistent and reliable semiconductor components

A large part of automotive innovation is based on high-performance electronics. The components that are available for this today have been developed for consumer goods.


Smart facade with energy-saving effect – project house smart³

Almost 40 percent of the total energy consumption in Germany is attributed to buildings.


Smart sensors for Industry 4.0

Affordable wireless sensor systems for real time communication

Interconnected, intelligent sensors are the key components for using modern information and communications technologies in industry.


Spatial Light Modulators

The spatial light modulators developed at Fraunhofer IPMS consist of arrays of micromirrors on semiconductor chips, whereby the number of mirrors varies depending on the application, from a few hundred to several millions.


Ultra-thin glass on roll for flexible electronics and novel thin film coating processes

Ultra-thin glass is thinner than paper. It is that flexible, that it could be wound into rolls.


Wearable visualization – OLED microdisplays

Smart glasses and wearables are not only a trend but open a wide range of applications in different areas.


Wireless Microsystems

The business unit “Wireless Microsystems” provides product-related partial and complete solutions for customer- and application-specific problems of hard- and software. This includes optical wire­less communication (Li-Fi), maintenance-free and battery-free RFID sensor nodes, integrated intercon­nected systems, track and trace as well as big data and data analysis.